DimWit Politics

Why is Covid-19 hitting blacks harder?

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Why is Covid-19 hitting blacks harder?

April 08
18:55 2020

Among the demographic data being developed around the COVID-19 outbreak in America is the disturbing fact that the disease is infecting and killing black Americans in much higher percentages than other ethnic groups. The disparity is not a rounding error.  In cities like Chicago and New York, the infection and death rates are four to ten times higher among blacks.

In my hometown of Chicago, the COVID-19 death rate for blacks is 68 percent even though they represent only 30 percent of the population.

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Officially, there is no answer being advanced by the medical community.  Dr. Anthony Fauci could only confirm that black people were no more physically susceptible to the disease than any other ethnic group.

That would leave it to a social phenomenon.  Public officials and the media have suggested that folks in the black communities were not getting the word about social separation, hand washing and covering a cough.  I find that an unlikely reason.

It is beyond imagination – with all the 24/7 media coverage and all the pronouncements and alerts from government officials – that there is anyone in America who has not heard the warnings.  Didn’t black people wonder why all the restaurants, stores, workplaces, sports stadiums, and parks were closed – and everyone was running around with masks?

Some media talking heads suggested that blacks were not obeying the separation orders – or didn’t understand the rules.  This smacks of that old prejudice that suggested black folks are just not as smart or as law-abiding as the rest of us.  That is the same racist canard that suggests that black kids are not getting an education in our inner cities because their parents do not care.  I have spent enough time in Chicago’s inner city to know that those excuses are not true.

The disparity in the COVID-19 impact between whites and blacks has also brought out the strident partisan race-baiters.  They suggest that it is fundamental racism – specifically the fault of President Trump and long-term Republican policies.  Since that is also not true, they are hard-pressed to make any connection – just empty rhetoric.

One of many examples of this propaganda-based rhetoric was seen on CNN,  The host of their highly biased “United Shades of America,” W. Kamau Bell, is promoting #masksforthepeople – a good project – but alleges that the higher rate in black communities is because the people cannot trust President Trump – and even who Bell described as “the black surgeon general.”  It would seem that for prominence, power, and profit. Bell is just another black voice peddling liberal orthodoxy while turning a blind eye to the continued existence of institutional racism by political machines in our major cities.  Wittingly or unwittingly, Bell is doing the bidding of the Democrat racist machines.

In one sense, they are correct, however.  The disparity IS a product of racism.  But … the race-baiters and black Democrat partisans are pointing the finger in the wrong direction.


The disparity comes as no surprise to me – and I have even predicted it.  There is an ironically apt saying in the black community that if America gets a cold, blacks get pneumonia.

Health statistics have historically shown urban blacks to suffer disease and earlier deaths in greater numbers than whites.  It is seen in the life-expectancy data.

I am not a doctor, but I do have an opinion based on years of experience in racial matters.  Urban blacks have been racially victimized by Democrat political machines in our major cities for the better part of 100 years.  To this day, blacks reside in congested communities because of government social and political policies that have kept them segregated, impoverished and uneducated.

They are confined to a high-density environment where social separation is much more difficult – almost impossible.  Three and four families may be confined to housing intended for a single-family.  Rampant poverty makes it harder for blacks to stay home from work – and makes it necessary for them to find work even during a shutdown.

Poverty impacts on health.  Blacks – especially those in the urban ghettoes — are more likely to have those underlying health issues that doctors worry about, such as diabetes, pulmonary diseases, and coronary heart disease.

Their community hospitals are not up to the standard of other hospitals in the city.  I know, because I served on the board of one of them.  The emergency rooms of the free public hospitals are jammed virtually all the time – making it more difficult to create distance even in the waiting room (as the photo atop this commentary shows).  Because of the cost of medical services – and the crowded condition, inner-city blacks are more likely to wait longer before heading to an emergency room.

There is another potential reason for disproportionated impact on urban black communities.  They serve in a number of jobs that are on the front line – healthcare, bus drivers, postal workers, Fire, and police.  Blacks have lower car ownership and are thus required to use public transportation in greater numbers.

Folks who live in the inner-cities – or spend time there – are not surprised at the disparity in the Covid-19 statistics.  It was fully predictable.  There are many socio-economic reasons why blacks suffer greater health-related issues than whites.  But those socio-economic reasons are founded on historic institutional racism that characterizes our urban ghettoes to this day.

And yes, it is a byproduct of racism – the racism that has intentionally maintained a segregated, impoverished and uneducated community for political purposes.  If you want to know why there is such disparity – at least a good portion of it – look at the racial history of the Democrat machines that ruled over those high-mortality rate communities for generations.  The COVID-19 virus did not create a unique disadvantage for blacks.  That was done by big-city politicians over a lot of years.

So, there ‘tis.

About Author

Larry Horist

Larry Horist

Larry Horist is a conservative activist with an extensive background in economics, public policy and politics. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman, as well as the White House. He has testified as an expert witness before legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress, and lectured at major colleges and universities. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He can be reached at lph@thomasandjoyce.com.

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