Powerful and important piece, Herbert.

I lived in Detroit for many years, where the population is, aside from a few neighborhoods, almost entirely Black.

Detroit is being ravaged by covid-19. People can’t physically distance. They must crowd onto public transportation. They don’t have routine access to healthcare. And hospital networks are nowhere near sufficient to meet needs.

I moved to northern Michigan a couple of years ago to care for my ailing father. People are poor up here too. There are few jobs, opportunity is scarce.

But people DO have access to healthcare. State politicians prioritize their needs. S*** gets done.


Well, I guess I need hardly say that the population up here is almost 100% White.

It’s not fair to compare the two situations directly, because we are also rural up here and that makes an enormous difference.

But… the attention we get from the state capital, the concern we get, contrasted with the apathy shown by state politicians toward Detroit, could not be more self-evident.

In a way it parallels the fact that the state capitol did not care about Flint’s deadly lead-poisoned water.

When white people in Michigan find themselves threatened by some existential crisis, state leadership leaps to action. When Black people are threatened, state leadership yawns and passes the buck.

That reality could not be more evident than right now in the time of covid-19.

Writer. Runner. Marine. Airman. Former LGBTQ and HIV activist. Former ActUpNY and Queer Nation. Polyglot. Middle-aged, uppity faggot. jamesfinnwrites@gmail.com