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“Pandemics spread and exploit the fissures of society,” said the Rev. William Barber, president of “Repairers of the Breach.” “And the United States has many, many wounds, open wounds from our structural racism, and the criminalization of poverty, and the refusal to address poverty. And those realities make us and made us even more susceptible to the spread of this pandemic.”

For years, Barber has preached about how racism, poverty, voter suppression and the lack of access to health care are all linked. The coronavirus pandemic, especially its disparate impact on African Americans, has forced us to face these fissures in U.S. society. And Barber says the American people are eager to fight back. As for the supporters of President Trump who are fighting back against their states’ stay-at-home orders, Barber told me: “What we need is not guns, we need grace towards each other. We don’t need the flags waving, we need free testing and free health care.”

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