LETTER: Perry wrong for Pennsylvania, wrong for America

Zachary Michener

Rep. Scott Perry is wrong. His statements last week show a fundamental inability or unwillingness to understand racism in America.

Racism was not defeated during the Civil War as he alleges, and frankly, from the way he speaks on racism, I’m surprised he doesn’t inaccurately believe it was a war for “states’ rights.” Racism permeated our country before, during and after the Civil War and continues to this day.

More:Perry: Systemic racism isn't real, Black deaths sensationalized

More:State HRC, Congress member condemn Perry in joint statement

More:Former York County GOP chair disavows Perry following comments about race

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U.S. Representative Scott Perry (R-Pa. 10) speaks to reporters after participating in a Rotary Club of York candidate forum at the Country Club of York Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2020. He is seeking reelection for the 10th Congressional seat. His opponent, Auditor General Eugene DePasquale, will be featured at a similar Oct. 7 event. Bill Kalina photo

Perry was correct in identifying what a system is, but he seems willfully ignorant of the historical factors that created and maintain systemic racism.

To name a few:

  • Law enforcement has been led by white-supremacists for centuries;
  • the U.S. government used bombs and mob violence to stop Black people from acquiring wealth;
  • Black people have routinely been used for experimental medical procedures, and Black women’s health concerns continue to be discounted by doctors, even in Democratic cities;
  • Black people are more heavily policed, face harsher penalties, and are more likely to be subjected to police violence than white people;
  • and government officials continue creating and enforcing laws that disproportionately impact Black people.

Perry once again proves that he falls in line with the president, who dangerously platforms and promotes violence against protestors and emboldens white supremacists.

Scott Perry is wrong. He is wrong that racism doesn’t exist. He is wrong that Black deaths are being sensationalized. And he is wrong for Pennsylvania and America. Sign a pledge with NextGen PA right now to vote him out of office this November, and vote in representatives who will fight for Black lives.