Letter: Racism is a health concern

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To the editor,

In regards to the article “Ordinance declaring racism a health crisis a no-go” (Citizen’s News, Sept. 24, 2020), I want to express my concern to the town of Beacon Falls, as well as, Prospect and Naugatuck, in stating that racism is in fact a health concern. Racism affects an individual’s health through poverty and economic mobility. It structures opportunity and assigns values to individuals.

To put this in relative terms, according to the CDC, cases of COVID-19 in African-Americans is 2.6 times higher when compared to white and non-Hispanic people, the death rate is 2.1 times higher. The CDC explains that “Race and ethnicity are risk markers for underlying conditions that impact health — including socioeconomic status, access to health care, and increased exposure due to occupations.”

COVID aside, the town of Beacon Falls is doing its African-American citizens and those from towns surrounding an injustice by not moving forward in declaring racism a health crisis. The latest article stated that it was recommended that the town adopt a resolution saying, “the town stands united with other municipalities and organizations opposed to racism and inequality, and supports those who peacefully fight against systemic racism.”

The town needs to do better. Words are just words without action to support them. The town of Beacon Falls needs to take action.

Kayla Sciarretti

Beacon Falls