The North Star has dropped its paywall during this COVID-19 crisis so that pertinent information and analysis is available to everyone during this time. This is only possible because of the generous support of our members. We rely on these funds to pay our staff to continue to provide high-quality content. If you are able to support, we invite you to do so here.
In These Tweets is a weekly cultural dive into trending topics on Twitter. A collection of snapshot analyses on a variety of moments impacting our world. Sometimes serious, sometimes light, always substantive. We outchea, #InTheseTweets.
You remember once upon a time a couple of weeks back when it was cute to say that Black folks were somehow magically immune to COVID-19? But now, we are not surprised that Black folks are disproportionately dying from coronavirus? 1619 creator and New York Times journalist, Nikole Hannah-Jones, recently offered an expansive Twitter thread that furthered the conversation on how the coronavirus is wreaking havoc on Black America. Jones tweeted before referencing an example of the disparity in the city of Chicago where Black people make up roughly 30% of the population but account for 70% of COVID-19 related deaths. I have been asking myself and members of my community in Baton Rouge: how do we get the necessary, current information about this virus to citizens of the poorest zip codes in the city? What we know is moments of crisis weigh heavier on populations that are systematically disenfranchised. Black workers at large are unable to work from home as many of them are employed through essential service industries. Tie in pre-existing health conditions, food deserts, wide disparities in household incomes and abysmal statistics in virtually every other quality of life factor, and you get a recipe for an ease of transmission multiplied by an inability to fight off its complications. In other words, as much as we can we really need to stay in the house!
Per The New York Times, domestic abuse hotlines are seeing a surge in calls amidst stay-at-home orders brought on by the coronavirus. Experts on domestic abuse are saying that governments should have been more prepared for these numbers to increase as domestic violence is amplified when families spend more time around each other. Being that abusers use methods such as isolation, constant surveillance and restricted access against their victims, those vulnerable to abuse are in an extremely dangerous timeline. The worst of our society does not take time off when catastrophe is consuming all around. It could be argued that abusive partners lie in wait for opportunities to enact their wrath when their victims have the lowest chance of escaping their violence. And even though hotlines are currently overwhelmed, if you or anyone you know is currently being subjected to abuse in your home, I implore you to contact the National Domestic Violence hotline. They can be reached at 1-800-799-7233.
The Billboard Twitter account is attempting to lighten the load of working from home during the pandemic by suggesting that the top 10 songs of the Hot 100 on your 10th birthday should be your work-from-home playlist. I have already figured out what I want to jam while isolated, but if you’re curious of what Billboard suggested, here’s mine from the summer of 1990:
- Vision of Love– Mariah Carey
- The Power– Snap!
- Rub You The Right Way– Johnny Gill
- Cradle of Love– Billy Idol
- If Wishes Came True– Sweet Sensation
- Come Back to Me– Janet Jackson
- Unskinny Bop– Poison
- King of Wishful Thinking– Go West
- She Aint Worth It– Glenn Medeiros ft. Bobby Brown
- Do Me!- Bell Biv Devoe
I am legit only familiar with 50% of this list and only really jammed out to like 20% of it. So my advice is for y’all to create your own damn playlists because Billboard will have you out here trying to groove to shit you may not be interested in whatsoever.
Television and podcast personality, Crissle (@crissles), reiterated an important talking point about the pandemic to her nearly 193,000 followers. Her tweet speaks volumes to the idea that we have a tremendous opportunity to re-evaluate who we are as a global society, and specifically in the U.S., as a national one. Whether we reassess the amount of time we spend with loved ones, the labor strain on the low wage workforce, the gravely obvious inequities in our healthcare system or simply the way we utilize our free time, this is a historic moment of pause to understand to which degree our humanity (or lack thereof) has failed us. As with any period of extreme turmoil, this pandemic is a bold letter accenting the deficiencies in our personhood, our leadership and our systems. But if there’s any silver lining, it’s that we get to decide how we emerge from this moment. Hopefully, all this time away from each other will offer the reflection period necessary for us to make better decisions.