Racism is bad in Vermont.
It is so bad, and all of Vermont culture is so steeped in racism, and Vermonters are so incredibly racist, that their House of Representatives had to pass a resolution on May 12 declaring racism a public health emergency in the state.
The Vermont’s House voted 135-8 in favor of the resolution, which still must be approved by the Senate to be adopted. In another possible symptom of systemic racism, the measure is non-binding.
The measure might simply be a copycat version of the CDC’s own declaration last month that racism is a public health problem demanding government force to be addressed.
According to the government-aligned Associated Press, the resolution states that systemic racism affects economic, employment, schooling, housing and health opportunities and outcomes for minority populations, which have somehow infiltrated Vermont.
It also accuses the COVID-19 pandemic itself of racism, saying how Black and Latino people are three times as likely as whites to die of the disease.
“This legislative body commits to coordinating work and participating in ongoing action, grounded in science and data, to eliminate race-based health disparities and eradicate systemic racism,” the resolution said.
State Rep. Kevin “Coach” Christie, a black Democrat from Hartford, said that every day when he leaves his home he doesn’t know what to expect – like being elected a state lawmaker. He said that, unlike other people, how he dresses will affect how he is treated.
“I know how these affect me as a person of color even here in Vermont,” said Christie during an online debate.
Voting against such a resolution might seem impossible, but Rep. Carl Rosenquist, a Republican from St. Albans, did. He said he voted as he did because he felt the resolution left out many disparities other than race that could cause poor health outcomes.