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YORK, PA – Democratic Party of York County Chair Chad Baker released the following statement today addressing remarks made by US Congressman Scott Perry regarding systemic racism (read the statements and see the video here):

Today Mr. Perry made comments during a forum that he firmly believes systemic racism does not exist in the United States, closely echoing the statements made by the President yesterday. He indicated he does not know who would be fueling this system if it did exist and that it “belies the fact we had a war among the United States over that issue to cleanse our country of that issue."

It is clear, Mr. Perry is not only out of touch with his constituents in the 10th Congressional district, but he seems to be completely out of touch with reality. All one needs to do is crack open a history book and they will understand the Civil War didn’t come close to addressing racism in this country. If anything, it provided more fuel for the flames.

In the 10th Congressional District, Congressman Perry has two of the most financially strapped school districts in the state, York and Harrisburg. The populations of these two schools are primarily Black and Latino students. Yet, rather than support funding these schools, Perry has continuously supported cutting funding for education at both the state and now the federal level. This provides an overwhelming inequality in districts already hurting and provides fewer learning and growth outcomes for the primarily minority students in these districts.

Perry is also a champion for lessening access to affordable health care. During this pandemic, we have seen the number of Blacks and Latinos contracting the virus topping most communities throughout the nation. This is largely due to a lack of affordable health care or health care insurance for these individuals, a health care and pharmaceutical system Perry has not only supported but also donated to his campaigns.

As Perry has sided with big dollar businesses and banks, he continues to turn his back of their clear systemic racial practice of redlining. By designating Blacks and Latinos as being higher risk, these banks have continued to make it tough or impossible for the black and brown communities to get loans that will allow them to afford housing, open business or maintain a life that contributes to the economy and society as a whole. Yet Mr. Perry continues to accept dollars from these banks and continues to support legislation that benefits the super-rich and not those in the bottom 99% of the country.

Perry can also say he supports the police, but he doesn’t. If he did, he would be finding new funding models to help support them in a way that provides better screening in hiring and training of officers, creates social resources to help support the mental and physical well-being of people in his district that the police currently have to handle themselves and he would denounce the blatant deaths of black Americans across the country killed by police. Instead, he makes statements like "The propensity, the occurrence of these events, is actually going down. “It's the sensationalism of these event is what's changed.”

Mr. Perry clearly has done nothing for these communities. He is focused only on the white parts of York and Dauphin Counties and does nothing to support the black and brown communities and families that work and live in his district. All he needs to do is spend a day with one constituent who deals with these issues every day of their lives. Then, perhaps he would realize that not only does systemic racism exist, but he has been contributing to the “operating and nurturing” of this system all along.