Racism is Killing the Planet
June 23, 2020 11:31 AM   Subscribe

"The ideology of white supremacy leads the way toward disposable people and a disposable natural world." - "All I know is that if climate change and environmental injustice are the result of a society that values some lives and not others, then none of us are safe from pollution until all of us are safe from pollution. Dirty air doesn’t stop at the county line, and carbon pollution doesn’t respect national borders. As long as we keep letting the polluters sacrifice Black and brown communities, we can’t protect our shared global climate."
posted by primalux (38 comments total) 86 users marked this as a favorite
My father spent almost his entire adult working life at one of the factories in Chemical Valley, which was and is an environmental nightmare (although many of the plants, including his, have shut down since he retired). The Aamjiwnaang First Nation have a reservation downriver from and directly bordering some of the plants, and have been experiencing widespread health issues almost certainly caused by emissions from the plants for decades.

Last year my dad told me a story about a time back in the '70s or '80s when there was a spill of some sort directly onto the property of some of the people living on the reservation and as part of the agreed-upon settlement a number of men were given temporary jobs at his plant. He indignantly told me that they went out of their way to do as little work as possible the entire time they were there rather than work hard in the hopes of being offered a permanent job. I asked him how hard he would have worked if the spill had been in his backyard and he'd been offered a temp job as part of the compensation for the ruination of his property. I also asked him how likely it was that any of those guys would have been offered a permanent job no matter how hard they worked. To his credit he at least conceded both points and actually said he hadn't thought about it that way before.

And of course, the St. Clair River and the land surrounding the plants do not end at the reservation's borders; there are plenty of small towns downriver and downwind from these plants, mostly white in terms of the demographics and some of them fairly affluent, all of which are surrounded by the same air, soil and water, so everyone suffers the ill effects of this pollution (although of course not equally). A lot of people my father worked with died young, often of cancer (including my wife's father, who worked at a different plant and died of liver cancer even though he wasn't a drinker), and I would imagine many of them were aware of the risks of working in an environment like that even back then but decided it was worth it because the pay and benefits were pretty good (most of the plants were unionized, although I don't know if that's still true today) and that's the sort of trade-off millions if not billions of people all over the world have to make under capitalism. And I owe a lot of what I have in life to my parents' jobs (my mom was a teller at the company credit union).
posted by The Card Cheat at 12:03 PM on June 23 [17 favorites]

I really believe in my heart of hearts—after a lifetime of thinking and talking about these issues—that we will never survive the climate crisis without ending white supremacy. Here’s why: You can’t have climate change without sacrifice zones, and you can’t have sacrifice zones without disposable people, and you can't have disposable people without racism. We’re in this global environmental mess because we have declared parts of our planet to be disposable.

THIS. A thousand times this. Thanks, primalux.
posted by Bella Donna at 12:08 PM on June 23 [22 favorites]

Jason Kottke recently highlighted a podcast that had some parallel thoughts: Racism Is Death.
posted by Western Infidels at 12:42 PM on June 23 [2 favorites]

Today’s one-percenters are able to sacrifice whole communities using more or less the same methods the settlers used: By dividing people into racial categories and directing the worst of their abuse at the people at the bottom of a manufactured racial hierarchy. There’s a term for this: It’s called punching down.

posted by benzenedream at 12:55 PM on June 23 [5 favorites]

For a sense of the challenge - and a vision of success from a powerful black woman - recommend this podcast, part of a sereies on container shipping (I used to haul containers back in the sea-land days).
Oakland at it's best/worst, and a stunning voice.
PS love this whole series of 8 'casts if you need something well produced to listen to.
posted by Alter Cocker at 12:57 PM on June 23 [5 favorites]

I hope the author of this good piece can help change the Sierra Club itself from within. They are notorious for using often-spurious sustainability arguments to oppose development of even affordable housing.
posted by PhineasGage at 1:14 PM on June 23 [3 favorites]

disposable people and a disposable natural world.

My local newspaper (for a city of ~500,000) ran two stories last week on the same day: one was about a dispute between neighbours which has escalated to the point where one man beat his neighbour's cat to death with a bottle; the other was about the ongoing protest at a local abbatoir -- last week a protester was driven over by a truck and killed.

Because I am an idiot, I read the comments. What I can glean from these is that anyone who kills an animal deserves to die, and also anyone who tries to stop animals from being killed also deserves to die. (Bonus points for guessing how many people voicing both these views are also the same people who unironically tell us that All Lives Matter.)
posted by ricochet biscuit at 1:19 PM on June 23 [6 favorites]

I am aware of the problems with the Sierra Club opposing affordable housing, and hopefully now others are as well. I hope we can keep this discussion on the content from veering far off into just being criticism of the Sierra Club - affordable housing is clearly something that is tied up with environmental justice, particularly when it comes to environmental groups opposing it, but I hope the larger issue of white-supremacy infecting everything it touches, including environmentalism, and what areas we consider acceptable for polluting or destroying can remain the focus here rather than a focus on the specific group that the writer (a Black man) works for. I think most BIPOC (and people in general to some degree) are used to having to weigh the good and the bad of organizations we work for or with when it comes to causes we care passionately about and I think particularly in environmental groups and conservation, there is still a lot of work to be done in terms of updating old ideas such as blanket "anti-development" attitudes. None of that negates anything he said in this piece, however.
posted by primalux at 1:29 PM on June 23 [20 favorites]

[One comment removed. If you feel any discomfort with these posts please take it as a positive sign and avoid trying to dismiss the impact of racism. ]
posted by loup (staff) at 2:40 PM on June 23 [39 favorites]

If we valued everyone’s lives equally, if we placed the public health and well-being of the many above the profits of a few, there wouldn’t be a climate crisis.

The Guardian published a report today that echoes this from the view of America's water crisis: Revealed: millions of Americans can’t afford water as bills rise 80% in a decade
“A water emergency threatens every corner of our country. The scale of this crisis demands nothing short of a fundamental transformation of our water systems. Water should never be treated as commodity or a luxury for the benefit of the wealthy,” said water justice advocate Mary Grant from Food and Water Watch, reacting to the Guardian’s research. [...]

Federal funding for water systems has fallen by 77% in real terms since its peak in 1977 – leaving local utilities to raise the money that is needed to upgrade infrastructure, comply with safety standards for toxic contaminants like PFAS, lead and algae blooms, and adapt to extreme weather conditions like drought and floods linked to global heating. [...]

[Stephen Gasteyer, professor of sociology at Michigan State University] said: “Water rates have gone up dramatically – mostly in places where people are also struggling with food, housing and other basic services. It’s a symptom of the inequalities and segregation problems we have in the US, where poor people are agglomerated in particular places and local governments are shouldered with the responsibility for raising revenue for services.”
Also: "There’s no national watchdog and most census questions about water access and poverty have been eliminated since the 1980s." And previously:
In 2014, shortly after filing the largest municipal bankruptcy in US history, [Detroit] launched a massive shutoff programme and has since disconnected at least 141,000 households, according to records obtained by news website Bridge. The UN said the debt collection scheme violated human rights and condemned the disproportionate impact on African Americans, who account for about 80% of the city’s population.
The Guardian also notes, "Nationwide, nobody knows how many Americans were without water at the start of the pandemic – nor how many were disconnected during. What is known is that financial aid to help families and utilities keep taps running was excluded from federal rescue packages." Which reminds me of this:

The crimes may be hiding in plain sight, but many white people are socialized to ignore how these systems of violence and inequality show up in our society. When it comes to racism, many white people are like fish swimming in water: White supremacy is so pervasive that it’s hard to even know that it’s there.
posted by katra at 3:37 PM on June 23 [6 favorites]

[Couple comments and a direct reply deleted. The existence of class as a factor doesn't mean that responding to an article about racism with a "but let's talk about class" is a good idea. Stargazey, this is the second time in a few days where you've pushed into a thread about race and racism to recenter things on a side-point about white people; you need to stop doing that if you want to continue to participate here. For now I'm giving you a day off.

For the other deleted comment: if you want clarification on a mod note, contacting the mod directly or using the contact form is the way to go, not in thread discussion.]

posted by cortex (staff) at 4:22 PM on June 23 [11 favorites]

"I hope the author of this good piece can help change the Sierra Club itself from within. They are notorious for using often-spurious sustainability arguments to oppose development of even affordable housing."

Keep in mind the Sierra Club has an unusual structure. There is the national campaign work, and then there are local chapters (and associated lobbying arms, like "Sierra Club California"). The national organization is made up of paid employees, and is really quite different from the chapter work, which centers on local volunteers. There are disadvantages to having empowered volunteer elements in an organization, for sure. You have to accept that your national brand will get associated with things the chapters promote, or that individual volunteers choose to do. This includes such hideousness as NIMBYism, and covert (or not) racism.

When you see a clearly misguided cause associated with the Sierra Club, it's typically coming from the chapter level. And indeed, chapters are behind both the stories you've linked.

The author of this FPP article is with the national org, which explicitly tries to do anti-racist work. Beyond Coal, for instance, is pretty well known for its social-justice approach.

Edit: like tbqh it's pretty upsetting that you have assumed this person "might" or "could" help change the organization. That is very dismissive of all the internal anti-racist work that PoC do in the Sierra Club. I don't know why you are assuming Hop Hopkins is not engaged with this work, but I wish people would not make dismissive comments like this. I can tell you that this man does A LOT of good and anti-racist work, for the planet and for the people.
posted by desert outpost at 4:27 PM on June 23 [12 favorites]

If you want to learn more about the the neighborhoods affected by currently operating oil fields in Los Angeles, check out STAND-LA. The sites aren't always visually easy to notice due to camouflage/giant fences, but you definitely notice the smell when you are standing in a neighborhood with an active site.
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 4:28 PM on June 23 [4 favorites]

Environmental injustice is the continuation of genocide by other means.
posted by jamjam at 5:15 PM on June 23 [8 favorites]

Here’s a recent article put out by Rosalux in Berlin on this issue:



posted by nikaspark at 6:22 PM on June 23 [5 favorites]

Sierra club workers co-coined the term "cancer alley" and have been working on the environmental justice issues in Louisiana since 1988 at least. Not that they are perfect or without a Californian chauvinism and bias, but as a Louisianan I appreciate them over a lot of the big green groups that have long written off places like Louisiana.

These black towns in cancer alley, Latinx places in Houston and texas, are your future too. Most of these places are where the overwhelming plurality of climate emissions come from.

Here s Sierra club working alongside OCAW, against the BASF lockout. Sierra club in Louisiana was "blue green" and "green New deal" long before it was hip.

But if you want the OG, check out the Deep South center for environmental justice. https://www.dscej.org/

We have no shortage of environmentalists on the gulf coast! Support the local black organizations, like Rise St James!
posted by eustatic at 8:19 PM on June 23 [11 favorites]

Colonialism is, in my view, the co-commodification of land and people. Both together and never one without the other. The author writes a lot about dehumanization as a tool for oppressors to efficiently extract resources and labor from lands that are not their own, from people who they do not recognize as people. From a Yes Magazine article on where many environmental organizations are wrt racial justice and the Movement for Black Lives, they quote Alexandria Villaseñor, climate activist, high school student, and founder of Earth Uprising,
We know that there is no climate justice without racial justice. The exploitation of Black people is the greatest extractive system of production of all time and in order to heal the planet, we must have Black and Indigenous liberation.”
I'm curious how this should fit into conversations about reparations in the US. Could a green new deal play a part in this intersection? Climate justice, so bound up with racial justice, could be one of the vehicles for that work.
posted by kaelynski at 11:40 PM on June 23 [11 favorites]

[One comment deleted; seriously, if you are coming into this thread to say "racism isn't the real problem here, let's talk about a different problem other than racism": stop. Just skip the thread, go do something else. I'm giving a 24 hour ban to reinforce this.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 8:50 AM on June 24 [10 favorites]

I...wow. My eyes have been opened. I never even considered white supremacy in the climate change equation, which is definitely a learned bias and a privilege I need to examine and re-examine. I've read through the article twice, and the comments here twice and I'll need to read the article at least once more to really internalize it and be able to talk about it intelligently to other people.

Thank you for posting this, primalux. Yet another in a huge long list of reasons that white supremacy has to go.
posted by cooker girl at 11:23 AM on June 24 [4 favorites]

(um, apologies for how long this is, it's just that it's hitting a bunch of things i've been thinking about lately, and so it wound up kind of a gyob response...)

Wow, a big thanks to those of you who took the time to point out the structure of the Sierra Club...I'd initially skipped over this post because of some bad experiences with a local chapter a few years back, figuring those issues probably defined the entire organization, but I'm glad to know how wrong I was.

Honestly, I've kind of given up on reading anything about the climate lately. There's this incredible sense of doom, as record after record is broken, and the steps governments and companies are willing to take seem so small. But by tying climate change to race, and more specifically the way white supremacy works by convincing white working and middle class people that people of color are the enemy, Hopkins is showing what I think is actually the most hopeful thing we have going for us, which is the fragility of white supremacy, and how much it relies on a constant firehose of propaganda. He mentions the disparity in news stories about Katrina, for instance, white people "finding" the supplies they needed, while Black communities were "looting."

That kind of propaganda takes so much work. The recent protests have made it clear just how much labor has to go into this, as white supremacy responds with, not just violence (though plenty of that), but weaponized imagery whose repetition has made a lot of social media just unlivable lately, and in large part the targets of that imagery are white people, to solidify their racism and alienate them from anyone who thinks differently. And yet it feels different. Fewer people seem willing to be convinced. Fewer are willing to let it go without pushing back.

And so you have to wonder what happens if that imagery were to just...stop?

Ibram X. Kendi has been talked about a ton here recently, and his central thesis in Stamped from the Beginning, that racist ideas are generated as justifications for racist policies, rather than those ideas existing first and only subsequently spawning those policies, highlights how much of an information war white supremacy is and has always been. In the beginning of racism and white supremacy, and for several hundred years of it, there weren't a ton of tools for disrupting that war on an informational level. That is, there is education, pamphleteering, interest groups, basically all trying to argue white people out of white supremacy (often by inserting a different, more palatable, more assimilationist kind of racist idea in the place of the original ideas), and all more or less failing, because there's always a new legislative trick or court decision (or war) to keep Black people from having equality.

But in our age, there are more ways to disrupt the flow of information, like with the recent hacking of police documents, oil company records, the Panama Papers; with social media introducing voices who can slip past gatekeepers and tell us what is really happening on the ground. And you can say, well, those don't really get anything done, but when white supremacy requires this much active memetic labor, and (to get back to the point of the article) you have all of these people of color whose communities, towns, countries are being destroyed by climate change and polluting industries, these stories where there's just no getting around who the bad guy is, will that propaganda continue to be so effective? Do these current protests show a gap, a crack in the wall? Can the world be saved, if we can shut down, disrupt, counteract the propaganda required to keep this system going?
posted by mittens at 12:13 PM on June 24 [13 favorites]

I spent an hour, off and on, trying to write something that would add to the article, but I'll just say "read the article," and "thanks for posting."

Oh, and, three mod notes? MetaFilter, we can do better.
posted by GenjiandProust at 12:55 PM on June 24 [6 favorites]

To add one point here: The racist logic of treating (some) people and (some) places as disposable is most evident (and most obviously a source of planetary peril) in sacrifice zones, but it's not limited to them. If you don't see some version of these dynamics at work in your own locality, you likely aren't looking.

In particular, if you live in the US and you don't see anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racism being used to support unsustainable and dangerous land use decisions right in your own watershed/airshed/aquifer right now, you almost certainly aren't looking.

(It's probably also worth noting that while private property is seldom a force for good, a great deal of environmental and climate injustice is the very intentional product of central planning.)
posted by Not A Thing at 1:21 PM on June 24 [1 favorite]

I'm around a lot of people who would say they are committed to fighting climate change and living sustainable and low-impact lifestyles and and and... they would never ever consider this article to be prescient in a million years. It is particularly apparent that environmental movements in the UK consider trees, fish and insects more poignant causes than the human tragedies that climate change will bring. Because it will be happening to disposable people.

I will be bringing this article up in green activist circles that I have access to, and I will be thinking and talking about how to move environmentalism in the UK away from being a) blindly and blindingly white, and b) mainly concerned with the preservation of non-human life, because of exactly what this article articulates.

And it's on our doorsteps, as well as being in Louisiana and Bangladesh or the DRC.

Right now the huge impact of air pollution in inner cities on greater mortality rates among BAME people in the UK is being actively suppressed. It has got to be repeated, loudly, over and over, that climate change is killing non-white people, until white people start taking people's lives as seriously as polar bears' lives and dolphins' lives and native rare fucking flowers.

Thank you for sharing the article.
posted by Balthamos at 1:25 PM on June 24 [9 favorites]

primalux, thank you for sharing this one. I bookmarked it and have now read it over twice and tbh really wish I had a printer so I could print it out and highlight it and write things on it as is my way, but there is so much to consider and take in here. The first thing I thought of was the water protectors and the way they were treated by the cops. I am still digesting but wanted to say, read it, thinking, thank you.
posted by fairlynearlyready at 1:36 PM on June 24

There's also the "too many people" idea, which always seems to amount to quote the people over there have too many children and want to come over here. Why can't they be more responsible?" The idea of a lower human population is not necessarily a bad goal, but it seems to generate racist ideation like nobody's business.
posted by GenjiandProust at 1:43 PM on June 24 [6 favorites]

Thanks for posting this, primalux -- it's smart and timely, and the implications are vast. In the interest of "act locally" I've shared it with my boss (investigating and addressing the root causes of health care disparities is what we get paid for). This is the kind of message that leadership at my organization is likely to be receptive to -- they think of themselves as super "green" -- and I'd love to see more of our charitable dollars going to ant-racism causes.
posted by invincible summer at 2:10 PM on June 24 [3 favorites]

I asked him how hard he would have worked if the spill had been in his backyard and he'd been offered a temp job as part of the compensation for the ruination of his property.

Huh. I've seen something exactly like this play out here in Australia: Australia now recognises indigenous title but there were lots of mining leases and tourism resorts either grandfathered in or effectively imposed by government pressure. Whenever you hear about specific cases, you always get told that “the development was good because” or “part of the deal was that” the development would provide local indigenous employment.

The followup to these stories invariably seems to be that the services provided by local indigenous workers was unsatisfactory, or they were too demanding, leading the project to fail and/or the locals being sidelined in favour of other people who could be flown in/out as needed. I never really considered how exploitative and patronising this was, as if the Great White (literally in most cases) Saviour was doing them a favour and they were being ungrateful for not meeting their expectations.
posted by Joe in Australia at 2:30 PM on June 24 [3 favorites]

I never even considered white supremacy in the climate change equation
I'd like to take this a bit further than USA
The Multinational companies, many with a large US shareholder base both individual and pension funds and similar are institutionally racist to the core. This must be challenged and changed.
Indigenous Peoples are treated like shit especially in S. America as the corrupt and rapacious multinationals surge forward cpompletely ignoring them. Capitalism does indeed kill.
Just a few examples
Chief Raoni warned that Brazilian soya cultivation had expanded rapidly in the past year with the Bolsonaro government’s encouragement – all of it using “huge amounts of agro-toxins”, and a “large part” of it on indigenous reserves.
Illegal farms on indigenous lands get whitewashed under Bolsonaro administration.
The mining map: Who’s eyeing the gold on Brazil’s indigenous lands?
Concerned for the future, indigenous Nicaraguans lament lost habitats.
Mining company pressing to enter Ecuador’s Los Cedros Protected Forest.
In Colombia’s La Guajira, the native Wayuu are forgotten in the dust.
However there is some hope: Trillion-dollar investors warn Brazil over 'dismantling' of environmental policies. Letter signed by 29 organisations, including the Church of England, states financial institutions have a duty to tackle climate change.
posted by adamvasco at 2:46 PM on June 24 [10 favorites]

My impression is that my Sierra Club local chapter is generally white and affluent. Their June newsletter front-loaded info about the prior week's protest and police brutality, the next protest, and suggestions from the national and state Sierra Club and local anti-racist organizations about how to take action. That was surprising, and welcome.

When I first became aware of environmentalism, it quite often seemed like 'activists vs. humans', and a scope of preserving pristine wilderness, or else preserving interesting 'wild-ish' places for use by those humans who had the means to access it. The shift to "systemic racism is within our scope" is welcome.

(There's work to be done airing the environmental movement's dirty laundry too, for sure.)
posted by mersen at 3:04 PM on June 24 [4 favorites]

Thank you very much for this article primalux. Reading it was a real aha moment for me - although I had not explicitly linked these things before, once you see it laid out is pretty obvious, like, duh, of course!

And I am not shifting the topic away, but just to say that it is really good to see that all of these things are explicitly and clearly linked - racial justice, environmental justice, class justice, economic justice - capitalism is the tool the elites use to fuck ALL of us, in so many ways, and when we make moves towards racial justice, we also, naturally and automatically, move towards justice and equality. Period.

And the point above, about propaganda and getting out the true message, it is also really valuable. Because once the scales are lifted this linkage is both obvious and impossible to forget.
posted by Meatbomb at 8:33 PM on June 24 [1 favorite]

Those looking for additional reading on both environmental racism and racism within environmentalism might be interested in the works of Dorceta Taylor.
posted by Not A Thing at 9:28 PM on June 24 [3 favorites]

Thank you for the excellent article, primalux.

In the mid 1990s when I was in grad school I took a course on feminism and the environment. It was taught by an elderly professor but she was more intersectional in her approach than a lot of her younger peers. We learned early on in that course exactly how environmental degradation disproportionately affects black and indigenous people, and not only that is allowed to continue because of the idea that, as the article says, some people (black and indigenous and other people of colour) are considered disposable.

I see this borne out in my own region of Canada, where I spend a lot of time listening to local First Nations people talking about how their land has been stolen from them and now the government wants to allow companies to run pipelines through their lands, endangering watersheds and animals and, yes, the people who live there too. This is a continuation of colonization and colonial racist rule, and it is conveniently enforced by the RCMP, the same police who enforced indigenous people’s removal to reserves, and enforced the kidnapping of their children to residential schools designed to kill their culture.

We cannot solve the climate crisis without eliminating racial inequity.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 12:47 AM on June 25 [5 favorites]

Unequal Impact: The Deep Links Between Racism and Climate Change.
Activist Elizabeth Yeampierre has long focused on the connections between racial injustice and the environment and climate change.
Some pull quotes
With Hurricanes Maria and Katrina, the loss of lives came “out of a legacy of neglect and racism.”
“Climate activists talk about moving at a big, grand scale, and we talk about moving at a local scale.”
“These [environmental groups] have to get out of their silos and out of their dated thinking.”
Read Up on the Links Between Racism and the Environment
posted by adamvasco at 7:58 AM on June 25 [3 favorites]

An anthem that shows how the struggle can be shared: March March, the first new song by the re-minted Chicks (via box's FPP).
posted by progosk at 12:55 AM on June 26

The modern Western world, built on the back of centuries of exploitation of indigenous land, knowledge and labor, has facilitated the spread of covid-19 and bears responsibility for this ongoing tragedy. Our modern consumption practices, university endowments and pension funds, and corporations and banks are directly tied to the conditions experienced by many indigenous people in the Amazon.
posted by adamvasco at 5:38 PM on June 26 [3 favorites]

Coronavirus has laid bare the racial fault lines in access to clean, safe water (Ronda Lee Chapman, Guardian Opinion, Jun. 30, 2020)
Covid-19 is a never-ending lesson in the history, legacy and reality of structural racism in America. We see it everywhere the pandemic forces us to look: in infection rates, unemployment, housing insecurity and the loss of life. It’s also glaring in an area that has not gotten enough attention: lack of access to safe, affordable water.

It is no coincidence that many of the current Covid-19 “hotspots” have been in cities and communities with majority-black or Indigenous populations – places where residents have been fighting for years for reliable, affordable access to safe water. As medical experts continue to strongly urge the public to wash our hands and sanitize our surroundings, the advice is hollow in communities plagued by tainted water, crumbling sanitation systems or none at all, or unaffordable water bills and service shutoffs. Covid-19 exposes the dangers and immorality of decades of underinvestment, unjust policies at all levels of government, and society’s disregard for the wellbeing of millions of low-income people and people of color. In essence, the policies that deprive people of color of access to drinking water are no different than any other acts of unjustified violence such as police brutality, militarized streets and electoral injustice. We are bearing witness to the interconnected nature of it all as people are taking to the streets demanding change. Flint still does not have water.
posted by katra at 7:46 AM on June 30 [4 favorites]

It is no coincidence that many of the current Covid-19 “hotspots” have been in cities and communities with majority-black or Indigenous populations – places where residents have been fighting for years for reliable, affordable access to safe water.

That is an interpertation of a why. But people who are B or I in BIPOC typically have lower serium Vitamin D due to the skin-UV light reaction being less than others who are not BIPOC. Same with older folks. The rates of COVID-19 are higher for BIPOC even when adjusted for economic class status. And having higher Vit D seems to lessen the cytokine storms which lead to some of the poorer outcomes.

One doesn't need the 'Rona to note the race disparities in healthcare. BD Smedley in 2003, I Kawachi in 2005 have written about such. Too bad for the people who's heathcare is tied to employment the M4A option isn't on the table for the US of A. But I guess the monied interests need all the leverage they can get to have people at work.
posted by rough ashlar at 3:50 PM on July 1 [1 favorite]

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