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Why is discussing Racial Disparities important?

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Racial Disparities. Let’s talk about it.

What is Racial Disparities?

Racial Disparities is defined as a difference that could potentially be related to discrimination. There are many types of racial disparities that can be found in the Justice System, Wealth (pay gaps), Health Services and many more.

Examples of Racial Disparities

The Justice System:

Minorities are more likely to be failed by the Justice System because it was not created for them. America was built on the ideals to uphold and protect the lives of those who “resemble” America- meaning for Caucasian (white) people. Minorities have a higher percentage of being stopped and detained by law enforcement compared to those who are white. In the case of Minorities they are also more likely to not post bail, be sentenced and serve longer jail sentences.

38% of prison and jail inmates are African-American, compared to their 13% share of overall population. – sentencingproject.org

The Wealth Gap

Image from inequality.com

The wealth gap is not any better, African- American’s and Latino’s families more often than not, live one “minor economic setback away from tragedy.” Between 1983 to 2016 the percentage of African-American families with none or negative wealth increased by 28.5%.

“The median White family has 41 times more wealth than the median Black family and 22 times more wealth than the median Latino family.” – inequality.org

Image from inequality.com

Health Services

I hear stories about how Black people are more likely to be neglected when it comes to Health services. Often times patient concerns go unheard and without being acknowledged. Fore mentioned in last week’s blog post there is a stigma in the Health world. That “Black people feel less pain and their nerves are built differently.”

Many studies show that Black people are again at a disadvantage at a vital aspect of life. African-American people are more likely to be given longer wait times before being seen by a doctor. More over the chance of them being misdiagnosed or receive a less than adequate treatment is also very high.

“Black women also have a higher mortality rate in childbirth.”

“243% of Black women are more likely to die of complications in pregnancy and childbirth.”

“A scientific study from 2016 shows that there also exists a false belief about biological differences between Black people and White people, such as that Black people’s skin is thicker than White people’s skin,” – independent.co.uk

Particularly during this time of pandemic, African- American communities are testing higher for COVID-19 in cities where they make up most of the populations. There is obviously a discontent and a lack of trust from Black communities to medical personnel. These communities are choosing not to see doctors because of these major factors :

  1. The lack of access to medical resources.
  2. The interactions between People of Color and medical personnel.
  3. The care they receive.

The importance of talking about Racial Disparities

So why is discussing Racial Disparities important? It’s imperative to have these discussions to spread awareness. Nothing can ever be changed when there is no acknowledgement of how we as a society can and need to be improved. You may not see or personally experience it for yourself but that does not mean it just goes away, it does not exist or it is not the reality of many others.

We must push the limits and break the boundaries that prevent us from moving forward. Widening the circles of inclusion and exceptions are how we will be able to grow and create the spaces we need for educating, advocating, and saving lives. Talking about alone will not be enough but turning those words into action will.

Racial Disparities should not be a “controversial” or “taboo” topic. It can be uncomfortable but more harm is done when there is no discussion. Being open to not only listen but comprehending these experiences is also of importance. One person alone cannot make the same impact as a collective. Uniting as one is how we can overcome these challenges and ensure a better future for the generations to come.

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Sources:

Justice System:

https://opportunityinsights.org/race/

https://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/publications/racial-disparity-sentencing

Wealth Gap:

https://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2020/01/09/trends-in-income-and-wealth-inequality/

Health Services:

https://www.americanbar.org/groups/crsj/publications/human_rights_magazine_home/the-state-of-healthcare-in-the-united-states/racial-disparities-in-health-care/

23 year old blogger. Just trying to find my way through this thing called life. Born and raised in Hawai'i.

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