Maajid Nawaz tackles privilege during coronavirus: "We are not in this together"

11 April 2020, 14:41 | Updated: 11 April 2020, 14:47

By Seán Hickey

As calls for a stricter lockdown grow traction, Maajid Nawaz shed light on the disproportionate effect it will have for minorities.

Questioning the opinion that there should be stricter rules on being outdoors, Maajid Nawaz countered "what I wonder is what happened to your social justice principles", referring to how many prior to the crisis had pointed out the stark inequalities in society.

"It's not about colour, it is about privilege and class" he said. Maajid was referring to the narrative of coronavirus being a great leveller and how all society is in the same boat. He argued that for those worst off in society; those without a garden, without healthcare etc, they are just seeing their poverty reinforced by people calling for them to stay in their overcrowded tower blocks.

Referencing Madonna and other celebrities' statements of the world facing the same problem, Maajid challenged them, stating that they are not facing the same problems of the most impoverished in society.

Maajid Nawaz tackles privilege during coronavirus: "We are not in this together"
Maajid Nawaz tackles privilege during coronavirus: "We are not in this together". Picture: PA

"This is not a great leveller, it is the same as what it was before" Maajid stated. He used the examples of minority groups in the US and UK and how they've been disproportionately affected by coronavirus so far.

"80% of deaths in Chicago have been African American" he revealed. He used this to show that already the pandemic is showing to be affecting less advantaged groups than well off people, and should not be portrayed as any different

Maajid used the UK example of just 13% of Brits being non-white, and yet three times that is the number of non-white victims of coronavirus in the UK. He asserted again that the pandemic is affecting people unequally and must be addressed before we can say that we are all in this together.

Maajid's final point was that the next time you go shopping or to the pharmacy and are met by employees in these industries to take a look at their skin colour. He stressed the point that these people have no choice but to work during the virus as they cannot afford to take time off.

"Don't pretend to me that this has been some great leveller and we're all in this together- we are not" He stressed.