CDC employees say the agency has a culture of ‘racial aggression’

CDC employees say the agency has a culture of ‘racial aggression’

 

CDC: Employees at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are calling for the federal agency to address what they say are “ongoing and recurring acts of racism and discrimination” against its Black employees, NPR reported.

 

More than 1,000 CDC employees signed a letter.

 

Robert Redfield described it a “pervasive and toxic culture of racial aggressions.”

 

In light of the recent calls for justice across this country and around the world.

 

we, as dedicated public health professionals, can no longer stay silent to the widespread acts of racism and discrimination within CDC that are.

 

in fact, undermining the agency’s core mission,” the letter reads, according to NPR, which obtained a copy.

 

The letter notes that Black employees are only 10 percent of CDC’s leadership.

 

In addition to diversifying the agency’s leadership, the employees also want the CDC to declare racism a public health crisis in the US.

 

The letter opens by invoking the devastating and also disproportionate toll the pandemic has taken on Black and brown communities in the US.

Along with the recent killings of Black people; including George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.

 

The letter notes that: “These are just the most recent and tragic of the long-festering disease

of racial discrimination and oppression in the United States.

ALSO READ: George Floyd: Ghanaian President calls for end to systemic racism in US

The letter is the latest in a long string of protests; and calls for the US to reckon with its legacy of racial injustice.

 

Last month, Black scientists and students shared experiences of discrimination in academia by using the Twitter hashtag #BlackintheIvory.

 

Stories of being harassed and marginalized in the ivory towers of research institutions and universities.

 

Researchers at the CDC have had similar experiences; according to the letter obtained by NPR.

 

The letter says that Black CDC employees routinely experience bullying.

 

Excessive criticism, hostility, implicit bias and overt racism from white colleagues with little recourse.

 

The CDC also criticized for its public shortcomings in dealing with racial disparities. In the early days of the coronavirus pandemic.

 

It was widely criticized for its failure to break out COVID-19 data by racial groups.

 

Black Americans have been infected with and died from the virus; at significantly higher rates than white Americans.

 

Health experts say this points to underlying socioeconomic failures that lead to poor health outcomes for Black Americans.

 

The CDC said in a statement emailed to The Verge that Redfield had received and replied to the employees’ letter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About The Author

Osigweh Lilian Oluchi is a graduate of the University of Lagos where she obtained a B.A (Hons) in English, Masters in Public and International affairs (MPIA). Currently works with 1stnews as a Database Manager / Writer. [email protected]

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