Already Quarantined: Yes, the “Spanish” Flu was Racist Too

Salvador Herrera // After the outbreak of racialized violence against Asian communities across the world, President Donald Trump, his staff, and supporters maintained that calling the COVID-19 disease “the Chinese virus” is harmless and has nothing to do with race.[1] Their willful ignorance attributes the phrase to the supposed source of the virus. However, the…

The Photograph: Exposing the Hypocrisy of the Strong Black Woman Myth

Phyllisa Deroze // It is not that Black women have not been and are not strong; it is simply that this is only part of our story, a dimension, just as the suffering is another dimension one that had been most unnoticed and unattended to. bell hooks, Talking Back: Thinking Feminist, Thinking Black[1] Stella Meghie’s…

Attentional Avoidance: America’s “War” on COVID-19 and Narco-Terrorism

Salvador Herrera // In a White House press briefing on Wednesday, April 1st, 2020, the Trump administration and the Coronavirus Task Force announced their “enhanced counter-narcotics operations” under U.S. Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM).[1] Commander-in-Chief Donald Trump explained that these measures would include a doubling of USSOUTHCOM’s capabilities to surveil, disrupt, and seize drugs shipped overseas from…

How to Read a Medical Study in Black History Month

Sarah Berry // Bioethics and black history are intertwined in the U.S. In 1972, a news story broke about a four-decade medical experiment in rural Tuskegee, Alabama that studied the untreated effects of syphilis specifically in black males. This study, funded and administered by the federal government, made headline news and, after an investigation, spurred…

Skin Deep: Biometrics and Containment in Sabrina Vourvoulias’s INK

Salvador Herrera // On October 22nd, 2019, the U.S. Department of Justice proposed a rule titled “DNA-Sample Collection From Immigration Detainees.”[1] The rule would remove one Obama-era exception in the Code of Federal Regulations to the DNA Fingerprint Act of 2005: an exception that dismisses DNA collection as a requirement if institutional funds are limited.[2]…

Black Maternal Health Week: A Movement in Motion

Phyllisa Deroze// As an African American woman who has never met my paternal grandmother because she died from postpartum hemorrhaging, and as a mother who is writing this essay while recovering from my third postpartum reconstructive surgery to repair the preventable damage caused during the birth of my daughter, I am elated to observe the…

From Norma and Normman to Kim and Caitlyn

Sara Press// In the summer of 1945, a very average couple, who would come to embody the ideals of American society, emerged into the public eye. Brought to life by Abram Belskie and Robert Latou Dickinson, the Cleveland Health Museum debuted the sculptures of Norma and Normman as “A Portrait of the American People.” Strong…

The Power to Kill: the Immunologics and Necropolitics of Whiteness

Salvador Herrera // Racial thinking evolves and adapts, but earlier ideas tend to linger and splice with other discourses in a chain of pervasive and dangerous myths. The danger of these myths lies in their hierarchical notions of racial inferiority. Logics of race are evoked to justify war and genocide against foreign bodies, as if…