America

‘Just Make It Home’: The Unwritten Rules Blacks Learn To Navigate Racism in America

ST. LOUIS — Speak in short sentences. Be clear. Direct but not rude. Stay calm, even if you’re shaking inside. Never put your hands in your pockets. Make sure people can always see your hands. Try not to hunch your shoulders. Listen to their directions.

Darnell Hill, a pastor and a mental health caseworker, offers black teenagers these emotional and physical coping strategies every time a black person is fatally shot by a police officer. That’s when parents’ worries about their sons and daughters intensify.

“They’re hurting,” Hill said. “They’re looking for answers.”

Hill, who is African American, learned “the rules” the hard way. When he was 12, he and a group of his friends jumped a fence to go for a swim in a lake. That’s when two officers approached them. One of the cops, a white man, threatened to shoot Hill and everyone else if he ever caught

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Hate Unmasked In America | Kaiser Health News

“You are the most selfish f—ing people on the planet.”

I jerked my head to the left, where I saw a neighbor glaring at us from his driveway while unloading groceries from his trunk.

“Where’s your f—ing mask?” he said. “Unbelievable.”

My jaw dropped. I had just walked three blocks home with my toddler and my dad in our leafy, mostly empty Los Angeles neighborhood because my kid had thrown a tantrum in the car.

And we had forgotten our masks. Four days earlier, Mayor Eric Garcetti had ordered protective face coverings anytime we left home, not just when we entered essential businesses.

I pointed out my house to the neighbor to explain how close we were, just a few doors down from him. He cut me off.

“I don’t give a f– where you live, and I don’t give a f– what your reason is.”

Then my dad jumped

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Under COVID Cloud, Prisons In Rural America Threaten To Choke Rural Hospitals

As the COVID-19 pandemic swept into Montana, it spread into the Marias Heritage Center assisted living facility, then flowed into the nearby 21-bed hospital.

Toole County quickly became the state’s hot spot for COVID-19 deaths, with more than four times the infection rate of all other counties and the most recorded deaths in the state. Six of the state’s 16 COVID deaths through Tuesday have occurred here.

But another danger loomed: What if it got into the prison, less than 4 miles away from the hospital and assisted living facility? The county was nearly overwhelmed as it was. Across rural America, prisons and jails sit in places like Toole County that have minimal intensive care unit beds and ventilators and few additional medical resources. Many hospitals there were strained before the pandemic.

This rural, 5,000-person county tucked under the Canadian border might not have seemed like a breeding ground for

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