Jun 4, 2023Liked by Meghan Murphy

Great interview. Very informative and thought provoking. 👍

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Jun 2, 2023·edited Jun 2, 2023

Back in 2020 and 2021, a friend of mine who lived in a rented part of a house in Berkeley (he is in his late twenties, is an expert drawing teacher, grew up in Brooklyn, New York, and is black), was more or less evicted in 2021 by his wealthy white politically very liberal landlords.

After much hemming and hawing, in 2021, they offered to "help" him get vaccinated. He did not want to get vaccinated. At the time, I thought this was a little bit stubborn of him, but also thought the landlord shouldn't be condescendingly "helping" him to get vaccinated. The unit he lived in was separated from their house and the landlord could easily have maintained a social distancing arrangement.

Instead, the landlord took on an extra renter from Nigeria, forcing my friend to have a "roommate" into part of the unit they had rented. By doing this, the landlord, at least in their own mind, got to keep their racially virtuous identity by getting another black tenant.

My friend decided to leave. He did not like being treated like a child and felt that the landlord had violated the original terms of their rental agreement. After a month or so of craziness and living in AirBnBs in Oakland and Berkeley, with me helping him move several times, he got a better apartment in Oakland. His landlady now is a longtime resident of Oakland and is black. After two years, he's still happily living there with no drama.

I'm not an antivaxxer at all. I've been vaccinated three times with the SARS-CoV-2 Moderna vaccine. Still, the situation with my friend's landlord in Berkeley was almost a comedy. Luckily, he landed in a better place, so we can laugh about it now. There's a lot of minutiae in his story, but looking back, I realize that many people on "the left" have no idea how condescending their attitudes during the pandemic were and are toward racial minorities. Many Democrats that I've had conversations with assume that blacks, Asians and Latinos sign off on the official Democratic Party platform. The reality is very different.

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