COVID-19 Made Me a One-Issue Voter: Get the Man Responsible for 165,000 American Deaths the Fuck Out

Illustration for article titled COVID-19 Made Me a One-Issue Voter: Get the Man Responsible for 165,000 American Deaths the Fuck Out
Screenshot: Claude Taylor (True Facts Stated

So I guess there’s no point in belaboring my premise since it’s right there, with a bullhorn, in the title, but I do want to clarify.

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Getting the motherfucker(s) most responsible for the way COVID-19 has devastated America the fuck out of office is the thing I care about most right now. But it’s not the only thing I care about. Nor does it mean that people with other concerns as important to them right now—whether it’s police brutality or abortion rights or immigrants’ rights or gun control or economic inequality or homelessness or mass incarceration or education or fracking or deforestation or capitalism or racism or water or air or the vast intersections of some (or each) of these things—are wrong. I’m grateful, today, for people like Derecka Purnell, who wrote, with love and with care and with rigor, on the deep ambivalence women like her feel for Kamala Harris. I’m thankful for friends like Shamira Ibrahim and Malaika Jabali, who aren’t just more radical than I am, they’re vastly more politically astute. They—along with some other people, and some other books, and some other experiences—have moved me even further left, and will continue to.

But my vision today is narrow. Better yet, has been narrowed. I am angry, all day, every day. Anxious, all day, every day. Scared, all day, every day. Overwhelmed, all day, every day. And wishing, all day, every day, that the motherfuckers who gaslit and sacrificed their own citizens for months; who feigned as if a burgeoning pandemic was an election-driven hoax; who flattened and/or dismantled plans and people already in place to stem it; who communicated a lie about the uselessness of mask-wearing to the millions those motherfuckers knew would only listen to them; who considered it politically advantageous that the virus hit Black and Brown and poor people the hardest; who are demanding, today, that schools reopen and college football is played; who have refused to provide a safety net for the millions that their criminal negligence left unemployed; got sick, today, from the virus they said was a hoax. And then got the fear. And then got the fevers and the fatigue and the other arbitrary and terrifying and arbitrarily terrifying shit this hoax virus does to bodies. And then got the isolation. And then got the respirator. And then. And then. And then. And then.

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Each thought I attempt to have about the election, about November, about Biden, about Harris, eventually returns to vengeance for the motherfucker(s) whose racism and pathology and criminality are the reasons why I haven’t hugged my dad, who lives 15 minutes from me, in six months. And the reasons why Panama hadn’t hugged his daughter in five. And the reasons why my 4-year-old daughter and 18-month-old son have to wear masks when visiting their 63-year-old grandmother (and can only play in her backyard when they do, because going in her house could actually kill someone). And the reasons why acts as mundane and cathartic and sneakily essential as getting a haircut or walking around a mall or going to the gym now exist on the same potentially life-endangering plane as base jumping or bull-running.

Merely voting to get him and them the fuck out is a compromise for me. If they were facing the same grave circumstances they’ve cursed so many Americans with ain’t possible, I’ll settle for a new administration.

I’m not sharing this to sway anyone to get where I am. If you’re not there, stay where you are. I do not enjoy being here, and there are other important places to be. I just had to write this out before it ate me up.

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB, a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times, and the author of What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Blacker (Ecco/HarperCollins)

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DISCUSSION

joplin12
GreatScott

Feel you; the only thing worse than a fool are fool’s fools; just blindly following behind that worthless bag of (in)humanity.

Have to ask; if bars and clubs can hire bouncers, why can’t stores and supermarkets? I’d love to see some of those oxygen thieves try that aggressive bullshit with someone they know can bring that smoke.