As coronavirus continues to rampage across the globe, it has become apparent that, while biologically the virus may not discriminate, it is having a much worse effect on people from ethnic minorities. As the researcher Omar Khan has noted, BAME Covid-19 deaths “track existing social determinants of health” such as overcrowding in homes, insecure work and lack of access to green spaces. In other words, the virus is hitting people harder not because it can see their race but because “racialised” people – those who are categorised by societies as, say, black or brown – are more vulnerable.
And this is not the only way that race is playing a role in the crisis. All around the world, minority communities are disproportionately targeted by ramped-up policing that has accompanied the enforcement of lockdown measures. Data from New South Wales in Australia reveals that, although the richer, whiter Sydney beach suburbs have the majority of Covid-19 infections, it is in the neighbourhoods with larger numbers of people of migrant origin and indigenous Australians that people have received the most fines... see more