fAccording to experts, African-Americans are three times more likely to die from COVID-19 than their white counterparts. The Brookings Institution reported, “In every age category, black people are dying from Covid at roughly the same rate as white people more than a decade older.”
A BBC article reporting on the death of an African-American doctor in Indianapolis, Indiana, recently, asked the question, ” Is everyone racist”?
The article cited a 2015 paper published in the American Journal of Public Health that found “most health care providers appear to have an implicit bias in terms of positive attitudes toward Whites and negative attitudes toward people of color.”
The question “are we all racist”? is a fundamental question to consider as we ponder the consequences of death and destruction on the black population; we already know the reasons.
Inherent in the question is the distinct possibility that color biases may have bled-over into, and actually may help shape how even black caregivers relate to black people, as opposed to the way they treat whites. A large percentage of caregivers are actually black, which makes the question even more perplexing.
It is not out of the realm of possibility that the long-held concept of white feminine fragility and white male superiority, [deserving of deference], may inform how black caregivers relate to whites, instead of how they see their own kind.
There is a lot of anecdotal evidence that would suggest that this is indeed so, even though the sampling may not be scientific, and could arguably be based on the geography of the care institution, etc.
All things considered; however, the evidence is clear across the board; implicit biases affect the way people of color are treated. But that is to be considered in every aspect of American life; black lives are far less valuable than white lives.
On October 17th, 1993, I took my wife to a Bronx teaching Hospital to give birth to our son, who we would later name Kodi.
It was a Sunday morning. I dropped her off at the hospital entrance, where she was allowed to sit in a wheelchair and was wheeled in while I went to park my car.
As soon as I entered her room a few minutes later, I realized that much was wrong; she was in extreme pain, which seemed out of the ordinary.
I promptly went to the nurse’s station and made known my feelings known to them, and they made sure to tell me that I was just a stressed-out spouse who was just scared.
Though not convinced, I went back to her room, shoulders drooped, not sure who was right, they or me.
It did not take long for me to be back at the nurse’s station once again, to explain to them that something was wrong.
Again they told me that I was panicking, all was well, and so again, I went back to my wife’s room.
Well, needless to say, my second foray to the nurse’s station was not going to be my last. My third visit was a more colorful one that was more befitting the streets of Kingston, Jamaica, and of course, it activated a response.
In quick order, they were in the room, and then they wanted to usher me out of the room, but I was going nowhere.
They then handed me a gown and mask, and in less than a minute, the room was filled with Doctors, Nurses, and machines.
My unborn son’s heart had stopped beating by then, so they restarted his heart using machines. In their hurry to pull him out thereafter, they literally pulled his hip out of place.
Our son was made to wear a brace of an extra diaper rolled up between his thighs for months to get rid of a click in his hips, due to their apathy and negligence.
Was this implicit bias? Some of the staff members were black others were white. Was it just that the staff in this one hospital was lethargic and unprofessional?
Over the years, I have seen several other examples of this kind of behavior that could reasonably be viewed in the same light, including incidents that included my own personal care that has been less than what would normally be expected and others that were inspiring.
My wife has also complained about the care she received, or the care she has not received, in one particular hospital, but how are those complaints rated when it is almost impossible to know whether white patients are treated similarly?
The answer may be in the national data that does indicate that black people are treated differently than whites in care facilities, even when the caregivers are black?
The reality is that implicit bias affects every stratum of American society; there is no reason to doubt the data; in fact, it provides the stark consequences of institutionalized racism.
The dead bodies of black people continue to pile up due to racists policies, whether from an unempathetic health care system, discriminatory redlining housing policies, or violent police, many of whom itch to pull the trigger whenever they see black bodies.
Dr. Susan Moore, 52, passed away at a local hospital on Sunday, after complaining about how she was treated at another Indianapolis hospital, even after telling them that she was a medical doctor.
According to the reporting, Dr. Moore tested positive for Covid-19 on 29 November and was admitted with a high fever while she coughed up blood and struggled to breathe. But even as a physician herself, she said she had struggled with getting care. Dr. Moore said she had had to plead for antiviral Remdesivir doses and request a scan of her chest. At one point, the doctor reportedly told her she did not qualify for the drug and that she should go home.
“He made me feel like I was a drug addict,” Dr. Moore said in a Facebook video. “And he knew I was a physician. I don’t take narcotics. I was hurting.”
Donald Trump was not coughing up blood; neither were any of the white men who got infected at his super-spreader events; they all qualified for the best treatment; no questions asked.
Would that have happened to a white woman? Would that have happened to a white woman who is a doctor? Would the poorest or lowliest white woman be treated that way?
Mike Beckles is a former Police Detective, businessman, freelance writer, a black achiever honoree, and publisher of the blog mikebeckles.com.
He’s contributed to several websites.
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