MKP Equitable Community Train Station

No. 22 • March 2020 • ManKind Project USA

Covid-19:  Dividing?  Uniting? 

As the current epidemic sweeps across the globe, we've seen many people cooperate for the common good. For most of us, it's unlike anything we've experienced in our lifetime. As this worldwide challenge brings out the best in our species, there's also a shadowy flip side that must be acknowledged and confronted. Read on...

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Racism: "The Chinese Virus" - Although it is true that Wuhan, China is the global epicenter of the outbreak, using terms such as the Chinese Virus, Wuhan Virus and Kung Flu only serve to feed anti-Asian xenophobia and racism. Some historians say such language is part of a long history of blaming foreigners, particularly Asians, for epidemics. As a result, we've seen a recent increase in hate crimes against Asian Americans, and the people targeted are experiencing mental and physical health consequences. Those of us who do not speak out or just stand by perpetuate the abuse. Small gestures of support can give victims comfort and a sense of protection. Speak out when you witness such abuse or maybe just stand next to the victim. Show your solidarity, if you can do so safely.

Read this article on what many Chinese Americans experience.

“The language of disease has always been linked to our discourse around immigration. I think it’s pretty clear that our fears about immigrants and outsiders have always been bolstered by fears about disease and contamination.”
— Historian Natalia Molin to Vox
The Generational Split - At first we heard that those over 50 years old were the higher risk population. Now, we're seeing a growing number of hospitalized young people. Have you heard (or said or thought) any of these?:

 • I'm in my 20's (or 30's or 40's) so I don't have to worry. It's really not my problem.
 • Covid-19 is an opportunity to cull older people. They're on their way out any way.
 • Boomers aren't taking the coronavirus warnings seriously!
 • This virus is the #BoomerRemover!
 • Millenials/Gen Z aren't taking the coronavirus warnings seriously!
 • College students continue to #CoronaParty. What's wrong with them??

All of these notions reflect AGEISM, in one direction or the other. When we label people as an age group, we miss their humanity, their loves, their losses, their laughter, tears, and the stories of their lives. We devalue their past and their future. We can choose to diminish others with our labels or we can choose to be curious and compassionate.
Enjoy this music break!...

This is an awesome update of a classic song of struggle, resistance and perseverance.
Workforce Inequality - It's mostly those in white-collar higher paying jobs with good health care and paid leave policies who have the option of working from home. Many “essential” blue-collar workers, such as those keeping factories running making toilet paper and sanitation products, or those responsible for staffing pharmacies and delivering groceries, have no option to work from home, and are less likely to have paid leave and health coverage. They are also more likely to be women and/or people of color.

Data shows that those in lower economic strata are more likely to catch Covid-19 and more likely to die from it. Even those who remain healthy are more likely to suffer loss of income or health care. At the same time, inequality itself may act as a disease multiplier. Research on influenza shows that, during an epidemic, poverty and inequality worsen transmission and mortality for everyone.

Thus, in our current culture, the pandemic not only drives an increase in wealth disparity between white collar workers and hourly wage earners, it also leads to rising rates of current disease and chronic illness.

Read more about how Coronavirus is exposing worker inequality.

"Things are so interconnected. Pre-existing social vulnerabilities only get worse following a disaster, and this is such a perfect example of that."
- Dr. Nicole A. Errett, University of Washington School of Public Health
Need some new songs while hand washing?
White Nationalism - “We are seeing a huge uptick in rhetoric from hate groups during the pandemic," said Eric Ward, Executive Director of the Western States Center. With much of the country sheltering in place or practicing social distancing, people are more exposed to an increase in extremist movements online. Much of the rhetoric is focused on anti-Semitic conspiracy theories or promotes "accelerationism," a fringe philosophy that advocates mass violence to fuel society's collapse. Federal investigators have even learned that white supremacists in the US have discussed plans to use the coronavirus as a bioweapon, targeting law-enforcement agents, Jews and "nonwhite" people.

Read more on the white nationalist and global neo-Nazi threat.
And more...

Spanish speaking people in the U.S. are getting less Covid-19 information and support - see this article.

American Indian and Alaskan Native people have an increased risk of homelessness, poverty, substance abuse, health problems and trauma. As this article describes, practicing social isolation and providing needed services to this population is a great challenge.

The Homeless have few options to self-isolate and still get the care they need. Studies show that their loss of agency makes post-traumatic stress disorders more likely. Read more here.

Womens' Rights are being challenged and curtailed under the guise of national pandemic control. Read this article about what the Ohio attorney general ordered and these two articles on the gender disparity evident in the impacts of the pandemic globally.

Gun purchases have skyrocketed. Whether it's to protect their cache of toilet paper or to survive during the coming apocalypse, gun buyers reflect a paranoid fear that certainly doesn't feed the common good. On the other hand, this is nothing new - gun sales always increase after any alarming event. Still...
Any separations we make in differentiating the victims of this pandemic reflect our own failure of compassion. Whether aged, immunocompromised, disabled, foreign-born, poor or homeless, every one of us deserves care, support, health, life and compassion. We share a common humanity. We are ALL in this together. Be kind, be mindful, be compassionate - for yourself and for all of us.

Archives: Prior issues of the Train Station are now available on the Train Station web site - check it out!



Events and Resources:

Given that public gatherings are temporarily off the table, there are no in-person event listings this month and only a national edition of the Train Station.
There are many online meetings, webinars and presentations - search in your area of interest!


Cultural Identity Group meetings:       

• M.O.D. (Men of Difference) Squad - for men that have experienced negative prejudgment due to race, orientation or culture. If you have experienced Racism, Classism, Ableism, Anti-Semitism, Ageism or Heterosexism, this is a space for you to express, be empowered, learn and share.
              Third Wednesdays 7-8 pm ET 
              Dial in: (646) 876-9923 or (669) 900-6833
              Meeting ID: 749 410 0767  

• Warriors of Color United: WOCU
              Fourth Tuesdays 8:30-10:00 ET 

              Dial in: (415) 762-9988 or (646) 568-7788
              Meeting ID: 984 713 0789  

 Latino/Indigenous Cultural Spectrum Warriors
             Fourth Wednesdays 9:30-10:00 pm ET

             Dial in: (415) 762-9988 or (646) 568-7788
             Meeting ID: 642 988 9133 

 GBTQ Warriors

• The BrothaHood Of MKPI/USA: Open Circle for Men of Some Obvious African Ancestry
              First Wednesday 8:00-10:00 ET (starts Feb 1)

              Dial in: (929) 205-6099 or (669) 900-6833
              Meeting ID: 504 402 4933  
For more info, contact Jermaine Johnson (jermainejohnson@mkp.org or (404) 491-4495)
• Challenge Warriors - men with differential abilities
              First & third Mondays 8 pm ET 
              Dial in: (646) 558-8656 or (720) 707-2699
              Meeting ID: 993 993 393  

• Pan Asian Middle Eastern Chicago 2021 NWTA - team of men with Asian and Middle Eastern ancestry, hosting open circles, Zoom meetings and planning for a 2021 NWTA. For more info, contact Josh Singh at jsingh999@gmail.com.

White Men Undoing Racism monthly zoom call sponsored by Metro NY Tristate - White men doing their work and getting past resistance and triggers. All men, no matter your viewpoint, are welcome!
              Third Sundays 7 pm ET 
              Dial in: (646) 558-8656 or (669) 900-6833
              Meeting ID: 998 745 964  

(event submissions for future issues of the Train Station are welcome!)

The Train Station welcomes comments, ideas,
and constructive feedback!


     Alan Kay