Fed Up, Black Americans Say It’s Time To Get Out Of The U.S. (Source HuffPost)
Life in the U.S. has always been far more deadly for Black people, who have a lower life expectancy and higher mortality rate. And COVID-19 brought that long-term trend into full relief. Death rates for Black people from the virus are disproportionately high. But death rates for African Americans were already higher going into the pandemic. Incredibly, even if no one in the Black community had died from the coronavirus, their mortality rate would still be higher than for white Americans in the middle of the pandemic, demographer Elizabeth Wrigley-Field recently explained in Slate. “Racism gave Black people pandemic-level mortality long before COVID,” she writes. Economically, it’s well-known that African Americans start out way behind white Americans. The pandemic amplified the issue. Right now, the Black unemployment rate is about twice that of white workers — a ratio that has held since the U.S. first started measuring the data. A few people mentioned that life abroad would be less expensive, enabling them to retire earlier or afford the kind of housing and lifestyle that is out of reach in the United States. And the need to quarantine has led to increased feelings of isolation and a lack of community. But the desire to leave the U.S. is not simply about economic opportunity or even mortality rates; it is about a search for self. African Americans spoke of having to leave the U.S. to truly find themselves, free from the weight and stress of living with racism.