Life, Death and Grief in Los Angeles

March 5, 2021

(Los Angeles Times) – By mid-February, the virus had killed Black residents at nearly twice the rate and Latinos at nearly three times the rate of white Angelenos. It had exposed not just a sharp racial and ethnic divide but also the longstanding neglect of people who clean homes, care for the elderly and people with disabilities, sort and deliver packages and prepare, cook and serve the food we eat. “This is a public-policy conundrum and systems failure of a whole other level because of the economic and the public-health consequences,” said Sonja Diaz, founding director of the Latino Policy & Politics Initiative at the University of California, Los Angeles. “Ultimately, we’ve failed to respond and to stop the bleeding because we’ve made decisions that either willfully or because of the lack of understanding have excluded the very populations that are critical to the state’s functioning and are also the ones that need our help the most.”