Six legislators want their colleagues in the Georgia General Assembly to declare, by resolution, that racism in the state is a public health crisis.
Those legislators proposed the resolution this month.
The lead sponsor, State Rep. Sandra Scott (D-Rex), said Monday that the government can help remedy the problem.
The Georgia Star News asked Scott what will happen if and when Georgia legislators approve her resolution. She suggested that officials with the Georgia Department of Public Health would address racism.
“We are looking for the department of health to come in with some solutions to it and get involved with the community health departments, and they have got to do training. Not only do we need training with our local health departments, but we need training with our medical people and our doctors,” Scott said.
“Our medical people need to go through diversity training, and they need to understand that black people deserve to live too, regardless of what they think of them. A lot of the time, doctors will not even give African-Americans the best healthcare because of the color of their skin. It is time for us to sit down and have the conversation on race and see how we can bridge the gap with race in Georgia as well as in America.”
The language of the resolution says structural racism is real and that blacks have “deep-seated problems” that persist more than 150 years after slavery ended. The resolution, among other things, also says African-Americans suffer disproportionately from high death rates.
The Star News asked Scott whether racism is something that the government can abolish? Or is this something that only individuals can address themselves?
“I don’t think the government can fix racism, but the government should have an establishment where if someone at work who is racist and has racial tendencies and views and does racial things then the government can remove them. But [to remove] racism has to come from your heart. It is all about your heart,” Scott said.
“Your heart has to be fixed and clear, and you need to have that conversation with God and ask Him to give you a clean heart with a righteous mind and a righteous spirit. All people were born and were created equal. The color of their skin doesn’t make them a bad person or an evil person. They are a person who deserves to be treated with respect and dignity.”
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