COVID-19 and Black Disparity in America
The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the systemic racist institutions in the United States as the impact of the pandemic clearly shows the disparities between communities of color and white Americans.
Dr. Hossein Omidi, PhD.
The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the systemic racist institutions in the United States as the impact of the pandemic clearly shows the disparities between communities of color and white Americans. Especially among African American community this health disparity is significantly greater. African Americans are disproportionately dying from COVID-19 in comparison to other communities. This is happening across America in every state and major cities across the nation. This is yet another element of proof that the racist institutional systems in the United States are connected to the crimes against Blacks and other people of color in America. Even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, there were great inequalities in the health-care system that left African Americans at a disadvantaged and more vulnerable to serious medical health risks. The economic and social structures are intentionally racist and designed to leave African Americans marginalized in the quality of health care available to them. They are systemically limited in areas of housing, employment, and a lack of medical insurance. Many do not have suitable employment and earn very low wages compared to the white Americans. They rely on social services benefits such as state-sponsored Medicaid or other public health insurance. Others are simply not insured and cannot seek medical care when they need it. Employers that pay low wages do not offer insurance or paid sick leave so many continue to work under desperate situations during illness.
A few statistics reveal the great disparity based on race and inequalities in America. In the state of Louisiana, where the population is only 33% African American, more than 70% of COVID-19 deaths are African Americans. According to the state’s Coronavirus death data report, 70.5% were African American, 28.6% were white and 1% Asian. In the state of Michigan, where Blacks represent only 14% of the population, 41% of COVID-19 deaths were African Americans. Also, in the state of Illinois, Blacks only make up 14% of the population yet COVID-19 deaths among Blacks totaled 32.5%. The uprising against police crimes and brutality in America is not an uprising against a single racist police institution; but it is an uprising against an entire system of racist oppression, marginalization and exploitation of Blacks and other minorities in the United States. However, it is noteworthy that this U.S. Imperialism rooted in violence, systemic racism and violent crimes are the colonial foundation of the United States. The mechanisms of racial discrimination and disparities do not only affect people of color in the United States but also affect people of color in the whole world. The U.S. imperialist and racist institutional systems have infiltrated all the nations worldwide, affecting people of color everywhere in the world.
Clearly, the worldwide protests triggered by the death of George Floyd, a Black American, has awakened the world’s population to the underlying mechanisms of systemic discrimination once accepted as the status quo. The world has awakened to one of its most prolific injustice; that of the racist discrimination of all people of color by racist white imperialist worldwide. COVID-19 was the catalyst that opened the door to greater resistance against racism and inequality not only in America but in the entire world of humanity.