COVID-19 has impacted many of our communities in a variety of ways. But for people of color, it hit our community differently.
Initially, it was difficult for our community to grasp the fear surrounding this virus, as the impact of four hundred years of violence, racism, and oppression can certainly desensitize any person’s response to a crisis.
However, as shutdown orders were passed around America and the disparities in our communities became magnified, communities of color began to feel the impact of this global pandemic.
As African American Muslims in this country, our experience is unique and our stories are often silenced. The disparities that exist within our communities are a result of institutional racism and centuries of economic oppression.
Many of our Islamic institutions exist in urban areas that may be impacted by economic inequality and social injustices. Despite this reality, African American Muslims allow their Masjids and institutions to be beacons of light for the community.
As we fast the month of Ramadan, it is critical to allow space to hear and support marginalized communities at this time.
The Impact of COVID-19
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released new, preliminary, nationwide data on Friday that revealed 30 percent of COVID-19 patients are African American, even though African Americans make up around 13 percent of the population of the United States.
The impact of COVID-19 on people of color only highlights the social inequalities tied to race, class, and access to healthcare. In addition to these clear implications of social injustice, African American Muslims have been inundated with reports of their family members dying at alarming rates.
“I received the call on Sunday that my brother was taken to the hospital for complications from COVID-19. I was able to talk to him on Wednesday and he told me he felt like he was going to be released soon. He died three days later. The hardest part is not being able to say goodbye. Not being able to properly bury him,” Sherry Ali from Philadelphia, PA shared tearfully with AboutIslam.net.
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