“Research has demonstrated that racism adversely impacts the physical and mental health of people of color. The resolution we passed today acknowledges Sacramento County’s commitment to face this crisis head-on through fair and just governance and service delivery.”
While the vote was unanimous, the meeting did generate some backlash after Sacramento County Health Director Dr. Peter Beilenson referred to Asians as “yellow folks” while expressing support for the resolution.
Belienson later apologized for his comment, KOVR reported. “In my 30-year career in public health, I’ve never had an issue like this before,” he said. “I very much apologize for that and will certainly use Asian Pacific Islander in the future.”
“What we’re hoping will happen is that by thinking of this through a public health lens, it will help people recognize that racism actually hurts people — it impacts their health in a negative way,” Georges Benjamin, executive director of the American Public Health Association, told CNN in August.
“Then we’re hoping that once people recognize that and they take the next step, they will begin to do things to unravel that.”
CNN’s Harmeet Kaur, Skylar Mitchell and Nicole Chavez contributed to this report.