How Racism May Cause Black Mothers To Suffer The Death Of Their Infants
Rhitu Chatterjee & Rebecca Davis | NPR | December 20, 2017
In February 2009, Samantha Pierce became pregnant with twins. It was a time when things were going really well in her life.
She and her husband had recently gotten married. They had good jobs.
"I was a kick-ass community organizer," says Pierce, who is African-American and lives in Cleveland. She worked for a nonprofit that fought against predatory lending. The organization was growing, and Pierce had been promoted to management.
It felt like a good time to get pregnant. "I went to get my birth control taken out and showed up two weeks later, like 'Hey, We're pregnant!' " she says, laughing.
Pierce thought she was a poster child for a good pregnancy. She already had one son from a previous marriage, and that pregnancy was healthy and normal. She had a college degree, which is known to improve women's chances of having a healthy pregnancy. She was getting regular checkups and taking her prenatal vitamins.
Everything went smoothly until one day in her second trimester she discovered she was leaking fluid. After a week in the hospital, still leaking, her water broke and she gave birth to her sons. "They lived for about five minutes, each of them," she says. "But they couldn't breathe. They didn't have lungs. We got to hold them, talk to them. I could see them breathing. I could also see them stop breathing, you know."
Last month, the Congressional Budget Office released its evaluation of the House of Representative’s American Health Care Act. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the AHCA would, if it becomes law, leave 23 million more Americans uninsured by the end of the decade. While the Senate’s newly unveiled bill will receive similar scrutiny in the coming days, much has rightly been made of this figure and the consequences of so many losing vital coverage. Proponents have framed the legislation as a chance for Americans to take personal responsibility for their health, while opponents have decried its potential to sicken and kill many of our most vulnerable citizens. These concerns are valid. The bill stands to do great harm.
Dr. Mary Bassett: We Must ‘Name Racism’ As A Cause of Poor Health
Healthy Living | February, 2, 2017 |
Before Hillary secured the nomination, before many “felt the Bern,” and indeed, even before there was change we could believe in, there was a presidential candidate of several firsts running to represent a major party ticket who broke the mold in more ways than many could comprehend, let alone support. I am speaking of Shirley Chisholm.
There’s so much to learn from, but what I want to focus on today is her bold, unapologetic, and explicit commitment to naming racism. In her memoirs, she wrote: “Racism is so universal in this country, so widespread, and deep-seated, that it is invisible because it is so normal.” If you think the conversation on race in our country is just getting legs now, can you imagine a presidential candidate saying this in 1972? And still, nearly 45 years later, her analysis stands.
Tara Culp-Ressler | ThinkProgress | February 3, 2014
Obviously, deeply ingrained racial inequality has a wide range of consequences here in the United States. Some of them, like issues of criminal justice and voting rights, are perhaps more starkly evident than others. But racial divides also impact other areas that haven’t traditionally been associated with civil rights. Structures of racism and privilege continue to put a serious toll on the African American community’s health — and contribute to the fact that black Americans are still dying younger than white Americans. Here’s why racism is a serious public health issue...