Expert Pitch
University at Buffalo

The ‘old world is gone.’ Protests express a vision of the society people want after COVID-19, UB expert says

3-Jun-2020 3:45 PM EDT, by University at Buffalo

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Henry Louis Taylor Jr., professor of urban and regional planning in the University at Buffalo School of Architecture and Planning, is available to speak with media about the impassioned protests occurring across America against racism and social injustice following the death of George Floyd at the hands of police in Minneapolis.

Taylor says the massive demonstrations express a vision of the society that many Americans would like to see after the country emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic. He says race and anti-racism — instead of terms such as diversity and inclusion — must return to the center of discussions about inequity in the United States.

“Race was the issue of the 20th century. Race and the color line is also the issue of the 21st century,” Taylor says. “Over the last decade, we have replaced conversations around race with conversations around inclusion and diversity, which shifts the conversation and issue away so that we don’t have to deal with all of those complex issues that are related to grappling and dealing with race. Inclusion and diversity in my view has been nothing more than a smokescreen to marginalize the discussions of race and, in particular, the issues facing African Americans.”

“The battle that we’re confronted with now is the constant divisions that we will face over the question of, ‘What kind of post-COVID-19 world do we want?’” Taylor adds. “The American people are not interested in going back to that old world. That old world is gone, and nothing that we can say or do can bring us back to the pre-COVID-19 world, so we’re caught in this kind of purgatory, this kind of transitional moment. What you’re seeing on the streets is people articulating a vision of the type of society that they want to see afterwards.

“And understand that what is fundamentally different about this is people are risking their lives and their health. We’re in the middle of a pandemic, and people are out in the streets. It’s an articulation and an expression of a vision of the type of society that people want when this pandemic ends. And people have let it be known that they are prepared to fight for that.”

In addition to his role as a professor of urban and regional planning, Taylor, PhD, is director of the UB Center for Urban Studies, an associate director of the UB Community Health Equity Research Institute, and a member of the African American Health Equity Task Force in Buffalo. Taylor's research focuses on a historical and contemporary analysis of distressed urban neighborhoods, social isolation and race and class issues among people of color, especially African Americans and Latinos.

Taylor says having conversations about diversity and inclusion is no longer enough. Race and racism need to return to become central in how institutions — ranging from the police and news media to universities and the health care sector — talk about and address social justice, he says.

For example, “There are these predominantly white science departments and medical centers that years later still have no or very few black folks or Puerto Ricans,” he says. “And this is one of the reasons the anger is so deep. As one young lady said: ‘They were out here marching during the civil rights movement. And here we are again. What’s going on?’ ”

Taylor believes that the protests can lead to lasting change. He says groups in many communities — including Buffalo, New York — have been working on solutions to policing problems and other issues of racial injustice for years, and that policymakers must now listen to those voices and implement new policies.  

“COVID-19 has snatched the mask off of America the beautiful, and revealed disfigurement as a characteristic of this country,” Taylor says. “It’s created a common experience of people across the racial divide that allowed them to see the commonalities of pain and misery.

“So we won’t go back to the old world. We have a vision, that’s what they’re talking about — saying that enough is enough. So I think this is an exciting moment and period that we’re in, and a very beautiful thing to watch, as you see people from across the racial and class spectrum come together demanding change. We haven’t seen anything like this since the 1970s.”

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are based on the opinions and/or research of the faculty member(s) or researcher(s) quoted, and do not represent the official positions of the University at Buffalo.




Filters close

Showing results

110 of 4219
Released: 4-Dec-2020 4:30 PM EST
New review confirms disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on Black, Hispanic populations
Oregon Health & Science University

Black and Hispanic populations are disproportionately affected by COVID-19, according to a systematic review published this week.

Newswise: 250647_web.jpg
Released: 4-Dec-2020 4:05 PM EST
For nationalistic regimes, similar COVID-19 policies are the sincerest form of flattery
University of Texas at Arlington

Analysis from a University of Texas at Arlington assistant professor of public policy suggests that nationalistic governments around the globe are more likely to copy other nationalistic governments in responding to the current pandemic.

Released: 4-Dec-2020 3:15 PM EST
New Study Finds Once Hospitalized, Black Patients with COVID-19 Have Lower Risk of Death than White Patients
NYU Langone Health

A team of investigators at NYU Langone Health has found that once hospitalized, Black patients (after controlling for other serious health conditions and neighborhood income) were less likely to have severe illness, die, or be discharged to hospice compared to White patients.

Released: 4-Dec-2020 2:35 PM EST
AANA Commends CDC on Prioritizing COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution to Healthcare Personnel
American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA)

The American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA) commends the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC's) team of advisors on prioritizing frontline healthcare personnel and residents of long-term facilities for the first phase of the COVID-19 vaccine distribution.

Released: 4-Dec-2020 1:50 PM EST
COVID-19 in Victorian schools and childcare mainly driven by community transmission
Murdoch Childrens Research Institute

Analysis of Victorian data by the Murdoch Children's Research Institute suggests that COVID-19 cases in schools and childcare were mainly driven by community transmission

Released: 4-Dec-2020 12:20 PM EST
Identifying markers of COVID-19 infection using blood tests
University of Seville

Researchers from the Institute of Biomedicine of Seville (IBIS) have presented a study carried out in the Clinical Biochemistry Service of the Virgen del Rocío University Hospital which identifies the values for six biochemical biomarkers that indicate a patient may be infected with SARS-COV-2 (COVID-19).

Released: 4-Dec-2020 12:05 PM EST
Research confirms crucial monitoring assessment is effective for patients with COVID-19
University of Portsmouth

A combined research team from the Universities of Portsmouth and Bournemouth and Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust has shown that an assessment score used to measure a patient's severity of illness can be applied to patients with Covid-19 without modification.

Newswise:Video Embedded flccc-alliance-calls-on-national-health-authorities-to-immediately-review-medical-evidence-showing-the-efficacy-of-ivermectin-for-the-prevention-of-covid-19-and-as-an-early-outpatient-treatment
VIDEO
Released: 4-Dec-2020 12:00 PM EST
FLCCC Alliance Calls on National Health Authorities to Immediately Review Medical Evidence Showing the Efficacy of Ivermectin for the Prevention of COVID-19 and as an Early Outpatient Treatment
Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance (FLCCC Alliance)

“Following the swi. review— and subsequent guidance— by the NIH and theCDC of Ivermectin, we expect that Ivermectin’s widespread, immediate use willallow for a rapid and safe re-opening of businesses and schools across the nation—and quickly reduce the strain on overwhelmed ICUs.” —FLCCC Alliance

Released: 4-Dec-2020 11:50 AM EST
Immunity passports: Ethical conflict and opportunity
University of the Basque Country

Immunity passports are a means of registering whether an individual has developed immunity to COVID-19 and is therefore unlikely to either catch or spread the disease.


Showing results

110 of 4219

close
1.68888