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Thread: Racism

  1. Link to Post #221
    United States Avalon Member Mark/Rahkyt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Racism

    Quote Posted by Patient (here)
    Reparation promises should be honoured, but the older they are the more difficult it becomes, obviously. Based on my roots, I could have claim to a small handful of settlements - but I think that is a very good point to show that living together in peace and harmony is very possible.
    It is true that the human condition has always been what it is. But it is also true that a relatively privileged elite in every society have the wherewithall and the space in time to contemplate the deeper mysteries and conditions within which oceanic humanity toils, enslaved to the pyramidal system of economic and political hegemony. Most people are trying to make it through the day in jobs they hate from which they escape into more escapism in the forms of drugs and alcohol, video games and other distractions, so they can be ready for the next day and the next injustice and self-immolating happenstance they have to face in a long series of such events.

    Living together in peace and harmony is not a general way that most people think, is what I'm saying. Most people in the world are trying to get by and live life in the visceral crucible of hard experience, which compounds upon itself to harden the heart and deaden the soul and they seek answers beyond themselves like flowers casting stems into the sky reaching for the sun. When those answers seem to appear, they grasp and strain, as is evidenced in political race after race, election after election, to find themselves once again used and abused, their hearts hardening just that much more, their souls greying and stilling in the face of absolute and abject despair.

    Their lives are not harmonic, peace is only found in the solace of drugs or the afterglow of sex, or the seeming nothingness of slumber. I say all of this to say that I appreciate the higher ideals you bring to the table with your discussion and understand the reality you posit as existing and it does, but not for everyone. Much of that has to do with exposure to higher ideals and experiences that reinforce them as living possibilities not just for random and disparate individuals, but for groups also. Right now, for very many people, the question at hand is very much a material, now beingness kind of thing. There is nothing abstract about it and abstract arguments and recourses that posit some non-existing reality (at least for those affected) do more to obscure than to reveal answers to these issues. Universalizing the issue certainly does nothing to help, either, as I've mentioned before and is, in fact, a conscious and - apparently - sub-conscious strategy used by whites to minimize this particular issue and diffuse it into obscurity.

    Which solves nothing. Nor affect the very real and very palpable racial disparities faced in the US of A in the past, now and into the foreseeable future.

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  3. Link to Post #222
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    Default Re: Racism

    Quote Posted by Rahkyt (here)

    Quote Posted by Strat (here)
    I appreciate this dialogue cause it's hard for me to do it in real life.
    Why might that be so?
    Dunno, I suppose it just doesn't pop up in conversations and I feel weird asking. I do from time to time but not often. White/black relation discourse is usually half sarcastic and there's no real info being exchanged.
    Just as every cop is a criminal
    And all the sinners saints

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    Canada Avalon Member TomKat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Racism

    Someone needs to point out that the word racism, as used, is biologically incorrect. By definition, every human is of the same race. And most humans are racist, in that they value human life over other forms.
    Last edited by TomKat; 30th May 2019 at 10:51.

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    Croatia Administrator Franny's Avatar
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    Default Re: Racism

    This vid is a bit controversial, black African type people in the Americas before Aisan type people. People got quite contentious in the comments when I first saw it a few months ago.

    What does it mean?

    I came upon it while investigating some areas of interest, mainly history that is hard to find. Led to some very interesting related discoveries which I will look for and post eventually. I'll be heading to the mainland for a couple of weeks and may be sort of out of touch. But it's a fascinating area of investigation, to me anyway.


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  9. Link to Post #225
    Croatia Administrator Franny's Avatar
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    Default Re: Racism

    I pulled these from some old photo collections and books published in the 1700 and 1800s.

    American Indians. I saw many of these type pictures but did not clip them out Early American Indians were a very mixed lot, not just Asian types. Goes against everything we know about American Indians.
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    Natives of Tierra Del Fuego
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    Nutka Tribe. I like this because it shows varied types and that the painter did not make them all look alike but showed the differences. The discussion in the book I took it from mentions people that looked like Asians, Africans, Moroccans and Europeans. They were varied but one tribe. Obviously before race became an issue.

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    Patagonians
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    There's more, much more about the people of the Americas when the Europeans officially arrived.

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    United States Avalon Member Mark/Rahkyt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Racism

    Quote Posted by Strat (here)
    Dunno, I suppose it just doesn't pop up in conversations and I feel weird asking. I do from time to time but not often. White/black relation discourse is usually half sarcastic and there's no real info being exchanged.
    Sure. It can be difficult in Real Life (iRL), because you actually have to look at the other person and engage directly with their energetic field and realm of information. A lot of yellow, red, brown and black folks also do not really know the history. I am able to speak on these topics because I have studied them in-depth over decades at the graduate level of Academia as well as personally. I have also written extensively and professionally on these topics. So, you can consider me and this space as a "safe space" to ask any questions or make any arguments you have wanted to but have not felt secure enough in your off-line relationships to assay.

    Quote Posted by TomKat (here)
    Someone needs to point out that the word racism, as used, is biologically incorrect. By definition, every human is of the same race. And most humans are racist, in that they value human life over other forms.
    Thank you for pointing that fact out. I would contend your definition of racism, though, as what you are describing is now called speciesism. If you were referring to disliking other persons of a different skin coloration or any other distinguishing characteristic, that is mere prejudice. Racism is something more.



    There’s No Scientific Basis for Race—It's a Made-Up Label

    IN THE FIRST half of the 19th century, one of America’s most prominent scientists was a doctor named Samuel Morton. Morton lived in Philadelphia, and he collected skulls.

    He wasn’t choosy about his suppliers. He accepted skulls scavenged from battlefields and snatched from catacombs. One of his most famous craniums belonged to an Irishman who’d been sent as a convict to Tasmania (and ultimately hanged for killing and eating other convicts). With each skull Morton performed the same procedure: He stuffed it with pepper seeds—later he switched to lead shot—which he then decanted to ascertain the volume of the braincase.

    Morton believed that people could be divided into five races and that these represented separate acts of creation. The races had distinct characters, which corresponded to their place in a divinely determined hierarchy. Morton’s “craniometry” showed, he claimed, that whites, or “Caucasians,” were the most intelligent of the races. East Asians—Morton used the term “Mongolian”—though “ingenious” and “susceptible of cultivation,” were one step down. Next came Southeast Asians, followed by Native Americans. Blacks, or “Ethiopians,” were at the bottom. In the decades before the Civil War, Morton’s ideas were quickly taken up by the defenders of slavery.

    “He had a lot of influence, particularly in the South,” says Paul Wolff Mitchell, an anthropologist at the University of Pennsylvania who is showing me the skull collection, now housed at the Penn Museum. We’re standing over the braincase of a particularly large-headed Dutchman who helped inflate Morton’s estimate of Caucasian capacities. When Morton died, in 1851, the Charleston Medical Journal in South Carolina praised him for “giving to the negro his true position as an inferior race.”

    Today Morton is known as the father of scientific racism. So many of the horrors of the past few centuries can be traced to the idea that one race is inferior to another that a tour of his collection is a haunting experience. To an uncomfortable degree we still live with Morton’s legacy: Racial distinctions continue to shape our politics, our neighborhoods, and our sense of self.

    This is the case even though what science actually has to tell us about race is just the opposite of what Morton contended.

    Morton thought he’d identified immutable and inherited differences among people, but at the time he was working—shortly before Charles Darwin put forth his theory of evolution and long before the discovery of DNA—scientists had no idea how traits were passed on. Researchers who have since looked at people at the genetic level now say that the whole category of race is misconceived. Indeed, when scientists set out to assemble the first complete human genome, which was a composite of several individuals, they deliberately gathered samples from people who self-identified as members of different races. In June 2000, when the results were announced at a White House ceremony, Craig Venter, a pioneer of DNA sequencing, observed, “The concept of race has no genetic or scientific basis.”

    Over the past few decades, genetic research has revealed two deep truths about people. The first is that all humans are closely related—more closely related than all chimps, even though there are many more humans around today. Everyone has the same collection of genes, but with the exception of identical twins, everyone has slightly different versions of some of them. Studies of this genetic diversity have allowed scientists to reconstruct a kind of family tree of human populations. That has revealed the second deep truth: In a very real sense, all people alive today are Africans.

    Our species, Homo sapiens, evolved in Africa—no one is sure of the exact time or place. The most recent fossil find, from Morocco, suggests that anatomically modern human features began appearing as long as 300,000 years ago. For the next 200,000 years or so, we remained in Africa, but already during that period, groups began to move to different parts of the continent and become isolated from one another—in effect founding new populations.

    In humans, as in all species, genetic changes are the result of random mutations—tiny tweaks to DNA, the code of life. Mutations occur at a more or less constant rate, so the longer a group persists, handing down its genes generation after generation, the more tweaks these genes will accumulate. Meanwhile, the longer two groups are separated, the more distinctive tweaks they will acquire.

    By analyzing the genes of present-day Africans, researchers have concluded that the Khoe-San, who now live in southern Africa, represent one of the oldest branches of the human family tree. The Pygmies of central Africa also have a very long history as a distinct group. What this means is that the deepest splits in the human family aren’t between what are usually thought of as different races—whites, say, or blacks or Asians or Native Americans. They’re between African populations such as the Khoe-San and the Pygmies, who spent tens of thousands of years separated from one another even before humans left Africa.

    All non-Africans today, the genetics tells us, are descended from a few thousand humans who left Africa maybe 60,000 years ago. These migrants were most closely related to groups that today live in East Africa, including the Hadza of Tanzania. Because they were just a small subset of Africa’s population, the migrants took with them only a fraction of its genetic diversity.

    Somewhere along the way, perhaps in the Middle East, the travelers met and had sex with another human species, the Neanderthals; farther east they encountered yet another, the Denisovans. It’s believed that both species evolved in Eurasia from a hominin that had migrated out of Africa much earlier. Some scientists also believe the exodus 60,000 years ago was actually the second wave of modern humans to leave Africa. If so, judging from our genomes today, the second wave swamped the first.

    In what was, relatively speaking, a great rush, the offspring of all these migrants dispersed around the world. By 50,000 years ago they had reached Australia. By 45,000 years ago they’d settled in Siberia, and by 15,000 years ago they’d reached South America. As they moved into different parts of the world, they formed new groups that became geographically isolated from one another and, in the process, acquired their own distinctive set of genetic mutations.

    Most of these tweaks were neither helpful nor harmful. But occasionally a mutation arose that turned out to be advantageous in a new setting. Under the pressure of natural selection, it spread quickly through the local population. At high altitudes, for instance, oxygen levels are low, so for people moving into the Ethiopian highlands, Tibet, or the Andean Altiplano, there was a premium on mutations that helped them cope with the rarefied air. Similarly, Inuit people, who adopted a marine-based diet high in fatty acids, have genetic tweaks that helped them adapt to it.

    Sometimes it’s clear that natural selection has favored a mutation, but it’s not clear why. Such is the case with a variant of a gene called EDAR (pronounced ee-dar). Most people of East Asian and Native American ancestry possess at least one copy of the variant, known as 370A, and many possess two. But it’s rare among people of African and European descent.

    At the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine, geneticist Yana Kamberov has equipped mice with the East Asian variant of EDAR in hopes of understanding what it does. “They’re cute, aren’t they?” she says, opening the cage to show me. The mice look ordinary, with sleek brown coats and shiny black eyes. But examined under a microscope, they are different from their equally cute cousins in subtle yet significant ways. Their hair strands are thicker; their sweat glands are more numerous; and the fat pads around their mammary glands are smaller.

    Kamberov’s mice help explain why some East Asians and Native Americans have thicker hair and more sweat glands. (EDAR’s effect on human breasts is unclear.) But they don’t provide an evolutionary reason. Perhaps, Kamberov speculates, the ancestors of contemporary East Asians at some point encountered climate conditions that made more sweat glands useful. Or maybe thicker hair helped them ward off parasites. Or it could be that 370A produced other benefits she’s yet to discover and the changes she has identified were, in effect, just tagalongs. Genetics frequently works like this: A tiny tweak can have many disparate effects. Only one may be useful—and it may outlive the conditions that made it so, the way families hand down old photos long past the point when anyone remembers who’s in them.

    “Unless you have a time machine, you’re not going to know,” Kamberov sighs.

    DNA is often compared to a text, with the letters standing for chemical bases—A for adenine, C for cytosine, G for guanine, and T for thymine. The human genome consists of three billion base pairs—page after page of A’s, C’s, G’s, and T’s—divided into roughly 20,000 genes. The tweak that gives East Asians thicker hair is a single base change in a single gene, from a T to a C.

    Similarly, the mutation that’s most responsible for giving Europeans lighter skin is a single tweak in a gene known as SLC24A5, which consists of roughly 20,000 base pairs. In one position, where most sub-Saharan Africans have a G, Europeans have an A. About a decade ago a pathologist and geneticist named Keith Cheng, at Penn State College of Medicine, discovered the mutation by studying zebrafish that had been bred to have lighter stripes. The fish, it turned out, possessed a mutation in a pigment gene analogous to the one that is mutated in Europeans.

    Studying DNA extracted from ancient bones, paleogeneticists have found that the G-to-A substitution was introduced into western Europe relatively recently—about 8,000 years ago—by people migrating from the Middle East, who also brought a newfangled technology: farming. That means the people already in Europe—hunter-gatherers who created the spectacular cave paintings at Lascaux, for example—probably were not white but brown. The ancient DNA suggests that many of those dark-skinned Europeans also had blue eyes, a combination rarely seen today.

    “What the genetics shows is that mixture and displacement have happened again and again and that our pictures of past ‘racial structures’ are almost always wrong,” says David Reich, a Harvard University paleogeneticist whose new book on the subject is called Who We Are and How We Got Here. There are no fixed traits associated with specific geographic locations, Reich says, because as often as isolation has created differences among populations, migration and mixing have blurred or erased them.

    Across the world today, skin color is highly variable. Much of the difference correlates with latitude. Near the Equator lots of sunlight makes dark skin a useful shield against ultraviolet radiation; toward the poles, where the problem is too little sun, paler skin promotes the production of vitamin D. Several genes work together to determine skin tone, and different groups may possess any number of combinations of different tweaks. Among Africans, some people, such as the Mursi of Ethiopia, have skin that’s almost ebony, while others, such as the Khoe-San, have skin the color of copper. Many dark-skinned East Africans, researchers were surprised to learn, possess the light-skinned variant of SLC24A5. (It seems to have been introduced to Africa, just as it was to Europe, from the Middle East.) East Asians, for their part, generally have light skin but possess the dark-skinned version of the gene. Cheng has been using zebrafish to try to figure out why. “It’s not simple,” he says.

    When people speak about race, usually they seem to be referring to skin color and, at the same time, to something more than skin color. This is the legacy of people such as Morton, who developed the “science” of race to suit his own prejudices and got the actual science totally wrong. Science today tells us that the visible differences between peoples are accidents of history. They reflect how our ancestors dealt with sun exposure, and not much else.

    “We often have this idea that if I know your skin color, I know X, Y, and Z about you,” says Heather Norton, a molecular anthropologist at the University of Cincinnati who studies pigmentation. “So I think it can be very powerful to explain to people that all these changes we see, it’s just because I have an A in my genome and she has a G.”

    About an hour away from Morton’s collection, at West Chester University, Anita Foeman directs the DNA Discussion Project. On a bright fall morning, she’s addressing the latest participants in the project—a dozen students of varying hues, each peering at a laptop screen. A few weeks earlier the students had filled out questionnaires about their ancestry. What did they believe their background to be? The students had then submitted saliva samples for genetic testing. Now, via their computers, they are getting back their results. Their faces register their reactions.

    One young woman, whose family has lived in India as far back as anyone can recall, is shocked to discover some of her ancestry is Irish. Another young woman, who has grown up believing one of her grandparents was Native American, is disappointed to learn this isn’t so. A third describes herself as “confused.” “I was expecting a lot more Middle Eastern,” she says.

    Foeman, a professor of communications, is accustomed to such responses. She started the DNA Discussion Project in 2006 because she was interested in stories, both the kind that families tell and the kind that genes tell. From early on in the project, it was clear these were often not the same. A young man who identified as biracial was angry to discover his background was, in fact, almost entirely European. Several students who had been raised in Christian households were surprised to learn some of their ancestors were Jewish.

    “All these stories that have been suppressed pop out in the genes,” Foeman says. Even Foeman, who identifies as African-American, was caught off guard by her results. They showed that some of her ancestors were from Ghana, others from Scandinavia.

    “I grew up in the 1960s, when light skin was really a big deal,” she explains. “So I think of myself as being pretty brown skinned. I was surprised that a quarter of my background was European.”

    “It really brought home this idea that we make race up,” she says.

    Of course, just because race is “made up” doesn’t make it any less powerful. To a disturbing extent, race still determines people’s perceptions, their opportunities, and their experiences. It is enshrined in the U.S. census, which last time it was taken, in 2010, asked Americans to choose their race from a list that reflects the history of the concept; choices included “White,” “Black,” “American Indian,” “Asian Indian,” “Chinese,” “Japanese,” and “Samoan.” Racial distinctions were written into the Jim Crow laws of the post-Reconstruction South and are now written into statutes like the Civil Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race or color. To the victims of racism, it’s small consolation to say that the category has no scientific basis.

    Genetic sequencing, which has allowed researchers to trace the path of human migration and now allows individuals to trace their own ancestry, has introduced new ways of thinking about human diversity. Or at least so Foeman hopes. The DNA Discussion Project gives participants insight into their own background, which is generally a lot more complicated than they’d been led to believe. And this, in turn, opens up a conversation about the long, tangled, and often brutal history that all of us ultimately share.

    “That race is a human construction doesn’t mean that we don’t fall into different groups or there’s no variation,” Foeman says. “But if we made racial categories up, maybe we can make new categories that function better.”

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    United States Avalon Member Mark/Rahkyt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Racism

    Racism has a toxic effect

    Study may explain how racial discrimination raises the risks of disease among African Americans

    Date: May 31, 2019
    Source: University of Southern California
    Summary: Researchers have long known that racism is linked to health problems, but now results from a small study using RNA tests show that racism appears to increase chronic inflammation among African Americans.

    A new study indicates that racism is toxic to humans.

    A team of USC and UCLA scientists found that racist experiences appear to increase inflammation in African American individuals, raising their risk of chronic illness, according to the study published in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology on April 18.

    "We know discrimination is linked to health outcomes, but no one was sure exactly how it harmed health," said April Thames, associate professor of psychology and psychiatry at USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences. "I looked at it as a chronic stressor. Our results showed that racial discrimination appears to trigger an inflammatory response among African Americans at the cellular level."

    The survival of all living things depends on their ability to respond to infections, stresses and injuries. Such threats trigger an immune system response to fend off pathogens and repair damaged tissues. A select group of genes are key to this defense mechanism, and inflammation is a sign that those genes are working to counter the threat or repair the damage.

    Inflammation serves to protect an organism from a health threat. But if someone feels under threat for long periods of time, their health may suffer significantly with chronic inflammation.

    "If those genes remain active for an extended period of time, that can promote heart attacks, neurodegenerative diseases, and metastatic cancer," says co-author Steve Cole of the University of California, Los Angeles.

    In previous studies, Cole had found that inflammatory responses are heightened among people in socially-marginalized, isolated groups. "We've seen this before in chronic loneliness, poverty, PTSD, and other types of adversity," he says. "But until now, nobody had looked at the effects of discrimination."

    Inflammation's link to racism

    For the study, Thames and her co-authors focused on a group of 71 subjects: two-thirds of them were African Americans; the others were white.

    In addition, 38 of the participants were positive for HIV. Their participation gave scientists a chance to study the effects of racism independently from the effects of the disease.

    The scientists extracted RNA from the participants' cells and measured molecules that trigger inflammation, as well as those involved in antiviral responses. The research team found higher levels of the inflammatory molecules in African American participants.

    The results also indicate that racism may account for as much as 50 percent of the heightened inflammation among African Americans, including those who were positive for HIV.

    Ruling out other stressors

    The scientists made sure that all the participants had similar socioeconomic background to account for financial stressors, which eliminated poverty as a potential factor for chronic inflammation among the people in the study.

    "Racial discrimination is a different type of chronic stressor than poverty," Thames says. "People navigate poverty on a day-to-day basis and are aware that it is happening. They might even be able to address financial stressors through job changes, changes in earnings and financial management. But with discrimination, you don't always realize that it's happening."

    Individuals' decisions or lifestyles can reduce the ill effects of some stressors, but racial discrimination is a chronic stressor that people have no control over. "You can't change your skin color," she says.

    Thames notes that this latest study has an obvious limitation: The sample size was small. But she says the results signal that scientists should repeat the study with a larger sample to fully determine the inflammatory effects of racism on people of color.

    Co-authors of the study included Cole, Michael Irwin and Elizabeth Breen from UCLA.

    The study was supported by an estimated $1 million in grants from multiple sources, including the National Institute of Health's National Center for Advancing Translational Science, UCLA, the USC/UCLA Center on Biodemography and Population Health and the Claude D. Pepper Older Adults Independent Centers at the National Institute on Aging.

    Story Source:

    Materials provided by University of Southern California. Original written by Emily Gersema. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

    Journal Reference:

    April D. Thames, Michael R. Irwin, Elizabeth C. Breen, Steve W. Cole. Experienced discrimination and racial differences in leukocyte gene expression. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 2019; 106: 277 DOI: 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2019.04.016

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    Default Re: Racism

    Quote Posted by latte (here)
    I pulled these from some old photo collections and books published in the 1700 and 1800s.
    Amazing images. Yes, this is contentious and goes against the official narrative. It is well known in Western Africa that there were Kings who sent fleets out into the Atlantic, never to be seen again, but those fleets were headed for western lands and it was assumed they arrived there safely.

    The problem is and has been that the scholarship of the Africans has never been considered to be valid, nor the histories that they shared which, often, had a strong oral tradition component. If you look at the page I linked above, for instance, it will be easy for European scholars who read it to dismiss the entire thing as Afrocentrism, as if by doing so that totally invalidates the article.

    Thanks for sharing!

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    Default Re: Racism

    Transgenerational Consequences of Racial Discrimination for African American Health

    Abstract
    Quote Disparities in African American health remain pervasive and persist transgenerationally. There is a growing consensus that both structural and interpersonal racial discrimination are key mechanisms affecting African American health. The Biopsychosocial Model of Racism as a Stressor posits that the persistent stress of experiencing discrimination take a physical toll on the health of African Americans and is ultimately manifested in the onset of illness. However, the degree to which the health consequences of racism and discrimination can be passed down from one generation to the next is an important avenue of exploration. In this review, we discuss and link literature across disciplines demonstrating the harmful impact of racism on African American physical health and the health of their offspring.
    Racial differences in health outcomes in the United States are widespread and stark. Though there have been important technological advances contributing to the increase in population life expectancy in the past fifty years (Gortmaker and Wise 1997), the gap in health outcomes between whites and certain minority groups remains substantial. According to the Center for the Disease Control’s most recent report, rates of morbidity and mortality over the life course remain higher for African Americans than for most other race/ethnic groups (CDC/NCHS 2011). Moreover, African Americans have the highest rates of low birth weight births and substantially higher rates of infant mortality than other racial groups (Williams 2002). African American children also experience higher rates of chronic health conditions such as asthma and obesity across socioeconomic status (CDC/NCHS 2011), and during adulthood, African Americans exhibit the highest rates of hypertension and cancer mortality (Williams 2002). Though life expectancy has risen for all populations in the U.S., both African American men and women still exhibit the lowest life expectancy across race ethnic groups with men’s average life expectancy at 70 years old and women’s at 77 compared to 76 for White men and 81 for White women (CDC/NCHS 2011).

    Sociologists systematically demonstrate the pervasive, harmful nature of social inequality for minority disparities across a range of outcomes including health, education, income, and family processes (Reskin 2012). There is an increasing awareness that racial discrimination is a salient mechanism perpetuating racial gaps in health with African Americans showing some of the most substantial differences in prevalence and severity of certain health conditions across the life course (Williams 2012). The Biopsychosocial Model of Racism as a Stressor (BMRS) elucidates the psychosocial and biological pathways through which racism functions as a mechanism for perpetuating declines in health, particularly among African Americans (Clark et al. 1999). Though there have been important strides in uncovering the life course pathways through which racial inequality perpetuates health outcomes across the life course of racial minorities, the sociological literature has yet to effectively examine the degree to which the health consequences of racial discrimination are transmitted transgenerationally.

    The health consequences of racism and discrimination can be persistent and passed from one generation to the next through the body’s ‘biological memory’ of harmful experiences (Thayer and Kuzawa 2011). Specifically, the psychosocial and biological pathways through which racism affects racial minority health can also have consequences for their offspring, potentially perpetuating the existing disparities in the next generation, in part, by the embodiment of inequality transmitted through epigenetic influences (Kuzawa and Sweet 2009). In other words, stressful conditions and poor health experienced by mothers can lead to alterations in her offspring’s gene expression without changing his or her genotype. These changes in gene expression can have important implications for the healthy functioning of bodily systems in mothers and their offspring.

    The goal of this paper is to elaborate on the contribution of the complex, interactive dynamics of racism and racial discrimination for driving persistent racial disparities in health across generations. In this review we draw upon an interdisciplinary literature to inform our sociological understanding of the persistence of health disparities across generations. We use African American women’s health as a descriptive example illustrating the importance of eradicating racial inequality as a key solution to improving health outcomes of marginalized groups. Specifically, we argue that discrimination is a socially generated but physiologically disruptive force that influences health across generations.


    The Biopsychosocial Consequences of Racial Discrimination as a Stressor

    Racism refers to the beliefs, attitudes, institutional arrangements, and interpersonal acts that malign a person or group people based on their racial or ethnic affiliation (Clark et al. 1999). Racist ideology and beliefs have been historically used as justification for discrimination both at the individual and institutional levels in the Unites States and remain ubiquitous (Reskin 2012; Williams 2012). The consequences of this racially discriminatory structure have given rise to system wide inequities and disparate racial differences in health outcomes. Structurally, discrimination was instrumental in creating the most harmful conditions for minority health- economic marginalization and segregation, which have been examined at length in the sociological literature (Williams and Sternthal 2010). While structural inequality is instrumental in creating unequal access to goods and resources including quality education and health care, safe communities, and economic mobility (Geronimus and Thompson 2004), racial discrimination also takes a toll on the physiological and psychological health of minority group members who may internalize racial discrimination (Clark et al. 1999).

    The Biopsychosocial Model of Racism as a Stressor (BMRS) posits that the stress of racial discrimination is instrumental in African American health disparities due to the physiological responses to chronic and acute stress brought on by racist experiences (Clark et al. 1999). Specifically, the exposure to environments perceived as racist can result in an overactive physiological stress response. In other words, normal bodily systems responsible for adjusting to stressful conditions remain perpetually activated in the presence of chronic stress, leaving individuals vulnerable to illness due to elevated wear and tear on the body (McKewen 1998; McKewen and Seeman 1999)- conditions which we will elaborate in more detail in the following section. We expand the original BMRS model to suggest that not only is the perception of racial discrimination important for African American health, but also just as important, is the disproportionate exposure to social stressors brought on by being part of a racial group that is systematically discriminated against and marginalized (Geronimus 2001).

    Recent findings indicate that African Americans are disproportionately exposed to social stressors of higher frequency and severity (Sternthal et al. 2011). The high prevalence of African Americans living in racially segregated conditions is a key structural mechanism through which they are exposed to elevated numbers of stressors (Williams and Sternthal 2010). African Americans, even in the middle class, are more likely to live in conditions where they are exposed to, or in close proximity, to concentrated disadvantage, high unemployment rates, pollution, violent crime, and poor housing conditions (Reskin 2012; Geronimus and Thompson 2004; Sternthal et al. 2011). Subjection to such stressful, noxious conditions can play a harmful role in overall well-being and illness onset and progression.

    Although disproportionately represented in poverty, African Americans across socioeconomic strata exhibit poorer health on average relative to Caucasians. Middle class African Americans are more likely to be exposed to discrimination at the individual or interpersonal levels, with more frequency because they are more likely to work in predominantly white environments, elevating the risk of discriminatory experiences and racist microaggressions (Colen 2011). Furthermore, socioeconomic status does not share equivalent meanings across race/ethnic groups with middle class African Americans having less overall wealth than their Caucasian counterparts thereby living in more economically tenuous conditions (Williams and Sternthal 2010). Consequently, middle class African Americans are more vulnerable to descending into poverty during economic downturns and are at an elevated risk for experiencing perpetual stress (Sternthal et al. 2011).


    The Physiologic Consequences of Stress

    The Biopsychosocial Model (BMRS) asserts that African Americans who perceive certain circumstances as racist experience physiological stress responses that can be exacerbated by sociodemographic (e.g.- socioeconomic status) and psychological characteristics (e.g.- depression) along with behavioral factors (e.g.- smoking, alcohol use), and coping responses (e.g.- ability to mobilize social support) to such experiences (Clark et al. 1999). Consequently, perpetual stress responses to acute and chronically stressful conditions elevate one’s vulnerability to disease. Both human and animal model studies of health and disease progression demonstrate that individuals lower in the social hierarchy have poorer health and higher disease risk than those who occupy higher social strata (Sapolsky 2006; McKewen and Seeman 1999). Although among humans, health risk behaviors such as smoking, drinking, and unhealthy eating habits are more likely to happen among socially marginalized groups, these behaviors do not completely account for health differences across social strata (Williams 2008). The psychosocial stress and burden of coping with limited access to resources and the harmful challenges associated with social marginalization can place substantial wear and tear on bodily systems important for managing stress and coping (allostatic load), thus leaving individuals vulnerable to disease (McEwen and Seeman 1999).

    The human body’s physiologic response to stressful conditions can elevate vulnerability to disease through metabolic, cardiovascular, and immune function (McEwen and Gianaros 2010). Moreover, the body’s stress response is also tied to accelerated aging and cellular degradation (Epel et al. 2004). The body is made up complimentary systems that work synergistically to maintain normal functioning or homeostasis. In order to enable stability, the body works to create allostasis by adjusting bodily systems according to changes in the environment. In the event of abnormal functioning in the body, for instance when the body experiences chronic stressors, wear and tear may occur as a consequence of the of the body attempting to turn on or shut down certain systems to maintain allostasis - this condition is called allostatic load (McEwen and Seeman 1999).


    Cardiovascular and Metabolic Function

    The cardiovascular and metabolic systems are linked to diseases including atherosclerosis, insulin resistance, and cardiovascular disease. In the presence of negative stressors, the body’s cardiovascular system can respond by increasing blood circulation through elevated heart rate, a protective measure in the presence of acute stress, but if left unchecked can lead to the thickening and rigidity of the arterial walls (Sapolsky 2006). This process happens in concert with the mobilization of metabolic hormones such as cortisol, which are controlled by the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrencortal (HPA) axis (McEwen 2000). Cortisol is a glucocorticoid hormone that is, in large part, responsible for managing energy storage and expenditures, immune function, mood, and the processing of fat, protein, and carbohydrates in the body. Cortisol also regulates the release of glucose (i.e.- blood sugar) into the blood stream in order to provide energy during times of stress (Sapolsky 2006).

    Chronically high levels of glucose in the blood stream can escalate arterial thickening due to inflammation and scarring from the viscous blood containing high levels of glucose and cholesterol that damage the arterial walls. The consequences are twofold - first, the combinations of elevated blood pressure with high levels of glucose and cholesterol particles circulating in the blood exacerbates the risk of cardiovascular conditions including hypertension and atherosclerosis (Brindly and Rolland 1989). Second, high levels of unregulated glucose circulation elevate the risk of other conditions associated with cardiovascular disease including insulin resistance, abdominal obesity, and Type 2 diabetes, which when present together are defined as metabolic syndrome (Seeman et al. 2010; Black 2003).


    Immune function

    Adrenal steroids including the hormone cortisol also help regulate immune function by controlling movement of immune cells to organs or tissues that require protection from infections or other noxious conditions (McEwen and Seeman 1999). In the same way that stress responses can lead to dysregulation among the metabolic and cardiovascular systems, unchecked immune dysregulation can elevate disease risk through immune suppression or immune overactivity by way of a complex feedback loop. Specifically, in response to stress, the body prepares for infection by increasing immune function for wound healing by mobilizing energy (i.e.- releasing glucose into the blood stream) and increasing levels of hormone secretion related to immune function including cortisol (Sapolsky 2006). When there is chronic overactivity of these processes, perpetually high levels of cortisol secretion actually suppresses the immune system thus leading to elevated risk of infections (McEwen 1998). In certain cases, however, exposure to stress can lead to overactivity of immune function where the immune system begins to attack the body in the absence of infections causing inflammation and autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and lupus (Segerstrom et al. 2004).


    Accelerated Aging or Cell Degradation

    Recently, emerging evidence points to the consequences of both perceived stress and the presence of chronic stressors for the rate at which cells age and degrade (Epel et al. 2004). Telemores are stabilizing caps at the ends of chromosomes that shorten through cell division until a cell destabilizes or begins to deteriorate with age (senescence) (Allsopp 1992; see Geronimus et al. 2010). Oxidative stress is a key biological process through which people experience accelerated aging or cell senescence. There is evidence that the presence of social stressors and psychological distress are linked to elevated levels of oxidative stress, consequently leading to shortened telomeres (Eppel et al. 2004). Furthermore, overactivity of the HPA axis, discussed in prior sections, has been linked to oxidative stress as a consequence of excessive secretion of glucocorticoids such as cortisol (McIntosh et al. 1998). Shortened telomeres are particularly important for health outcomes because as telomere lengths shorten, risk of mortality increases. Moreover, there is clinical evidence that heart attack patients have similar telomere lengths to healthy individuals who are approximately 11 years older. Strikingly, in a study assessing telomere lengths in premenopausal women who experience chronic stress, the researchers found that women who experienced chronic stressors had telomere lengths that resembled those of people who had experienced heart attacks in early middle age (Epel et al. 2004).


    Racial Discrimination and African American Health

    The health consequences of racial discrimination are produced through structural (e.g. - chronic poverty, poor infrastructure in non-white communities), institutional (e.g. - educational institutions and employment discrimination), and individual processes (e.g. - interpersonal discriminatory acts; Harrell et al. 2011; Clark et al. 1999). Stress related chronic illness is a leading reason for the high rates of morbidity and mortality among African Americans, particularly in urban areas (Geronimus and Thompson 2004). African American women are especially vulnerable to the harsh conditions brought about by the combination of racial inequality and poor socioeconomic conditions as evidenced by markedly higher rates of chronic illness and earlier onset of functional impairment across socioeconomic strata (Gorman and Read 2006). In this section, we discuss the processes through which racial discrimination contributes to stress-related illness and accelerated aging among African Americans in general and African American women specifically.


    Structural Discrimination and Health

    For African Americans living in a race conscious society, persistently experiencing stigmatization and disadvantage leaves them susceptible to physiological deterioration, subsequent illness and early mortality (Geronimus et al. 2006). African Americans have disproportionately higher numbers of co-occuring stressors such as job discrimination, relationship stress, and financial hardship, that when experienced, are of greater intensity in their lives relative to Caucasians even after accounting for socioeconomic status (Sternthal et al. 2011). A key suggested structural mechanism for such differences in stress exposure and African American health is racial segregation and the risks associated with it. African Americans, particularly African American women, are more likely to live in racially segregated conditions with high rates of poverty regardless of their socioeconomic status (Williams 2012). Those living in such segregated conditions are more likely to be exposed to stressors such as concentrated poverty, exposure to violent crime, limited access to institutional resources, poorer schools, and fewer safe outdoor spaces (Williams 2008). Consequently these conditions are associated with elevated levels of stress and hardship.

    African American Women’s Health Profiles
    African American women’s health profiles show marked differences in the prevalence, onset, and severity of certain health conditions. Though African American men have lower life expectancy relative to African American women, women suffer from higher rates of chronic illness and experience functional impairment with earlier onset (Gorman and Read 2006). Furthermore, comorbid chronic illnesses are more prevalent in African American women relative to white women (Williams 2002). African American women also show different health profiles in cancer risk; African American women have a lower incidence of breast cancer than white women, but are more likely to experience a more aggressive form that is associated with substantially higher rates of cancer mortality relative to Caucasian women (Williams 2002).

    African Americans, in general, have higher rates of cardiovascular and diabetes related mortality relative to their Caucasian counterparts (Mensah et al. 2005) and are more likely to experience blindness, amputations, and end stage kidney failure from diabetes (Williams 2002). There are gender differences in morbidity and mortality, however, with women being more likely to live with heart disease and other chronic conditions such as arthritis over time, while men are more likely to experience cardiovascular disease related mortality (Crimmins et al. 2002). Among African Americans, there is variation in health conditions by socioeconomic strata as well. Low-income African American women are more likely to exhibit symptoms of accelerated aging manifested in higher allostatic load (Geronimus et al. 2006) compared to their Caucasian counterparts. In higher socioeconomic strata, however, African American women show stark health differences relative to Caucasian women, with evidence that in addition to structural racial inequality, perceptions of racism and discrimination also take a toll on their health.


    Discrimination and African American Women’s Health

    There are important social pathways that contribute to African American female health outcomes. African American women even at higher levels of SES are more likely to live in highly racially segregated areas (Williams 2002). Low-income African American women experience alarming rates of early onset chronic illness and related mortality such as cardiovascular disease (Geronimus 2001), however, there are also marked black-white health differences among African American women occupying the upper socioeconomic echelons. Such differences are suggested to be related not only to their high risk of living in residentially segregated environments, but also due their likelihood of exposure to both structural and interpersonal discrimination. Middle class African American women, specifically, are more likely to be exposed to discrimination in the form of structural (i.e. encountering the ‘glass’ ceiling effect in employment mobility) and interpersonal discrimination due to their presence in predominantly white environments (Colen 2011; Thomas et al. 2008). The perpetual stress of being in a predominantly white work place may contribute to feelings of social isolation due to their ‘token’ status as an African American female (Jackson 1995; Colen 2011).

    Across socioeconomic status obesity rates among African American women are higher than that of Caucasian women, which may in part be due to structural differences in their proximity to racially segregated communities which limit opportunities for physical activity (Geronimus 2001). However, the stress of experiencing racial discrimination is also linked to cardiovascular and metabolic conditions along with immune function in African American women. Specifically, African Americans who reported higher levels of racism in their lives report poorer self-rated health, higher rates of diseases including immunological, infectious, or endocrine conditions and more frequent common colds (Kwate et al. 2003). The stress of experiencing high levels of both lifetime and everyday discrimination is positively associated with weight gain and abdominal obesity in African American women (Cozier et al. 2009). Experiencing racial discrimination is also associated with coronary artery calcification (Lewis et al. 2006), glucose intolerance, and diabetes (Tull and Chambers 2001; Tull et al. ł999), suggesting long-term impacts on health.

    Although not directly linked to the stressor of discrimination specifically, but to stress more generally, African American women are more vulnerable to experiencing accelerated aging. Specifically, Geronimus and colleagues found that middle age African American women had markedly higher rates of aging, with telomere lengths by age 49–55 that signified being approximately 7.5 years biologically older than white women. The authors note that these findings persisted even after accounting for perceived stress, poverty, and waist to hip ratio (WHR). They posited that increased waist to hip ratio (an indicator of abdominal fat) may be a key pathway through which race and also poverty impact telomere length and overall health (Geronimus et al 2010). Such conditions are also linked African American women’s birth outcomes.


    Biological Memory of Racism and the Role of Epigenetics

    Racial discrimination is linked to birth outcomes among African American women even after accounting for psychological well-being, educational attainment, and risk behaviors such as alcohol use and smoking. African American women who are exposed to and internalize racial discrimination over their lifetime and during pregnancy are more likely to have preterm and/or low birth weight births (Mustillo et al. 2004; Collins et al. 2004; Collins et al. 2000; Rosenberg et al. 2002). Kuzawa and Sweet (2009) argue that the process through which African Americans experience elevated risks of lower birth weight and subsequent chronic health conditions such as cardiovascular disease in adulthood are the result of a complex biosocial process where fetal exposure to maternal stress is manifested through biological modifications during fetal development (Kuzawa and Sweet 2009; Thayer and Kuzawa 2011).

    As mentioned in the previous section, chronic and acute stressors can initiate and perpetuate heightened activity in various bodily systems that impact metabolic and immune function. These processes, however, are not only harmful for mothers experiencing such conditions, but for their offspring as well. Figure 1 illustrates the pathways through which maternal stress experiences can influence health across generations through the interactions of biological and social contexts. In their discussion of the epigenetic consequences of racial inequalities for African American cardiovascular disease risk, Kuzawa and Sweet (2009) outline the pathways through which the health consequences of racial inequality can persist across generations. The authors argue that the human body has a ‘biological memory’ of early life exposure to harmful conditions that can impact gene expression without changing the underlying nucleotide sequences-, which in the case of African Americans includes the deleterious impact of discrimination.



    Much dialogue regarding genetic predispositions and phenotypic characteristics imply that genes are static; however, the epigenetic research indicates that social and physical environments can influence specific gene expression (i.e. epigenesis). For example, fetal undernourishment and other environmental conditions associated with low birth weight can lead to epigenetic alterations of genes in offspring, elevating their risk of hypertension, insulin resistance, and changing the composition of body fat cells contained in adipose tissue (i.e. body fat; Lampl et al. 2002; Jensen 2007; Zhang 2005). These epigenetic changes, however, do not alter the underlying DNA sequence, but instead ‘turn on’ or ‘off’ certain sets of genes associated with specific physiologic functions.

    There is evidence that chronically stressful social conditions that impact African American women’s health in adulthood can be transferred as health risk to her children due to the fetal environment in which their offspring develop (i.e. prenatal stress), thus altering their metabolic and physiological development, demonstrated through the first and second arrows in Figure 1. Specifically, women who experience severe stress during pregnancy are at elevated risk for passing the stress hormone cortisol (third arrow) through their placenta which can restrict fetal growth and increase risk for preterm and low birth weight births (Phillips et al. 1998). Consequently, such exposure alters fetal HPA axis development and subsequent offspring biological stress reactivity.

    In addition, women experiencing hypertension, insulin resistance, and diabetes during pregnancy are also at risk for low birth weight offspring (see Kuzawa and Sweet 2009). Because African American mothers are more likely themselves be low birth weight, her own prenatal experience may influence the in utero environment of her offspring through the above health conditions. In addition to low birth weight risk, insulin resistance and diabetes in pregnant mothers elevate the likelihood of similar weight gain patterns and metabolic dysregulation in their offspring into adulthood through the transmission of high levels of glucose (e.g. blood sugar) via the placenta to the fetus (Dabelea et al. 2000; Lampl and Jeanty 2004; Silverman et al. 1995). Likewise, it is also important to note that in addition to fetal exposure to maternal stress and health conditions, transgenerational transmission of health is also passed through the ‘the continuity of [sic] environment’ (Kuzawa and Sweet 2009, p9). In other words, offspring are born into the stressful environments in which their mothers lived and are also likely to experience similar risk factors including racial discrimination, that their mothers did, thus perpetuating a cycle of health risks across generations.

    Racial inequalities in birth outcomes remain a persistent deleterious condition that disproportionately impacts African American’s long-term health prospects. A key social force driving such marked differences is African Americans’ disproportionate experiences with poverty and economic hardship, demonstrated by the similarity in birth outcomes between low-income African American and Caucasian mothers. Specifically, among this particular population, both groups of women have similar rates of low birth weight births, however, once health risk behaviors such as smoking and drinking are accounted for, the birth weight disparity between black and white women widens (Reichman et al. 2008) suggesting that additional factors beyond poverty and risk behavior may contribute to disparities in birth outcomes. Furthermore, more marked black-white differences in birth outcomes emerge more starkly among middle class women.

    Economic mobility among African American women who were poor in childhood does not provide the same protections from low-birth weight risk that it does for white women. Specifically, for white women who spent their childhoods in poverty, their risk of having a low birth weight child was reduced by 48% for every unit increase in family income while for African American women who experience income increases, there was not a statistically significant effect (Colen et al. 2006). Moreover, African American females with a college degree have higher infant mortality rates than Hispanic and white women with a high school degree (Williams 2012). These findings compliment prior literature showing that middle class, college educated African American women are at a substantially higher risk of having low birth weight children compared to their comparable Caucasian counterparts (Foster et al. 2000; McGrady et al. 1992; Schoendorf et al. 1992).

    Birth weight is a particularly salient outcome to consider for later African American health over the life course because birth weight is associated with a wide array of outcomes correlated with overall life chances. Being born low birth weight is associated with a variety of health conditions such as obesity, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease (Phillips et al. 1998). Moreover, low birth weight status elevates the risk of poor cognitive development, lower academic achievement (Goosby and Cheadle 2009), and reduced chances of high school completion (Cheadle and Goosby 2010).


    The ‘Long Arm’ of Discrimination

    Assumptions of inherent immutable biological (i.e. genetic) differences between racial ethnic groups can lead health care providers specifically and the medical establishment in general to ignore the clear structural and social processes that perpetuate racial and ethnic differences in health outcomes. Several months ago, the popular press reported on a study released that suggested African American girls who engaged in comparable levels of exercise relative to their Caucasian counter parts did not exhibit the same levels of weight loss. The headline of the article was ‘Exercise Not As Beneficial For Black Girls As Whites, Study Says’ (Huffington Post 6/5/12) and the authors of the article suggested that different strategies are needed such as reducing energy (i.e. caloric) intake for African American girls (White and Jago 2012) to address this disparity.

    The popular press article went on to discuss the markedly high rates of obesity among African Americans and then cited an editorial in the New York Times where writer Alice Randall argued that African American women ‘want to be fat’ in response to the article and the study it was based on (New York Times 5/5/2012). This study and the perception that African American women want to be fat is a gross oversimplification of the complex challenges that lead to persistent issues with obesity and related health conditions. An important omission left from this dialogue was the uniqueness of environmental factors facing African American children generally and girls specifically that may predispose them to risk for obesity and chronic illness.

    As discussed in previous section, African American health trajectories are shaped in part by maternal life conditions including the experiences of racism and discrimination that can shape later outcomes of their offspring through potential changes in the child’s metabolic functioning subsequently elevating the risk of experiencing obesity and other chronic illnesses. So, in fact, the metabolic differences exhibited in the medical literature suggesting that African Americans have phenotypes predisposed to obesity and other risk factors for cardiovascular disease (White and Jago 2012; Lee Arslanian 2008) makes a remarkable omission by not accounting for or even mentioning the harmful nature of structural inequality and discrimination for the differences among youth obesity rates. Indeed, there is evidence that among adolescents of African descent experiencing racism is associated with body fat distribution and insulin resistance (Chambers et al. 2004), two conditions strongly associated with the body’s physiological response to chronic stress (Sapolsky 2006). Taken together with early risk consequences minority youth may experience as early as in utero, the ‘long arm’ of discrimination becomes increasingly more evident.

    While there is growing acceptance that racial inequality does play a role in differential minority health outcomes, the example above demonstrates that the assumption of inherent genetic differences between racial groups still exists. These arguments do not account for deep systemic inequalities established based on racist ideology and the fact that much of the socioeconomic disadvantages and stressful conditions brought about by social marginalization can have lasting impacts on the overall health of people in marginalized groups. It has been established and accepted in the field of sociology, that racial categories in the U.S. are socially constructed and have been used as a tool to maintain power and oppress disenfranchised groups. Interestingly, however, there is more genetic variation within racial groups than across groups (Krieger 2005) indicating flawed assumptions in how racial differences in health occur.

    Racial discrimination is persistent, systemic, and pervasive- emerging in multiple social contexts over life course for African American youth. For those already susceptible to stress related conditions, additional noxious experiences related to racial inequality can exacerbate health risks. There is an expanding literature demonstrating that interpersonal interactions as well as larger structural environments such as neighborhoods and schools can also play a salient role for shaping African American life course health. There is evidence regarding the youth physiological stress responses to racism and discrimination, where particularly African American girls who experience racism have higher waist circumference (Chambers et al. 2004). Moreover economic and neighborhood disadvantage are linked to gender differences in physiological stress responses among African American youth (Hackman et al. 2012) both conditions in which African American youth are disproportionately represented.

    Interestingly, there is also evidence that school context is a key factor during childhood and adolescence that can exacerbate existing health risks among African American youth by perpetuating exposure to racism and discrimination as well as social alienation (Goosby and Walsemann 2012; Juvonen et al. 2006). Specifically, African American adolescents attending predominantly white schools report more depressive symptoms and somatic complaints (stomach aches, nausea, headaches, etc.) and poorer self-rated health in early adulthood relative to youth in more integrated schools (Walsemann et al. 2011a,b; Goosby and Walsemann 2011). Such studies illustrate the emerging cycle of racial discrimination across generations and can exacerbate already existing health risk brought about by their parents’ experiences with discrimination.


    Conclusion

    While protective social conditions such as family support and higher income may offset some of these risks for African Americans, the added stress of being part of a marginalized group and experiencing discrimination may curtail potential gains made by economic mobility, thus leading to continued health risks associated poor birth outcomes in the next generation. Increasingly, policy makers are escalating strategies to address health disparities through eliminating differential treatment among health care providers, increasing access to care, and altering health risk behaviors. While these are important systemic changes, more attention is required to target the underlying social mechanism of racial discrimination at the structural and interpersonal levels that contribute to these disparities. The physiological consequences created by racial and economic inequality are not inalterable, however. But without addressing the harmful consequences of racial discrimination, improving the health of African Americans as well as other marginalized groups, will remain inadequately addressed.


    Biographies

    Dr. Bridget Goosby is interested in the consequences of social inequality generally and racial discrimination specifically for African American health over the life course. She is currently funded by a National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Mentored Research Award (NICHD K01), where she is studying and identifying the biological stress processes that interact with social contexts to create health disparities that persist across generations. Her work has recently appeared in Journal of Health and Social Behavior, Society and Mental Health, Health and Place, Social Science Research, and Journal of African American Studies. Before becoming an assistant professor of Sociology at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, she was a National Institute of Mental Health Racial, Ethnic, and Cultural Disparities in Mental Health Postdoctoral fellow at the University of Michigan Institute of Social Research Program for Research on Black Americans. She received her PhD in Sociology and Demography from the Pennsylvania State University and her BA in Sociology from Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas.


    Chelsea Heidbrink is currently working towards a Masters of Education in Educational Administration and a post-baccalaureate degree in pre-medicine at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where she also received her B.A. in History. Her current research examines how social stress in underrepresented populations triggers epigenetic modifications that lead to elevated risks for chronic disease. She also works as a Nebraska Legends Coordinator in the University of Nebraska Undergraduate Admissions office.

    References at end of article.

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    Default Re: Racism

    The problem is that everyone is stressed in this unnatural lifestyle we lead. Not only African Americans. Lots of words all trying to hijack a very serious condition that affects us all.

    However, the stress of constantly demeaning and disrespectful attitudes does add an addition stressor - that makes sense.

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    Default Re: Racism

    Quote Posted by Ernie Nemeth (here)
    The problem is that everyone is stressed in this unnatural lifestyle we lead. Not only African Americans. Lots of words all trying to hijack a very serious condition that affects us all.
    That is certainly true. What has not been studied overtly over the past 100 years is the opposite side of the equation. What and how, exactly, have populations that have been on the other side of racism, who have had to deny the humanity of an entire family of planetary co-inhabitants, merely because society demanded it? How has the creation of "whiteness" as a political and social entity in the United States in the mid-1600s caused those who had to take on sociopathic tendencies just in order to survive their neighbors' and leaders' psychopathy affected the past participants, from that time until the present? What is the epigenetic effect upon those who call themselves white, of generations of oppression?

    Of having to engage, at a certain point, unconsciously, in the perpetuation of an inherently racist system of governance and economics?

    Black folks have been studied for a long time by science. Some would say that black Americans in particular have been subject to a genetic experiment and manipulation since the 1600s. By those who call themselves white and, most likely, Others as well. But how this social hierarchical system, the Orion Monetary System plus the Terran racial hierarchy, has affected succedent generations has not been directly studied.

    Quote Posted by Ernie Nemeth (here)
    However, the stress of constantly demeaning and disrespectful attitudes does add an addition stressor - that makes sense.
    I'm glad it makes sense to you.
    Last edited by Mark/Rahkyt; 5th June 2019 at 17:29. Reason: grammar

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    Default Re: Racism

    Then how do DNA tests determine ancestry?

    These are the same people who claim that there is also no biological basis for gender, and that gender is also a social construct, and even that physical sex organs are also social constructs. If this sounds like a different level of insanity than the headline above, it's really not, and I can post the same sorts of academic sources making the same claims.

    If race is purely a social construct, then what social conditions are required for two white people to have a black baby, or two black people to have a white baby? Are there instructions from sociologists as to how to pull that off yet?

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    Default Re: Racism

    Quote Posted by A Voice from the Mountains (here)
    Then how do DNA tests determine ancestry?
    It's not race. There is only one human race. We are all ethnicities within that race. It is that simple.

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    Default Re: Racism

    Quote Posted by Rahkyt (here)
    Quote Posted by A Voice from the Mountains (here)
    Then how do DNA tests determine ancestry?
    It's not race. There is only one human race. We are all ethnicities within that race. It is that simple.
    One can not successfully rebut someone else's statement by insisting on using a definition for a key word that is not one of the (quite reasonable alternative) possible definitions of that word that the other person was using.

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    Default Re: Racism

    Quote Posted by Rahkyt (here)
    Quote Posted by A Voice from the Mountains (here)
    Then how do DNA tests determine ancestry?
    It's not race. There is only one human race. We are all ethnicities within that race. It is that simple.
    So really you are just redefining what the word "race" means to avoid the whole genetic science thing.

    I will wait until I see two Chinese parents legitimately have a black baby before I believe that race is purely a social phenomenon.

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    Default Re: Racism

    Quote Posted by Rahkyt (here)
    What and how, exactly, have populations that have been on the other side of racism, who have had to deny the humanity of an entire family of planetary co-inhabitants, merely because society demanded it? How has the creation of "whiteness" as a political and social entity in the United States in the mid-1600s caused those who had to take on sociopathic tendencies...
    ***

    This is the most offensive and racist comment I have yet seen on Avalon. Black racism towards whites has been culturally acceptable for my lifetime, and it’s not right. I cringe when I hear this kind of divisive language on Avalon, but it’s all to common today by people who repeat what they hear in the media and from “higher” education experts.

    Another example of this cultural creep is the mainstream acceptable statement, “Black Lives Matter”, implying in my reading that white lives don’t matter. To show an example of a similar divisive comment that is culturally unacceptable; for example, “Nazis Lives Matter”, it’s the same turn of phrase and equally true, but can you see how racially divisive that statement could be interpreted?

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    Default Re: Racism

    Quote Posted by Rahkyt (here)
    Quote Posted by A Voice from the Mountains (here)
    Then how do DNA tests determine ancestry?
    It's not race. There is only one human race. We are all ethnicities within that race. It is that simple.

    I can't read anything you write without thinking of your facebook posts in 2015. You have a huge following on facebook and you were playing up to the liberal anti-white demographic by posting daily isolated incidents of stupid white people doing something racist and wrong to a black person. You and most of your followers would respond to how horrible racist white people are and I responded to one of those posts stating I could just as easily find videos of black people doing horrible things to white people and I asked what good would that serve, to which your response to me was unfriending me and telling me I was a racist.



    Your posts on this page have hinted that you understand that there is a liberal agenda related to globalism, but that since folks of color benefit from this liberalism you stop short of condemning it.

    I have to tell you bro, this is the same logic used by the American Indians when the United States calvary divided and conquered the Native populations by arming smaller tribes and telling them to go and kill off a larger tribe that had culturally been their enemy.

    The smaller newly armed tribe would not look at the big picture and understand that they were going to be wiped out as well once their usefulness was over.

    Globalism and it's engineers are the enemies, not the folks they are attempting to pit against one another.

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    Default Re: Racism

    Quote Posted by DNA (here)
    I can't read anything you write without thinking of your facebook posts in 2015. You have a huge following on facebook and you were playing up to the liberal anti-white demographic by posting daily isolated incidents of stupid white people doing something racist and wrong to a black person.
    Oh Lord. Do you know how easy it would be to play the opposite narrative using cherry-picked news items?.

    Rahkyt, after the internationalists gut masculine white men from American society, I hope you realize that black masculine men are #2 on their chopping block. They already target black men with emasculating feminist/"toxic masculinity" nonsense just like they do white men in corporate advertizing, because strong, masculine black American men are the #2 threat to authoritarianism in the US right behind the millions of armed white men.

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    United States Avalon Member Mark/Rahkyt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Racism

    Quote Posted by Paul (here)
    One can not successfully rebut someone else's statement by insisting on using a definition for a key word that is not one of the (quite reasonable alternative) possible definitions of that word that the other person was using.
    I'm not attempting to rebut or to argue. It is a truth, that there is only one human race. Science supports that understanding.

    ¤=[Post Update]=¤

    Quote Posted by A Voice from the Mountains (here)
    So really you are just redefining what the word "race" means to avoid the whole genetic science thing.
    I'm not doing anything. I am sharing the most recent genetic understanding of how the human family is divided into ethnicities. The concept of race as you are using is as a social construct. Which has its reality but is not at all scientific.

    ¤=[Post Update]=¤

    Quote Posted by DNA (here)
    I can't read anything you write without thinking of your facebook posts in 2015. You have a huge following on facebook and you were playing up to the liberal anti-white demographic by posting daily isolated incidents of stupid white people doing something racist and wrong to a black person. You and most of your followers would respond to how horrible racist white people are and I responded to one of those posts stating I could just as easily find videos of black people doing horrible things to white people and I asked what good would that serve, to which your response to me was unfriending me and telling me I was a racist.
    DNA.

    It's good to see you. It has been a while. I hope life has been treating you well.

    My following on FB consists of a couple thousand people in my friendlist. But due to the algorithms I do not reach all of those poeple.

    Your characterization of what I post is inaccurate. We would not respond in such a way and do not now. You have never been a FB friend of mine that I can recall.

    Quote Posted by DNA (here)
    Your posts on this page have hinted that you understand that there is a liberal agenda related to globalism, but that since folks of color benefit from this liberalism you stop short of condemning it.

    I have to tell you bro, this is the same logic used by the American Indians when the United States calvary divided and conquered the Native populations by arming smaller tribes and telling them to go and kill off a larger tribe that had culturally been their enemy.

    The smaller newly armed tribe would not look at the big picture and understand that they were going to be wiped out as well once their usefulness was over.

    Globalism and it's engineers are the enemies, not the folks they are attempting to pit against one another.
    It looks like we are doing all of the pitting against each other without the help of anyone outside of each other.

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    United States Avalon Member Mark/Rahkyt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Racism

    Quote Posted by A Voice from the Mountains (here)
    Oh Lord. Do you know how easy it would be to play the opposite narrative using cherry-picked news items?.
    I do. As do you. We are grown, aware and know how the games of media manipulation are played.

    Quote Posted by A Voice from the Mountains (here)
    Rahkyt, after the internationalists gut masculine white men from American society, I hope you realize that black masculine men are #2 on their chopping block. They already target black men with emasculating feminist/"toxic masculinity" nonsense just like they do white men in corporate advertizing, because strong, masculine black American men are the #2 threat to authoritarianism in the US right behind the millions of armed white men.
    I do realize that fully. Please do not misunderstand what I am doing here. Awareness is KEY. I am continuing the thread that Bill began, attempting to look at issues and begin such discussions as this so we can work through it, together. It is why I returned. So I am GLAD to see y'all here today.

    What we say and write will serve as a record. People will make up their own minds about whether they agree or not. We will just be ourselves.

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