A Biden for President 2020 Flag is seen hanging with an LGBT Pride flag, in front of a home in Wilton Manors, Florida. (Michele Eve Sandberg/Shutterstock)

Biden Stands by His Commitment to LGBTQ rights; Cost of Racism in the U.S. Tops $16 Trillion; Black and Latinx Continue to Die from COVID-19 at Nearly Twice the Rate of Whites; and More

Biden reaffirms commitment to LGBTQ rights; promises to pass Equality Act.

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden doubled down on his promises to the LGBTQ community while speaking at a presidential town hall for the Human Rights Campaign Foundation on Sept. 24. “You deserve a partner in the White House to fight with conviction and win the battles ahead,” he said. “The White House should never be a source of opposition or fear or oppression. It should be a source of hope, of moral courage and of unification.”

In addition to promising to pass the Equality Act (which would amend the Civil Rights Act to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in employment, housing, public accommodations and public education) within his first 100 days in office, Biden also vowed to “protect LGBTQ youth, expand access to health care, support LGBTQ workers, win full rights for transgender Americans, recommit to ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic by 2025, [and] advance LGBT rights around the globe — not just at home.”

 

What’s the cost of racism in the U.S.? $16 Trillion according to new estimates.

Just how much is discrimination costing the country? A new study from Citigroup reports: “If four key racial gaps for Blacks — wages, education, housing and investment — were closed 20 years ago, $16 trillion could have been added to the U.S. economy. And if the gaps are closed today, $5 trillion can be added to U.S. GDP over the next five years.” As NPR pointed out while covering the finding, similar data has been floating around for quite some time, but progress to make any sort of lasting change is slow. “Wall Street itself has also faced accusations for years of discriminatory practices against African Americans, such as limiting approval for mortgages or not providing enough banking options in minority neighborhoods, which are among the damaging actions identified by Citigroup researchers.”

 

Death toll in the U.S. could top 378,000 by January, latest research warns.

Having just passed the grim milestones of 200,000 deaths from COVID-19 and more than 7 million infected, new projections of the disease spread show plenty to still be alarmed over. One of the most widely accepted models for spread of the coronavirus developed by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington suggests that by January, the U.S. could experience more than 378,000 deaths. That number is an especially grim warning for minorities, who continue to experience the disease at alarmingly higher rates than whites. According to data from the APM Research Lab, “Black, Indigenous, Pacific Islander and Latino Americans all have a COVID-19 death rate of roughly triple or more white Americans.” Breaking down those numbers, that means that while there are 46.6 deaths per 100,000 white Americans, the disease is killing 97.9 Black Americans, 81.9 Indigenous Americans and 64.7 Latinx Americans within the same sized population group.

 

Black Restaurant Week aims to help struggling businesses stay afloat during the COVID-19 crisis.

Black-owned businesses continue to be impacted by our current pandemic at an alarming rate. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York reports that 41% of Black-owned businesses have been shuttered by COVID-19 at some point in the last six months, compared to just 17% of white-owned businesses. More than half of these businesses — especially restaurants and bars — may not survive until the end of the year, the study warns. To combat the problem, the Feed the Soul Foundation has created Black Restaurants Week. Highlighting more than 340 Black-owned and operated restaurants in different locations across the U.S., the virtual event provides info and links to participating restaurants, plus information on delivery and takeout options for those living within the areas they serve. Soda giant PepsiCo Global Foodservice recently signed on to the event as an exclusive sponsor in order to help further its mission. “We’re committed to increasing access, accelerating growth and expanding awareness for Black-owned restaurants,” said Scott Finlow, the company’s Chief Marketing Officer.

 

Are you registered to vote? Vote.org provides a number of resources for voters including a state-by-state rundown of important dates and regulations to know, plus information on registering to vote, how to successfully vote by mail and more. For more info, go to vote.org.

 

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

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