The Southern California county of San Bernardino has declared racism a “public health crisis.”

In a unanimous vote Tuesday, the county’s board of supervisors adopted a resolution stating “racism is public health crisis that results in disparities in family stability, health and mental wellness, education, employment, economic development, public safety, criminal justice and housing.”

Before the vote, Pastor Samuel J. Casey of the New Life Christian Church in Fontana addressed the board to say the resolution was a necessary first step in the “process of reconciliation and restoration.”

“That’s just the first step,” he said. “We want to put you on notice that as we stated at the beginning, this is not ceremonial, and we will remain at the table.”

He said it’s necessary to move forward and “rethink public safety.”

“We’re marking history, we’re making history, and we’re going to change the direction and the very fabric of this very county and ultimately this region and this state.”

The vote followed after coast-to-coast protests in the wake of the death of George Floyd, the unarmed black man who died after white police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes in Minneapolis.


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