6 January 2021   Power vs. Duty in American Politics - By: Sam Ben-Meir

5 January 2021   2021: Palestine’s Chance of Fighting Back - By: Ramzy Baroud





9 December 2020   Israeli-Palestinian Confederation: Why and How - By: Alon Ben-Meir















5 أيلول 2015   "من الأزل".. آخر كتب الراحل جونتر جراس - بقلم: المركز الألماني للإعلام (ألمانيا إنفو/ almania info)

17 December 2020

The Great Divider: Covid-19 Reflects Global Racism, Not Equality

By: Ramzy Baroud
print     send by email

The notion that the COVID-19 pandemic was ‘the great equalizer’ should be dead and buried by now. If anything, the lethal disease is another terrible reminder of the deep divisions and inequalities in our societies. That said, the treatment of the disease should not be a repeat of the same shameful scenario.

For an entire year, wealthy celebrities and government officials have been reminding us that “we are in this together”, that “we are on the same boat”, with the likes of US singer, Madonna, speaking from her mansion while submerged in a “milky bath sprinkled with rose petals,” telling us that the pandemic has proved to be the “great equalizer”.

“Like I used to say at the end of ‘Human Nature' every night, we are all in the same boat,” she said. “And if the ship goes down, we're all going down together,” CNN reported at the time.

Such statements, like that of Madonna, and Ellen DeGeneres as well, have generated much media attention not just because they are both famous people with a massive social media following but also because of the obvious hypocrisy in their empty rhetoric. In truth, however, they were only repeating the standard procedure followed by governments, celebrities and wealthy ‘influencers’ worldwide.

But are we, really, “all in this together”? With unemployment rates skyrocketing across the globe, hundreds of millions scraping by to feed their children, multitudes of nameless and hapless families chugging along without access to proper healthcare, subsisting on hope and a prayer so that they may survive the scourges of poverty - let alone the pandemic - one cannot, with a clear conscience, make such outrageous claims.

Not only are we not “on the same boat” but, certainly, we have never been. According to World Bank data, nearly half of the world lives on less than $5.5 a day. This dismal statistic is part of a remarkable trajectory of inequality that has afflicted humanity for a long time.

The plight of many of the world’s poor is compounded in the case of war refugees, the double victims of state terrorism and violence and the unwillingness of those with the resources to step forward and pay back some of their largely undeserved wealth.

The boat metaphor is particularly interesting in the case of refugees; millions of them have desperately tried to escape the infernos of war and poverty in rickety boats and dinghies, hoping to get across from their stricken regions to safer places. This sight has sadly grown familiar in recent years not only throughout the Mediterranean Sea but also in other bodies of water around the world, especially in Burma, where hundreds of thousands of Rohingya have tried to escape their ongoing genocide. Thousands of them have drowned in the Bay of Bengal.

The COVID-19 pandemic has accentuated and, in fact, accelerated the sharp inequalities that exist in every society individually, and the world at large. According to a June 2020 study conducted in the United States by the Brookings Institute, the number of deaths as a result of the disease reflects a clear racial logic. Many indicators included in the study leave no doubt that racism is a central factor in the life cycle of COVID.

For example, among those aged between 45 and 54 years, “Black and Hispanic/Latino death rates are at least six times higher than for whites”. Although whites make up 62 percent of the US population of that specific age group, only 22 percent of the total deaths were white. Black and Latino communities were the most devastated.

According to this and other studies, the main assumption behind the discrepancy of infection and death rates resulting from COVID among various racial groups in the US is poverty which is, itself, an expression of racial inequality. The poor have no, or limited, access to proper healthcare. For the rich, this factor is of little relevance.

Moreover, poor communities tend to work in low-paying jobs in the service sector, where social distancing is nearly impossible. With little government support to help them survive the lockdowns, they do everything within their power to provide for their children, only to be infected by the virus or, worse, die.

This iniquity is expected to continue even in the way that the vaccines are made available. While several Western nations have either launched or scheduled their vaccination campaigns, the poorest nations on earth are expected to wait for a long time before life-saving vaccines are made available.

In 67 poor or developing countries located mostly in Africa and the Southern hemisphere, only one out of ten individuals will likely receive the vaccine by the end of 2020, the Fortune Magazine website reported.

The disturbing report cited a study conducted by a humanitarian and rights coalition, the People’s Vaccine Alliance (PVA), which includes Oxfam and Amnesty International.

If there is such a thing as a strategy at this point, it is the deplorable “hoarding” of the vaccine by rich nations. Dr. Mohga Kamal-Yanni of the PVA put this realization into perspective when she said that “rich countries have enough doses to vaccinate everyone nearly three times over, whilst poor countries don’t even have enough to reach health workers and people at risk”. So much for the numerous conferences touting the need for a ‘global response’ to the disease.

But it does not have to be this way.

While it is likely that class, race and gender inequalities will continue to ravage human societies after the pandemic, as they did before, it is also possible for governments to use this collective tragedy as an opportunity to bridge the inequality gap, even if just a little, as a starting point to imagine a more equitable future for all of us.

Poor, dark-skinned people should not be made to die when their lives can be saved by a simple vaccine, which is available in abundance.

* Ramzy Baroud is an author and editor of Palestine Chronicle. His latest book is The Second Palestinian Intifada: A Chronicle of a People's Struggle (Pluto Press, London). - ramzybaroud@gmail.com



Name
Email
Comment
Security Code


26 كانون ثاني 2021   ما يجب أن تسمعه قيادة حركة "فتح"- ماذا نريد؟ (3/2) - بقلم: بكر أبوبكر

26 كانون ثاني 2021   حرب البيانات..! - بقلم: شاكر فريد حسن

25 كانون ثاني 2021   الإنتخابات ورفع عقوبات السلطة عن غزة - بقلم: مصطفى إبراهيم

25 كانون ثاني 2021   ما يجب أن تسمعه قيادة حركة "فتح"- البدء من القلب (3/1) - بقلم: بكر أبوبكر

25 كانون ثاني 2021   حال الضفة وغزة مع بايدن..! - بقلم: خالد معالي

25 كانون ثاني 2021   الأحزاب الصهيونية والصوت العربي..! - بقلم: شاكر فريد حسن

25 كانون ثاني 2021   عن دور مصر الذي لم يعد بعد ثورة يناير - بقلم: صبحي غندور

25 كانون ثاني 2021   عن دور مصر الذي لم يعد بعد ثورة يناير - بقلم: صبحي غندور

24 كانون ثاني 2021   في القرار السيادي..! - بقلم: د.ناجي صادق شراب

24 كانون ثاني 2021   إنتخابات السلطة الفلسطينبة: حلم يتحقق أم كابوس قادم؟ - بقلم: د. لبيب قمحاوي

24 كانون ثاني 2021   الأسير العجوز في قبضة المرض وفايروس "كورونا"..! - بقلم: عبد الناصر عوني فروانة

24 كانون ثاني 2021   الحرب المعلنة على القدس والأقصى..! - بقلم: د. عبد الرحيم جاموس

23 كانون ثاني 2021   أيُّ سياق للانتخابات الفلسطينية؟ - بقلم: هيثم أبو الغزلان

23 كانون ثاني 2021   تساؤلات حول الانتخابات الفلسطينية..! - بقلم: د. إبراهيم أبراش


28 كانون أول 2020   "عاصفة" السياسة الإسرائيلية: زوارق يتهددها الغرق.. ومراكب جديدة تستعد للإبحار..! - بقلم: المركز الفلسطيني للدراسات الإسرائيلية - مدار



9 تشرين ثاني 2020   ما مدى تأثير الانتخابات الأميركية على المواقف الإسرائيلية؟ وما سبب تعمق الفجوة مع يهود العالم؟ - بقلم: المركز الفلسطيني للدراسات الإسرائيلية - مدار

9 تشرين ثاني 2020   قسم التحقيقات مع الشرطة الإسرائيلية "ماحش".. أداة لغسل جرائم الشرطة..! - بقلم: المركز الفلسطيني للدراسات الإسرائيلية - مدار

9 تشرين ثاني 2020   تحت غطاء "التطوير": خطط إسرائيلية حكومية لتهويد القدس وتغيير طابعها العربي (القرار 3790 نموذجاً)..! - بقلم: المركز الفلسطيني للدراسات الإسرائيلية - مدار






27 اّذار 2011   عداد الدفع المسبق خال من المشاعر الإنسانية..!! - بقلم: محمد أبو علان

13 شباط 2011   سقط مبارك فعادت لنا الحياة - بقلم: خالد الشرقاوي

4 شباط 2011   لا مستحيل..!! - بقلم: جودت راشد الشويكي




22 كانون ثاني 2021   طبق مُشكّل..! - بقلم: شاكر فريد حسن


20 كانون ثاني 2021   الحبّ في حياة فدوى طوقان..! - بقلم: فراس حج محمد


8 كانون ثاني 2011   "صحافة المواطن" نافذة للأشخاص ذوي الاعاقة - بقلم: صدقي موسى

10 تشرين ثاني 2010   رساله .. - بقلم: جودت راشد الشويكي

3 تشرين ثاني 2010   شخبطة صحفية - بقلم: حسناء الرنتيسي

27 تشرين أول 2010   المدلل .. - بقلم: جودت راشد الشويكي

21 تشرين أول 2010   فضفضة مواطنية - بقلم: حسناء الرنتيسي


4 اّذار 2012   الطقش


26 كانون ثاني 2012   امرأة في الجفتلك



 
 
 
top

English | الصفحة الرئيسية | كاريكاتير | صحف ومجلات | أخبار وتقارير | اّراء حرة | الإرشيف | صوتيات | صحفيون وكتاب | راسلنا

جميع الحقوق محفوظة © لشبكة  أمين الأعلامية 2021- 1996 
تصميم وتطوير شبكة أمين الأعلامية