Click to go to the Subscriber Log In Page
Go to menu with buttons for all pages on BC
Click here to go to the Home Page
Donate with PayPal button
Est. April 5, 2002
Mar 11, 2021 - Issue 856
Bookmark and Share

In celebrating Women’s History Month, we find American women are facing a major crisis as we recognize them for past and current contributions in every sphere of American life. This is proving to be a perilous time for U.S. womanhood.

The coronavirus pandemic has had a devastating impact on our nation - killing over 500,000 citizens, but it is disproportionately tearing through communities of color via infections and deaths. Even while the Biden administration is distributing vaccinations for this lethal disease, ethnic women of color are enduring the brunt of this negative pandemic fallout.

African American, Latinx, Native American/Indigenous, and Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) females are carrying their communities’ burden of infections, sickness, death, job loss, and parenting responsibilities. Approximately two-thirds of Black women, nearly 50 percent of Latinas, and a similar percentage of Native American women serve as the head of a single-parent household, and most live in poverty.

More affluent women of color have the responsibility of assisting their less well-off immediate family members and parents who are also struggling mightily in the course of the coronavirus crisis. Many have donated their earlier COVID relief checks to buck up their family members’ finances. Despite setting aside money for a rainy day, the length of the pandemic has put them in a financial hole.

At the same time, AAPI females and males are increasingly routine victims of hate crimes as some (Whites primarily) blame them for the origin and spread of COVID-19. During the past year, their White counterparts have joined these aforementioned women in the unemployment lines as more than two million women have exited the labor force since February 2020.

The most recent joblessness data show that the unemployment rate is nearly 10 percent for Black women and Latinas while hovering around five percent for White females. They have had to draw down their emergency funds, borrow from their 401Ks, or take their children and move in with parents, siblings, or friends in an effort to ride out the virus.

Their unemployment assistance is near its end, and that is why the recent passage of President Biden’s COVID relief bill is heavily anticipated as a means for them to get their lives back on track. Black and Hispanic women who already lagged behind their White female colleagues in median earnings fear that they may never catch up.

In addition, many have school-age children and need to support their education primarily composed of remote learning while juggling their employment and their children’s schooling. And when they asked for time off, to which they are legally entitled via the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), upon their return to work, many lose their jobs.

Since those terminations, coupled with the economic downturn they continue to suffer, they have tried to maintain their resilience by focusing on their children’s education. They have become more involved in making certain that the schools will have safe and healthy environments when their offspring return to in-person instruction.

To do so, many low-income parents have allied themselves with teachers, especially in low-income districts, as they demand vaccinations, classroom spacing, personal protective equipment, disinfectants, and improved ventilation systems in buildings and classrooms that were already severely lacking in these areas.

Although parents of color, overall, prefer in-person instruction for their children, they recognize from previous experience that poverty-ridden schools are not adequately prepared to educate their children during this pandemic. Their middle-class and wealthy colleagues are pushing for school re-openings at any cost because their public schools are in much better shape.

The lower-income school districts are figuring out ways to get meals to children eligible for free and reduced-price breakfasts and lunches - and their parents - as the epidemic has worsened. And President Biden has put the weight of his office behind the effort to make teachers a higher priority for vaccinations. Women of color of all income levels are supportive of this initiative. They remain the bedrock of their communities.

Women of color are surviving COVID-19 as they have the numerous challenges they have faced throughout their existence in America. Moreover, they have been at the forefront of ethnic progress for their respective communities notwithstanding the lack of credit they have received for their leadership. Communities of color have depended on their courage, tenacity, and assertiveness for generations.

They will prevail over the coronavirus pandemic as they have over all other barriers they have faced. Columnist, Dr. Walter C. Farrell, Jr., PhD, MSPH, is a Fellow of the National Education Policy Center (NEPC) at the University of Colorado-Boulder and has written widely on vouchers, charter schools, and public school privatization. He has served as Professor of Social Work at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and as Professor of Educational Policy and Community Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Contact Dr. Farrell and BC.

Bookmark and Share




is published  Thursday
Executive Editor:
David A. Love, JD
Managing Editor:
Nancy Littlefield, MBA
Peter Gamble

Get On The
Email List

Perry NoName: A Journal From A Federal Prison-book 1
Ferguson is America: Roots of Rebellion by Jamala Rogers