Analysis: Wise pleads case for re-examining wide-ranging racism in America

by Taylor Villanueva 574 views0

Tim Wise, a prominent anti-racism writer, expressed a thought-provoking lecture in College of the Canyons’ Performing Arts Center that was sure to enlighten some while leaving others asking, where did he get this from?

Though his sources weren’t specifically mentioned, Tim Wise seemed to aim at provoking thought in different aspects of politics and health care, and the alleged hidden racial inequality nobody likes to talk about.

“There’s this other aspect of the health crisis in our country which almost none of the health care debates touched on,” said Wise. “If we make health care more affordable, we still have health care disparities.”

Making health care more affordable isn’t the only answer, or at least that’s the perspective Wise expresses.

Wise refers to research which reveals that the biggest differences “between white folks and the people of color, when it comes to health, are not about money.”

Assuming the research Wise refers to exists, his theory would abolish the common conception that people of color have the worst health outcomes due to the fact that they are more likely to be poor.

“If you’re poor your health is generally worse than if you’re affluent, but that’s not the reason for the racial disparities. In fact what the data tells us is that the biggest gaps between white folks and people of color, in terms of health, are at the top of the income ladder, not the bottom.”

Wise expresses that the data reveals people of color who are doing well, have good incomes, and prenatal care end up having worse outcomes for their kids.

“Something’s happening that’s not just about personal behavior, lifestyle, and economics,” said Wise.

“One is unequal treatment by physicians but we don’t like to think that about doctors, we figure they’re educated and they’re caring professionals which is true for the majority,” says Wise. But Wise goes on to point out more data revealing physicians and some medical students demonstrating “internalized subconscious biases.”

The very concept that racism is still alive is a daring idea Wise so passionately expresses and backs up.

“If in fact you believe that Barack Obama had to downplay race, racism, and racial inequality in order to be electable that right there confirms how not post-racial we are.”

Wise sure did raise quite a few eyebrows which can naturally be anticipated when the topic of racism is talked about. He calls it “illuminated individualism” and expresses that he is in favor of deeper levels of color-consciousness in both public and private practice.

“Those are issues that, as is the case for me, get you out of bed in the morning.”

Video shot by Mary Agustin, edited by Matt Robinson.

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