Press Releases

CBC Chairwoman Karen Bass Remarks at Today's Democratic Caucus Call

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Washington, June 1, 2020 | comments

Below is a readout of Congressional Black Caucus Chairwoman Bass’s remarks on today’s Democratic Caucus call.

The Chairwoman opened by providing the context of police brutality in American and giving a sense of urgency for the Caucus to advance a wholistic legislative reform package to address the issue and broader issues of injustices and inequities faced by the black community. She mentioned that the CBC held an emergency meeting today to discuss next steps, and laid out a three-part strategy that includes a virtual town hall with national civil rights leaders on Friday, June 5 titled, “Living While Being Black in America.” Below are excerpts of her remarks. 

“Over the last few months Members of the Congressional Black Caucus have been focused on the devastating loss of life, to COVID-19. There have been over 100,000 deaths in our country and we know that there is a very disproportionate percentage of those deaths that are Black, maybe from 20 to 30%, despite Black people representing about 12% of the population. While we we're dealing with the disproportionate death rate, there was harassment that started and Black people were being assaulted by police and in some cases arrested for not wearing masks, or for not doing the public health recommendation of social distancing.  We had the three murders, and so it's kind of like you know all of these events at one time, a pandemic upon a pandemic. 

“This is not a CBC issue this is an issue for all of us because all of us represent diverse populations.”

“29 years ago, when the Rodney King beating was on video we we're almost excited because we believed finally there was no way they could deny that this didn't happen.  We were confident that these officers were going to be arrested and convicted, because it happened on video. But it didn’t. In the last 20 years. How many videos have we seen? We have to end this. The Democrats have to lead this, and we have to show people why we're in the majority.”

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