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Impact of racism in America runs deep, House panel hears

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America’s history of racism against people of color and indigenous peoples has left deep scars across those communities, testifiers told a group of Minnesota lawmakers Tuesday.

But those traumas aren’t just a piece of the past, Rep. Ruth Richardson (DFL-Mendota Heights) said during a meeting of the House Select Committee on Racial Justice. They continue to impact people today.

House Select Committee on Racial Justice (Remote Hearing) 10/6/20

“As we talk about historical trauma, it’s an important reminder it is not just about something that happened hundreds of years ago,” said Richardson, the committee’s co-chair, recounting her personal history as a descendent of slavery and sharecropping. “The trauma and the exploitation are something that people are living with right now, today, within our communities. And that recognition is so critical.”

Tuesday’s remote hearing addressed the impacts of racism, with lawmakers hearing from experts on both the historical and behavioral effects. It marked the third of five planned meetings meant to guide lawmakers as they seek solutions to address racism in Minnesota.

Richardson said the next hearing, scheduled for Oct. 13, will consist of three hours of public testimony on the issues raised over the panel’s first three meetings. See the committee website for more information on how to testify.

Watch the full hearing on YouTube to learn more.  

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