Anti Discrimination
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In Clamor to Reopen, Many Blacks Feel Their Safety is Ignored

In Clamor to Reopen, Many Blacks Feel Their Safety is Ignored | Anti Discrimination | Scoop.it

Many African Americans watching protests calling for easing restrictions meant to slow the spread of the new coronavirus see them as one more example of how their health, their safety and their rights just don't seem to matter.

 

To many, it seems that the people protesting — who have been predominantly white — are agitating for reopening because they won't be the ones to suffer the consequences. So far, the facts are proving them right: The consequences of keeping some businesses open have been falling disproportionately on the shoulders of black people and other marginalized groups.

 

"There has always been a small, white ruling class that has been OK with seeing certain populations as disposable," said LaTosha Brown, founder of the Black Voters Matter Fund, a power-building organization based in the South.

 

The pandemic has highlighted — and often deepened — gaping inequalities in the United States and around the world.

 

Black people are dying in disproportionate numbers from COVID-19 in the United States; people of color are especially exposed because they are more likely to hold many of the jobs that were deemed essential; and, as the reopening starts, they are likely to be among those whose workplaces open first. For instance, in New York City, the epicenter of the U.S. outbreak, black people make up just under 25% of the population, but more than 40% of public transit workers.

 

Many African Americans say the fact that protesters are advocating a riskier path reveals a privileged position — as does their ability to flout social-distancing rules and even brandish weapons.

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Anti Discrimination
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