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From The Socialist newspaper, 10 June 2020

BAME coronavirus deaths - an indictment of capitalist inequality

NHS staff are on the front line, photo DFID/CC

photo DFID/CC   (Click to enlarge)

Public Health England has recently published its long-awaited report into why death rates from Covid-19 are highest among BAME people. This grim statistic has also formed part of the backdrop to the mass Black Lives Matter protests in the UK.

According to the report: "The largest disparity found was by age. Among people already diagnosed with Covid-19, people who were 80 or older were seventy times more likely to die than those under 40. Risk of dying among those diagnosed with Covid-19 was also higher in males than females; higher in those living in the more deprived areas than those living in the least deprived; and higher in those in Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) groups than in White ethnic groups."

As Jim Hensman's recent article in the Socialist (Black and Asian Covid-19 deaths: An indictment of capitalist inequality') explained, this latter disparity is not due to genetic factors making BAME people more susceptible to coronavirus. The main factor is social inequality.

For instance, overcrowded accommodation is a key risk factor. According to a 2018 government survey, 2% of white British households experienced overcrowding compared to 15% of black African, 16% of Pakistani and 30% of Bangladeshi households.

Moreover, black and Asian people are disproportionately represented in low income jobs such as care home workers, transport, food processing, retail, security work, and such like, which are more exposed to coronavirus than professional and managerial jobs.

This is also the case in the NHS workforce where 21% of staff are BAME, and more BAME staff are employed in frontline roles. According to The King's Fund: "Minority ethnic-group staff are systematically over-represented at lower levels of NHS grade hierarchy, and under-represented in senior pay bands."

A higher proportion of BAME people are working class, and it is class inequalities which drives up coronavirus deaths.

It's clear from an examination of the statistics that racism interacts with class inequality. Both are inherent in the capitalist system, which needs to be ended and replaced with a socialist society that can lay the basis for eliminating all inequalities.

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

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In The Socialist 10 June 2020:


Black Lives Matter

Fight racism and class inequality. "Seize the time!"

Black Lives Matter protests sweep country: How can the movement win?

Mass protests erupt

Black and white youth rise up against racism - US protester speaks to the Socialist

Capitalism = racism: "You fight capitalism with socialism"

"We're going to fight racism and capitalism with socialism"

France: 20,000 rally against Paris's killer gendarmes

Socialists call for trade unions to join the fight


Schools

Tories backtrack in England - Stand firm for school safety

Oppose the Welsh government's reckless return to school plan


Workplace news

Non-essential retail to open - Organise at work

Debenhams: Workers made to pay for Covid-19 crisis

Workers' union and campaign group fights Derby Rolls-Royce job cuts

Homerton Hospital - withdraw private contract


News

Test-and-trace fiasco - the ringing of the cash till

Coronavirus pandemic news in brief

BAME coronavirus deaths - an indictment of capitalist inequality


Lessons from history

Roosevelt's New Deal programme - reforms to save capitalism


Obituary

Ken Douglas: A tireless and determined fighter for socialism


Campaigns and reports

Why we joined the Socialist Party

Donate so we can raise our socialist message

Domestic violence murder


Readers' opinion

As a health worker, I had to march against racism

Readers' opinion: Things will never be the same


 

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Related links:

BAME:

triangleSwansea BLM protest against racist police brutality

triangleVaccine algorithm can't solve capitalist inequality

triangleSocialist Party Black and Asian caucus

triangleBlack Workers' Charter: A programme to fight racism

triangleMangrove: When the black community made a stand against state racism

Inequality:

triangleA fighting programme for women's rights and socialism

triangleEngels on the origins of women's oppression

triangleBetter for billionaires. Worse for workers

triangleBAME Covid deaths due to capitalist inequality, confirms government

Coronavirus:

triangleHealth, Covid and the vaccine: It's a class issue

triangleThe Tory blame game: scapegoating the working class - 100% pay for all now

triangleMass testing - we need trade union oversight and full pay for all

Capitalist:

triangle'Casino capitalism' - driving another potential financial Armageddon

triangleFacebook v Australian government: nationalise the bosses' media!

Black:

triangle1981: New Cross Massacre

Covid:

triangleTories keep bailing out bosses, while piling the pain on workers and public services

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