If the worst happens, the writer says, we may all need to take to the streets. And all must be welcome. Photo by Calvin Mattson/Minnesota Reformer.
The growing movement by local government officials to declare racism a public health crisis has reached the Minnesota House.
The House Rules and Legislative Committee on Tuesday is set to debate a resolution from state Rep. Ruth Richardson, DFL-Mendota Heights, explicitly linking racism to the vast racial disparities long plaguing Minnesota.
“Racism is a public health crisis affecting our entire state,” the resolution reads. “Systemic racism is a system of structuring opportunity and assigning value based on the social interpretation of how one looks that unfairly disadvantages some individuals and communities, unfairly advantages other individuals and communities, and saps the strength of the whole society through the waste of human resources.”
Richardson, one of the few Black lawmakers in the Legislature, has been a leading voice in recent weeks, along with other members of the bicameral People of Color and Indigenous Caucus, as they’ve collectively pushed for systemic changes to root out racism.
If approved, the Minnesota House would be joining Hennepin County leaders who recently passed a similar resolution.
The police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis has touched off heated debate in many corners of government, business and society about the racial inequities.
According to the resolution, the Minnesota House would take a number of actions to focus legislative efforts on addressing racial disparities in education, jobs, health and other quality-of-life measures.
It would also call for the convening of a House select committee to “ensure House legislative efforts are analyzed through an intersectional race equity lens,” the Richardson resolution reads.
Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.