As an immigrant physician training in the U.S., I have tried to wrap my head around the construct of race and the reasons why a country that claims to value human rights and reprimands countries that don’t continues to struggle with racism.

The footage of Ahmaud Arbery’s death is heart-wrenching [“White father, son charged with murder in Ahmaud Arbery case,” May 8, Nation]. A man minding his own business was mercilessly hunted down in broad day light — all because of the color of his skin. The news comes out at a time when my husband and I were wondering what it must feel like for black men to follow through on recommendations of universal masking. This news also happens to exist at the time of a pandemic that has disproportionately impacted communities of color, particularly black and Hispanic communities.

Disparities in health-care access are no secret. Unconscious and conscious personal and structural biases are factors known to impact health-care outcomes. Black people (and minorities) are dying directly and indirectly because of racism. This pandemic will be over, and we will all attempt to resume our normal lives. But as we attempt to reflect on the lessons we’ve learned, I hope we can remember that racism is not normal.

Manal Khan, Seattle