Racial Inequities: From Medical Care to Pollution

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By: Julie Silverman, Summer Communications Intern
The recent killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Trayvon Martin, and far too many other Black Americans have brought racial injustices to light in all spheres of life, specifically in terms of police brutality. However, racial disparities, specifically involving Black individuals have continued to pervade society in a multitude of ways including spheres of education, pollution, health care, housing, and the impacts of climate change.
Toxic waste dump sites and factories have been known to disproportionately impact minority and low-income communities, specifically Black ones, skyrocketing the risks for certain cancers and illnesses.
Air pollution from industrial facilities and highways surrounding Black communities have also burdened them with higher incidences of asthma, risks to overall health and other respiratory illnesses.
Climate change and increasing temperatures have a disproportionate impact on those who cannot afford air conditioning in their homes and live in extremely hot places. Black individuals and families often live in these regions.
Black mothers also tend to have dramatically decreased access to medical care and oftentimes receive unequal levels of treatment when receiving care.
The compounding inequities that Black Americans continue to face are unacceptable. The combination of the disproportionate impact of air pollution, climate change, pollution and unequal health coverage greatly risks the health and wellbeing of Black Americans. Studies discussed in a recent New York Times article have shown that these impacts have posed extremely large risks specifically on Black mothers, which can lead to an increased likelihood of having premature, underweight, and stillborn babies. In other words, infants are being largely impacted by racial injustices involving the color of their skin before they are even born.
In order to truly comprehend racial injustices faced by Black Americans, we must be sure to understand how the many different spheres of life are involved. The process for racial justice is one that cannot be done immediately, but one that is being largely progressed by the work of many activists and community leaders.
Photo by: Eye for Ebony on Unsplash

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