Unpacking COVID-19 and Conspiracy Theories in the Black Community | The Root

Let’s talk about conspiracy theories.

As COVID-19 cripples the world, so spreads some pretty outlandish ideas about the virus—it’s origin, who it’s set out to target and it’s mode of transmission. These beliefs are unproven, caused by uncertainty and amplified on social media.

Conspiracy theories, attempt to “explain an event or set of circumstances as the result of a secret plot by usually powerful conspirators.” Scholars say (pdf) that conspiracy theories tend to have a long shelf life, though there is no concrete evidence to prove that they are true. You all might of heard of some fairly popular conspiracy theories from the past: Churches Fried Chicken is owned by the KKK; that Tupac is still alive; AIDS was created and used as a form of genocide by the government; that levees were bombed during Hurricane Katrina; or that the assassinations of MLK and Malcolm X were meticulously plotted by the government and not the work of lone wolfs.

-Felice León

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