Sardonic Sistah Says

Observations… Ruminations… Ponderances… & Rants from Another Perspective

Health and Race Off the Campaign Trail

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Although John Edwards has pulled his bid for president, his candidacy has helped to put the spotlight on poverty in the United States.  Right now everyone is buzzing about race but we can’t really have a true dialogue about race without also looking at social/economic status because the two are inextricably linked. 

To see how linked they are please check you local PBS listing to catch the four-part series called “Unnatural Causes… Is Inequality Making  Us Sick?“.  The first show is called “In Sickness and in Wealth” and looks at health disparity among people of different economic classes in Louisville, Kentucky. 

Four people represent different segments of society and three of them work in the same hospital in different positions.  The first person is a white male who is the CEO of the hospital; he has a high life expectancy and although a stressful job it makes less of an impact on his health than for the other three.  The second is a black female engaged to an Asian male who is on an economic rung lower than the first guy.  She is a supervisor at the hospital.  The next is a black male who works in custodial and last is a white female who is at the bottom of the economic ladder.  The white female doesn’t work at all and along with caring for her children she has to take care of her husband who is disabled along.  The show points out that, contrary to the stereotypical black face of poverty, more whites than blacks in the U.S. are poor.

Next week’s episode is equally intriguing.  That show will discuss why black babies have the highest infant mortality weight regardless of the mother’s economic status.

So, while we are arguing over who has the better health care plan and looking at matters of race perhaps we need to look at it through an economic prism and figure it out.  It costs us all, whether we know it or not.

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Written by rentec

28 March, 2008 at 8:30 pm

One Response

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  1. […] to suffer from diabetes and high blood pressure but why?  A few months ago on the PBS special Unnatural Causes: Is Inequality Making Us Sickthey had a long segment on why African American women were more likely to have miscarriages and […]


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