INDIANAPOLIS – Holcomb’s address on equity and inclusion was nothing more than a shameless grab at reelection in a state that has outgrown him. In the last four years, Holcomb enjoyed legislative majorities and the political capital to muscle legislation through. If he wanted to take action on systemic racism, we would have seen it by now.
So, how does his address match up to his record?
Black Hoosiers make up 20% of all cases and deaths. But is this the result of those “stubborn racial disparities” we just can’t seem to get rid of? Or is it the consequences of an administration that didn’t care?
Since March, experts have warned: widespread testing is the key to stopping the spread, but in Holcomb’s Indiana permanent testing centers didn’t even reach areas with a high population of minorities until months after Holcomb signed the testing contract in April.
Lake Co., the county with the highest percentage of Latino and 2nd highest percentage of black Hoosiers, didn’t receive a permanent testing facility until July. And that only came after Democrats’ pleas.
The overall infant mortality rate in Indiana remains one of the worst in the country, albeit slightly lower than it has been in recent years.
But the enormous gap between black and white babies remains. The infant mortality rate for black babies is more than double their white counterparts’ at 13.0 and 6.0 per 1,000, respectively.
Holcomb’s most laughable promise comes from his vow to recruit minority teachers. And while that might align with his history on the racial wage gap, Holcomb’s track record on attracting teachers tells a different story.
Indiana boasts the lowest salary growth for teachers in the country; we lose 35 percent of our teachers in the first five years, with 88 percent citing pay as the reason for leaving.
If four years with a supermajority’s support in the General Assembly couldn’t motivate him to invest in education, will anything?