3 American Beliefs That Are Smashed To Smithereens By The Coronavirus

Image for post
Image for post

Even with all the sickness, death, and disruption to society and the economy by the Covid-19 Coronavirus, we have yet to see what the final impact the coronavirus war will have on America. At this point only one thing is clear, there are 3 American beliefs that the coronavirus has smashed to smithereens!!

Belief 1

American Blacks Built America

Although not every dark-skinned person in 1600 America was a slave, like Crispus Attucks a free black man who was the first to die for America’s freedom, most were. The founding fathers used American Black slave labor to build the country’s early infrastructure and to produce lucrative commodities such as cotton and tobacco. The 1619 Project documents how black slaves endured brutal conditions for 200 years on southern plantations and in northern industries to build the booming American economy. After slavery was abolished American Blacks continued to be the backbone of American labor.

Image for post
Image for post

For instance, in 1870 50 percent of black women were in the labor force compared to just 16.5 percent of white women. In the early 1900s as W.E.B. DuBois describes it, over a million American Blacks joined the “ Great Migration” to fill jobs in the steel, automobile, shipbuilding, and other heavy industries. In 21st century America, while American Blacks continue to be a major part of American labor, the sentiment is only sometimes acknowledged that slave labor built America therefore American Blacks built America.

Image for post
Image for post

Therein lies the myth, the sentiment that American Blacks built America because the fact is that since the coronavirus shutdown America, the number one racial demographic group represented among the front line warriors of essential workers who have to show up to work ranging from doctors, nurses, emergency medical technicians, police and firepersons, grocery store employees, airport workers, gas station attendants, and state and local government employees such as sanitation workers is American Blacks.

Image for post
Image for post

Research from the Current Populations Survey indicates that American Black workers are more likely to be employed in essential services than American White workers, with 37.7% of black workers employed compared to 26.9% of white workers. In other words, it’s a myth to say American Blacks built America, the fact is the coronavirus demonstrates American Blacks CONTINUE TO BUILD America!!!

Belief 2

Online Learning Will Replace In-Classroom Instruction In America

Before the coronavirus disrupted America’s entire education process from pre-k instruction to postgraduate studies, there was much speculation on how internet technology would enable online learning and eventually eliminate reliance on in-classroom instruction. The coronavirus has shown that the possibility of online learning replacing in-classroom instruction on a mass scale to be a hopeful myth at best.

Image for post
Image for post

Because based on a 2018 study by Microsoft that estimated over half of all Americans, 163 million people, do not have high-speed internet at home and therefore can’t participate in online learning, students with physical disabilities may struggle to manipulate remote learning software or suffer seizures from web pages that include flickers, a poll of more than 1,000 high school students said 67% would not expect to pay the normal full tuition for taking college courses from an online format, students taking hands-on classes like art, woodshop, dance, or lab science classes that require expensive equipment is heavily dependent upon a student and teacher’s ability to be in the same physical environment, and students across America have filed class-action lawsuits against 26 colleges demanding refunds for tuition and fees after the coronavirus shut down college campuses.

Image for post
Image for post
This type of interactive learning from teacher and fellow students who don’t look alike could NEVER be duplicated through online learning

Most of the lawsuits revolve around what students claim is a decreased quality of education by switching from the classroom to online learning. They cite the loss of benefits like access to labs, libraries, extracurricular activities, athletics, social development, and the independence of living away from home. A New York University (NYU) student signed an online petition calling on NYU to discount tuition, “ I didn’t pay to attend Zoom.” An MBA student at Northwestern University wrote in a Wall Street Journal opinion piece. “ Would you pay $75,000 for front-row seats to a Beyoncé concert and be satisfied with a Livestream instead? It doesn’t make sense for universities to charge full price while delivering a fundamentally different product than their customers paid for.”

Image for post
Image for post
Source: Poets & Quants survey of more than 300 current admits to top MBA programs in March 2020

Last but not least there are over 20 million children who will not eat a daily meal and millions of parents who would find it difficult to work without in-classroom instruction. Online learning replacing in-classroom instruction has been revealed by the coronavirus to be a pipe dream.

Belief 3

The American States Would Be Better Off With Less Federal Government

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp was criticized by President Trump and some Georgia Mayors for being one of the first governors to lift the stay-at-home orders and reopen the state. Whether you agree with his decision or not there was one reality that factored into Kemp’s decision, the projection that at the end of Georgia’s fiscal year on this coming June 30th state tax revenue will be short by $1 billion. Now 3 weeks after Kemp made his move most states have lifted stay-at-home orders and are allowing certain types of businesses to reopen.

Image for post
Image for post

Governors of these states are motivated by the same budget shortfalls that influenced Kemp. Unlike the federal government state and local governments can’t discover a budget shortfall today and print more money tomorrow. By the statues of their state constitutions and local government charters, state and local governments cannot run budget deficits and spend money they do not have. If businesses are closed state and local governments can’t collect a sales tax to generate funds and prevent shortfalls.

Image for post
Image for post

Unfortunately, the coronavirus shut down all the states in America and the lost tax revenue can never be recovered!!! No state can say to a business or taxpayer, the state must be paid the tax revenue that would have been collected from you had businesses been open and no stay-at-home orders issued. By law state, county, and city governments must either find money to replace the lost tax revenue or else lay off hundreds to thousands of their government workers to balance the budget, producing further harm to both the national and local economy.

Image for post
Image for post

When cities and counties have budget shortfalls there choice is to either appeal to their state government for a financial takeover or make immediate layoffs and budget cuts to balance the budget. When states have budget shortfalls by law they cannot file for bankruptcy, their only choice is a federal bailout or immediate layoffs and budget cuts to balance its budget. The bottom line is, the belief that state and local governments are better off with less federal government has been smashed to smithereens, by the deadly effects of the Covid-19 Coronavirus War, state and local governments need the protective power of the federal government now more than any other time in American history.

Isaac Newton Farris Jr. is the nephew of Martin Luther King, Jr. and serves as Senior Fellow at the King Center. Growing up in one of the most socially and politically active families has given him a unique perspective on current events. Drop by his website for straight talk free of one-sided political spin.

Originally published at https://isaacnewtonfarris.com on May 19, 2020.

Written by

Isaac Newton Farris Jr. is the nephew of Martin Luther King, Jr. and serves as Senior Fellow at the King Center.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store