Racism 'literally killing' BAME people during coronavirus pandemic, Labour MP says
Dawn Butler said structural and systemic racism literally killed BAME people during the coronavirus pandemic. (Parliamentlive.tv)
A Labor MP said structural and systemic racism literally kills black, Asian, and ethnic minorities (BAME) during the coronavirus pandemic.
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Dawn Butler said the virus "increased" the scale of inequality.
A report by Public Health England (PHE) found that BAME people are more likely to have jobs that are more likely to be exposed to the virus, and that "historical racism and poorer healthcare experiences" mean BAME people less likely to seek help when needed.
According to the BBC, BAME people were responsible for 15.5% of COVID-19 deaths in England by June 9. According to the 2011 census, 14.5% of the English population came from BAME, although this proportion has certainly increased in the nine years since then.
Butler, who led a lower house debate on Thursday on the effects of COVID-19 on BAME people, said: "COVID-19 does not favor a person's lungs over other races. It is not the pandemic that discriminates, it is society. "
She cited factors such as:
Blacks die from COVID-19 more than four times more than whites. Pakistanis and Bangladeshis more than three times as likely; and Indians more than twice as likely
The higher BAME mortality rate at all levels of the NHS, even in the highest socio-economic groups
The PHE report, which makes applications for risk assessments or additional personal protective equipment (PPE) from BAME employees, is more likely to be rejected or applications are less likely to be feared for adverse treatment
Butler said: “It [racism] has become more structural and systematic. It's not just about individuals. Structural and systemic racism can exist without individual racist acts.
“But it's an unfair, unequal, discriminatory system - and it literally kills us.
"Just like the murder of George Floyd, we can all see it. If someone doesn't believe that structural racism exists, believe the number of bodies. "
Butler called on the government to implement recommendations from previous reports on inequality, rather than focusing on the latest commission announced on Monday.
Butler referred to the murder of the black man Floyd by a white policeman who knelt on his neck for almost nine minutes last month in the United States and concluded: "We are done with the games, the platitudes and we have that problem in Knee forced long grass. Enough is enough. Now is the time to act. Now is the time to act.
"Now is the time to free the government's knee from the black, African, Caribbean, Asian and ethnic minorities."
Read More: Tory MP says that many divorced people now regret having separated after being left alone during the ban
Boris Johnson said on Monday about the new racial inequality review: "The purpose of a review is to examine the areas where people feel more needs to be done."
He added: “I think we now want to learn very quickly what new changes we need to make.
"What I feel most strongly is that there are so many positive stories that are not heard.
"Things are really changing.
"They see young black children who are now doing better than ever in some of the most difficult subjects at school and are going to top universities more.
"We have to start telling this story and building a culture with high expectations, eradicating a story of success, racism and discrimination that undoubtedly exist."
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