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Racism in Healthcare

Imagine this: a colored child, no more than 10 years old, who has been confined to a hospital bed yet to receive treatment for COVID, with his family distressedly pleading to the front desk. In the next room, a white child who has been in the hospital for a shorter period of time, was just given the necessary treatment for his symptoms relating to COVID.

The issue here is obviously the elephant in the room and yet no one dares to say it aloud because doctors swear to treat every patient equally. Racism. Racism is like an onion; it has many layers that grow over time to become what we know today. Taking a look back at the colored child's case, we may ask ourselves, is the doctor racist, or perhaps the workers there, or is it the white child at fault? Although it may be easier to single out something or someone to blame, this is a much more complicated issue. Racist acts are not done with a clear intention of discriminating, but instead, it has been so deeply ingrained in healthcare disparities that it has become hard to pick out. No one is single-handedly at fault for the incident.

So how do we combat this? We can start off by raising awareness of these issues that contribute to healthcare disparities. Here at Show Me 2020, this is what we are about! Raising awareness helps people better recognize and speak out against these actions and attitudes. With racism, the Black Lives Matter movement has been trying tirelessly to dispel the notion of racism. However, with the many different layers -- internalized, structural, and more, it's difficult to get change to occur. In the end, racism and healthcare disparities are almost interconnected alongside many other issues. Overcoming racism is just one step in fighting healthcare disparities but with an issue as complex as racism, it is important to take one step at a time.

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