A Year On, the ‘Color of Covid’ Still Matters


In a follow-up to her original op-ed The Color of Covid, Professor Catherine Powell examines how the interconnected pandemics of race and gender inequality continue.

And yet Biden can do more to combat our interconnected pandemics of race and gender inequality and Covid-19. If this is a New Deal-like moment, the recovery should draw on the positive aspects of that era, but must not repeat its shortcomings (given that President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s policies excluded the predominantly Black domestic and farm work sectors from labor protections established in that era).
I coined the term “Color of Covid” in an CNN op-ed published last year to think critically about the race and gender justice paradoxes the pandemic unmasks. Black and Latinx Americans are overrepresented among both front line workers and among the unemployed.
Women, especially of color, face a similar duality — what I call the “Gender of Covid.” On the one hand, women are overrepresented in essential work. And as part of the invisible labor force that keeps the economy afloat, they continue to face deep gender (intersected by race) pay gaps and are underrepresented in management as well as other leadership and more visible roles across the economy.
Creating a more inclusive, fairer economy is not only morally right, it’s smart economics. In Biden’s effort to create a more inclusive economy, the administration must use the pandemic as a portal (in author Arundhati Roy’s words) to a more just world.

Read the full article.


Comments are closed.