Multiple Congressmen ‘Accidentally’ Called Cori Bush, Missouri’s New Representative, ‘Breonna’; American Medical Association Classifies Racism as a Threat to Public Health; and More

Multiple congressmen “accidentally” called Missouri’s new representative Cori Bush  “Breonna” during Capitol event.

Congresswoman-elect Cori Bush said she was stunned and hurt on the evening of Nov. 16, after a number of different Republicans called her “Breonna” during a new member orientation at the Capitol in Washington, D.C. Bush, who was wearing a mask printed with Breonna Taylor’s name doesn’t think the comments were racially motivated however.

“It did not seem like they were being malicious,” she told CNN. “They just did not know.” Still, while the “mistake” may not have been intentional, the fact that elected Republican officials could think her name was “Breonna” was especially disturbing to Bush.

As a nurse and pastor who entered the world of politics following the Ferguson protests over the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, Bush has been doing her part to raise awareness over Breonna Taylor’s death, as well as the national movement of millions protesting the death of Black lives at the hands of the police.

“How do you not know? We signed up to be leaders. We have to know what is happening in our communities,” Bush said. “Not only our communities, but what’s happening in other communities, because that is how we keep our people safe.” Bush will be Missouri’s first Black woman to represent the state in Congress after winning her House seat.


American Medical Association classifies racism as a threat to public health.

Following up on its commitment to confront systemic racism and police brutality made in June 2020, the American Medical Association (AMA) has now decided to classify racism in the United States as a public health threat. 

In addition to renewing the organization’s push to seek out and fight racist behavior in medical research and health care organizations as a whole, the move will also support the development of new policies designed to combat racism and its effects. The new policy will hopefully encourage both government and nongovernmental agencies to increase funding for research into the epidemiology of risks and damages related to racism and how to prevent or repair them. AMA leaders also hope the new designation will impact undergraduate, graduate and continuing medical education programs, improving curriculums by forcing the medical industry as a whole to look for and reduce instances of systemic, cultural, institutional and interpersonal racism that might be uncovered. 

“The AMA recognizes that racism negatively impacts and exacerbates health inequities among historically marginalized communities,” said AMA Board Member, Willarda V. Edwards, MD. “As physicians and leaders in medicine, we are committed to optimal health for all, and are working to ensure all people and communities reach their full health potential. Declaring racism as an urgent public health threat is a step in the right direction toward advancing equity in medicine and public health, while creating pathways for truth, healing and reconciliation.”


Hate crimes were a growing problem in the U.S. even before 2020, new report shows.

The FBI released their annual Hate Crime Statistics report on Nov. 16, revealing hate crimes have been on an alarming rise during the Trump era. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), “hate crimes across America rose by 3% in 2019 – to 7,314, the highest number recorded since 2008.” Race-based hate crimes were the most frequent, with the majority directed at Blacks. Anti-Hispanic hate crimes, crimes directed against Jews and Jewish institutions and hate crimes against LGBTQ people have also sharply increased — some to the highest levels since 1991, when the FBI began collecting this specific data.

The report is produced each year by the Department of Justice and is based on an act that was passed in 1990, requiring the nation’s more than 18,000 federal, state, city, university and tribal law enforcement agencies to report a full rundown of the crimes that had been reported to them during the course of the previous year. While the SPLC says that “the report vastly understates the real level of hate crimes in the country,” it does help to “document large trends, including how and against whom hate crimes are perpetrated.” Experts expect figures for 2020 to soar even higher once the data is finally compiled sometime next year.


D.I. Fast Facts


People with developmental disorders are three times more likely to die from COVID-19 compared to others — a risk factor higher than any other condition including diabetes, heart disease and cancer. The finding comes from a review of private health insurance claims data for 467,773 individuals diagnosed with the coronavirus in the U.S. between April and August 2020.



Related: For more recent diversity and inclusion news, click here.



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