Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot called it a "call-to-action moment" when she announced statistics showing that African Americans in Illinois are getting sick and dying from coronavirus-related illnesses at a disproportionately high rate. In Illinois this week, 43 percent of those who had died from the disease and 28 percent of those who had tested positive were African Americans, while they make up just 14 percent of the state's population. Possible reasons include that blacks often don't have the luxury of staying home because they have to work, that they are less likely to be insured, that they don't have access to healthy food and many lead stress-filled lives. But the conclusions are preliminary, and some states aren't even keeping track of race and the illness. Some will ask, "Can't we have a pandemic without bringing up the issue of race?" The answer is no. When it's time for healing, we must not forget the need for healing the disease of racism, one of those underlying conditions that makes everything worse. Fletcher Farrar, editor and CEO Cover photo by Sierra Smithers.

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