Report says COVID-19 pandemic has worsened racial issues in U.S.

By Kyle Barnett
Report says COVID-19 pandemic has worsened racial issues in U.S.
Police officers arrest demonstrators in Union Square in New York City on May 28, 2020. Challenges identified by the Urban League report include Black Americans' access to banking services and policing problems. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

July 16 (UPI) -- An annual report released by the National Urban League has found that racial issues in the United States have grown worse as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The report released on Thursday, titled "State of Black America," found that high rates of unemployment, lower incomes and lower net worth left Black Americans more vulnerable to economic effects of COVID-19.


Authors noted that structural racism issues were particularly pronounced and negatively impacted the Black community more than others.

The report says a lack of high-speed Internet and lack of healthcare facilities in Black communities have also led to a coronavirus vaccine gap.

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A study last month found that Black Americans had a 10% greater chance of death related to the coronavirus because they were treated at different facilities than White Americans.

Other challenges identified by the Urban League report include access to banking services and policing problems. The analysis found Black people were much more likely to be stopped by police, searched and killed.

The median pay of Black U.S. households was 15% less than White homes and Black workers received lower wages.

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"We need to look at wage suppression, and wage in equity as a racial issue in and of itself," Jennifer Jones Austin of the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies said, according to ABC News. "Why can't we increase wages at the federal level? It is because this nation has determined that there will always be an underclass. And disproportionately that underclass represents Black and brown Americans."

Authors of the report, which include Reps. Katie Porter, D-Calif., and Robin Kelly, D-Ill., based their findings on public data provided by the Brookings Institution, Johns Hopkins Center for Health Equity and Center for Policing Equity.

"The [report] makes the case that dismantling structural racism -- identifying and repairing the cracks in our national foundation -- will result in more resilient and dynamic institutions that expand opportunity for everyone," National Urban League President Marc Morial said in a statement.

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"To quote a flippant sentiment frequently shared on social media, equal rights for others does not mean less rights for you. It's not pie."

Protesters march for social justice

The Surrogate's Court building exterior remains vandalized while Occupy City Hall protests continue outside City Hall in New York City on June 30. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

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