Oregon Defends Coronavirus Program to Give Federal Funds to Black People Only

Oregon continues to defend a state program that distributes federal coronavirus relief funds only to black people despite two separate lawsuits that have challenged the program as unconstitutional.

The state legislature’s Emergency Board created the Oregon Cares Fund this summer to allocate $62 million in funds from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to black residents.

The Oregon Cares Fund website states: “The Oregon Cares Fund is a targeted investment in the Black community from the CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Fund. This fund is meant to provide the Black community with the resources it needs to weather the global health pandemic and consequent recession. The Oregon Cares Fund is for Black people, Black-owned businesses, and Black community based organizations.”

Two federal lawsuits have been filed: one by a logging company, Great Northern Resources; and the other by a Mexican-American coffee shop owner, Maria Garcia, who has been labeled by Latino “leaders” as “anti-black” on account of her opposition.

In a Facebook post last month, Revolucion announced its lawsuit, and was attacked by left-wing critics on social media”

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) and Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum said last month: “The data show that Black Oregonians are experiencing disproportionate harm from COVID-19. … We must not allow pernicious and ideologically-motivated lawsuits to impede our efforts to deliver critical resources to Oregonians amid a devastating pandemic.”

 

About Catherine Smith

Catherine Smith is a newcomer to Washington D.C. She met and married an American journalist and moved to D.C. from the U.K. She graduated with a B.A. in Graphics, Media, and Communications and worked in design and retail in the U.K.

Photo: SALEM, OR - MAY 02: A man holds a sign saying Kate Brown you are the virus at the ReOpen Oregon Rally on May 2, 2020 in Salem, Oregon. Demonstrators gathered at the state capitol to demand a reopening of the state and to protest Gov. Kate Brown's stay-at-home order which was put in place to slow the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). (Photo by Terray Sylvester/Getty Images)

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