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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 05:59 PM
Original message
There is no racism in America

There is no racism in America

by Steven D
Wed Sep 16th, 2009 at 05:41:53 PM EST

I am sick and tired of people saying America discriminates against Blacks. It's absolutely not true. Why, the ancestors of most Blacks in America were given free passage from Africa to America, for chrissakes. I'll bet none of the white immigrants got a free ticket on whatever ship or boat they took to get to America. And then when the blacks got here we provided them with lifetime employment, free meals and even a rudimentary form of social security. White men even offered a full service sexual education to many of those fortunate Black women. What a deal.

And this impressive history of special treatment for Black Americans continues to this day:

Black hospital patients are far less likely to survive cardiac arrest than white patients, new research shows.

And the reason in many cases is that black patients usually go to the hospitals that do the poorest job resuscitating patients.

Just 25.2 percent of black patients who suffered cardiac arrest while they were hospitalized left the hospital alive, according to a study published today in The Journal of the American Medical Association. That compares with 37.4 percent of white patients who survived a difference of 48 percent.

Thats huge larger than any other survival gap by race, said Paul Chan, a researcher at St. Lukes Hospital who led the national study. And its poignant because the white survival rate wasnt very high either. Many studies have found racial disparities in the quality of health care. Black and Hispanic preschoolers are less likely to receive routine asthma medications than white children. Minority residents of nursing homes are less likely to get glasses or hearing aids than white residents. Minority women wait twice as long as white women for follow-up tests after an abnormal mammogram.

Hell, one of "them" was elected as President even though he may have been born in Kenya and might be a secret Muslim terrorist. Frankly, I don't know what more white people can do to make Black people happy. We already let them play on all our professional sports teams. We let Tiger Woods win all those golf tournaments. We let our kids dance to rap music. We televised Michael Jackson's funeral. We gave Oprah a billion dollar media empire. What more do they want from us, anyway?
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burning rain Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 06:56 PM
Response to Original message
1. When it came to Michael Jackson's funeral...
white Americans showed generosity of spirit not by televising it--that was a given--but by not levelling charges of racism against Dr. Conrad Murray for doing him in.
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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 06:58 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Huh? Dr. Murray is a black man, and I think Michael
did himself in by being such a druggie, for whatever reason.

Anyway, this is NOT about Michael Jackson.
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marmar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 08:32 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. That is pathetically weak......
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Igel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 08:48 PM
Response to Original message
4. It's a difficult claim to make, for a few reasons.
When all's said and done, there's still some racism. But the effects are muted.

Take the article cited.
- The hospitals treated black and white patients equally aggressively. Score one for color-blind.
- But blacks came in sicker. Score one for racism--or economics? (So they need to control for SES.)
- Did they try to resuscitate more blacks than whites? Unknown.
- But black tended to go to poorer hospitals,those with less highly ranked doctors, more poorly equipped. Score one for racism or, again, economics. Was the MLK Medical Center in Los Angeles sucky because of the staff, the funding, or the population that used it? (All three, plus other factors.)
- Was everything included in the study? After all, after accounting for all the different known variables, there was still a difference in survival rate. Whether that's due to racism or something else is entirely dependent on one's beliefs, at least until there's data.

It works the same with education and a lot of other topics. Control for SES and other pertinent variables and most of the effect vanishes. That's "structural racism"--of course, sometimes the "structural racism" actually does have effects, and affects whites almost as much as Latinos, and Latinos almost as much as blacks. Seldom does old-fashioned varieties of racism entirely vanish, however. True, you're left with more questions than you started out with, but at least the answers to the questions actually provide some way forward.

Then for a number of studies blacks and whites werew found to be treated differently by doctors--but there was not a great deal of difference in how black and white doctors treated their patients. Sometimes doctors are trained better, sometimes worse, but any one doctor usually treated his/her patients the same. Sometimes they make parallel assumptions about how likely it is that the patients will use the medicine, fill the prescription, or even be able to afford the prescription. Perhaps both black and white doctors are equally racist. That can happen; then again, "racist" gets to be a difficult adjective to apply in such cases.

Take a USC study that discovered that whites experience heightened stress and fear when seeing pictures of black teenage faces but not white teenage faces. Racism, the researchers assumed; but they had to control for race, right? When they ran the study with adult black subjects, they got just about the same results: blacks were about as afraid of black teenagers, on average, as were whites--and had the same relative lack of fear towards white teenagers. It makes the discussion difficult, because it doesn't fit the usual definition of 'racism': the blacks, one had to assume, based their fear on experience, while the white's based nearly identical levels of fear on racism? It means that it's a kind of generalization that involves race--a generalization that may be true or false, but isn't dependent on thoughts of racial superiority. (Any more than my confusion when I was so busy chairing a meeting that I didn't always have time to notice who was speaking--there was somebody speaking fluent African-American English Vernacular, but there were no blacks in the room. Afterwards I ran into the blond, blue-eyed white guy who grew up in South Central LA and was the only white boy in his class. Was it racist to assume that when I heard AAEV, it was coming out of an AA mouth? Or was I just concluding that since I'd known scores of AAEV speakers, all black, and no white that I'd previously met was an AAEV speaker, that the mystery AAEV speaker was black?)

It's a vexed question. The thing is, to challenge orthodoxy triggers immediate charges of racism. After all, if it's not racism, what is it? Then you need data. And when the answers aren't known, they might not be convenient and--gasp--even challenge our thinking, and that can challenge our notions of self-identity. After all, the reason that civil rights was such a vexed issue back in the '50s and '60s (either 1800s or 1900s) was precisely because it challenged dominant white notions and self-identity.
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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 09:02 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. Did you read the OP? It's tongue-in-cheek. nt
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