The COVID-19 crisis has exposed how racial inequities are baked into our economic and health systems, in large part due to anti-Blackness. One thing is for sure, we didn’t end up here by accident.
Nationwide, as a result of the rules we’ve created and the narratives we hold dear, Black and Latinx Americans are testing positive and dying of coronavirus at disproportionately higher rates. These communities are overrepresented in jobs that put them at risk of both becoming infected and of being laid off. In California, Black and Asian women have the highest daily risk of exposure to COVID-19. The hotel and restaurant industries have been hit particularly hard by the virus, and Latinx Californians make up 80 percent of dishwashers and housekeepers.
What we are witnessing today is the result of pervasive structural racism, and a worldview professing that profits are a higher priority than the actual needs of people and that government should protect markets at the expense of investment in public goods.