Things That Matter

Ohio Senator Who Asked Question About COVID Infections In ‘Colored’ Community Fired As ER Physician

Update June 21, 2020, 2:39 p.m. PST: Ohio State Senator Stephen A. Huffman has been fired from his job as an emergency room physician. The senator made national headlines after a hearing about declaring racism a public health crisis.

Ohio State Senator Stephen A. Huffman is no longer employed by TeamHealth.

The Tennessee-based TeamHealth, a network of hospitals in the state. The senator’s comments about the African-American community and their COVID-19 rates. The senator then tried to clarify his comments saying that he thought “colored population” was interchangeable with “people of color.”

“Dr. Huffman’s comments are wholly inconsistent with our values and commitment to creating a tolerant and diverse workplace,” a company spokesman said in a statement, according to NBC News. “TeamHealth has terminated Dr. Huffman’s employment.”

Original: Ohio State Senator Stephen A. Huffman is facing backlash after comments he made during a hearing about making racism a public health crisis. The senator is being accused of racism after using offensive language to refer to people of color.

Ohio State Senator Stephen Huffman asked if the “colored population” had higher rates of COVID-19 due to hygiene.

The senator was in a hearing to discuss if racism should be deemed a public health crisis. The senator used the time to ask if the African-American community was contracting COVID-19 ar higher rates because they aren’t as good with hygiene. Specifically, Sen. Huffman wanted to know if the “colored population do not wash their hands as well as other groups.”

The senator is a doctor in Ohio raising concerns among Ohio residents.

The ACLU of Ohio is calling for Sen. Huffman to resign following his comments. Namely, organization officials claim that as a physician for 20 years, Sen. Huffman is fully aware of his comments and what they could do to the community.

“There is no reality where he can remain a member of the Ohio General Assembly and make decisions that affect the very communities he undermines and clearly hold such contemptible attitudes,” said J. Bennett Guess, executive director of the civil liberties organization. “This is what systemic institutionalized racism looks like, and this is how it manifests itself and oppresses the day-to-day lives of people of color.”

The comment is bringing national attention to a statewide race in Ohio.

In the time of Black Lives Matter and COVID-19, people have a lot of time to organize and mobilize using social media. Sen. Huffman is the latest politician to catch their attention because of his offensive language.

His colleagues are joining the constituents asking for him to leave the seat.

Sen. Huffman is one of 24 Republican members of the Ohio Senate. There are 34 members total and 9 are Democrats. Sen. Huffman won his seat in 2019 and Ohio senators are elected to 4-year terms.

In an interview with The Washington Post, Sen. Huffman claims that the quote was an unfortunate choice of words. He also said that he thought that “colored population” was the same as people of color.

“People of color would have been better, but they seem to be interchangeable,” Sen. Huffman told The Washington Post.

READ: Latino Homes Are Experiencing The Highest Rate Of The Worst COVID-19 Symptoms

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A 70-Year-Old Mexican-American Woman Was Attacked Because Her Assailant Thought She Was Asian

Things That Matter

A 70-Year-Old Mexican-American Woman Was Attacked Because Her Assailant Thought She Was Asian

Photo via @the_asian_dawn/Instagram

In another incident that highlights the anti-Asian sentiment that is on the rise in recent months, a 70-year-old California woman was attacked in Eagle Rock, earlier this month. According to news reports, a young woman attacked her while she was exiting the bus to pick up groceries.

The elderly woman, who goes by Becky, is Mexican-American. But her attacker yelled an anti-Asian slur at her before physically assaulting her.

According to AAPI news site Asian Dawn, Becky’s attacker was a 23-year-old woman who was also riding the bus with her. The woman did nothing to provoke the attack. The young woman ended up dragging the older woman from the back of the bus to the front of the bus. Becky ended up in the hospital with a broken nose, a concussion, two severely swollen eyes, and chunks of her hair torn from her head.

According to Becky’s son, who only goes by Pete, while the family are Mexican-American, people often mistake their family for being of Asian descent. According to Pete, no one intervened to stop the young woman from attacking his mother.

“Nobody would help. Not even the bus driver,” the woman’s son told The Eastsider.

Finally, the young woman stopped her attack after a fellow passenger called 911. The police were able to apprehend the young woman after issuing a bulletin for her arrest.

According to Pete, his mother has a long road of recovery ahead of her. Already suffering from lupus and arthritis, her mother is having trouble walking. Her leg is badly bruised from the assault.

The fact that the victim was Mexican-American serves to illustrate how ignorant and hateful these racist attacks are. There is no rhyme or reason to hate.

Many are linking the rise in anti-Asian hate crimes to the COVID-19 pandemic, as the virus originated in Wuhan, China. The violent racists that have been attacking people who appear to be of Asian descent believe that Asian-Americans are somehow personally responsible for the pandemic.

If you to support the #StopAsianHate cause, donate to organizations like gofundme.com/AAPI or the Asian American Legal defense fund here.

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Here’s How You Can Help Daunte Wright’s Family After He Was Killed By Police

Things That Matter

Here’s How You Can Help Daunte Wright’s Family After He Was Killed By Police

Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Police have taken another Black man’s life, this time it’s 20-year-old Daunte Wright. Protests have broken out in cities across the country as the nation reacts to the killing of yet another young Black man.

But as the nation reacts to the murder, Wright’s family – his mother and child – need all the support they can get right now and thankfully there are many ways that we can all be better allies while helping support the family that Wright leaves behind.

Daunte Wright is the third high-profile police murder in Minneapolis.

Daunte Wright was driving to his older brother’s house with his girlfriend on Sunday afternoon, when police pulled him over for expired tags. Police said they found an existing warrant for Wright’s arrest and attempted to handcuff him.

Bodycam footage revealed Officer Kim Potter shot Wright when she claimed to be reaching for her taser. He died on the scene, just 10 miles from where former police officer Derek Chauvin is on trial for the death of George Floyd.

According to CNN, Daunte’s death is at least the third high-profile death of a Black man at the hands of police in Minnesota in the last five years. And Daunte Wright’s death comes less than a year after the police killing of George Floyd, which sparked protests around the world.

Daunte Wright leaves behind a family still struggling with such an immense loss.

Daunte’s mother, Katie Wright, spoke out about the fear he experienced before his death. Daunte called her after the police pulled him over, at the suggestion of his older brother. “I know my son was scared. He’s afraid of the police, and I just seen and heard the fear in his voice. But I don’t know why, and it should have never escalated the way it did,” Katie told Good Morning America on April 13.

According to Katie, Daunte believed he was getting pulled over for his hanging air fresheners, then she heard “scuffling” and an officer told him to hang up the phone. “I tried to call back three, four times and the girl that was with him answered the phone and she said that they shot him and he was lying in the driver’s seat unresponsive.”

If you’d like to help support Daunte’s family and demand justice, below are a few resources and action items:

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