Sunday, April 12, 2020

US Surgeon General Jerome Adams meant well, but...

By George L. Cook III, AfricaAmericanReports.Com

I understand some of the anger directed at US Surgeon General Jerome Adams for his message to African Americans about the impact the Covid-19 pandemic is having on Black Communities. Although I have an issue with one part of his speech I also believe he meant well and it was mainly the delivery that was flawed.

Although I don't like hearing stereotypical terms like "Big Mama" and don't know anyone that says that, I understand Adams was clumsily trying to make a connection to an African American audience.

I have no problem at all with the use of terms like "pop pop" because my daughter called her grandpa that.

Adams was right in saying communities of color are more vulnerable to coronavirus complications and fatalities because they suffer disproportionately from chronic health conditions, and due to the “burden of social ills.”

Where Adams went wrong was when he asked African Americans to avoid alcohol, tobacco, and drugs as if we're the only segment of the country that has those vices. He unintentionally made it seem as many Black Americans have those vices and that's why we are so impacted by Covid-19.

Unfortunately those infuriating words took the focus off the main message of his speech. He did try to clean it up later but the damage had been done.

That being said it is important that we as African Americans follow all of the Covid-19 guidelines meant to protect us and others.

Stay home if at all possible, wear a face mask when you must leave home, practice social distancing, and wash your hands often.

Take care of yourselves!

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