Carol Hay
University of Massachusetts, Lowell
A common early narrative that arose as people struggled to cope with their new lives under COVID-19 centered on a platitude about the pandemic being “the great leveler.” But the pretense that we are equally vulnerable—or that we’re “alone together” across lines of race, gender, and class—was a comforting lie. Chronicling the timeline of media talking points seen over the past few months, I argue that social privilege continues to structure the narratives many people use to process life under the pandemic, even while material conditions are much worse for those not in charge of these narratives. At the same time, however, I argue that the pandemic might be setting the stage for genuinely new collective responses to social inequalities, including the long-overdue uprisings inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement.
Keywords COVID, oppression, BLM
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