“In a racist society, it is not enough to be non-racist.
We must be anti-racist”
Racism has been defined as a multidimensional concept involving the discrimination, superiority, and denigration of people by other persons and social organisations on the basis of skin colour and/or membership of a certain ethnic group.
Racism may pose a especially dangerous threat to well-being because it is an obviously negative reaction to an inherent personal trait, demeaning and intimidating. Racism may be conceptualised as an individual-level psychosocial stressor, most commonly operationalized in the literature as presumed vulnerability to racial bias and inequality, examined most frequently in African Americans.
Racism, says Miriam Zoila Pérez, makes people ill, especially black women and infants. The journalist investigates the connexion between race , class and disease and teaches us of a profoundly supportive maternity care policy that will shield pregnant women from the burden faced by people of colour every day.
Now, of course, stress is, especially in our modern lifestyles, a somewhat universal feeling, right? You might never have gotten up to deliver a TED Talk, but you have experienced a big job presentation, a sudden work loss, a big exam, a heated family member, or a disagreement between friends. But it turns out that we experience some kind of stress and it depends a lot on who we are whether we can stay in a stable position long enough to keep our bodies functioning properly.
A growing body of evidence also shows that ill health is more likely to arise in people who face more discrimination. Even the prospect of bias could have a detrimental impact on your well-being, such as fearing that when driving your car you will be detained by the police. Harvard Professor Dr. David Williams, the person who developed the methods that have revealed these relationships, argues that the most vulnerable people in our culture experience the most discrimination and more influence on their wellbeing.
The development outlined by Dr. Williams is easily visible as we take a glance at the evidence on disease prevalence during pregnancy and childbirth. In reality, African-American females have a very different experience than white women when it comes to whether their babies are born healthy. In Sub-Saharan Africa, in certain parts of the globe, especially the Deep South, the rates of maternal and child mortality for black women currently approach those rates.
In the same cultures, the concentration of white women is almost zero. Black women are four times more likely than white women to die during pregnancy and childbirth, including globally. Four times the likelihood of dying. They are now twice more likely to die before the first year of life for their babies than white children, and two or three times more likely to give birth too early or too thin — a symbol of ineffective growth. Native women, like many Latino groups, are often more likely to have higher rates of these issues than white women.
The argument points out that it must be remembered that it is not just the hue of one’s skin that can lead to racism and all the issues that it entails. Disparities in anatomy, religion , sexual orientation, and legal status can lead to discrimination, as can having a disability. The policy statement tells us that every day, bigotry and discrimination affect children, and the repercussions will not only be permanent, but also grow through centuries. There is genuine urgency in this.
Fixing racism and discrimination is obviously not easy and cannot be quick. But there are things we can all do immediately.
- We should take a good look at ourselves, take stock of our values and our prejudices, and seek to improve them.
- As a part of this, how we speak to each other, as people and as a community, we need to learn about and improve.
- When we hear or witness bigotry or prejudice in some way, we need to speak up. A significant way to start is to inspire ourselves and each other.
- We need to communicate about bigotry to our girls, and show them healthy ways of thinking about themselves and each other.
- To stop systemic bias, we need to work.
- To make sure that all students, no matter what, have access to a healthy and inclusive education, we need to collaborate with our schools. This is not a small undertaking, but it has to be our focus.
- We need to make sure the services are in place to not only support disadvantaged or disabled individuals, but to bring them out of poverty.
- We ought to make careful that our policies actually cover all citizens, not just certain persons.
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