Handcuffed at gunpoint by the police when she was 11. Dead from Covid-19 complications when she was 14. Honestie Hodges, a young black girl from Michigan, tested positive for Covid-19 on her birthday and died on Sunday. She wasn’t so much the victim of a virus as she was the victim of systemic racism. Her death isn’t an aberration – it’s part of a tragic trend.
Covid-19 is disproportionately killing minorities – including young people of colour. Black, Hispanic and American Indian/Alaska Native youth constitute only 41% of the under-21 US population but comprise about 75% of all pediatric Covid-19 deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Ethnic minorities aren’t dying from the coronavirus at greater rates than white people because the virus is racist, but because of institutional racism. Black and Hispanic people in the US are disproportionately exposed to air pollution and more likely to develop asthma. They’re more likely to live in food deserts, without easy access to fresh produce. Black people are systemically undertreated for pain because of racial biases in healthcare. Race affects everything from the air we breathe to the food we eat. This has always been the case but the pandemic has made it impossible to ignore.
Read the full story at The Guardian.