I just saw this gem of a meme of Facebook:
The neat thing about memes such as this one is you can pack a lot of disinformation in a very small space.
First off, none of these percentages is based on anything at all.
The reference to “a virus” is logically the coronavirus causing COVID-19. The “99%” claim here is actually verifiable. Based on the available data, COVID-19 has a mortality rate between 4 and 5% in the US, and may have long-term negative health implications for 20% or more of those that recover. So the first assertion is not simply wrong; it’s a lie, and a dangerous one.
The “99.95%” references that follow are just silly, made-up percentages, derived from nothing at all. They are lies as well.
“We have some racists” is a deliberate attempt to distract from or downplay the reality of systemic racism. This mentality serves to perpetuate racist policies by failing to acknowledge their reality.
Being “colorblind” sounds at first like an equitable position, but it isn’t. If you are “colorblind” with respect to issues of race, then you don’t see the suffering of those who are marginalized. You perceive equity where there is none. This again helps perpetuate racist systems and policies.
“We have some bad cops…” We have systemic racism in policing. We have sever issues of unnecessary escalation by police officers. We have rampant abuse of authority, and both legislative and judicial systems that fail to provide sufficient accountability for policing. We have all manner of data to verify this; pretending it isn’t true makes you part of the problem.
All of this serves as yet another call to inaction, meant to assuage the concerns of comfortable white people who don’t want to deal with uncomfortable realities. We will never make any progress if we continue to keep blinders on to the suffering of others.
We can’t fix the issues we have if we deny they exist.