Written response #1:
(d) If one reviews co-morbidities of chronic diseases (hypertension, diabetes, asthma, obesity, etc.) and their associated mortality rates across the 50 United States – to what conclusions can one come? What social-economic determinants are driving those situations?
This question was most appealing to me due to my background in research on vigilance and cumulative biological risk through the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research. Vigilance (or vigilance coping skills) is defined as the thought of as the natural response to and marker of the burden of cultural racism. However it is presented as self correcting in white space. Preparing yourself for what you will do or say in the likelihood that you are pulled over. This appears when you fear to be called out for your blackness in white space. This is experienced as the pressure to be perfect at everything and perform with excellence. All of these are real life examples that many of us can attest to. On a biological, psychological, and psychological level these levels of vigilance all have a major effect. What suffers most, is your health. As it relates to co-morbidities of chronic diseases (hypertension, diabetes, asthma, obesity, etc.) and their associated mortality rates across the United States, I would be remiss if I did not mention race. More specifically, the affects and effects of systemic racism. Affect, refers to the actual structure and strategy used to construct and implement [systemic] racism. This includes a social, cultural, political, and economical uphand for white people (specifically white males, middle class, and Christian) by default, because it was created by them. Effect, refers to the disadvantages and outcomes present in Black and Brown communities. For example the COVID-19 pandemic, disportionality affects Black and Brown people (effect). This can be attributed to food desserts, lack of access to healthcare, environmental racism (i.e incinerators, pollution, Cancer valley), vigilance, lower wages inducing stress, and this list goes on (affect). I confidently can state through my research, the research of other scholars, and my personal narrative that [systemic] racism is just as much a threat to our health as cancer. It is also relevant to note the social-economic determinants of these situations as well. As referenced in The 1619 Project, the lack of healthcare attention and coverage is a major factor in the past and current health state of our community. Cost makes healthcare exclusive and unobtainable still for many. Additionally, on top of costs the historical relationship with healthcare professionals and the Black community has been distrusting. Therefore, this provides another understanding as to why our interaction with healthcare professionals is limited.