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Salt Lake City Signs Resolution Declaring ‘Racism’ a ‘Public Health Crisis’

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Erin Mendenhall

Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall doesn’t want to be outdone by the Lori Lightfoots or Gretchen Whitmers of the world so she has declared “racism” a “public health crisis.” Mendenhall and seven members of the city council have signed a joint resolution declaring racism a public health crisis.

“We are publicly acknowledging the existence of a grave inequity many in our community have long experienced” the Tuesday press release from the Mayor’s office reads. “A resolution to declare racism a public health crisis was initially proposed to the City by a group of community leaders who are in or working toward health-related careers, and it was reviewed and approved by both the City’s Human Rights Coalition and the Commission on Racial Equity in Policing.”

“This is an important declaration for us to make as a city” Mendenhall was quoted in the press release. “Not only are we publicly acknowledging the existence of a grave inequity that many in our community have known and experienced for so long, but we are also committing ourselves to the creation of policies and ordinances that are anti-racist.”

Here’s how the press release attempts to explain the connection between racism and health:

Racism directly impacts access to numerous everyday resources, including education, housing, employment, and healthcare. The cascading effects are known to result in negative outcomes for physical and mental health.

Over the course of the pandemic, the impacts of racism on public health and the heavier burden on the City’s communities of color have been well documented.

At the height of the pandemic, odds of infection were three times more likely in Glendale and two times more likely in Rose Park, where there are high percentages of Latino and nonwhite residents.

Additionally, Latino communities account for 14.2% of Utah’s population, but 40% of the state’s COVID-19 cases, and American Indian and Alaskan Native communities in Utah had a case fatality rate that is roughly three times higher than the state average.

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Randy

    July 22, 2021 at 1:32 pm

    “They can’t be told, they must be shown”

    Governor has no power, this is what She would’ve done. But didn’t. You’re being “shown”.

  2. Slideglide

    July 23, 2021 at 10:32 am

    Historically, the Democrats have portrayed their party as the protector of the Black community against racist, white Republicans.

    After 150 years of this “protection”, and by their own rhetoric, they have done a miserable job as nothing has changed since the “Jim Crow” days.

    The Democrats never praise the accomplishments of Black Americans and their inclusion into the fabric of our country.

    Leo 2.0 is a prime example by his successful shift from his support of Democrats to the Republican Party, but this political “rebirth” is more of a conversion to Trump than the GOP.

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Race

Alabama Judge Removed from Bench, Called Another Black Judge ‘Uncle Tom’

Jefferson County Judge Nakita Blocton also called another judge a ‘fat b****’ and an employee a ‘heifer’

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Jefferson County Judge Nakita Blocton was removed from the bench over several ethical violations. (Tenth Judicial Circuit Court of Alabama )
Jefferson County Judge Nakita Blocton was removed from the bench over several ethical violations. (Tenth Judicial Circuit Court of Alabama )

One Alabama Judge is being removed from her bench after committing ethics violations and using horrifically racist rhetoric towards a Black judge. Jefferson County Judge Nakita Blocton called one judge an “Uncle Tom” which is a derogatory term used to accuse a Black person of being a traitor to the Black community and being “overly allegiant to White people” explains Fox News.

Blocton herself is Black. On December 10, all nine judges on Alabama’s Court of the Judiciary acted to remove Blocton from the bench. They also ordered her to pay the costs of their proceedings.

Findings from a commission that filed a complaint against the judge for ethics violations found she “engaged in a pattern of practice of making inappropriate comments – for example, calling one judge ‘Uncle Tom’ and another judge a ‘fat b****’ and calling an employee a heifer.”

Blocton also repeatedly abused staff, attorneys and litigants, and verbally abused and belittled another employee. Fox News reports:

Blocton also used several Facebook aliases to communicate with litigants in pending domestic-relations cases in an effort to affect the outcome of those cases, according to the commission.

She also engaged in “a pattern of dishonesty and deception” by using the aliases to provide information to litigants in cases and asking potential witnesses to delete evidence related to the commission’s investigation and attempting to influence testimony.

According to an initial complaint made against the judge in May, one person involved in divorce litigation said the judge used online aliases to send several threatening messages which included, “THE DEVIL IS WATCHING U,” “LEAVE THOSE BLACK WOMEN DEMOCRATS ALONE.”

The commission failed to gather enough evidence to support other allegations against Brocton, including that the judge was using drugs, was mentally unstable and made an inappropriate campaign contribution to a Birmingham mayoral candidate.

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Race

Districts Screening Teachers for Racial Biases: ‘Can you Teach Students That Don’t Look Like You?’

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Photo By Sergey Novikov

Although teaching is generally a more liberal profession, it is liberals themselves who appear to have the least amount of faith in teachers if they feel compelled to ask questions such as “can you teach these students, even if they don’t look like you?”

As insulting as it may be, that is the wave of the future as districts begin “screening for racial biases during teacher job interviews” reports EdWeek.Org. In its report, EdWeek writes “teachers’ racial biases result in lowered expectations for students of color, discriminatory disciplinary practices, and curricula that don’t represent students’ cultures.”

But, “experts say that school districts are increasingly asking teacher-candidates questions about cultural competency, race, and equity during the application and interview process.” Experts also say districts’ attempts to diversity their teaching force to better “match” their students, progress is slow.

Chairwoman for the diversity, equity, and inclusion committee of the American Association of School Personnel Administrators, Karen Rice-Harris, stated:

“Ultimately, when we’re looking for people to serve our students, my key questions are: Can you teach these students, even if they don’t look like you, [even if] you’re not familiar with their culture? How are you going to teach them as if they were your child, your cousin, your brother, your sister?”

Rice-Harris also says questions about their commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, empathy, and students’ social-emotional needs must also be asked of the potential teachers by administrators.

Lauren Dachille, founder of a teacher-hiring software company that works with roughly 500 districts across the country, says after the death of George Floyd, “now that we’ve become a little more aware of the concept of anti-racism and maybe a little more woke as a culture, I do think that districts have started to emphasize these questions a little bit more.”

Dachille says many districts ask about the teachers’ past experience working with diverse groups of students, and inquire on how they will create a classroom culture for all students to feel valued. Districts also want to know whether or not teacher candidates believe all students have the capacity to learn and thrive academically, she said.

Below are some examples of the interview questions Rice-Harris believes shoud be asked of  teacher-candidates to determine their commitment to diversity, equity, and empathy:

•    Sometimes, there is a belief that a commitment to diversity conflicts with a commitment to excellence. How would you describe the relationship between diversity and excellence?
•    What elements would you find in a curriculum that honors inclusion of different cultures, abilities, and perspectives?
•    An overrepresentation of students from historically marginalized populations receiving special education services continues to exist. Why do you think this occurs and how would you address this issue within your role?
•    How do you foster relationships with students who may not meet your academic or behavioral expectations?
•    What is the difference between sympathy and empathy? How can each impact your ability to teach?
•    Provide an example of how you have/could address the social and emotional needs of students to foster increased student-engagement and learning.

Dachille claims candidates appreciate and expect such questions. “I have heard districts say that candidates appreciate the screen for cultural competency, and they have had high-quality candidates give in their feedback that that is something that drew them to the district” she said.

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