What You Should Know About RACISM-20 in the U.S.: A Fact Sheet in the Time of COVID-19

Published In

Critical Public Health

Document Type


Publication Date



COVID-19 (Disease), Racism, Public health


Drawing from social epidemiology literature on structural racism, and rooted in critical race theory and critical theory related to narrative power, this paper uses satire and humor as commentary on mainstream U.S. public health discourse related to the role of “race” (properly understood, racism) in shaping inequities observed via COVID-19. Taking the form of a “RACISM-20” fact sheet, this paper transposes structural racism and COVID-19. In doing so, it accentuates how individualist, ahistoric, and pathologizing “downstream” frames of health risks/solutions curtail productive dialogue and action to advance racial and health equity. In the spirit of “racial emancipatory humor”, this work represents a potential pedagogical tool to discuss and critique dominant frames of racial(ized) risks, “vulnerability”, and responsibility – both in the context of COVID-19 and within broader discourse of racial health inequities, including as related to racialized police violence. In this capacity, this “fact sheet” serves as an example health promotion product of critical resistance and counternarrative.


Copyright © 2022 Informa UK Limited


The previous version of this work, You Should Know About RACISM-20: A Fact Sheet in the Time of COVID-19, is available in PDXScholar.



Persistent Identifier