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Cigarette Stories (lareviewofbooks.org)
15 points by samclemens 44 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 5 comments



“ Today, our greatest health challenges arise from inequality and racism, which are squarely beyond the ambit of the formal health-care system.”

An unfortunately unsubstantiated claim in an otherwise excellent piece.


This is such a common trope nowadays. If the question “what is the evidence to support that conclusion” is even asked, the answer is almost surely a casually observed correlation and little more.


Hey fellows: rather than say there isn't evidence, how about looking for some? It appears that lots of people have asked that question over many years:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3244674/

https://www.aafp.org/about/policies/all/institutional-racism...

https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/racism-discrimination-he...

https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Albert_Adegbembo2/publi...

How can it be that race and racism, which have shaped so much of the experience America across nearly every domain, somehow have had no effect on the history or state of healthcare systems?


Yeah, a blog and an ER anecdote is not compelling evidence, whether it’s from Harvard or not. They assume the conclusion they want a couple paragraphs in and then spend the rest of the time backing in to it.

For example “For minorities, these differences result in unequal access to quality education, healthy food, livable wages, and affordable housing.”

Is just causally tossed out without any serious argument to substantiate it, and in the face of significant evidence to the contrary. Evidence such as the fact that it is illegal to discriminate against somebody based on their race when seeking employment. And affirmative action in education is still very much a thing.

So I am supposed to believe that society is deeply racist and biased even though, in general, we have gone to great lengths over decades to ensure everybody has equal opportunity, and in some cases better opportunity, based on their race, sex, disability etc.

I’m not so convinced.


Ya you're right, minorities are in a worse financial, social and wellness status because its their fault, or more fundamentally something is lesser about them. They should have be able to recover and even overcome majorities, despite the fact they couldn't own land in certain parts of the country until 1969. Typical.

And when that liberal rag, The Atlantic says: [0]"The numbers are staggering: White Americans with a college degree are on average three times as wealthy as black Americans with the same credential, and in families whose head of the household is employed, white families have 10 times the wealth of black ones. One estimate on the conservative end suggested that this wealth gap could take two centuries to close."

...you should summarily that information as its clearly elites spreading fake news propaganda.

Here they go again: [1] "Two hundred fifty years of slavery. Ninety years of Jim Crow. Sixty years of separate but equal. Thirty-five years of racist housing policy." What proof do you have???

Laws against discrimination are effective and equally enforced by an unbiased justice system. What is unequal is human potential. Why must we keep pretending it is?

[0]https://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2018/07/black-... [1]https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2014/06/the-cas...

Disclaimer: this is sarcasm.




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