Color of Covid: The Racial Justice Paradox of Our New Stay-At-Home Economy


Professor Catherine Powell wrote an op-ed for CNN examining the underlying issues of racial inequality in our society that are highlighted due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In what I call the “color of Covid,” the pandemic has highlighted a range of underlying inequalities on race — including on the job front — now exacerbated by the health crisis and the emerging stay-at-home economy. Just as Spencer Overton, president of the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, has rightly demanded that the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention “end its silence on the racial impact of Covid-19” in terms of health and morbidity, so too must we all reconcile — and address — the fact that the black and Latinx communities and workers are bearing the brunt of the pandemic.

An underexplored dynamic is what New York radio host Brian Lehrer aptly described, during a recent interview with Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, as a “racial justice paradox:” while “black and brown people are more likely to lose their jobs in the crisis (and suffer food and housing insecurity),” he said “they’re also more likely to be the ones asked to keep their jobs and have risky contact with other people.”

Read the full piece.


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