Beatty Resolution Identifies Racism as a ‘National Crisis’
WASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Congresswoman Joyce Beatty (OH-03) this week is introducing a resolution to recognize racism as a national crisis and to call on Congress to undertake a truth and reconciliation process following the unlawful killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and countless more Black men and women who die simply because of the color of their skin.
“The death of George Floyd at the hands of the four former police officers in Minneapolis represents the highest of inhumane treatment and abuse by our law enforcement,” Beatty said. “This is a clarion call to action that police brutality or the threat of it against Black people must cease and desist immediately.” She continued, “The history and trauma of racism, beginning with slavery and subsequent practices to terrorize and marginalize Black people since, is not a memory of the past or Jim Crow but a reality still today. This dark history is exacerbated by the fact that Black Americans are disproportionately the targets of injustices, ranging from loss of jobs, economic inequality and the ever-widened racial wealth gap, to mass incarceration and excessive police force, as well as the War on Drugs and COVID-19.” Beatty further explained, “That is why we must stand up together during this historic moment to demand change in protocol, processes, and policies to ensure justice for all people.”
Right now in the United States, African-Americans face higher unemployment rates (16.7 percent as compared to 14.7 percent overall in April 2020); a higher poverty rate (20.8 percent vs. 11.8 percent national average); lower home ownership rates (44 percent in comparison to 65.3 nationally); and a significant wealth gap (Black household wealth stands at $17,150 while White household wealth is $171,000). In addition, African-Americans experience disproportionate interactions with law enforcement and the criminal justice system, as illustrated by higher incarceration rates (1,501 African-Americans per 100,000 compared to 698 people per 100,000 overall) and that 40 percent of the people incarcerated in the United States are Black. Moreover, Black Americans are more likely to be killed at the hands of law enforcement as well as the victims of violence while engaging in lawful activities. In fact, although comprising just 12 percent of the population, African-Americans are four times as likely to be killed by a police officer while being unarmed and not attacking compared to a Caucasian/White individual and 2.5 times more likely to be killed by police in general. In addition, 69 percent of the victims of police brutality in the U.S. who are Black were suspected of a non-violent crime and were unarmed. Furthermore, over 100 studies have linked racism to worse health outcomes, as indicated by the fact that Black Americans have higher rates of infant mortality, obesity and adult onset diabetes, lower birth weights, and live with long-term complications from diabetes.
To read the entire resolution, please click here.
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