Unfortunately, today Black America is being hammered by three pandemics – COVID-19, Economics and Racism. The experience of Coronavirus showed us the blatant health gap and disparities. We are disproportionately impacted by the virus that shows up for us in fatalities and exposure. We are more likely to die from COVID-19 because we are more likely to become infected. In total, race or ethnicity accounts for approximately half of all cases and 90% of deaths. The gap remains, the pattern is clear: Communities of color are being hit disproportionately hard by COVID-19.
A one-fix-all solution does not exist, the true pivot point toward justice is resolving the injustice of economics. The same inequalities/injustices exist in business – the root cause is still the same (i.e. access to capital, lack of prime procurement opportunities, and the support of a more robust business formation infrastructure). Wealth creation is at risk whenever racism is its underlying factor manifesting these disparities.
The absence of an economic development strategy is meaningless for people in an oppressed environment. Entrepreneurship is the channel to wealth creation and it is being interrupted by the denial of basic humanity we are experiencing across the country today.
Minority businesses will be the channel that will deliver us in restoring the country after COVID-19 and it most definitely plays a pivotal role in leading us out of our racial pandemic. We have to move past the symbolic gestures. We now have to focus on what we need to be demanding. We have to influence policy, at the local, state, and federal levels. We have to eliminate the barriers to access to capital and the under-capitalization of our businesses.
Our cries for justice and human rights in the past have been answered through protest, the ballot box, and the court system. We must execute those strategies now. We must be seen and heard.