Warren and Pressley make charges of 'policy violence,' 'public health impact of racism' at Kendi's CRT forum

Rep. Ayanna Pressley and Sen. Elizabeth Warren spoke at a virtual Boston University event in April.

Ibram X. Kendi also discussed Sen. Warren's 'Anti-Racism in Public Health Act of 2020.'

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) were guest speakers  at “Antiracism as Health Policy: Race, COVID-19, and Policy Reform," a virtual forum from April 5-7 at Boston University with Ibram X. Kendi. 

“The work of anti-racism must be embedded in our work every single day,” Rep. Pressley explained to Kendi during the second part of the lecture series.

As explained on Boston University's website, the event intended to “examine the deep-rooted racial disparities in health that have been exposed and exacerbated by the pandemic and discuss how to best address racial inequities through research, policy, and action.”

Rep. Pressley stated that the health disparities between her Black and White constituents “did not happen by chance.” Rather, they were created by “policy violence.” Therefore, modern lawmakers must be “every bit as prescriptive, precise, and intentional in legislating justice, and legislating equity, and legislating healing.” 

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Warren examined the legacy of “generations of structural racism” in the medical system.

“I think that it’s just finally time for us to acknowledge the health impact of structural racism,” said Sen. Warren. “And that means treat structural racism like we would treat any other public health problem or disease. That means invest into research, into its incidence, into symptoms, into causes, and finding ways to treat and to cure it.”

“We know that there is a public health impact of racism,” she added. “It’s time for us now to say that openly and begin to make real change.” 

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Kendi referred listeners to Sen. Warren’s Anti-Racism in Public Health Act which, as Sen. Warren explained, is meant to address “racial disparities in health outcomes” at the federal level to override “fifty-one different public health, state-level systems” that create inconsistencies in reporting race-related data.

Campus Reform reached out to Boston University, Rep. Pressley, and Sen. Warren for comment; this article will be updated accordingly.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @BenZeisloft