An annual report released by the National Urban League has found that racial issues in the United States have grown worse due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The report released on Thursday, titled “State of Black America,” found that high rates of unemployment, lower incomes, and lower net worth left Black Americans more vulnerable to economic effects of COVID-19.
The report noted that structural racism issues were particularly pronounced and negatively impacted the Black community more than others.
“The pandemic didn’t simply unmask the stark racial inequities in our economic, health care, and criminal justice status quo; it gave rise to a determined resistance to that status quo and fueled a demand for racial justice that grows more intense with each passing month.”
It also says a lack of high-speed Internet and lack of healthcare facilities in Black communities have helped add to a coronavirus vaccine gap.
Other challenges identified by the Urban League report include access to banking services and policing problems. The analysis found Black people were much more likely to be stopped by police, searched and killed.
The median pay of Black U.S. households was 15% less than White homes, and Black workers received lower wages. “We need to look at wage suppression, and wage inequity as a racial issue in and of itself,” Jennifer Jones Austin of the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies said, according to ABC News. “Why can’t we increase wages at the federal level? It is because this nation has determined that there will always be an underclass. And disproportionately that underclass represents Black and brown Americans.”
“The [report] makes the case that dismantling structural racism — identifying and repairing the cracks in our national foundation — will result in more resilient and dynamic institutions that expand opportunity for everyone,” National Urban League President Marc Morial said in a statement.