The changing dynamics of racism in the United States are affecting the Black community in new fashions. While racial trauma remains a severe issue for people of color, the physical health issues caused by racism in the US is also endangering the health regimes of the Black communities.
Whether it is the erstwhile technique of lynching Blacks to portray racial superiority, the prevailing food insecurity in the Black houses, or even environmental racism, the Black communities in the United States are still unable to find a single avenue where racism is not causing existential threats to them.
The pinnacle of the physical impact of racism has already been seen in recent years as the police officers maltreated the Black Lives Matter (BLM) protests but failed to pose even a bit of resistance against white mobs attacking Congress.
Environmental Racism: The Choking Point of Racism in the United States
The disproportionate effect of coronavirus in the Black community is indebted to the inherited racism in the social structure of the United States.
As Black people are more likely to be part of so-called “essential services,” most of the time, they were the frontline workers in various sectors, on top of which was the healthcare sector.
And the low median income in the Black communities means that they had no other choice but to keep up with their jobs in times of pandemic.
Adding fuel to the fire, Black communities are less likely to avail of expensive health care due to the enormous cost of the process.
The developing environmental racism against Black people goes hand in hand. This can be attributed to the fact that Black neighborhoods are more prone to waste dumping and industrial emissions than white living areas.
The property value in the non-white communities is often less, so many landlords acquire those properties for dumping wastes.
This unequal distribution of waste is contributing to the deteriorating physical health of Black Americans, especially children.
No doubt, these environmental pollutants are also playing their part in worsening the mental health sufferings of African Americans.
However, the evident threat is the changing epigenetics due to this environmental racism, which is a fair sign of worry.
Living in a poor environment where you are prone to inhale dangerous chemicals and contacting industrial waste, the epigenetics change negatively, periodically resulting in a worsening of physical health.
The Dilemma of Night Shift: How it is Impacting Black’s Physical Health
It is already an established fact that the pervasive job discrimination in the United States is marginalizing the Black communities.
Black communities are likely to have a night shift even in the corporate culture compared to white counterparts, hence disturbing their sleeping patterns.
More Black individuals than white reported lack of sleep during night times, a pattern which suggests persisting insomnia in the community. And as these sleeping disorders are the beginning of many diseases, including cardiovascular diseases, the physical health of Black Americans is in danger.
Food Insecurity Racism: A Journey from Disparity to Discrimination
The increasing food insecurity is undoubtedly one of the biggest reasons to worry for the United States. Unfortunately, while this insecurity looms over the country, some people are more vulnerable to it.
This is the journey from disparity to discrimination. African American households report food insecurity twice as much as white households.
There are many underlying reasons for it, including the lower wages for Black Americans and the persisting unemployment.
But the problem is more significant than just higher unemployment numbers. The curse goes beyond discriminatory practices within the employment sector.
Poor health care facilities accessible for Black Americans, the pervasive discrimination in the education sector for them, or the mass incarcerations that they face, all contribute to the overall food insecurity of the community.
As a matter of fact, food insecurity is directly proportional to physical health. Hence, racism impacts the physical health regimes as well, not to mention that epigenetics can also be disturbed by food insecurity.
The omnipresent racism against Black Americans in various sectors demands immediate justice. Although the system can never be revamped overnight, the government needs to start taking baby steps.
The environmental racism issue needs to be tackled immediately by regulating the flow of industrial and social wastes even better.
Black surroundings should be protected from this racism as much as the white surroundings.
Similarly, food insecurity should also be tackled by efficient measures. The pinnacle of physical brutality against the Black community is the unjust murders of African Americans, which has recently been seen in the murder of George Floyd. However, without doing the police reforms, any of these systematic changes would remain a pipe dream.