Tag Archives: Scott Lingamfelter

A COVID Swan Song

Confirmed Virginia COVID-19 cases. Source: Virginia Department of Health

by Scott Lingamfelter

Pandemics are not new. They have been around as long as the human race has been and will be in the future. Before COVID arrived on our shores from China, the 1919 Flu Pandemic originated in the trenches of World War I and spread rapidly, picking up the name Spanish Flu, a misnomer since it cropped up in several places. It ultimately killed 17 to 50 million people and possibly as many as 100 million. It was one of the deadliest pandemics in human history. By comparison, COVID-19 has killed 5,826,463 globally, or two-thirds the population of New York City, far less that the 1919 villain. Nevertheless, COVID has had an enormously outsized impact on our nation and the world. Beyond deaths, it has disrupted economies, lives, education, and indeed freedom. It was in a sense — despite the occurrence of the 1919 pandemic — a Black Swan Event.  Continue reading

Guilty As Sin

Scott Lingamfelter

by Scott Lingamfelter

The recent and tragic death of George Floyd, a black man, by a white police officer in Minnesota is the latest in a series of controversies concerning race and law enforcement in America. Floyd has now become a poignant symbol of what people say is “systemic racism” in America. So, is racism truly systemic? Is it a matter of fixing a system as one would repair a leaky faucet or a fire hydrant knocked from its foundation by an uncontrolled vehicle? Or is it deeper than that?

When I was young, I was raised in the Capital of the “Old South,” Richmond, Virginia, where my white church-going parents who brought me into this world taught me right from wrong. They taught me racism was wrong. But the racial contrast was stark in my Richmond neighborhood.

My father, a dermatologist, had his office on Monument Avenue where Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s statue towered above a grassy circle adjacent to the Lee Medical Building. And not far from the long shadow it cast over gentrified homes nearby, there stood another neighborhood. That one housed impoverished black people who lived in a world of separate water fountains, seats in the back of the bus, and no stools for them in the local restaurants that we enjoyed. Their world was not my world. Mine was one of freedom and opportunity. Theirs was dominated by “Jim Crow” laws that treated blacks as second-class citizens. Continue reading