Racial equality in the U.S. still needs work, experts say

Digital Originals

In the wake of the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 2020, protests and demonstrations broke out across the U.S. and much of the world, focusing on issues that impacted Black lives, starting with police brutality and then also about wealth inequality, health, and environmental racism.

CGTN explores what has been done to improve social justice and what more is needed.

Hilary Shelton, Director to the NAACP’s Washington bureau and senior vice president for advocacy and policy, explains the history and the work of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, one of America’s oldest civil rights organizations.

The events of 2020, including the killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor by police and the protests that followed, shook the United States and the world. Activists and protesters took to the streets to demonstrate against police brutality and abuse and a criminal justice system that doesn’t work to fully help all people of color.

Cheryl Dorsey, a retired LAPD Lieutenant and author of the book “Black and Blue” discusses her experience on the police force, the tensions between police and communities of color, and how people can empower themselves to make change happen.

Many also say more work needs to be done to eliminate environmental racism, where Black and Brown people face disproportionate environmental impacts. In 2014, the Flint Water Crisis made such racial disparities even more clear. The drinking water in the Michigan city was contaminated with lead and caused 12 deaths and exposed thousands of children.

Jason Anthony Nichols, a lecturer of African American studies at the University of Maryland at College Park, explains the ongoing historical impact of environmental racism, and what is needed to deal with the decades of devastation on communities.

Black poverty remains incredibly high in the U.S., with the Census recording 2019 Black poverty at 18.8 percent, compared to non-White Hispanic poverty at 7.3 percent. This racial wealth gap has a long and brutal history and plays a major role in the ongoing fight for justice and equity in the U.S.

Calvin Schermerhorn, professor of history at Arizona State University and author of the book, “Unrequited Toil: A History of United States Slavery,” explains the long history of racial wealth inequality, from slavery, to the 2008 recession, to its effects today – and the work needed to close this gap.