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New York Times: Opinion | Of Course There Are Protests. The State Is Failing Black People.

The New York Times, May 29, 2020: Opinion | Of Course There Are Protests. The State Is Failing Black People.

Ready or not, life is returning to some sort of normal in the United States, and normal inevitably includes police officers killing an unarmed Black man in their custody, followed by street protests. The country is working its way back into its familiar groove.

This time it’s Minneapolis. Thousands of people have taken to the streets to protest the killing of George Floyd by a police officer who pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck for a breathtaking eight minutes as he lay pinned on the ground in handcuffs. Floyd’s pleas for help — repeating that he couldn’t breathe, calling out for his dead mother — were ignored. The three other police officers who watched seemed uninterested in the life they were violently snuffing out in front of a crowd gathered in disgust.

Elected officials from Minnesota denounced the brutality. Jacob Frey, the mayor of Minneapolis, said, “Being Black in America should not be a death sentence.” Others, including Senator Amy Klobuchar, who hopes to emerge as Joe Biden’s running mate, expressed a range of public emotions that have become commonplace: shock, horror, promises of investigation and pleas for calm. In a rare rebuke, the four officers involved have been fired.

But the fact that Floyd was even arrested, let alone killed, for the inconsequential “crime” of forgery amid a pandemic that has taken the life of one out of every 2,000 African-Americans is a chilling affirmation that Black lives still do not matter in the United States.

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Redlining and Neighborhood Health

Before the pandemic devastated minority communities, banks and government officials starved them of capital.

Lower-income and minority neighborhoods that were intentionally cut off from lending and investment decades ago today suffer not only from reduced wealth and greater poverty, but from lower life expectancy and higher prevalence of chronic diseases that are risk factors for poor outcomes from COVID-19, a new study shows.

The new study, from the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) with researchers from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health and the University of Richmond’s Digital Scholarship Lab, compared 1930’s maps of government-sanctioned lending discrimination zones with current census and public health data.

Table of Content

  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction
  • Redlining, the HOLC Maps and Segregation
  • Segregation, Public Health and COVID-19
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • Conclusion and Policy Recommendations
  • Citations
  • Appendix

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