The Correlation between Racism and Poverty: Income Inequality, Edcuation and . combined indicating the great economic opportunity in expanded access to. A century ago, W. E. B. Du Bois () recognized the connection between about poverty, racism involves notions of planned social and economic change. In fact, a flurry of new research suggests that economic inequality between black and white Americans is far greater than members of either.
Experiences of racism based on language and nativity can be just as important as experiences based on race Viruell-Fuentes ; Yoo et al. Latino and Asian immigrants were more likely than non-immigrants to report discrimination in health care Lauderdale et al. Yet, few existing instruments of racism explicitly account for anti-immigrant sentiment, potentially understating the level of concern for immigrant communities Gee et al.
The literature is replete with research on acculturation and health, but these studies may fail to account for discriminatory experiences faced by immigrants Finch et al.
Proxies for acculturation, such as years in the United States, can indicate not only cultural adaptation but also exposure to racial bias Gee et al. Hence, studies of immigrants should do a better job of accounting for racism, and vice versa.
Fourth, research should investigate disparities not only by race and ethnicity but also by citizenship Noncitizens were more likely to report discrimination in health care and less likely to have health insurance and a usual place for care than citizens Yu et al. Noncitizens often work in occupations without insurance benefits Goldman et al. The literature on citizenship and health has focused on access to health care. Yet, it is important to acknowledge that citizenship extends far more deeply into fundamental rights, such as the ability to vote.
Scholars have recognized that studies of race and health must also consider socioeconomic position Krieger et al. We believe this argument should be extended to nativity and citizenship.
We should also develop a more granular analysis between immigrant types. This can take several forms, including between documented versus undocumented migrants, between citizens and noncitizens, and even within classes of legal noncitizen immigrants.
While it is a concern that individuals may be reluctant to provide such information, the California Health Interview Survey has shown that undocumented persons from Mexico are willing to provide this information under the right circumstances Ortega et al.
Ford and Harawatherefore, proposed that ethnicity be conceptualized as a two-dimensional construct in research on health disparities: According to this model, immigrants racialized as Black e. This pattern may hold within groups: Therefore, we suggest that studies should: Intergenerational Drag A comprehensive research program on racism and health must account for key ways that historical factors influence present outcomes.
The racist actions and inequities experienced by one generation may be felt across subsequent generations. Indeed, key characteristics of structural forms of racism e. Seemingly inexplicable disadvantages that persist across conditions, subpopulations, and time may be attributable to historical traumas Brave Heart and DeBruyn,or to what some have called intergenerational drag.
Intergenerational drag views contemporary disparities as the cumulative effects of macrolevel systems interacting with one another in ways that generate and sustain racial inequalities.
Intergenerational drag research attempts to determine what fraction of a contemporary disparity is attributable to an historical event. It examines not only the losses of one group but also the corresponding gains by another group. Prior research on intergenerational drag has focused on how factors such as educational attainment or wealth of one generation contribute to population level socioeconomic disparities in a subsequent generation Heckman and Payner, ; Margo Studies have also examined whether racially differential allocations of resources during the U.
This type of research helps in assessing the long-term effects of policies and other societal characteristics on disparities. Following this initial reduction, literacy rates steadily increased for Black children through the mid-twentieth century.
Disparities in the quality of the educational opportunities available to Black relative to White children persisted, however. Margo concludes that Black-White educational disparities of the mid-twentieth century were attributable to the cumulative effects of four intersecting factors: While this literature generally suggests that past events can have material consequences for subsequent generations Collins and Margo, ; Heckman and Payner,few studies target health outcomes or health disparities.
The American Economy Isn’t Getting Any Less Racist
Applying intergenerational drag approaches to the study of health disparities could help to clarify how contemporary mechanisms, baseline differentials between groups, and the cumulative accrual of advantages and disadvantages from one generation to the next influence various health disparities.
This idea is also consistent with a growing body of theoretical and empirical work on life course and health. For instance, research indicates that stressors encountered by parents while an infant is in utero may increase the risk of heart disease and other illnesses when the child becomes an adult Barker ; Seckl and Holmes, Other studies suggest that environmental traumas, such as famine, may alter gene expression in subsequent generations Pembrey et al.
Diverse theory-based strategies may be used to model intergenerational trends. The simplest models specify a standard rate of change across multiple generations.
To improve the precision and accuracy of overall estimates, however, one may specify a different rate of transfer for each generation. Consider the post-World War II period when the government assisted veterans in purchasing homes.
The amount needed to purchase a home and the resultant net wealth transferable to the next generation differed substantially during this period from either the period preceding or following it.
These ideas could be extended to health disparities. For instance, studies could examine how racial disparities in the transfer of wealth across generations contribute to inequities in morbidity. In addition, the rates should be calculated with baselines that carefully consider potentially important racialized events.
Some of these baselines may refer to specific historic events. For example, using a baseline of i.
Other baselines may represent specific traumatic events e. At the same time, these events may serve as the focus for the investigation of period-specific events see, for instance, Lauderdale The comprehensive study of racism and health should account for the impact of historical factors on present outcomes.
If nothing is done, that chasm will grow larger. Regardless, it would be difficult to overstate how thoroughly either data set undermines popular narratives about racial progress in the United States. The strengthening of taboos against overt expressions of racist sentiment in polite society, the greater representation of African-Americans in popular culture, and the election of the first black president are all vital and important gains — but none of them can compensate for a sharp decline in median black wealth.
In our capitalist society, money is power. And black power is steadily diminishing.
STRUCTURAL RACISM AND HEALTH INEQUITIES
A recent study from Yale found that even African-Americans at the bottom of the U. The findings surveyed above expose the fraudulence of this dichotomy. Racial prejudice has economic consequences. You cannot advance the cause of economic justice without addressing persistent discrimination in housing, hiring, and lending. And economic inequality has racial consequences — you cannot advance the cause of racial justice without addressing the chasm that has opened up between the wealthiest people in American society and everyone else.
Indeed, until recently there have been few examinations of the socioeconomic stratification of health within ethnic minority groups in the United States. In fact, in both the United States and the United Kingdom, data limitations have greatly hampered investigations of ethnic inequalities in health and how they might be structured by social and economic disadvantages, particularly as obvious data limitations are often ignored by investigators.
Perhaps the main limitation is the inadequate measurement of ethnicity in many studies, with the heterogeneity of ethnic groups ignored, observer-assigned ethnicity used instead of self-reported ethnicity, and surrogates such as country of birth used instead of ethnic origin.
Also important is the lack of good, or any, data on current socioeconomic position in health studies, let alone data that can deal with changes over the life course and other elements of social disadvantage, such as inequalities related to geography and experiences of racial discrimination and harassment. It also suggests that an adequate understanding of racism is fundamental to understanding ethnic inequalities in health.Economic Inequality and Racism (with Heather McGhee)
Analysis of the US Multiple Risk Factor Intervention Trial MRFIT data 7 showed that all-cause mortality rates over its year follow-up period had a very clear relationship to mean income in the area of residence of respondents for both Black and White men individual socioeconomic data were not included in the study, so income data from the US Census were used to determine median family income of White and Black households in the area of residence of the individual.
Interviews are administered to a nationally representative sample identified through a stratified sampling design, which is usually followed by a biomedical assessment. Inthe Health Survey for England focused on ethnic minority people. It shows rates of reporting fair or bad general health for each of the ethnic groups included in the study in response to a question asking respondents to rate their health as very good, good, fair, bad, or very bad by household income equivalized to account for variations in household size and banded into tertiles.