Pandemic spotlights underlying inequalities in black communities: Obama

Former United States President Barack Obama on Saturday criticized American leaders over the handling of the coronavirus response, telling college graduates in an online commencement address that the pandemic shows many officials “aren’t even pretending to be in charge”.

Obama spoke on, Show Me Your Walk, HBCU Edition, a two-hour event for students graduating from historically black colleges and universities broadcast on social media.

“More than anything, this pandemic has fully, finally torn back the curtain on the idea that so many of the folks in charge know what they’re doing,” Obama said without naming the president or other officials. “A lot them aren’t even pretending to be in charge.”

Obama also said the pandemic spotlights inequalities in black communities.

Obama says: “And let’s be honest — a disease like this just spotlights the underlying inequalities and extra burdens that black communities have historically had to deal with in this country. We see it in the disproportionate impact of Covid-19 on our communities, just as we see it when a black man goes for a jog, and some folks feel like they can stop and question and shoot him if he doesn’t submit to their questioning.”

“Injustice like this isn’t new. What is new is that so much of your generation has woken up to the fact that the status quo needs fixing; that the old ways of doing things don’t work; and that it doesn’t matter how much money you make if everyone around you is hungry and sick; that our society and democracy only works when we think not just about ourselves, but about each other,” he added.

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