I have been noticing that minorities are dying from coronavirus at an alarming rate. One might question why this is true. Inquiring minds dug deeper and learned that minorities are at a higher risk as a result of generations of political, economic and environmental factors. These factors result in widespread weakened immune systems that are evidenced by numerous chronic diseases. Among these are high blood pressure, asthma, diabetes, cancer and heart problems.
In the deep East End of Houston, one neighborhood, Manchester, has the highest percentage of cancer than any other neighborhood in Houston. This problem is believed to be the result of the environmental factors of the area. The Manchester area is predominantly Hispanic. While I am not aware of any data pointing to the disparity related to the death of Hispanics due to the virus, an analysis by the Washington Post indicates that areas that are majority black have six times the rate of deaths from coronavirus as whites. Even in my former home state of Louisiana, while blacks make up only 32% of the population, roughly 70% of people who have died from coronavirus were black. This tells us something about their access to quality health care and economic inequality. As revealed in my book, Whispers of Hope, the Story of My Life, these racial divides existed then and continue to exist.
It is the responsibility of all Americans to expose these disparities and to take action to ensure political, economic and environmental equality. It is my belief that this is a moral issue and that by working together as individuals, we can make the world a better place for all people.