Coronavirus discriminates against Blacks, through surveillance, policing and absence of health data - Caribbean
WEB - Pride - Ajax, 24/04/2020 - COMMENTARY, English
The many Black people working in essential jobs do not have the luxury of staying home during the pandemic. Photo credit: Piron Guillaume/Unsplash.
Summary: Beverly Bain, OmiSoore Dryden, Rinaldo Walcott - Effectively, anti-Black racism has already ensured that Black people and undocumented residents are less than citizens in late modern capitalist Canada. Yet, the people who are likely most at risk are the ones who are being asked to sacrifice their lives. Collectively, Black people in Canada find themselves among the most disadvantaged in all indicators of what is considered a “good life.” Public health has historically been an extension of policing for Black people that has positioned us as suspicious and nefarious in our actions and movements. In our current state of emergency, this union of policing and public health has led to more Black people being arrested, detained and physically restrained in the name of public health protection. In a section on disavowing the data, the article notes that on April 10, Ontario’s Chief Medical Health officer, David Williams, said as the province fights to contain the coronavirus, disaggregated race-based data is not necessary. While some provincial public health officers in Canada claim to be concerned about all citizens and committed to everyone’s health, they simultaneously declare that now is not the time to address the social determinants of health nor to begin the collection of disaggregated race-based data. In other words, they refuse to address how racial discrimination negatively impacts the health of Black people. Black lives are further in peril in a time of COVID-19. Subject to death on both the public health and policing fronts, we will not be silent.