Day 19 of White History Month: Medical Racism
The United States (along with other countries in the Western world) has a history of medical racism. The general population is unaware of the history of medical racism, and white health professionals are as well. John M. Hoberman of UT-Austin says that medical schools do not teach students about the history of medical racism, nor do they give them proper diversity training. Many Americans of color have grown to distrust medical professionals, and many white Americans attribute this to paranoia rather than their knowledge of historical and contemporary medical mistreatment.
Medical racism has often benefitted white Americans disproportionately while simultaneously harming Americans of color, as well as people of color outside of the United States. White Americans benefit from medical advances, while individual people of color were harmed, and in some cases, large groups of people of color have been harmed. From trying to “better” the race, to making scientific advances, white people have used and disregarded the rights people of color for their own benefit. Medical racism shows the lack of value ascribed to the bodies and lives of people of color.
The eugenics movement in the United States became very popular and manifested itself in many different ways. Anti-miscegenation laws, birth control, sterilization, forced abortions, forced pregnancies (of white women), and the promotion of higher birth rates for neurotypical white women. Eugenics policies were first instituted in the United States. Laws that advocated the sterilization of those with mental illnesses were in effect in the early 1900s, and soon spread to other countries.
Eugenics movements advocated for the eradication of those with mental illness, those who were homosexual, “promiscuous”, and most of all, those who were outside of the “Nordic” or “Aryan” race. Eugenics was advocated for by many famous white Westerners, including world leaders such as Winston Churchill, Theodore Roosevelt, and Calvin Coolidge.
While eugenics was highly unpopular after the Holocaust, the eugenics tradition of the United States actually provided the background for Nazi Medicine. While most people are aware to some extent what the horrors of Nazi medicine entailed, few people are aware of the American eugenics tradition that inspired it. Eugenics societies promoted “fit families” and “better babies” through awards at contests, but they also promoted harmful legislation barring immigrants and sterilizing “undesirable” people.
Controlling Reproductive Rights of Women of Color
Due to the eugenics movement, thousands of Black women were sterilized. In North Carolina, 7600 people were sterilized between 1929 and 1974, 85% of them women and girls, and a disproportionate number of them people of color (39% in the 1940s, 60% in the 1960s while making up only 25% of the population). The program that allowed for their sterilization was not eliminated fully until 2003. Black women were also sterilized without their consent in other states.
Puerto Rican Women
The United States has held Puerto Rico as a territory since 1898. As a solution to Puerto Rican economic problems, the US government felt that reducing the population of the Puerto Rican government would help. The US sterilized over one-third of Puerto Rican women, many uneducated and working class, between the 1930s and 1970s. Most of these women did not understand the procedure and did not know that it would render them sterile.
Additionally, the US used Puerto Rican women to test out birth control pills in the 1950s. These women were not informed that the pills were experimental - only that they would prevent pregnancy. They were not informed of the possible side effects ranging from nausea to possible death - three women died during the birth control pill trials. Women who reported side effects had their concerns dismissed by researchers.
Native American Women
Native American women who used the Indian Health Services were subject to numerous violations of their rights, particularly their reproductive rights. Some women who underwent procedures such as appendectomies would also have hysterectomies performed on them without their consent. At least 25 percent (and as high as 50 percent) of Native American women of reproductive age who used Indian Health Services were sterilized without their consent or after coercion. Largely white male doctors would use Native American women as “practice” for performing gynecological procedures on white women.
Tuskegee Experiment and Guatemala STD Experiment
In 1932, the Tuskegee Institute worked with the United States government to perform a study on a group of Black men with syphillis. The men were recruited to the study with promises of free meals, transportation to the clinic, medical exams and even treatment for minor medical concerns. The study lasted 40 years and involved the participation of over 600 Black men. This sounded like a good arrangement in theory, but researchers did not hold up their end of the bargain. By 1947, penicillin was widely used as treatment for syphillis. The researchers neglected to inform the men involved in the study in addition to refusing to treat the men.
As a result of the Tuskegee Experiment, nearly a hundred men died, and hundreds of partners and children were infected with the disease as well. Not only was this a breach of research ethics, as the participants did not give informed consent and were not treated for their ailment. The men and their families won a $9 million class action lawsuit in 1973, but this of course was not enough to make up for the damage that was done.
Similarly, the same researcher who uncovered the Tuskegee Syphillis experiment, Susan Reverby, discovered that a similar situation occured in Guatemala. The US Public Health Service and Pan American Sanitary Bureau worked with the Guatemalan government to do research on 1300 Guatemalans that involved intentionally exposing them to STDs.
The experiment involved many who are considered disposable in society - sex workers, mental patients, prisoners, and soldiers. Only 700 of these people were treated, and during the study 83 people died. Some of the most disturbing incidents during the study involved injecting epilepsy patients in the back of the head with syphillis, as well as the infection of a terminal illness patient with gonnorhea (she died six months later). The Guatemalans in the study also did not give informed consent.
Henrietta Lacks (1920 - 1951) was a Black woman who went to Johns Hopkins Hospital to be examined for serious medical concerns. After a biopsy was performed, she was diagnosed with and subsequently treated for cancer. While she was being treated, healthy and cancerous cells were removed from her cervix without her consent. She died in 1951, but the cells stolen from her body continued to be used. Though she died poor and was buried without a gravestone, her cells were used for many medical tests. From routine tests for human sensitivity to substances to the development of the Polio vaccine, her cells were used for medical advances. Her family only learned about the removal of her cells in the 1970s, and she is largely unknown despite the contributions to science she had made.
Current medical racism
Distrust of medical health professionals, along with racist attitudes probably contribute to medical health disparities. Racially linked anxiety disorders have been linked to racism at the hands of white people. A significant number of Black women report racism and sexism contributing to their stress and to stress-linked overeating.
Stressful life circumstances are reasons for hypertension and many mental health ailments. Working and middle class Black women who report multiple forms of discrimination are more likely to have high blood pressure than those who report fewer incidents. Black Americans who are more confrontational about racism are less likely to have elevated blood pressure than those who stay silent, which can be attributed to the effects of suppressed hostility.
Today, doctors still exhibit subconscious racist attitudes. A study in the American Journal of Public Health (March 2012) showed that a full two-thirds of the doctors in the sample were racially biased. White and Asian health professionals showed anti-Black bias, but Black health professionals showed no bias.
Doctors are more likely to speak more slowly to Black patients, extend their visits, and to lecture and talk down to them. This shows that the doctors are paternalistic and don’t care about respecting their patients or asking for their input
Additionally, white doctors are prone to giving worse care to patients of color, regardless of their income. People of color are less likely to get the diagnoses and treatment that they need, for everything ranging from heart disease medication, HIV treatment, and dialysis. Black women are the least likely to receive the pain medication that they need. Mental health professionals are less likely to diagnose people of color with an appropriate diagnosis because of their race.
plus all of the forced sterilizations USAID has committed in multiple countries across the world, such as peru, india, bangladesh, indonesia, and mexico.
On the morning of September 4, 1957, fifteen-year-old Dorothy Counts set out on a harrowing path toward Harding High, where-as the first African American to attend the all-white school – she was greeted by a jeering swarm of boys who spat, threw trash, and yelled epithets at her as she entered the building.
Charlotte Observer photographer Don Sturkey captured the ugly incident on film, and in the days that followed, the searing image appeared not just in the local paper but in newspapers around the world.
People everywhere were transfixed by the girl in the photograph who stood tall, her five-foot-ten-inch frame towering nobly above the mob that trailed her. There, in black and white, was evidence of the brutality of racism, a sinister force that had led children to torment another child while adults stood by. While the images display a lot of evils: prejudice, ignorance, racism, sexism, inequality, it also captures true strength, determination, courage and inspiration.
Here she is, age 70, still absolutely elegant and poised.
she deserves to be re-blogged.
To Play the Part, Actors Must Talk the Talk — In Chinese
Hollywood roles for actors of Asian descent are still mostly limited to immigrant or foreign characters.
For better or worse, Steven Eng, an actor who teaches voice and speech classes at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, says the ability to speak in foreign languages or accented English is “an essential part of the actor toolkit” particularly for Asian-American actors.
"We are constantly going in for roles that are characters from foreign countries, so it’s necessary for us to not sound ‘American,’ regardless of the fact that we were born and raised in the U.S." explains Eng, who says he emphasizes to his students the importance of specificity when developing an accent.
I was so upset about this.
Feb. 13 2014
Throughout the late 19th century, and well into the 1950′s, Africans and in some cases Native Americans, were kept as exhibits in zoos. Far from a relic from an unenlightened past, remnants of such exhibits have continued in Europe as late as the 2000′s.
Throughout the early 20th century, Germany held what was termed a, “Peoples Show,” or Völkerschau. Africans were brought in as carnival or zoo exhibits for passers-by to gawk at.
Only decades before, in the late 1800′s, Europe had been filled with, “human zoos,” in cities like Paris, Hamburg, Antwerp, Barcelona, London, Milan, and Warsaw. New York too saw these popular exhibits continue into the 20th century. There was an average of 200,000 to 300,000 visitors who attended each exhibition in each city.
Carl Hagenbeck of Germany ran exhibits of what he called, “purely natural,” populations, usually East Asian Islanders, but in 1876, he also sent a collaborator to the Sudan to bring back, “wild beasts and Nubians.” The traveling Nubian exhibit was a huge success in cities like Paris, London, and Berlin.
The World’s Fair, in 1889 was visited by 28 million people, who lined up to see 400 indigenous people as the major attraction. The 1900 World’s Fair followed suit, as did the Colonial Exhibitions in Marseilles (1906 and 1922) and in Paris (1907 and 1931) which displayed naked or semi-naked humans in cages. Paris saw 34 million people attend their exhibition in six months alone.
Just four years shy of the 20th century, the Cincinnati Zoo kept one hundred Sioux Native Americans in a mock village at the zoo for three months.
A disturbing story emerged out of the Bronx on Thursday. Two Muslim sisters, Lamis Chapman and Khalia Wilson, aged 12 and 14 respectively, told the New York Daily News that they were thrown to the ground, put in chokeholds, and had their hijabs violently torn off by members of the NYPD, for a reason that remains unclear.
Chapman and Wilson said they were playing handball around 9:30 pm in the park near their home in the Lester Patterson Houses in Mott Haven, the Bronx, when police approached them and asked them to leave, as the park was closed.
The girls recounted that the cops followed them out of the park, and one grabbed Wilson from behind, putting her in a chokehold and wrestling her to the ground. “They said they asked for ID. I didn’t hear them,” reported Wilson. When her sister protested, she was also thrown to the ground, and both sisters’ headscarves were ripped off.
"I kept saying, ‘I’m 14! What are you doing? We’re not bad kids,’" explained Wilson.
When their 15-year-old brother, Shytike Wilson, saw the police assaulting his younger sisters from a window, he ran to their aid. “I asked them why my sisters were in handcuffs,” he said, when the police, “charged me, picked me up, and slammed me on the floor.”
An 18-year-old college student, Jonathan Harris, became involved when he heard the girls screaming and ran to the park to help. He told the cops to leave the teens alone and took out his cell phone to record the incident, but was also subjected to police abuse.
not-racist-deactivated20140306 asked: Bitch you gon call me ugly when you're fuckin BLACK? Lmaoooooo shit son you ugly by default the baby Jesus gave you some bad cards in your hand in the game of life like shit I can be pretty if I don't make faces but you'll always be a dirty jiggaboo. Go find some bleach and lemme know when you fix that nasty complexion of yours. Y'all look like a pile of dog shit.
lets not play this “game of life”.
I win you lose
the very essence black excellence. the very essence of white mediocrity.
shit i felt this one in my stomach that hurt
lord jesus bitch just got they raggedy ass unwashed hair ripped clean off they head
i dont think white people even fathom how fucking trashed they looked 99% of the time :|
Really tired of futuristic worlds hobbled together with an unceremonious mishmash of random (usually East) Asian cultures. Most of these fictions are poorly written and researched with little concern given to natural progressions of culture or politics. Which makes no sense at all because Asian cultures have overlapped and borrowed from one another for thousands of years. Most of these countries have meticulously detailed histories and mythologies that survived wars and political shifts before the United States and many other modern Western powers even existed. Most of these countries have colonized or been colonized by another and there are tensions that exist today from events long past. It’s not like you don’t have enough material to draw from. Pick up a book sometime maybe? “It’s in the future” isn’t really a good enough justification for screwing up basic things like the origin and meaning of clothing or culturally accepted ways of speaking to elders or differences between languages and cuisines or hostilities between ethnic or national groups. Just because there are superficial changes to Asia due to “modernization (aka Westernization)” doesn’t mean you can treat Asia in fiction as if it were the West!
My parents came to the United States with a suitcase filled with things from their previous lives. They worked two jobs, seven days a week, while studying as full-time students to complete their education. My dad tells me stories about how he waited tables late into the night, while my mom sold shoes at flea markets on her days off to earn spare cash to buy a car. They built the privilege affirmative action says we have from nothing but hard work.
I was given the gift of being able to be born into a family that defined the American Dream. My parents taught me English and Chinese simultaneously, spent hours reading me stories of Snow White and Cinderella, and the Monkey adventures in Journey to the West. It wasn’t until much later that I realized that they had learned English from memorizing vocabulary cards and reading old textbooks on grammar.
And though my parents taught me English, they ask me to deal with scheduling doctor appointments for them; they ask me to proofread emails for them, out of embarrassment that they feel their English isn’t sufficient to be taken seriously, it sickens me when I realize that while their mastery of the English language is more than proficient, it doesn’t matter, because the rest of the world doesn’t care.
But you wish you were Asian.
I grew up, hearing the words of boys whose only “standard” for the girls they were interested in was “Asian,” realizing that the disgustingly scary fetish of Asian women is actually a reality. I grew up, watching the world’s understanding of my cultural heritage be reduced to ching chong’s and ling long’s, kimonos, and fortune cookies. I grew up, being asked if my parents belonged to the communist party, when I held in me the stories they told me of labor camps they were sent to at the age of 13, of how one day, they couldn’t go to school anymore, of how my grandparents tried desperately later on, long after Mao’s regime ended, to force their children, now adults, to eat copious amounts of food, as if to make up for times when there was nothing to eat.
But you want to be Asian.
I live in a country that has yet to realize that yellow face is not appropriate on mainstream television, a world that somehow doesn’t realize that statements like, “Kill the Chinese!!” are not acceptable to be aired on talk shows. I live in the 21st century, where the only understanding I can get about the story behind my heritage comes from my own parents, where the only times I can see people who look like me on screen is on Youtube.
I grew up as an Asian American, an individual in a group of people that never really belonged anywhere. Because in the United States, we’re nothing more than descendants of the people who invented orange chicken, and in China, we’re foreigners who fail to adopt the careful nuance of the dialect spoken there. We grew up, holding our ethnicity as something of great pride, and at the same time, of great burden.
Our representation in the United States government practically is nonexistent. There is no proof that we as a group of human beings existed beyond the pages of Amy Tan novels. The caricatures on television taught us that we were nerds, deficient at English and social skills, bound by our supposed tiger parents to live out their dreams.
And because we apparently don’t exist to the rest of the United States, the inherent racism my “fascinating” ethnicity faces also ceases to exist.
But still. You enjoy your green tea and kungfu movies and paper lanterns. You love your Chinese 1 class and your Japanese Civilizations course and Wang Leehom. And my goodness, what you would give, if only you could be Asian.
I have so much internalized racism due to being adopted from Sri Lanka by a loving (but ultimately quite ignorant) white family as a baby. There were so many mixed messages such as being told to be proud of our ‘exoticness’ and that ‘we’re all the same so just ignore people when they stare or say ignorant things.’ This is when they changed the names my birth mother gave me because then I’d ‘fit in better,’ and told us we shouldn’t make a fuss about being called slurs and all the micro aggressions done towards us because we don’t want people to think we ‘have chips on our shoulders and are like those coloured people.’ (Yes. Coloured people.)
My sister and I compared ourselves to our white friends and each other. It’s a source of sadness to me how she’ll bring up her lighter skin and eyes compared to me in front of white people, to try and make herself fit in more. She died her hair blonde as a teen, and then cried.She wears light brown contacts to work so she look ‘unique.’ I’m disgusted by how I used to be pleased when people would say that I spoke nicely and that I ‘seemed white.’ It makes me sick now how much self loathing I carried around and how much I wished I wasn’t different, because different is bad.
Any effort to call people out on their prejudice was treated as being politically correct or over sensitive, because asking to not be made to feel inferior is wrong, we should just be lucky to be included at all.
This website has done a lot for me, introduced me to the concept of internalized misogny and shadeism. Put words to the awkward feelings I would have when white friends wore bindis and henna and said that I don’t have any right to it either as I ‘was raised white.’ I’m starting to accept myself and my body and skin and want to find out more about my culture. I am starting to accept that it’s mine and I’m allowed to want to find myself in other people and other places. I may even go there someday. I hope so.
Karen Lewis, President of the Chicago Teachers Union
A MUST read by Chicago Teachers Union president Karen Lewis. Standardized testing isn’t about improving education, it’s a way for the system to sort out which kids are meant to succeed and which are destined failure.
I almost started yelling about this in the middle of my math class yesterday when my teacher was talking shit on standardized testing. Fuck a standardized test. (via invisibility-spell)
Arizona’s law banning Mexican-American studies is constitutional, judge rules
February 25, 2014
A court upheld most provisions of an Arizona state law used to prohibit a controversial Mexican-American Studies curriculum in Tucson on Friday.
The ruling dealt a blow to supporters of the suspended classes, who had hoped the courts would overturn a 2010 law championed by Arizona conservatives determined to shut down the unconventional courses.
“I was really surprised at the decision,” Jose Gonzalez, a former teacher of Tucson’s suspended Mexican-American Studies classes, told The Huffington Post. “But as a student and teacher of history, I know in civil rights cases like this there’s always setbacks.”
The experimental Tucson curriculum was offered to students in different forms in some of the local elementary, middle and high schools. It emphasized critical thinking and focused on Mexican-American literature and perspectives. Supporters lauded the program, pointing to increased graduation rates, high student achievement and a state-commissioned independent audit that recommended expanding the classes.
But conservative opponents accused the teachers of encouraging students to adopt left-wing ideas and resent white people, a charge the teachers deny. Aiming squarely at Tucson’s Mexican-American Studies program, the Arizona legislature passed HB 2281 — a law banning courses that promote the overthrow of the U.S. government, foster racial resentment, are designed for students of a particular ethnic group or that advocate ethnic solidarity.
Federal Judge Wallace Tashima said the plaintiffs failed to show the law was too vague, broad or discriminatory, or that it violated students’ first amendment rights.
The news wasn’t all bad for supporters of the suspended classes. Tashima ruled that the section of the law prohibiting courses tailored to serve students of a particular ethnicity was unconstitutional.
Originally filed in October of 2010 on behalf of the program’s former teachers, who lost standing because they are public employees, the case is currently brought by former Mexican-American Studies student Nicholas Dominguez and his mother Margarita Dominguez. They will likely appeal the ruling to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals within the next 30 days, their lawyer Richard Martinez told The Huffington Post.
“This case is not over,” Martinez said. “It’s not only important to Arizona, but to the country as a whole that this statute be addressed.”
Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne began a campaign to eliminate the Mexican-American Studies program from Tucson Unified School District in 2006, when he was serving as the state’s Superintendent of Public Education.
Angered that Mexican-American civil rights leader Dolores Huerta had said that “Republicans hate Latinos” in a speech to Tucson students, Horne sent Deputy Superintendent Margaret Dugan, a Latina Republican, to give an alternate view. But the intellectual exercise turned confrontational when students, who said they were not allowed to ask Dugan questions, sealed their mouths with tape and walked out of the assembly room.
“As superintendent of schools, I have visited over 1,000 schools and I’ve never seen students be disrespectful to a teacher in that way,” Horne said in an interview last year.
The final product of his efforts was House Bill 2281, which then-State Sen. John Huppenthal (R) helped pilot through the Arizona legislature. Huppenthal, who succeeded Horne as state superintendent of schools, then found Tucson out of compliance with the new law and ordered the district to shut Mexican-American Studies down or lose 10 percent of its annual funding — some $14 million over the fiscal year. In January of 2012, the school board complied, voting 4 to 1 to discontinue the classes.
The decision drew national attention as administrators plucked Latino literature that once belonged to the curriculum from classrooms, explicitly banning seven titles from instruction.
This is what I’m often referring to when I talk about backlash and suppression of education in the United States. There is literally legislation that bans teaching the history of colonization and civil rights movements in various states—states like Arizona, in which 43% of the population are “minorities”…30% of Arizona is Hispanic/Latin@.
That’s not actually a coincidence. :|
This is systematic, institutional disenfranchisement in action.
everyone reblogs stuff about racism and how it is bad but when it comes to the need to stop appropriating asian (probably most of the time japanese) culture, no one wants to do it and makes up like every excuse to keep naming themselves japanese names or identifying as an anime character or doing other shit that isn’t okay
like not being a casual racist really doesn’t end where it’s convenient for you