Reflections on AACC’s Statement on Anti-Asian Violence and COVID-19 by Sunny Sue Chang Jonas
As pastors, educators, thought leaders, and community advocates, we spend our time cultivating improvements in communication and conditions for our constituents. However, whether it is CoVid-19 or other less-“physical” pandemics, communities often face circumstances that create barriers to accessing resources like health care, education, food, and shelter. The COVID-19 pandemic is no exception. Like natural disasters and recessions, this pandemic has disproportionately affected people of color.
Last week, Chicago’s mayor, Lori Lightfoot reported that Black Americans in Chicago account for more than half of those who tested positive and are 72 percent of virus-related deaths. For context, Black Americans make up just one-third of the population in Chicago. These statistics are staggering, but not unique. Similar statistics are being reported from city centers across the country. Similarly, while the reported number of cases in the Latinx community are significantly lower than within the Black community, we must be critical here to acknowledge that there are some within the Latinx community who may not feel comfortable reporting to a hospital or providing information to the government at this time, especially those who are undocumented or closely related to those who are. Such fear of government reprisal is rooted in feelings of mistrust caused by generations of systemic inequities*.