Saturday, May 07, 2016

246.3 - Not Good News: Racism persists

Not Good News: Racism persists

Unhappily, that leads us to the Not Good News, which is the necessary reminder that even as we become more aware of bigotry against LGBTQ people and make real if unsteady gains against that bigotry, our old bigotries - such as sexism and racism - have not disappeared.

In fact, sometimes, they are just right out there.

The clothing chain Old Navy recently ran an ad featuring an interracial couple, which sparked an explosion of racist trolls on Twitter, calling the ad "disgusting," swearing - naturally - never to enter an Old Navy again, and actually thundering about miscegenation - the mixing of races - and I swear I feel like it's 1953 again. There are still people who talk about miscegenation? Really? I am out of touch, apparently.

Still, one of the hardest parts of racism to deal with is the fact that it can be subtle, so subtle, so wrapped into our unthinking assumptions, that we honestly do not recognize it.

 The Old Navy ad 
It has been known for some time that African Americans are routinely under-treated for their pain as compared with whites.

For example, a 2000 study out of a hospital emergency department in Atlanta showed 74 percent of white patients with bone fractures received painkillers compared with 50 percent of black patients. A 2007 study found that physicians were more likely to underestimate the pain of black patients compared with other patients. A paper last year found that black children with appendicitis were less likely to receive pain medication than their white counterparts.

Now a new study out of the University of Virginia suggests a reason why: When asked if they believed in a series of inaccurate or even "fantastical" differences between whites and blacks, over half of white medical students and residents believed at least one.

It's doubtful that any of those med students or residents would call themselves racist and quite likely that their denials would be sincere. But that doesn't undo the embrace of false beliefs nor does it undo the harm done when their nonwhite patients do not get the care they should because of those beliefs, because of that unaware racism.

It can be frustrating and even depressing to think of how far we've come - and yet we still have so very far to go.

Sources cited in links:

No comments:

// I Support The Occupy Movement : banner and script by @jeffcouturer / (v1.2) document.write('
I support the OCCUPY movement
');function occupySwap(whichState){if(whichState==1){document.getElementById('occupyimg').src=""}else{document.getElementById('occupyimg').src=""}} document.write('');