RACISM is a PANDEMIC, Says Shelby County’s Tami Sawyer

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Proposed by Shelby County Commissioner Tami Sawyer, the resolution to declare racism a pandemic in Shelby County has been passed by the commission.

Merriam-Webster, America’s most trusted dictionary, defines the word pandemic as “an outbreak of a disease that occurs over a wide geographic area and affects an exceptionally high proportion of the population.”


Some are still not convinced. Commissioner Amber Mills is afraid this resolution will discourage business owners from coming to Memphis.

“I’m wondering if businesses are considering whether to go to Memphis or Dallas, and they look up and see their local government has considered greater racism a pandemic, I wouldn’t want to take my business there if I had a choice and it concerns me we’ll be out of lost jobs and tax revenue,” said Mills.

Sawyer insists this will not drive businesses away.

“This is a way to name something we already know is true and we’re working toward reducing and solving [racism] every day,” Sawyer said. “What it does allow us to do is to be creative and innovative in addressing the racism that exists in our policies and actions.”

In addition to passing this resolution, the commissioners voted to make Juneteenth a paid holiday starting in 2021.

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