VOICES: River City, Episode 49: Racial Disparities in the Coronavirus Pandemic

The California Department of Public Health released coronavirus statistics this week showing that 12 percent of Californians who have died from COVID-19 were Black, even though they make up just 6 percent of the state’s population. Host Dr Flojaune Cofer, a leading expert on racial disparities in public health, breaks down how a deep history of injustice ties in with poverty and, ultimately, vulnerability during a pandemic.

We also take a look at Surgeon General Jerome Adams’s questionable admonishment to Black and Latino Americans to lay off tobacco, alcohol and drugs during the pandemic. “Do it for your abuela,” and “do it for your Big Mama,” he added. (Yes, he actually said that.)

Did you hear that law enforcement throughout Sacramento County will begin enforcement against “blatant” violators of the shelter-in-place directive? We discuss what that means for our continued concerns over police interactions with people experiencing homelessness, as well as with communities of color. It is well documented that cops view themselves and their jobs differently than the public views them. We want to know why the city and county aren’t pulling funds from law enforcement agencies and putting them toward more useful pandemic endeavors, such as medical providers, social workers and mental health professionals.

We also take a brief look at Temple Coffee leadership’s attempt to stop employees from wearing face masks because they didn’t fit the company dress code policy. Turns out that Sacramento residents want to see their barista friends protected at work. Thanks for listening and, as always:

Patreon: patreon.com/voicesrivercity

Twitter: @youknowkempa@guillotine4you@ShanNDSTevens@Flojaune

And thank you to Be Brave Bold Robot for the tunes.


VOICES: the podcast
Independent. Weird. Audio. The VOICES: River City podcast is here to talk all things Sacramento with the region's activists, artists and aardvarks.