SEGREGATION: Oregon Starts Race-Based COVID-19 Relief Fund

SEGREGATION: Oregon Starts Race-Based COVID-19 Relief Fund

( Oregon’s State Legislature has taken society back in time, reinstating segregationist policy and pitting residents of different races against each other. The new “Oregon Cares Fund for Black Relief and Resiliency” was approved recently, granting people additional coronavirus relief funds based on their race or ethnicity.

It’s part of a $200 million package designed to aid specific racial communities and sections of the economy, and almost certainly would not have occurred had it not been for the violent Black Lives Matter riots. According to local NBC affiliate KGW, the racist relief fund was “organized by the leaders of Oregon’s Black community.”

Does that mean Black community or just the leaders of the most vocal political activists in the state who happen to be Black?

The fund’s official website explains how it will work to ensure federal dollars only go to people who “make Oregon great.”

Do white people not make Oregon great, too?

“Now, more than ever, it is critical that the Federal dollars from the CARES Act serve to honor and protect those individuals, families, business owners, and non-profit leaders who are what make Oregon great,” it says. “We will be serving tens of thousands of Oregonians in a short period of time.”

The funds will be distributed to the resident’s bank account directly, as long as they apply for it. It will not be taxable income, but disaster relief funds designed to make lives easier for residents. However, the disbursement of the grants will be determined by a “Council of Trust” made up entirely of black Americans.

The website says the Council of Trust is made up of “11 trusted Black leaders from across Oregon.”

According to Sharon Gary-Smith, one of those 11 trusted Black leaders, it is a “wonderful, deserved, and appropriate step to address the harm caused by COVID-19 on the Black community.”

“Black Oregonians had had monumental losses in spirit, hope, community, and resources due to centuries of racial injustice and discrimination,” she claimed, without providing any evidence of modern discrimination against black people.

We have laws against that.

The funds, it seems, do not address the huge losses felt by white people and business owners, too. But this racism is supported by local politicians and is, for some reason, not considered extreme.

State Representative Lawrence Spence, a Democrat from Portland, said that it is a “historic first step to address the disparities facing Black Oregonians in the face of COVID-19.”

First step, he says. What’s the second step? Free money specifically for black people still isn’t enough?



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