‘Is Racism Making Us Sick?’

by Mallary Tenore Tarpley

I wrote a Diversity at Work blog item this week about a new documentary, “Unnatural Causes.” The documentary reveals that minorities are often unhealthier than their white counterparts, in large part because of racism and discrimination:

When I think about racism, I think about emotional pain, ignorance, the need for equality. So when I recently saw the words “racism” and “health care” clumped together, I wondered why.

In a recent Google Alert for the term “racism,” I came across a National Public Radio piece about a new documentary series titled “Unnatural Causes: Is Inequality Making Us Sick?” The documentary looks at the ways that racism affects our health. Many minorities, the documentary says, have greater health issues than their white counterparts. The documentary sites several examples of this, including one about black mothers in the U.S. being far more likely to have premature births and low-birth weight babies than white women.

Lou Smith, co-executive producer of the documentary, said during the NPR interview that this problem is not innate to being black, but rather to the conditions of race that black people live with.

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