In a powerhouse TedTalk, The Problem with Race-based Medicine, social justice advocate and law scholar Dorothy E Roberts says: “Race is not a biological category that naturally produces health disparities because of genetic difference. Race is a social category that has staggering biological consequences, but because of the impact of social inequality on people's health.”
The novel coronavirus, COVID19, is not racist. It is a highly contagious virus that moves with ease from person-to-person and which takes advantage of compromised immune systems. COVID19 is hitting Black and Minority Ethnic communities the hardest because of racism. As long as medical institutions, scientists, researchers and the public continue to ignore the institutionalised, structural and everyday racism that makes us vulnerable to ill health in the first place, our communities will continue to be disproportionately impacted - as we have been historically - time and time again.
Today, I’m in conversation with Camille St. Omer and Martha Awojobi, two of the ten team members leading Charity So White. The organisation was founded in 2019 to call attention to the racism in the charity sector and to provide a pathway to a sector representative of the vulnerable and at-risk communities it exists to serve and support. Charity So White has issued a live position paper, which is being updated every week, that offers not only crucial insight into the disproportionate impact of COVID19 on Black and Minority Ethnic communities, but practical and important suggestions for the necessary way forward. Camille and Martha remind us that in the midst of a crisis, we have an opportunity to redress the systemic injustices that continue to leave so many of our people behind.
Busy Being Black is the podcast exploring how we live in the fullness of our queer Black lives and Theory in the Flesh is made possible with funding from the British Podcast Awards fund and Wellcome Trust. Please show your support for Busy Being Black, by taking a few minutes to share your feedback at podcastviews.com.