Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Wednesday, July 22, 2020

The state of Ohio, the city of Cleveland, San Bernardino County in California, and other jurisdictions in the country are all at some stage of formally declaring racism a public health issue in their regions. The motion may not pass everywhere, but it is a sign of a change in how we view racism that may lead to positive change.


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By definition, a public health issue is something that hurts and kills people "or impedes their ability to live a healthy, prosperous life," he says. Racism certainly falls in that category. A 2018 American Public Health Association statement highlighted the fact that a disproportionate number of people of color, particularly Black people, are subjected to police violence each year. Beyond the personal impact each of those encounters have, the abuse takes a toll on community mental well-being, which is directly linked to overall health.


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My buddy just brought up this aspect of the current conversation surrounding race. I had just read this article yesterday and sent it to him. It's more than a month old, but is still an interesting perspective.

#1 | Posted by rstybeach11 at 2020-07-22 06:20 PM | Reply

"Racism is a system of structuring opportunity and assigning value based on the social interpretation of how one looks (which is what we call "race"), that unfairly disadvantages some individuals and communities, unfairly advantages other individuals and communities, and saps the strength of the whole society through the waste of human resources."
-- APHA Past-President Camara Phyllis Jones, MD, MPH, PhD

Racism structures opportunity and assigns value based on how a person looks. The result: conditions that unfairly advantage some and unfairly disadvantage others. Racism hurts the health of our nation by preventing some people the opportunity to attain their highest level of health.

Racism may be intentional or unintentional. It operates at various levels in society. Racism is a driving force of the social determinants of health (like housing, education and employment) and is a barrier to health equity.

#2 | Posted by rstybeach11 at 2020-07-22 06:20 PM | Reply

Crossing fingers and toes BOAZ drops by to offer his perspective.

#3 | Posted by rstybeach11 at 2020-07-22 06:21 PM | Reply

I mean...

Why wouldn't racism be a public health issue, an education issue, an economic issue, a criminal justice issue, and so on...

#4 | Posted by snoofy at 2020-07-22 06:41 PM | Reply


I suppose that should have been my response to by buddy's inquiry.

#5 | Posted by rstybeach11 at 2020-07-22 07:50 PM | Reply

I have a (white) friend who didn't know that there are "Historically Black Colleges" until... yesterday.

You just wonder how this happens to people.

#6 | Posted by snoofy at 2020-07-22 07:58 PM | Reply

You just wonder how this happens to people.

It's almost as though they simply slip through the cracks.

Or, their overt subconscious bias is so overwhelming, they are blinded (almost in a literal sense) from these matters.

#7 | Posted by rstybeach11 at 2020-07-22 08:10 PM | Reply

This is a Ivy league college educated dude with four years in the Air Force.

He didn't slip through no cracks. Has to be something else...

#8 | Posted by snoofy at 2020-07-22 08:28 PM | Reply


This is one of the race areas of life that I always got the most questions about.

White would ask me "Why do blacks have a Miss Black America? - Why is there a BLACK Expo when we don't have a White Expo? - and on and on if there was something run by blacks for blacks that looked like we were trying to keep whites out.

Of course, you know the reason why: segregation. Blacks weren't allowed equal or oftentimes ANY access to traditional cultural events in America, so usually philanthropic blacks would start a mirror event or organization towards the same purposes trying to mirror the white ones.

I'm glad the word 'privilege' has become a part of the race conversation lexicon. That single word encompasses so much in explaining the differences between the black American experience and the white one. It asked, I truly believe less than 50% of whites could identify 2 HBCUs and an equal or lesser amount could explain why they came into existence in the first place. It goes against the popular history of America - outside of a handful of acknowledged black intellectuals and scientist-inventors - that even under the weight of Jim Crow, a significant number of black Americans put both emphasis and resources into higher education, nee individual advancement, just like all other progressive American cultures.

#9 | Posted by tonyroma at 2020-07-22 08:42 PM | Reply


Not to virtue signal but I could identify quite a few more than 2 HBCU's I also know why they exist as well as so many other black only things.

I actually learned about 25 years ago when someone asked the "Why is there a black history month and not a white history month" question. I mean my first response was because the rest of history is white history but that answer didn't really satisfy me. So I read up. Probably one of the biggest take away's was the reason for wealth differences IMHO was the barriers to home ownership that were thrown up against the black community and how that still affects things today. For the majority of Americans the main way to build generational wealth is home ownership and blocking ownership with the addition of white flight has been a severe set back.

I hadn't really thought in terms of public health issue but I can certainly see it as one.

This is one aspect where my libertarianism runs into a wall. On one hand having different standards based on race is about as racist as it gets but on the other hand if one guy is blindfolded with one hand tied behind their back then should they really be judged to the same standard as someone with no blindfold and both hands.

#10 | Posted by TaoWarrior at 2020-07-22 09:07 PM | Reply

This is one aspect where my libertarianism runs into a wall. On one hand having different standards based on race is about as racist as it gets but on the other hand if one guy is blindfolded with one hand tied behind their back then should they really be judged to the same standard as someone with no blindfold and both hands.

You have just defined the rationale behind what used to be called affirmative action. Whites always got upset when they thought that a black person may jump ahead of them in an important line with a lessor defined score or achievement than they have. But the point is the one that you make. No matter how few impediments that any one particular black person might have to overcome, the every single day realities of systemic racism is an omnipresent yoke that they have to carry that the white person doesn't, thus by definition almost all blacks are competing with a handicap when compared to a white person regardless of their personal station.

I've tried to explain to Boaz for years that blacks almost everywhere - and certainly in major urban areas - have been subject to "legal" policies that has robbed black Americans of untold billions of wealth that should have been realized through personal home ownership. It's not that any one individual white person subjugated millions, it was that those in power made sure that they could keep blacks from realizing advancement and created wealth through the ownership of an appreciating asset in quality neighborhoods. Banks were in on it, politicians were in on it, clergy were in on it, and everyone knew what they were doing.

Ta-Nehisi Coates wrote a fantastic treatise on the subject and it's been posted here years ago as a thread.

#11 | Posted by tonyroma at 2020-07-22 09:21 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

#10 and #11

Completely agree. Traditional wealth for middle to upper class was found through home ownership, equity, and its growth overtime. When an entire group of people are systematically obstructed from that method of wealth generation, one can understand why the cycle of poverty impacts some groups more than others. And the fact of the matter is, one group (whites) has taken advantage of the resulting and persisting privilege by implementing said obstacles.

#12 | Posted by rstybeach11 at 2020-07-23 12:00 AM | Reply

"Traditional wealth for middle to upper class was found through home ownership, equity, and its growth overtime."

Add to that inheriting on a stepped-up basis, which exacerbates the chasm.

One more tidbit: over the years, I've noticed my African-American clients have been the most reticent to contribute to IRAs. I finally realized it was a combination of (a well-earned) distrust for banks, and the increased odds of not living to see retirement.

#13 | Posted by Danforth at 2020-07-23 12:40 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1


Thank you for the article I've started it and will read more after work. I also appreciate the time taken to educate me. I fully admit that I don't know nearly enough about the subject of race relations. I'm a privileged white dude, I'm tall, athletic, and if people judge based on appearance I'm always in the winning group. It's not something I was ever really aware of until I got married to a short Hispanic woman and even then I would frequently dismiss it. One thing is when I was poor the poor overrode the appearance, now that I'm back to middle class having seen the downside it becomes more glaring.

I'll post more in a few hours.

#14 | Posted by TaoWarrior at 2020-07-23 06:28 AM | Reply

Good article.

"Looking at racism in this way offers legislators, health officials, and others a clear way to analyze data and discuss how to dismantle or change problematic institutions."

What would be an example of a "problematic institution"?

#15 | Posted by eberly at 2020-07-23 09:12 AM | Reply

What would be an example of a "problematic institution"?

That could mean changes as straightforward as removing outmoded and no-longer used racist legislation from the books, or as complex as looking at how police violence impacts specific local communities of color.

But it's not just about actions from the top, he says. "At the end of the day, you have to continue to win over people. Not just their heads, but you have to really win over their hearts and minds. And then we can have a real, serious public discussion around racism. We have to not be afraid of the word."

I believe you're thinking in terms of the definition of institutions as it regards 'organizations' et_al., when I think he was referring more to this:
institution 2. an established law, practice, or custom.
Then it meshes perfectly with the above excerpt - which came directly after the section you quoted.

#16 | Posted by tonyroma at 2020-07-23 12:44 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

-I believe you're thinking in terms of the definition of institutions as it regards 'organizations' et_al.

I was. Thanks.

This is the most profound part of it....

"And then we can have a real, serious public discussion around racism. We have to not be afraid of the word."

I would love to see that happen. Some real progress can occur at that point.

#17 | Posted by eberly at 2020-07-23 12:53 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

I would love to see that happen. Some real progress can occur at that point.

It's what million of Americans have been doing since George Floyd died. As a matter of fact, I can't begin to count how many articles, memes, or posts that I've read about black people being inundated by the guilty consciences of white people who suddenly discovered what black people have been going through just to survive in America the last 400 years and want to let blacks know how sorry they are.

It's obviously well meaning but I saw one young black woman lament in a post "Please don't make me swim through your white tears as I try to navigate my own stormy seas."

The biggest thing that well meaning whites can do? Start a conversation with a black person about their own experiences, then just shut up and quietly listen - only saying something if you need to ask questions to better help you understand what they're telling you.

The biggest reason white people in general have never understood the black experience is because you've shut out those who've tried to honestly tell you about it because our stories are going to make you uncomfortable and they're going to make people with feelings feel some guilt. And that's because "established laws, practices, or customs" you routinely utilize all the time were intentionally constructed to favor some (you) and obstruct others (us) in ways you never noticed.

#18 | Posted by tonyroma at 2020-07-23 01:46 PM | Reply


#19 | Posted by HeliumRat at 2020-07-23 02:28 PM | Reply


For what reason(s)?

#20 | Posted by rstybeach11 at 2020-07-23 10:06 PM | Reply


WOuld love to hear your thoughts on the following video:


#21 | Posted by rstybeach11 at 2020-07-23 10:54 PM | Reply

I just watched the first two minutes and stopped to write this. Last night I wrote, erased. Rewrote, erased. Because it takes so many words to convey a complex subject, I'll address my feelings with "racism" later. But whoever was defining it based on what he perceived it to be (paraphrasing) "It's I think I'm superior to you because of my race, right?"

Errrr, no. To me that isn't racism. It's a racist notion, but not racism. Sometimes even blacks don't understand what racism is when they use the word. But I allow that each of us have various notions of what 'racism' is. But racism to me means the systemic injustice baked into our societal institutions that actively or passively gives advantages to one group/individual thereof which are denied or unavailable to another as it relates to the quality and breadth of one's own life.

The guy talking was defining supremacy and prejudice, not racism. Racism involves an action, reaction or inaction based on the previous metrics. Feelings or thoughts are not racism, though they can be prejudiced and can/might be racist.

The guy talking isn't considering how a black person mentally reacts to walking past a parked car and hearing doors lock as a person is sitting there in a car, or an approaching woman violently grabs her purse and moves it to the far side of her body when she sees you coming towards her in the middle of a busy high end department store. And admittingly, those are little things, but I completely understand why the term microaggressions was created. When it's you these things add up. It's as if the society that doesn't even know you as a person with a name, and a life, and a story - turns you into nothing more than the sum of everyone else's fears and life experiences. It's a draining existence for the fragile human ego.

More later.

#22 | Posted by tonyroma at 2020-07-23 11:24 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

I can't get to the 5 minute mark and I'm frustrated with Shapiro. He is a sterling example of our conversation above. He's obviously an articulate and intelligent person but he doesn't know how to listen to someone's story from their point of view and experience without reflexively having to counter it.

Quickly, some of what he says is true as he responds to certain hyperbolic claims that are made more to shock than to stimulate intellectual debate, but he's painfully wrong in failing to take off his glasses and put on someone else's.

The 1619 Project - in my opinion - rightly claims that what America was and now is was inextricably influenced by the introduction of slaves into the colonies. The future development of the US economy was influenced by how slaves changed the crop choices and agricultural dynamics which in turn underpinned a huge portion of America's GDP. And when all the high-minded debate and founding documents were created in 1776 written, slavery was a huge portion of them with the 3/5th compromise that enabled the states to unite in the first place.

And on the other side of the argument is the reality that for all those words, they only applied to white men, not women and certainly not the indigenous population nor the imported slaves. That is why critics claim this nation has always been living a lie from day one. But it's in that sense. It doesn't mean that many, many other factors weren't involved nor that they weren't important, it's just that slavery is woven through the very threads of this nation from 1619 through to today.

It's not so much that Shapiro is 100% wrong because he's far from that. But in his smugness, he's missing the forest for the trees.

#23 | Posted by tonyroma at 2020-07-24 12:15 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

But racism to me means the systemic injustice baked into our societal institutions that actively or passively give unearned advantages to the empowered group which are denied or unavailable to other subservient groups - as they relate to the quality and breadth of one's own life.

This allows talking about racism without the need to undermine meritocracy at the same time, one of Shapiro's gripes.

#24 | Posted by tonyroma at 2020-07-24 12:37 AM | Reply

TonyRoma, sometimes I wonder if professional make-up to let the whitefolks live as a black person for a while, like in the book Black Like Me, would help change people's opinions.

Put the whole thing on video. It would serve the dual purpose of catching cops and other interlopers in their acts of racial animus.

#25 | Posted by snoofy at 2020-07-24 02:58 AM | Reply

What would be an example of a "problematic institution"?

How about any institution which treats blacks less favorably than whites, based on measured outcomes?
Does that sound like a reasonable way to identify the problem?
Here is such an example, from the HR department:

Job applicants with white names needed to send about 10 resumes to get one callback; those with African-American names needed to send around 15 resumes to get one callback.

Minorities Who 'Whiten' Job Resumes Get More Interviews

#26 | Posted by snoofy at 2020-07-24 03:02 AM | Reply


In Eberly's defense, he admitted that he was just confused by thinking of the wrong connotation of "institutions" positing that the speaker meant 'organizations' instead of established laws, practices or customs. He got it once that delineation was brought to his attention.

#27 | Posted by tonyroma at 2020-07-24 07:12 AM | Reply

Check it out, Eberly.
The health care institutions know that they themselves are problematic institutions!
And so they try to address the problem of "Health Disparities."
For example,
Our Commitment to Reducing Disparities in Health Care
Impact of Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health Care
History of Racial and Ethnic Equality Chairman's Initiative
Data Collection Methods / Analytical Tools and Output
Putting the Data to Work
Awards and Recognition
Key Messages

Health equity means helping people be the healthiest they can be. It also means getting rid of inequalities, or unfair differences, in how people are given health care. These inequalities are also known as health disparities.
Health disparities can be based on a person's:
Other traits

NCQA, which is the national quality accreditation body for health plans, offers a sort of certification called a "distinction" in multicultural health care:
NCQA Distinction in Multicultural Health Care identifies organizations - health plans, MCOs, MBHOs, wellness and population health organizations and others - that lead the market in providing culturally and linguistically sensitive services, and working to reduce health care disparities.

But, that's just one set of institutions.
Here's another: The fifty states.
An example of a real-world thing a state government could do to try to reduce health disparities is, hopefully obviously, Medicaid Expansion:
Medicaid Expansion Helps Address Health Disparities

How the Affordable Care Act Has Narrowed Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Access to Health Care

Medicaid Expansion May Close Racial Health Disparities, Care Gaps

Now, when a State government doesn't go for Medicare Expansion, which as I'm sure you're aware is only a handful of Red states, you probably wouldn't agree that decision was motivated by racism...
But maybe you can agree that by not expanding Medicare it perpetuates that State's "problematic institution."

(Just google the stuff if those links don't survive the trip to Publish Comment. Health care companies have ------ webmasters and let all kinds of crap in their URLs that you'd never see from a normal commercial business that relies on customers being able to access their websites.)

#28 | Posted by snoofy at 2020-07-24 11:10 AM | Reply

That last part where I put Medicare Expansion is supposed to be Medicaid Expansion.

And who knows, maybe you would agree that states that don't go for Medicaid Expansion are motivated by racism. I wouldn't say that's the only reason, but I'm pretty sure it's a reason. But it might not look that way at first, because it's part and parcel of the Republican mindset that poor people are poor because they failed the meritocracy of life, and thus they are wicked, and not deserving of our help. And yes this includes poor whites, but it disproportionately affects non-whites.

A central tenet of the GOP mindset is a firm belief that so much of economic success in life is determined by a meritocracy. This provides operating cover for all sorts of bureaucratic decisions which make life harder for poor people, and quelle surprise, on average, black people are poorer than white people. What a koinkydink!

To tie it all up, the thing I posted about how black names get less job callbacks than white names, even with the same resume, suggests life ain't as much of a meritocracy as some would have us believe.

Hmmm. Think If I change my name from Muhammad Snoofy X on my resume to something more white sounding, it might facilitate me getting a job? :)

#29 | Posted by snoofy at 2020-07-24 11:24 AM | Reply

I can't prove you wrong; you're preaching to the choir. The best I can do to prove you wrong as devil's advocate is "personal responsibility" or something ignorant that pretends that everything was fixed after 1863, or 1964 (more than 100 years later in cased you missed that), or 1992, or 2008, or 2020.

#30 | Posted by hamburglar at 2020-07-24 11:31 PM | Reply

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