Published on February 18, 2021
Structural racism in Britain is one of the reasons why black people have been disproportionately died from Covid 19, states London’s public Health chief. Professor Kevin Fenton explained that poor housing, overcrowding and employment issues had meant that many black Britons were more vulnerable to the virus.
“Covid 19 has shone a light on health disparities, and now is the time for us to recognise the connection between structural racism and radicalised disparities in health- and make change happen,” Fenton said. “There is no doubt that the pandemic has had a disproportionate impact on BAME groups across the U.K. Racism permeates our everyday lives”, he stressed.
He spoke out as the Association of Directors of Public Health London published a blueprint on addressing racism in public health. It highlighted that:
1) People from Black ethnic groups were the most likely to be diagnosed with the infection.
2) Death rates were highest amongst black and Asian groups.
3) black people had between 10-50% higher risk of death than white people.
The report proposed reforms in building trust and cohesion, working more closely on designing and delivering public services with communities, improving ethnicity data collection and research and diversifying the workforce and encouraging better leadership.
But the truth is we have seen so many of these reports going all the way back to the Macpherson report in 1993 which found the police was institutional racist. And we know reports do not create change. We need action, too many of us our dying because our community is not being treated like non ethnic communities. Really, it’s 2021 and this has to stop.