America

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America has been living at Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s homeless encampment for a few months. She was harassed by Austin Police. After filing a complaint, America no longer felt in the city of Austin. Gov. Abbott’s Camp Texas is managed by the state.

America claims Austin Police criminalized her for being black. She goes on to share how police in the city have a long history of racial bias often underserving African American communities along with racial discrimination. The 2005 incident she talks about did happen. The Midtown Live nightclub caught on fire. Its clientele was mostly black. Six Austin Police officers and four police dispatchers were disciplined in connection to mobile messages that several witnesses saw. I police officer sent a message “Burn Baby Burn” and a dispatcher responded with “I got some extra gasoline if they need it.”

Race continues to influence how people of African descent in the United States are treated by law enforcement. In the U.S., Black people accounted for 31 percent of police killing victims in 2012, even though they made up just 13 percent of the U.S. population. The disparities appear to be even starker for unarmed suspects, according to an analysis of 2015 police killings by the Guardian. Racial minorities made up about 37.4 percent of the general population in the US and 46.6 percent of armed and unarmed victims, but they made up 62.7 percent of unarmed people killed by police. (Source: https://www.vox.com/identities/2016/8/13/17938186/police-shootings-killings-racism-racial-disparities)

This woman like many others in our country has faced racial discrimination and abuse simply because of her skin color. It’s horrible! America is a smart intelligent woman. I have huge respect for her knowing she had the courage to file a complaint and speak opening about racism. It’s 2020. Racism should no longer exist, but it does, and that is unacceptable.

I was visiting Camp Texas just before the country started ‘shelter at home’ as a result of the coronavirus. It was good to see space between tents with lots of handwashing stations and porta-potties throughout. The two showers were disgusting made up of plywood and a garden hose. People using the showers have zero privacy. From what I could see which was validated by everyone I met in the camp, no services were being provided.

Advocates are concerned Governor Abbott’s homeless camp is just a ploy to continue his push to criminalize homelessness in Texas. I have visited many homeless camps over the years. Because of COVID19, it’s great they have separation and sanitation, but a camp run by the state government should be providing services to get people off the streets into housing


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