Racism's Hidden Toll

African Americans Getting Sick and Dying Younger

Does the stress of living in a white-dominated society make African Americans get sick and die younger than their white counterparts? Apparently, yes. Full Story »

Posted by J Sinclaire

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Michael Bugeja
4.2
by Michael Bugeja - Jun. 15, 2009

This is a definite must-read from a biological rather than racial perspective, as it makes sense that the impoverished as teenagers would have babies then because they are healthier than they will be at age 25. The research presumes blacks are of a certain social level and that racism is to blame; however, no correlation has been done with similar lifestyles and health statistics of Appalachian poor. A simple correlative study with Appalachian health statistics can prove or disprove her theory on race.

I have had the experience of living in Appalachia for almost two decades. There the race issue is reversed from a social-economic standpoint: blondes are poor; blacks often are either gifted children from the cities attending college or the children of professors. Everything in this article can be ascribed to the disenfranchised whites whose ancestors were coal miners--a category of diversity, by the way, that Ohio University, which has a black president, acknowledges.

With a better understanding of minority cultures, even small policy changes might make a difference. For example, many health-promotion programs are aimed at teens who smoke, but in some minority communities, people take up tobacco in their 20s. The same can be said for prenatal risk screening, which currently sees 20-something women (no matter their race) as low-risk, when, in fact, blacks in that age demographic face greater health dangers than teenagers.

See the link on Appalachian health. Same factors, same data as here. Racism adds stress, no doubt about it; but racism here is non-empirical and a deduction. Valid research that can be replicated uses inductive reasoning. Poverty? Evolution? Yes. Racism. Maybe. …

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