Pressley, Lee, Kendi discuss anti-racist policies

Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley dove into an online conversation on equity in policymaking with fellow U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee and anti-racism scholar Ibram X. Kendi on Feb. 4. They spoke on how policy can be more anti-racist, and how equity should already be built into policies on public health and criminal justice.

Kendi started with a discussion on how the pandemic has unearthed existing inequities in the health care system. When giving his thoughts on the pandemic’s unbalanced effect on communities of color, Kendi said, “Instead of people realizing that this was the result of longstanding systemic racism, Americans almost reflexively responded by saying, whoa, what are Black people or brown people doing wrong? What’s wrong with them?”

But it wasn’t Black and brown populations that were being careless during the pandemic, he said. They were out working, as essential workers have been since the first lockdowns in early 2020.

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