Dispatch #67 May 5th 2020
Day 1272 Post-Ascendency of White Supremacy & Misogyny
Day 1200 Post-Installation of White-Supremacist-Misogynist-Pussy-Grabbing-Self-Aggrandizing-Demagogic-Bully-Illegitimate-PeeeOTUS & his White-Nationalist-Fascistic-Christian-Supremacist-Quislings
That so many people will suffer so much in the richest country in the world reveals once again the stunning institutional inequities driven by white supremacy, misogyny, and unfettered capitalism. Movement leaders and public health activists are organizing to demand that this pandemic moment be wielded to tear down these structural intentional injustices and to call out these inequities as human rights violations. Dispatch #63 from the War on Women
America’s unfettered capitalism demands/depends upon this mythology-truth: that the individual’s right to do whatever he wants and get whatever he can is absolutely sacred and always overrides the collective public good. So we are treated to pictures of armed masked white men with loaded semi-automatics raging against measures to protect community health. PeeeOTUS and his quisling-enablers praise these actions….in a country with at least 400 million guns in public hands, encouraging armed insurrection ought to constitute criminal, if not impeachable, behavior. Yeah, you would think…
The primacy/sacredness of the public/common good must be resurrected from the ashes of scorched earth politics of white-nationalism-misogyny-fascism.
The New York Times featured a powerful portrait of New York City’s public hospitals at the epicenter of COVID-19 and offered this comment on the power of public good:
Along with New York’s public schools, its public housing, its subways and its libraries, the public hospitals form the democratic bulwark of the city. Across the decades, these institutions have housed New Yorkers, educated them, given them freedom of movement — and cared for them when they were sick. E. B. White wrote that New York ‘‘makes up for its hazards and deficiencies by supplying its citizens with massive doses of a supplementary vitamin — the sense of belonging to something unique, cosmopolitan, mighty and unparalleled.’’ More than anything, that something is a promise of equality and opportunity embodied by the city’s public institutions. They are the indispensable glue beneath the disposable glitter. www.nytimes.com/2020/04/16/magazine/behind-the-cover-at-the-epicenter.html www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/04/15/magazine/new-york-hospitals.html
Personality stars come and go in this time of unending news-making. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo attracted quite a following for several weeks. Smart, brash, articulate, blunt, funny, bantering with his kid brother, devoted to his mother. (Of course, it doesn’t take very much to outshine the tangerine-toddler-tyrant and his court of fools.)
In his article in The Nation titled ‘Cuomo Helped New York Get Into This Mess,” Ross Barkan documents how Cuomo has presided over a decade of hospital closures, prioritizing austerity over keeping public institutions open and insisting on severe cuts to Medicaid.
Medicaid is a lifeline for so-called safety net hospitals, the public institutions serving the urban poor in New York City and the rural poor in the northern and western reaches of the state. These are the hospitals on the front lines of the Covid-19 crisis. Struggling for support in ordinary times—their patients usually lack the sort of private health insurance that offers generous reimbursements—they are now on the verge of collapse…..“It’s obscene,” said State Senator Gustavo Rivera, a Bronx Democrat who chairs the Senate Health Committee. “These are immoral actions that the governor is taking.” www.thenation.com/article/politics/covid-ny-hospital-medicaid/
In his New York Times article titled ‘One Rich NY Hospital Got Warren Buffet’s Help. This One Got Duct Tape.’ Michael Schwirtz reports on conditions at University Hospital of Brooklyn where makeshift rooms for corona virus patients are created with plastic tarps and duct tape.
Every hospital in New York has struggled to cope with the pandemic, but the outbreak has laid bare the deep disparities in the city’s health care system. The virus is killing black and Latino New Yorkers at about twice the rate of white residents, and hospitals serving the sickest patients often work with the fewest resources.
Wealthy private hospitals, primarily in Manhattan, have been able to marshal reserves of cash and political clout to increase patient capacity quickly, ramp up testing and acquire protective gear. At the height of the surge, the Mount Sinai health system was able to enlist private planes from Warren E. Buffett’s company to fly in coveted N95 masks from China.
University Hospital, which is publicly funded and part of SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University, has tried to raise money for protective gear through a GoFundMe page started by a resident physician. Most of the hospital’s patients are poor and people of color, and it gets more than 80 percent of its revenue from government programs like Medicare and Medicaid. www.nytimes.com/2020/04/26/nyregion/coronavirus-new-york-university-hospital.html
Reacting to civil rights unrest, political leaders enabled the gutting of public hospitals, housing, universities, and transportation. Inspired by our happy California cowboy Ronald Reagan, the defunding/dismantling/dismemberment of government institutions intended to protect the public good and promote our collective responsibility has ground on with unrelenting brutality for fifty years.
And PUHLEEZE, enough with constant articles and punditry lamenting about PeeeOTUS’s failure to lead. REALLY!? Are we so desperate to pretend that the country in 2016 didn’t intentionally choose this White-Supremacist-Misogynist-Pussy-Grabbing-Self-Aggrandizing-Demagogic-Bully-Thug-Fascist that we must keep professing and pleading our sincere expectation for different behavior? Yeah, the answer is yes…yes.