Democrat Senator Says Racism Is A ‘Public Health Crisis’

A Democrat senator from Ohio has pitched Congress a resolution “declaring racism a public health crisis.”

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) introduced the declaration on Wednesday, March 6 with the intention of establishing a categorization of racism in America as a health issue due to so-called symptoms revealing themselves as “microaggressions” and “forms of violence” he says are experienced by Black Americans.

Senate Resolution 575 states that racism “meets the criteria” to be designated as a “public health crisis” because it has a wide reach, impacts different demographics unevenly and could be helped by enacting “preventative measures [that] are not yet in place.”

The language also emphasized that while “people of color” are victims of everyday racism, the consequences of which are “exacerbated” for members of this demographic who are disabled and identify with a gender that does not match their biology.

Additionally, the resolution highlights certain realities that it presents as examples of racism embedded within the American healthcare system. A lower number of medical facilities in predominantly Black and Hispanic residential areas, inhibited access to insurance and healthcare and “discriminatory housing practices” are among the examples listed as systemically racist aspects of the healthcare system.

The declaration also stipulates that Black Americans are subjected to “overt and direct forms of violence that, when not fatal, can cause severe physical or psychological harm.” Examples of this violence include Black citizens being “threatened” by armed individuals while engaging in everyday activities such as exercising outdoors and driving.

Instead of suggesting strategies to mitigate what Brown and his allies consider an extensive threat of racism, the resolution makes the broad demand that “governments engage significant resources to empower the communities that are impacted.”

Notably, it cited the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which announced in 2021 that racism is a “serious public health threat.” The government health agency sparked significant backlash for this designation. Paris Dennard, who was the spokesperson for the Republican National Committee (RNC) at the time, criticized the Biden administration for its “playbook” response to real “health disparities” made clear during the COVID-19 pandemic.

He noted that the CDC’s announcement did not focus on the issue at hand but instead was “doing the bidding” of the Democratic leadership by “calling people racist.”

Brown, who has introduced similar resolutions during his lengthy stint in Congress, is currently running for reelection.