How Systemic Racial Injustice and Trauma Leads to Bad Health Outcomes for Black People

Racism is killing us. According to the Office of Minority Health, “African Americans have 2.3 times the infant mortality rate as non-Hispanic whites.”

Regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, John Hopkins University states that, “while Black Americans represent only about 13% of the population in the states reporting racial/ethnic information, they account for about 34% of total Covid-19 deaths in those states.”

What is all this about?

Plainly put, Black people are not given equal access to resources and social programs that make good health outcomes possible. The burden of racism is mentally and physically oppressive and makes it hard to bridge the gap between us and those who are not experiencing racism. This makes Black people sicker and, due to no fault of their own, living less healthy lives than their white counterparts.

Black people suffer and no community public health campaign is going to change it. The problems are systemic and broad. They are ingrained in our psychology as a nation and they will be inherently hard to root out. 

Ongoing inequalities in social causes that affect Black people are the result of all kinds of access to care issues, which are interrelated with a range of quality-of-life risks and outcomes.

It is infuriating to live in a society when at every turn, the walls are stacked against you. Where no matter where you focus, there is a blind spot. Without systemic interventions, nothing is going to change. Black people will continue to have bad health outcomes, will continue to die en masse from COVID-19 and other chronic illnesses.

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