COVID 19 has had a more devastating impact on African Americans than it has on White Americans. African Americans are almost twice as likely to die from COVID as White people.
This is partly due to racial capitalism, which is the concept of profiting off the work of people who are a different race than the dominant culture. It can result in disparities like segregated housing, homelessness, and medical bias.
What Is Racial Capitalism?
To combat COVID-19 in vulnerable populations, it is important to understand how racial capitalism systematically and systemically puts African American people at higher risk during this, and earlier pandemics. Oftentimes, jobs require onsite work, which increases exposure. Limited or low-quality medical care for other health issues can exacerbate the impact of COVID – 19.
Inequities in Access to Health Care
African Americans need equitable access to high-quality health information, treatment, and care. Low paying jobs rarely provide health insurance to workers, and if they do, the plans are often too expensive to be practical. In-person work, shift work, and inflexible schedules also prevent African Americans from getting healthcare for COVID.
How VR Can Help
It is essential for vocational rehabilitation counselors to understand these additional hurdles when it comes to helping job seekers with disabilities and African American to find competitive integrated employment.
If you’d like to learn more about this topic, we welcome you to join us at our upcoming webinar: Racial Capitalism: A Fundamental Cause of Covid-19 Pandemic Inequities on February 17, 2022.
You can also view our earlier archived webinars addressing COVID’s disproportionate effects on African Americans. Reviewing them prior to the upcoming webinar can give attendees a good foundation of knowledge on the topic: Faith-Based Organizations and African American Community Engagement During Covid 19.
For more information about the intersection of African Americans and disabilities, you can also check out these resources: