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May 16, 2005

Race and Health

Real Change reports this week that black and native American families have 2-3x higher rates of infant mortality in King County than others.

  Barkan suggests that institutionalized racism is, in part, increasing the stress placed on women of color — stress that suppresses the body’s immune system and results in pre-term delivery and other adverse birth outcomes.

While social support from close family and friends often buffers the impact of stress on pregnant women, the report found that African American women had “significantly lower levels of social support in comparison to white mothers.”

This slightly mirrors a trend that the New York Times is reporting on as well - class and health.

It doesn't help that some minority leaders have been moved to focus on the threats gays pose to society rather than the serious issues of race and class. Chuck Taylor had this to say in Seattle Weekly's Buzz this past week:

In a joint communiqué posted on the far-righteous Toward Tradition Web site, they write: "It is hard, if not impossible, to think of a society for whom rampant homosexuality was not a symptom of impending extinction." The reason for their invocation of such nonsense is the fact that "the senior rabbi of one of Seattle's largest Reform congregations attacked us in a local newspaper for our opposition to homosexual marriage." That would be Rabbi Daniel Weiner of Temple De Hirsch Sinai, in an op-ed in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer May 3, and "attacked" doesn't really do justice to his refined fusillade: "There is poignant irony in that this kind of hate speech emanates from a rabbi and an African American minister, leaders of historically powerless, minority communities who were oppressed, enslaved and attacked based upon a dehumanizing rationale similar to the one they wield against the gay community," wrote Weiner.  

Irony seems to kind a word. It's a pathetic tragedy that we should all be horrified by. 

Posted by Jeff on May 16, 2005 at 09:41 AM in Washington Culture | Permalink


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