Black ExperienceHamil R. Harris

NUL’s Annual Report Shows Blacks in Pandemic’s Grip

'America Caught the Coronavirus and Black America Caught Hell'

The National Urban League’s 2020 State of Black America report, “Unmasked,” which matches the nationwide mood for serious introspection and exposing the human toll and economic devastation of the global pandemic, focuses on delving into data behind the coronavirus’s impact on the African American community.

Because of the need for immediate and long-term action to mend the effects of COVID-19 on the African American community, the first step is recognizing that the health system in American is “broken.”

This is the conclusion of NUL’s annual report released Thursday by National Urban League President and CEO Marc H. Morial, who used current events to paint a disturbing image of what’s going on today in this country regarding African Americans.

“An America in 2020 is an America unmasked,” Morial told The Washington Informer. “We have lost ground in many areas, especially when you have 150,000 dead in this country because of the coronavirus — and 40 percent of the people are Black.”

NUL, founded in 1910, has released a “State of Black America” report since 1976, including essays and data by authors such as civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump and Alexis McGill Johnson, who was recently named president of Planned Parenthood.

This year’s report, which is available at stateofblackamerica.org, contains George Floyd’s last words, “I can’t breathe,” and the phrase “Black Lives Matter.”

The NUL also released its annual Equality Index, which compares the plight of African Americans and Hispanics to whites.

“This report defines structural racism. If people want to know what structural racism is, it is the fact that these disparities in the 15 years that we’ve been releasing these statistics, in this fashion, have changed very little,” Morial said.

The report includes a section titled “Lessons Learned,” in which Morial lays out numerous points for people to think about, including:

Racism is the pandemic within the pandemic. The massive demonstrations against police racism and brutality that erupted after George Floyd’s death did not lead to spikes in coronavirus infection as many had feared. But those who went on to protest were willing to accept the risk.
Bias in health care is both explicit and implicit. Black people with COVID-19 symptoms in February and March were less likely to get tested or treated than white patients. Studies showed that doctors downplayed Black patients’ complaints of pain, prescribed weaker pain medication, and withheld cardiac treatments from Black patients who needed them.
Leadership matters. States where governors ignored scientific advice and lifted stay-at-home orders and other safety measures saw dramatic spikes in coronavirus infections.
Americans have enormous capacity for compassion. College students volunteered to replace sidelined “Meals on Wheels” drivers. Owners of empty RVs offered them to health care workers who needed to isolate.
Black communities never fully recovered from the Great Recession. Even at record lows, in recent years the Black unemployment rate consistently remained twice as high as the rate for whites.
Racism threatens our national security. “If Americans refuse to meaningfully address race relations, the United States will grow weaker and less effective, both at home and as an international actor,” Los Angeles Urban League President Michael Lawson and international policy expert Jerrold D. Green wrote in May.

Meanwhile, the League’s State of the Union 2020 Census report in June warned that Black communities stand to lose billions of dollars and their rightful political representation if something is not done quickly to overcome delays caused by the pandemic. To that end, the League has urged an audit of census operations to ensure a safe and accurate count.

Tags
Show More

Hamil R. Harris

Hamil Harris is an award-winning journalist who worked at the Washington Post from 1992 to 2016. During his tenure he wrote hundreds of stories about the people, government and faith communities in the Greater Washington Area. Hamil has chronicled the Million Man March, the Clinton White House, the September 11 attack, the sniper attacks, Hurricane Katrina, the campaign of President Barack Obama and many other people and events. Hamil is currently a multi-platform reporter on the Local Desk of the Washington Post where he writes a range of stories, shoots photos and produces videos for the print and online editions of the Post. In addition, he is often called upon to report on crime, natural disasters and other breaking issues. In 2006 Harris was part of a team of reporters that published the series “Being a Black Man.” He was also the reporter on the video project that accompanied the series that won two Emmy Awards, the Casey Medal and the Peabody Award. Hamil has lectured at Georgetown University, George Washington University, Howard University, the American University, the University of Maryland and the University of the District of Columbia. He also lectures several times a year to interns during their semester in the District as part of their matriculation at the Consortium of Christian Colleges and Universities.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Washington Informer Newspaper, 3117 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave SE, Washington, DC, 20032, http://www.washingtoninformer.com. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact

Back to top button

My News Matters to me - Washington Informer Donations

Be a Part of The Washington Informer Legacy

A donation of your choice empowers our journalists to continue the work to better inform, educate and empower you through technology and resources that you use.

Click Here Today to Support Black Press and be a part of the Legacy!

Subscribe today for free and be the first to have news and information delivered directly to your inbox.


By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Washington Informer Newspaper, 3117 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave SE, Washington, DC, 20032, http://www.washingtoninformer.com. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact
Close

Adblock Detected

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker