In a recent article entitled Police, Diversity and The Culture of Inclusion, I highlighted the fact that well-meaning department heads, chiefs of police, and the like are missing the real benefits of diversity if they are not creating a culture of inclusion (COI) (Ruffin, 2020) and that there are times when diversity in law enforcement can create deadly results. (Nicholson-Crotty, 2017) The benefits of a COI are not just related to race. A COI allows a department to benefit from every facet of its diversity including those diverse ideas, warnings and corrections that may be suppressed by conformity and fear of being isolated from the group.
As of the writing of this article, the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has claimed the lives of 55,258 Americans. (CDC, 2020) While blacks make up 13% of the US population, they account for approximately 29.2% of the total cases. The death toll has also been disproportionately higher among African Americans. In some counties the numbers are staggering. In an interview on CBS “Face The Nation,” Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said black people accounted for 72% of the COVID-19 deaths while only making up 30% of the population. (CBS News, 2020) According to the New York State Department of Health, blacks are 22% of the population but account for 28% of the COVID-19 deaths compared to whites at 32% of the population accounting for 27% of the deaths. (New York State Department of Health, 2020)