All of which forces us to ask: If this virus wasn’t disproportionately affecting people of color, would the White House handle this the same way it has so far? If 1 in 1,000 White Americans had died of Covid-19, would the White House be sitting on unspent money allocated by Congress that could be used to make testing free and widely available?
The clear answer is no — because the Trump Administration’s position has been consistent from their first day in office. President Trump, his advisers, and his Republican allies in Congress have sought every opportunity to penalize, punish, and persecute the most vulnerable among us, and especially vulnerable people of color, across every dimension of their policy agenda. In other words, having no Covid-19 plan is the President’s plan — because of who is dying.
Taken all together, the Republican Party’s approach to every issue begins to look a lot like social Darwinism. In the circular logic of that discredited social theory, there is no such thing as being a victim of circumstance or systemic injustice. If you are deserving, you will manage to claw your way to the top of the heap. If you are not already at the top, you are a de facto loser who doesn’t deserve the government’s help. It’s everyone for themselves.
More than eight decades ago, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt said, “The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.” Donald Trump and the Republican Party have failed that test time and time again. It’s up to the American people to set a new course — before it’s too late for millions of us.