Racial Justice

  • Environmental Justice

    • Sacrifice zones are regions that governments or corporations have claimed for dumping waste or toxic materials. These zones are usually home to marginalized and low-income families. The government works with companies to dispose of waste in areas that they do not believe are economically productive or viable, and this results in heightened risk of toxin-born diseases.

    • Examples

      • In Michigan

        • The Michigan state legislature just approved a ninefold increase in capacity for a waste facility in Hamtramck. This will amount to 4,500 tons of chemicals and metals including PFAS, arsenic, mercury, and PCBs. Hamtramck is an incredibly poor community, with a per capita income of $11,371. The state legislature has decided to take advantage of an already vulnerable population. 

        • Dearborn Industrial Generation (DIG) built a power plant in the southern part of Dearborn, Michigan, where there is a significant low-income Arab population. In south Dearborn, 60% of residents have little to know english proficiency, and the company is taking advantage of these residents by avoiding communicating with them in their language. Since the community is largely lower income and a large proportion do not speak english, DIG can take advantage of this. Now, because of these factors, this zip code will continue to become more and more polluted

      • Pipeline Struggles

        • Throughout North America, the burdening fight against destructive pipelines has largely fallen in the hands of indigenous communities. This is because pipelines are more often routed through vulnerable, indigenous communities than through white suburbs. There have actually been instances where companies reroute pipelines to pass through indigenous reservations in order to avoid affluent communities.  ​

    • Environmental Health Effects

      • Numerous studies have shown that lower-income communities of color have more exposure to toxic chemicals that can increase risk for cancer, asthma, and heart and lung diseases. This means that where you live, and what color skin you have, is a key determinant in your health. This is unacceptable, and we must immediately correct this inequity.

      • See the COVID-19 policy for information on how pollution increases susceptibility to death from COVID-19 or other adverse health issues in people of color.

  • Done Waiting’s proposed solution

    • Climate change will disproportionately affect communities of color and exacerbate social inequality. Done Waiting supports the Green New Deal and putting communities of color first when fighting for environmental issues. This will be and already is exacerbated by the COVID-19 epidemic, learn more about Done Waiting’s policy here

    • To address the immediate health effects that millions of individuals are facing, Done Waiting supports Medicare For All. This legislation will ensure that every American has access to free and effective healthcare, and will leave no community behind. This way, those whose lungs and bodies have been polluted by our government will have access to treatment. 

    • Done Waiting is fighting for the Green New DEal. This piece of legislation will completely decarbonize our economy without leaving any community behind, and create millions of green-energy, unionized jobs in the process. We must prioritize this green growth and employment in the communities that have been ravaged by climate change the most. 

    • Done Waiting also believes that we must give these communities the advocacy and educational tools to empower themselves. This is why Done Waiting proposes to increase education funding, promote community-run policing, and invigorate public housing. 

  • View Done Waiting's Criminal Justice policy here.

  • Disenfranchisement

    • Almost all states ban prisoners from voting, most states ban convicted felons from voting even after prison, parole, or more, and only a couple states ensure full felon voting rights.

      • Minorities in America are convicted of crimes at much higher rates than the American population as a whole, and this is due to the corruption in our criminal justice system, however this also means that felons whose voting status are affected by their criminal convictions are disproportionately black and hispanic.

    • This means that minorities across this country are being systematically denied the right to vote. The voting power of minorities, in particular black men, is being stifled by backward, punitive, unconstitutional laws.

    • Done Waiting believes that we must extend the right to vote to all Americans, even those convicted of felonies. Done Waiting believes that this is an outrageous affront to our constitution. No citizen should be deprived of their power to vote. We need federal legislation to reaffirm our nation’s commitment to universal suffrage. We must not only extend the vote to those who have served their sentence but also to those who are still in prison. No one, no matter what crime they have committed, can be deprived of their most basic rights.

  • View Done Waiting's Economic Justice policy here.

 

  • Intersectionality

    • LGBTQ+

      • In 2018, there were 7,342 new HIV infections among black gay and bisexual men between the ages of 13-34, while there were 3,514 new infections among white men in the same group, over the same period of time. Even though 76% of our population is white, and 13% is black. There are a lot of factors to explain this, including the effect that economic status has on access to health care and STI testing. 

      • In a small study surveying anti-LGBTQ hate crimes, 60% of respondents who were victims of hate crimes identified as people of color. This is obviously disproportionate to the amount of POC in our general population. 

      • These statistics show the impact that having two marginalized identities can have on an individual. A person who is gay is more likely to have HIV, but a person who is black and gay is even more liley to have the virus. Same with hate crimes; a person who is LGBTQ+ is more likely to be a victim of a hate crime, but a POC who is also LGBTQ+ is even more likely. 

      • This is why Done Waiting believes that we must draft legislation with this intersectionality in mind. This means collaborating with activists from all different backgrounds and identities. In order to provide universal testing and health care to everyone, Done Waiting supports Medicare for All. To learn more about Done Waiting’s LGBTQ+ policy, click here

  • Gun Violence and Gun Control

    • Gun legislation and gun violence primarily affect people of color in the United States. The only time the NRA supported gun legislation was to ensure that the Black Panther Party did not have access to guns. Done Waiting wants to consult black organizations, and organizations specifically focused on both gun ownership and anti-gun violence, to ensure that we hears absolutely every side of this issue.

    • With that being said, there are some things that do need to change. Not every single person in this country should own a gun, and not every single type of gun should be available to everyone. Done Waiting supports a federal ban on ALL assault rifles, as well as a buyback. Done Waiting also supports closing harmful loopholes like the Charleston Loophole, which allows for gun dealers to sell a gun to an individual if they do not hear back from an FBI background check within 3 days. Done Waiting also supports closing the Boyfriend loophole, which allows stalkers or people with abuse convictions to have access to guns.   

    • Stand your ground laws

      • These laws allow an individual to use lethal force against someone else who is a threat, or one who is perceived as a threat. 

      • One Florida study found that these laws have racist application and results. For example, if a defendant is claiming this law as a justification for murder, they are twice as likely to be convicted of wrongdoing if it was a black person claiming stand your ground against a white person. 

      • This study shows that these laws result in racist application. This is unacceptable, and these laws must be repealed immediately. 

    • Like many other convictions, black individuals are much more likely to be arrested and charged for weapons offenses than white individuals, these disparities need to be kept in mind when drafting gun legislation. 

  • Education

    • School to Prison pipeline

      • In the 1990s, schools started implementing “no tolerance policies” for behaviors, increasing the amount of suspensions, expulsions, and disciplinary actions in schools. Since the 1970s, school suspensions have increased even though juvenile crime rates have fallen significantly. The last few years these suspension rates have decreased, but are still higher than they were before “zero tolerance” policies and SROs were implemented. Black students are disproportionately more likely to be disciplined, and students who are expelled or suspended are much more likely to have contact with the juvenile criminal system. If disciplined students are disproportionately black, so are students processed by the juvenile criminal system. 

      • Done Waiting supports removing SROs from schools, changing “no tolerance policies” as well as pouring more funding into schools for mental health and academic resources. Learn more about Done Waiting's education policy here.   

    • College for All

      • Higher education is becoming increasingly important as two-thirds of job openings in 2020 require postsecondary education or training; however, college costs at public four-year universities have more than doubled in the past few decades, increasing at a rate almost 8 times faster than wages.

      • These costs are piling onto the backs of all Americans, but they overwhelmingly target the lower and middle class families of color, as low- and middle-income families are forced to pay costs equivalent to 100 percent of what they make in a year. In fact, it has gotten to a point where low-income students cannot afford 95% of colleges. This is a likely factor as to why 3 in every 6 low-income kids accepted to college never enroll, or why 38% of low-income loan borrowers drop out of college. The status quo has become unjust and unfair, funneling opportunities away from low-income students and trapping low-income families in a poverty cycle.

      • Once students graduate from college, they are buried in student loans. On average, black borrowers owe $7,400 more than their white peers, as soon as they graduate college. This shows that the ever-increasing tuition costs of our public colleges burdens black students at higher rates. 

      • As a solution to this, Done Waiting supports College for All, a policy which will equalize the postsecondary landscape for Americans by completely eliminating tuition and fees at higher education institutions, ensuring the opportunity of college is available to all Americans.

        • This will cost $2.2 trillion over the next ten years, and Done Waiting proposes that this will be paid for by a tax on Wall Street. 

    • Access to resources (eg: SAT prep, college prep)

      • Socioeconomic status is a major factor in the quality of education students receive and preparation for exams that determine their future. Low-income students are much less likely to score high on standardized-tests because of inequities in our public school system. Students who can pay for a better education at a private school, or attend better public schools, often get a more test-oriented curriculum. These students are also more likely to pay for SAT or ACT tutors and learning materials that will help them score higher than those who cannot afford these services.

        • Standardized tests are also not good predictors of how students will perform in college, especially for black and brown students. 

        • Achievement gaps between races result from racial disparity and differences in socioeconomic status, and cause a smaller amount of low-income and students of color to be admitted to universities.

      • Done Waiting supports increasing funding for all schools to provide free practice exams, tutors, and materials in order to attempt to close the achievement gap. If this is not achievable, Done Waiting supports finding an alternative to standardized testing. Every student in America has a right to attend a school that will equip them for college and their future career. 

  • Read Done Waiting's Immigration Justice policy here.

  • Health Care

    • Black women die from pregnancy complications  2-6 times more than white women and infant mortality is higher in the black community compared to white communities. This comes from a multitude of factors including high stress among black women resulting from persisting racism in the United States as well as the lower quality care from our medical system that black women receive. These issues directly relate to income inequality and other racial disparities in the United States with solutions outlined in many of Done Waiting’s policies. However, in addition, Done Waiting strongly supports increased medical modeling and research focused on women and people of color as it has been traditionally done on a white male medical model. Done Waiting also supports bias training for medical professionals in order to make sure the needs of black women are met and not dismissed. Done Waiting also supports Medicare for All which would make hospital funding more equitable. Done Waiting also is a strong proponent of paid family leave which has a positive impact on the health of a newborn child

      • Medicare for All will also cover mental health care.

    • Additional policies on Medical and Health Racism (at the link, go to ‘Our Healthcare System and Communities of Color’ under the section ‘COVID-19’s Disproportionate Effect on POC’) 

    • Undocumented immigrants have very few options for receiving medical treatment in the United States as it is hard to obtain insurance and therefore harder to receive care. Done Waiting believes that healthcare is a human right and that all people should receive care regardless of their immigration status. Under Done Waiting’s Medicare for All plan undocumented immigrants would receive free care.