I Can’t Breathe: Surviving the Dual Pandemics of Racism and Covid-19 w/ Louis Woods

June 29, 2020
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As Americans grapple with the devastation wrought by the dual pandemics of racism and Covid-19, it is critically important to understand the vast racial disparities Covid-19 has exposed within the African American community (specifically), but communities of color (generally). The legacies of housing policies sponsoring residential segregation, and the associated racial gaps in wealth, educational achievement, health inequities, and lethal police encounters resonate nationally, but global white supremacy and migration patterns have contributed to powerful displays of international solidarity.

In this episode, Middle Tennessee State University Historian Dr. Louis Woods speaks with experts in multiple fields to examine how the sudden shock of the Covid-19 pandemic has illuminated the centuries-old pandemic of racism in western culture, and particularly in the United States. Sociologist Dr. Tony Brown of Rice University discusses underlying health disparities. Education policy expert Dr. Terah Venzant Chambers of Michigan State University describes how educational funding discrepancies contribute to racial achievement gaps. Historian Dr. Sharita Jacobs-Thompson explores the invaluable contribution that her co-taught “History of Policing” class has made to DC Metropolitan veteran officers and police cadets. Mental health expert Dr. Michelle Stevens of MTSU examines the link between PTSD and trauma in the black community and emphasizes the critical importance of self-care. Historian Dr. Glenn Chambers of Michigan State University provides international contexts to the global protest movement associated with murder of George Floyd. Dr. Woods then concludes with an analysis of historical housing policy and the generational impacts witnessed today.

It took the world stopping, for a critical mass of white Americans to hear, in many instances for the first time, the legitimate outcries of police brutality made generationally by African Americans. This podcast episode provides a holistic exploration to the tragedies that made this latest iteration of white police terror both a national and an international movement.



This episode is part of RTN’s Pass The Mic Project. This episode was recorded by, and remains the property of, Dr. Louis Woods.

You can hear more about Louis Wood’s research in his conversation w/ Ben in The Road to Now #118 The GI Bill & the Legacy of Racial Discrimination.

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