Pandemic Racism and the Sanctity of Human Breath.

Lu Hanessian
6 min readJun 7, 2020

George Floyd’s murder has birthed a global revolution. A national uprising. An historic turning point. His dying words have become our anthemic call to action.

Lu Hanessian, MSc

Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

We are living a pandemic apocalypse. The Greek word ‘apokálupsis’ literally means uncovering, revelation, disclosure.

When empty streets deserted for months in a lockdown are suddenly filled with masked protestors gathering in the middle of a viral pandemic that has claimed the lives of more than 100,000 people, something is being uncovered.

When #wearedonedying is trending, the NFL admits it was “wrong”, and behemoth corporations and city mayors suddenly denounce racism with solidarity statements and the reallocation of hundreds of millions of dollars to Black community causes, defense funds, business, education, community, and the street in front of the White House is newly emblazoned with BLACK LIVES MATTER in yellow block letters — in a matter of hours and days — something is being revealed.

When banks and retailers jump on the ‘brandwagon’ with divestments, donations, and declarations of intolerance, something is being disclosed.

Something irreversible, insuppressible, and transformative is underway.

A revelation in a revolution.

We are at the unprecedented convergence of all that has taken and held the breath of Black people in this country. An historic moment of rupture, reckoning and collection action.

This revolution is a national uprising. A rising up. Antiracist feminist scholar and activist Angela Davis calls it a unique conjuncture, a global awareness of racism made possible by years of tireless, diligent, antiracist feminist organizing.

“The pandemic of COVID-19 and the pandemic of 1619”, says activist Kayla Reed, co-founder of Action St. Louis.

Four centuries of suffocated lives. Interlocking systems of oppression that have predictably led to…

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Lu Hanessian

Adjunct Professor, Journalist, Former NBC Network Anchor/Discovery Health Channel Host, Host & Exec Producer of “The Foreseeable Now” podcast.