NC county votes against declaring racism a public health crisis

North Carolina news

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) – The Bladen County Board of Commissioners voted 6-3 against a proclamation declaring racism a public health crisis at a meeting Monday evening.

Arthur Bullock, G. Michael Cogdell, and Ophelia Munn-Goins voted in favor of the proclamation, while Ashley Trivette, Ray Britt, Robbie Priest, Daniel Dowless, David Gooden, and Charles Peterson cast the dissenting votes.

The proclamation came under consideration after several months worth of protests for racial equality across the country and was similar to those signed earlier this year by other counties.

In July, New Hanover County voted on a similar declaration and in June, Mecklenburg County did the same.

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The Bladen County resolution made several statements on racism including, “racism unfairly disadvantages Black and Brown individuals and communities, while unfairly giving advantages to other individuals and communities, and Bladen County’s collective prosperity depends upon the equitable access to opportunity for every resident.”

It also explained that racism has an adverse impact on health including higher stress and high blood pressure.

The declaration concluded by stating, “Now, therefore, be it resolved, that the Bladen County Board of Commissioners believes that racism can form the basis for a public health crisis affecting our entire County and should be treated with the urgency and funding of a public health crisis. Looking at racism in this way offers legislators, health officials, and others an opportunity to analyze data and discuss how to dismantle or change problematic institutions. Bladen County will seek to promote racial equity through policies approved by the Board of Commissioners and will encourage other local, state, and national entities to recognize racism as a public health crisis as well.”

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