COVID 19 is devastating minority populations in NC


Forsyth County's LatinX community is suffering at an alarming rate:

COVID-19 is surging through the Latinx community in Forsyth County with a ferocity that lays bare challenging employment and housing realities that make it difficult for many members of the community to protect themselves from the virus.

Latinx people account for 68.1 percent of COVID-19 positive cases recorded by the Forsyth County Public Health Department, but only 13.0 percent of the county’s overall population, according to the most recent Census numbers, although some say that their actual share of the population is higher. Six out of 25 people who have died from COVID-19 in Forsyth County — 24 percent — are Latinx.

I wanted to highlight this particular problem, but I also wanted to give a hat-tip to NC's independent news outlets, which (very often) give us a deeper look into issues that mainstream media tends to fly over. Triad City Beat was formed from former Yes Weekly contributors, and has done some astounding work since then. But they are also under attack by anonymous actors, having their Facebook page closed down a few times in the last week. Here's more on this story:

“There’s two major reasons, one being that the majority of the Hispanic community live very close together, and in order to survive, a lot of people will rent out within their own home, so you’re going to have more than one family in the home,” said William Herrera, a retired police officer in Winston-Salem who is active with the Hispanic League.

“A lot are surviving paycheck to paycheck and have to go to work,” he continued. “Even when not feeling good, they still have to work because one day off of work without income can have a big impact.”

Elevating the voices of minorities and the poor is just one of the efforts TCB specializes in. They've also done more in-depth research into various White Supremacy groups in not just the Triad area but the entire region. Jordan Green has actually attended many of these "rallies," including the Charlottesville debacle that claimed the life of Heather Heyer when a lunatic drove his car into a crowd.

But now the Indy Week also appears to be stepping up, with a story about African-American "essential" workers being exposed to the Coronavirus on a daily basis:

“It’s very scary working on the frontline,” said McCullers, a member-leader of the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1328 in Raleigh. “I live in fear every day, afraid that I might take something home to my family.”

McCullers lost her godmother two weeks ago to COVID-19. Now, her brother is in the hospital fighting the same disease.

“I know COVID-19 is real, and it’s not going away,” she said with tears in her eyes. “So I’m asking Senator Thom Tillis: We need to keep all frontline workers safe and secure. We need you to do your job and support the HEROES Act.”

McCullers’ plea was one of several featured in “Black Workers are Heroes,” a press call hosted Wednesday morning by the state chapter of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations. This presentation served as NC State AFL-CIO’s contribution to the national organization's day of action, the Workers First Caravan for Racial and Economic Justice.

I just did a quick perusal of NC's main news sites, and none of them even mentioned this event. I didn't check them all, but it's a good bet once they noticed it was organized by labor unions, it was written off. And that is more than just a shame.