Virus has shone a harsh light on the differences between people

IF you work at the John Radcliffe and you’re black or Asian, and you’ve just found out that you are twice as likely to get the coronavirus as the white people you work with, the ‘listening sessions’ which your managers have set up for you to share your concerns might not feel like sufficient action to tackle the problem.

It’s is obviously not the hospital’s fault that people from ethnic minorities are more likely to catch this virus, but they certainly have the ability to do something to address that problem.

For decades, many people trying to tackle racism have pushed the idea of being ‘colour blind’, i.e. pretending essentially that there is no difference between people with different racial heritage and background – we are all the same under the skin.

Some anti-racism campaigners now fight against that idea saying that, on the contrary, in order to fight racism we must celebrate what makes us different – our unique heritage, our cultural background, our ancestry.

The coronavirus certainly reinforces the idea that sometimes we need to recognise the ways that our races make us different, and just what how important those differences can be.