You Don't Have The Right to Kill Me

Published April 20, 2020
As I write this, COVID-19 is still winning in Michigan. The virus has shown itself to be a ruthless killer of our senior citizens and those with compromised health due to underlying conditions.

Cruelly this means that people of color, are being cut down in disproportionate numbers. As a black man, my life depends on my community’s compliance with social distance measures, my governor’s ability to implement life-saving quarantine measures, and my President’s willingness to do everything possible to save the lives of his citizens.

This virus has given you the power of life and death over your neighbor. I’m frightened that many will substitute partisan loyalty for compassion, slogans for empathy, and protest for safety.

Yesterday, President Trump screamed in twitter-speak “Liberate Michigan!” Trump supporters echoed his battle cry throughout social media hoping to convince Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer to relent and relax social distancing measures. Let’s be clear — Trump wants Michigan liberated even though:

  1. The virus is killing hundreds of Michigan citizens per day. Social distancing measures are slowing this rate but —
  2. We can’t test our population. We have COVID-19 tests but lack the supplies and federal support needed to administer them

These facts mean that “Liberating Michigan” will only make it easier for citizens who are COVID-19 positive to infect others. My neighbor, fellow parishioner, or cashier can put my life in danger through no fault of their own. Without testing, we are all unknowing accomplices to involuntary manslaughter.

A slogan doesn’t correct the issue. Deflecting the blame on the closest Democratic governor doesn’t save lives. Only massive, uncompromising, federal action can provide States with the resources they need to safeguard lives first and livelihoods second.

As a citizen, you have a duty to support and protect your community. Don’t be swayed by wild-eyed, misguided rhetoric to take thoughtless action — that may take my life.

Be An


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