EP02: 10 Reasons Racism is a Public Health Issue

This week’s episode featured a discussion regarding the Top 10 Reasons Why Racism is a Public Health Issue. Plus, we discuss how the 2011 movie The Help was the #1 trending movie on Netflix during the height of the worldwide equality protest and how the movie was being recommended when Netflix released the Black Lives Matter collection. We also discussed the rebranding of Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben and if changing the brand will erase history.

Here are some key takeaways:

  • Racism in the criminal justice system: People who are incarcerated face greater chances for chronic health conditions, both while confined and long after their release.
  • The way social services are administered in this country: Uneven distribution of resources for instance like the GI Bill for veterans, impacts the ability of Black people to access these resources
  • Economic development: Not having access to loans to maintain a business means less money for health, education and housing
  • Food apartheid: Grocery stores use algorithms to locate their businesses closer to White communities and even when stores are economically viable, they have closed them in Black neighborhoods leaving them with less healthy options for food sources
  • Labor issues: people of color who work in factories that have unsatisfactory safety standards, are more prone to injuries. They are receiving little pay and without adequate access to healthcare
  • Intensity of advertising for unhealthy products in the black community: advertising for menthol, beer and other unhealthy products being strategically placed in the black community. The tobacco industry fought to be able to advertise close to schools
  • Disparities in the access to care and quality of care: access to the doctors and what experiences people of color have within the hospital. Hospitals typically are not in the black community. Doctors being incorrectly trained on the black body
  • Housing policies have contributed to health disparities: redlining, gentrification, and black families having to live in unhealthy conditions
  • Environmental policies: Chemical plants, Flint, Michigan lead poisoning, respiratory concerns, toxins in the air
  • Transportation: Federal highway programs often cut through established Black residences and businesses, destroying stable communities and stalling the progress of Black communities to be well.

EP02: 10 Reasons Racism is a Public Health Issue