By Lea Murray, CoBiz Race & Equity Ambassador
I’ve heard disturbing reports about Black and Brown people being disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. In Michigan, African Americans comprise 12% of the population, but make up 35% of the COVID-19 cases and 40% of the deaths. Why am I surprised? Black and Brown lives have traditionally been sacrificed for the betterment of society. And who is society today? Corporate America for certain, but also those with the financial resources who can afford to look away from the systematic injustices that cloud our imagined American dream—and do nothing.
Black and Brown people are less likely to have employment that allows them to work from home. They are the farm workers who put food in the supermarkets and the clerks scanning our groceries at the checkout counter. They are the people delivering our take-out, our mail, our amazon orders, etc.
Back and Brown people are more likely to live in resource deprived areas, polluted neighborhoods, and have less access to healthcare while suffering increased medical risk factors. Although COVID-19 does not discriminate, health outcomes from this pandemic indicate that race is a factor in who receives testing and prompt medical treatment. Race in the time of Corona will continue to reveal the gross social, racial, and economic disparities in America.