The coronavirus pandemic has dominated everyone’s lives for the last three months, so much so that other pressing problems facing society have been pushed far into the background. In fact, it’s become too easy to ignore some systemic issues that are just as harmful as COVID-19. The killing of George Perry Floyd by police in Minneapolis has once again raised serious questions about institutional racism, police brutality toward racialized people and tone deaf political responses. Floyd’s death happened just weeks after the shooting of jogger Ahmaud Arbery came to light. Even the peaceful act of bird watching revealed vile behaviour this week. Our colleagues at The Conversation US have done some excellent work this week on these issues and I would encourage our Canadian audience to take the time to read their articles which I've assembled here. And while these incidents have happened south of our border, Canada also needs to do some serious soul searching. We’ve recently highlighted how racialized Canadians have been more at risk during the pandemic. Since The Conversation Canada started almost three years, our Culture + Society section has been home to some revealing and thoughtful analyses that aren’t usually covered by mainstream media.

Have a great weekend and we’ll be back in your Inbox on Monday.

Scott White

CEO | Editor-in-Chief

Weekend Reads

Why cellphone videos of black people’s deaths should be considered sacred, like lynching photographs

Allissa V. Richardson, University of Southern California, Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism

The US has a centuries-old tradition of killing black people without repercussion – and of publicly viewing the violence. Spreading those images can disrespect the dead and traumatize viewers.

Riot or resistance? How media frames unrest in Minneapolis will shape public’s view of protest

Danielle K. Kilgo, Indiana University

Opinions about demonstrations are formed in large part by what people read or see in the media. This gives journalists a lot of power when it comes to driving the narrative.

Ahmaud Arbery’s killing puts a spotlight on the blurred blue line of citizen’s arrest laws

Seth W. Stoughton, University of South Carolina

Laws enabling citizens to apprehend suspects, which date back to medieval England, were historically used in the US to suppress slave revolts.

The killing of Ahmaud Arbery highlights the danger of jogging while black

Rashawn Ray, University of Maryland

Research shows black men are less likely to exercise in white neighborhoods. Those who do jog report having police called and neighbors shun them.

The racist roots of American policing: From slave patrols to traffic stops

Connie Hassett-Walker, Kean University

Half a century after the federal government voided Jim Crow laws, the criminal justice system still discriminates against African Americans.

Collecting race-based data during coronavirus pandemic may fuel dangerous prejudices

Sachil Singh, Queen's University, Ontario

The COVID-19 pandemic presents potentially concerning trajectories for race relations. Many of these concerns might even originate within the medical profession.

Coronavirus: its impact cannot be explained away through the prism of race

Winston Morgan, University of East London

There's no evidence COVID-19 death rates are related to the genetic differences used to racialise people.

Data linking race and health predicts new COVID-19 hotspots

Kate Choi, Western University; Anna Zajacova, Western University; Michael Haan, Western University; Patrick Denice, Western University

Black and immigrant communities in Canada are more vulnerable to COVID-19.

Why the media loves the white racist story

Rima Wilkes, University of British Columbia; Howard Ramos, Dalhousie University

It’s easier to accuse someone else of racism than it is to challenge the racist and colonial systems we participate in.

Racism impacts your health

Roberta K. Timothy, York University, Canada

A health and human rights researcher, therapist and professor explains why racial justice is a public health issue.