According to a soon-to-be released annual Snohomish County (WA) health survey, acts of discrimination remain on the rise. In December 2018, a group of suspected white supremacists allegedly attacked a black DJ in a Lynnwood bar. And in the past year, fliers and graffiti with swastikas and phrases like “Keep America American” have surfaced throughout Snohomish County and the country.
In both the 2016 and 2017 surveys, 12 percent of respondents reported facing prejudice during the year. Last year, that number jumped to 26 percent, where it stayed again this year. Of those who reported discrimination in the most recent survey, people of color accounted for nearly 40 percent. Among all people of color surveyed, 45 percent reported incidents of discrimination.
“I do believe the political climate is giving people the confidence they can do what they wouldn’t have done five years ago,” Snohomish County NAACP President Janice Greene said. “They can say what they wouldn’t have said. They use the excuse of they don’t have to be politically correct. I don’t think they’ve taken into effect the hurtfulness of those comments.”
Rosario Reyes, president of the Latino Education and Training Institute, who has lived in Snohomish County for almost 40 years, agreed.
“I think there was a lot of civility before in dealing with different cultures,” Reyes said.
That’s changed, she said, in part because of the rhetoric coming from the White House.
“I think people felt like well, if it comes from higher places, they agreed that it’s OK to be that way,” Reyes said.
For people who speak a language other than English at home, 43 percent of those surveyed reported facing discrimination during the year, according to the study. Of those, nearly half were Spanish speakers. At the Latino Education and Training Institute, Reyes said her focus used to be on economic development and teaching English. Now, it’s often dealing with people’s physical and emotional health.
Numerous other specific instances of prejudice and discrimination were reported in the Herald article, which you may read in its entirety at the following link.
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