FREDERICK, Md. (WDVM) — “With W.E.B. Du Bois would say the problem with the 20th-century he said this in 1903, ‘The problem of the 20th century is the color line,’ said Alderman, Derek Shackelford. “Well, I could probably remix that and with the problem of the 21st century is still the color line.”
Alderman Derek Shackelford proposed a resolution on Wednesday to the Board of Aldermen that would consider racism as a public health crisis.
“I have not dealt with racism,” said Alderwoman, Donna Kuzemchak. “But I have dealt with sexism. And I think that having these conversations are important.”
The resolution comes days after the city, as well as Frederick County, was vandalized over the weekend with racial slurs and images.
Shackelford said declaring racism as a public health crisis would recommit the attention to improve the quality of life and health to the city’s minority residents.
“When we look across economic employment, education, health care, housing, criminal justice,” said Shackelford. “We see African Americas and people who are black and brown who are disproportionately affected.”
Shackelford wants to establish racial equity and social justice action plan including a committee.
He is also asking the city’s planning commission to consider racial equity and social justice impact when preparing the comprehensive plan.
Shackelford said the city of Frederick would be the first city in the state of Maryland to consider racism as a public health crisis.
Shackelford plans on bringing his resolution back to the Board of Aldermen before it heads to a public hearing.