National AFL-CIO President Trumka: COVID-19 & The Symptoms Of Structural Discrimination In Our Society - “We ‘Must And Will Continue To Fight For Reforms In Policing And To Address Issues Of Racial And Economic Inequality’”
(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – National AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka delivered the following remarks at a Town Hall on Civil Rights and COVID-19 on Friday (May 28th):
This is an important conversation.
Quite frankly, it’s a long overdue one.
We often hear people say the Coronavirus doesn’t discriminate.
We know that’s far from the truth.
It has, and it will, continue to.
We’ve known for decades that women and minority communities don’t have equal access to health care.
These inequities come in many forms.
Hospital systems don’t open locations in majority-Black communities.
If they do, they don’t provide adequate resources.
And when it’s time to cut budgets, these locations are the first to go on the chopping block.
Women earn less, but are expected to work the same hours as men - and take care of children more.
LGBTQ people are treated as second-class citizens, unable to donate blood to help those in need or serve the country they love.
This week, our Nation is mourning another instance of a deadly encounter between police and an unarmed person of color.
George Floyd’s unnecessary death at the hands of Minneapolis police was a preventable tragedy.
What happened to George Floyd, what happened to Ahmaud Arbery, has happened for centuries.
The difference is now we have cell phones.
We can watch what is happening.
And we can’t turn our heads and look away because we feel uncomfortable.
Racism plays an insidious role in the daily lives of all Working People of Color.
This is a Labor issue because it is a workplace issue.
It is a community issue and Unions are the community.
We must and will continue to fight for reforms in policing and to address issues of racial and economic inequality.
For far too long, we, as a Nation, avoided saying that out loud.
We avoided doing anything.
We can no longer be silent.
We can no longer sit still.
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