Thursday, September 15, 2011

Links between racial discrimination, stress and health

A fine candidate for the ever-popular Department of the Blitheringly Obvious: Being treated horribly because you were born at the melanin-rich end of the racial spectrum makes your health significantly worse.

Moreover, this study supports what sociologists have said for decades about the deep difference between discrimination against Blacks and discrimination against Whites -- it really is fundamentally different. Moreover, not all Blacks experience racial discrimination. So there's a couple of common assumptions blown apart by a few blood tests and a little science.

Living under indirect and direct threats to your autonomy and survival can damage your health? No, really??

I know, sarcasm is unbecoming. It's a little hard to resist, though, after so many decades of studies trying to "correct" for that and claim that Black people were just more poorly constructed and shouldn't eat all that chicken & grits. /tears hair/

I'm delighted that this study has hit the net, because we could do with more of this kind of, "Well, duh, of course!" information becoming part of the provider mindset.

As I learned when a guy tried to kill me for his prejudices on my 21st birthday, it doesn't matter if you belong to an oppressed group or not. (He thought killing Lesbians would be just fine, and since we didn't have a man around...)

We are all in this together, and if Black people are being shut down, I could be shut down next. After race, disabled middle-aged single women are about as close to the care "toilet" as you can get without flushing.

History is rich with examples of this kind of trajectory.

Let's keep our eyes wide open and our brains turned on. Especially when we're talking to those in different categories than ourselves.

1 comment:

  1. I heard a program on the BBC a few weeks ago which really made me think. It was an examination of 18th century court records in London. Sounds dull but not at all.

    Basically, if you got as far as a trial you were pretty certain to go down. Here's the astonishing thing: you were least likely to be found guilty by a jury if you were black or a woman with children. You were most likely to be found guilty if you were Irish.

    The obvious conclusion is that if you were black, the jury was inclined to discriminate in your favour. But, if you think about it, it could have been that if you were black you were most likely to be falsely charged with a crime in the first place. Go figure.


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