North Carolina House Democrats today held a press call on addressing crucial first steps in addressing systemic racism. Representatives spoke on how racism permeates every sector of our society.
“It is unacceptable that in 2020, African American North Carolinians cannot live without fear on a daily basis,” Democratic Leader Darren Jackson (HD-39). “No legislation can solve a centuries long racist system rooted in slavery, but we can take steps in the right direction.”
Deputy Leader Robert Reives spoke about the importance of reforms to our Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice System.
“Law enforcement and criminal justice must be color-blind and serve all communities,” said Deputy Democratic Leader Robert T. Reives, II (HD-54). “We know that is too often not the case. We need to increase local ability for accountability in law enforcement and commit the resources for training on community engagement for everyone who serves in our criminal justice system.”
Democratic Whip Amos L. Quick III and Representative Yvonne Lewis Holley spoke about how racial disparities have hindered progress within our Black communities in terms of economic advancement, education, and access to health care.
“Health care disparities are not hidden, they are right before our eyes. The infant mortality for African-American babies is twice as high as for white babies. States with Medicaid expansion have seen significant improvements in the health of African-American babies and mothers,” said Democratic Whip Amos L. Quick, III (HD-58). “With COVID-19, Black North Carolinians make up 22% of our state’s population but have accounted for 35% of coronavirus deaths.”
“Black women make 61 cents on the dollar that a white man makes, and minimum wage workers who are disproportionately black have not seen a raise in over a decade,” said Representative Yvonne Lewis Holley (HD-38). “A system which pays African-Americans less is one that continues the cycle of poverty and reinforces our racist system. This must stop.”
The full recording of the call can be accessed HERE