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How Black Americans See Discrimination

What percentage of black Americans believe racism and discrimination against black folks exists in America?

Pice a number between 1 and 100 and read on.

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How Black Americans See Discrimination

We asked black Americans whether they believe discrimination against black Americans exists in the U.S. today.

How many do you think responded “it exists”?

92%.

Of the 802 black Americans we asked, almost all said they believe discrimination against black Americans exists today.

One of the paradoxes of racial discrimination is the way it can remain obscured even to the people to whom it’s happening. Here’s an example: In an ambitious, novel studyconducted by the Urban Institute a few years ago, researchers sent actors with similar financial credentials to the same real estate or rental offices to ask about buying or renting a home or apartment. In the end, no matter where they were sent, the actors of color were shown fewer homes and offered fewer discounts on rent or mortgages than those who were white.Image result for black american poll experience with racism

The results even surprised some of the actors of color; they felt they had been treated politely — even warmly — by the very real estate agents who told them they had no properties available to show them but who then told the white actors something different. The full scope of the disparate treatment often becomes clear only in the aggregate, once the camera zooms out.

And yet obscured as the picture may be, black Americans take the existence of discrimination as a fact of life. That’s according to a new study conducted by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, which asked black respondents how they felt about discrimination in their lives and in American society more broadly.

Almost all of the black people who responded — 92 percent — said they felt that discrimination against African-Americans exists in America today. At least half said they had personally experienced racial discrimination in being paid equally or promoted at work, when they applied for jobs or in their encounters with police.

Overall, African Americans report extensive experiences of discrimination, across a range of
situations. In the context of institutional forms of discrimination, half or more of African
Americans say they have personally been discriminated against because they are Black when
interacting with police (50%), when applying to jobs (56%), and when it comes to being paid
equally or considered for promotion (57%).

Additionally, 60% of African Americans say they or a family member have been unfairly
stopped or treated by the police because they are Black, and 45% say the court system has treated
them unfairly because they are Black. Blacks living in suburban areas are more likely than those
in urban areas to report being unfairly stopped or treated by police and being threatened or
harassed because they are Black.

In the context of individual discrimination, a majority of African Americans have personally
experienced racial slurs (51%) and people making negative assumptions or insensitive or
offensive comments about their race (52%). Four in ten African Americans say people have
acted afraid of them because of their race, and 42% have experienced racial violence. Higher
income Black Americans are more likely to report these experiences.

African Americans also report efforts to avoid potential discrimination or to minimize their
potential interactions with police. Nearly a third (31%) say they have avoided calling the police,
and 22% say they have avoided medical care, even when in need, both for fear of discrimination.
Similarly, 27% of Black Americans say they have avoided doing things they might normally,
such as using a car or participating in social events, to avoid potentially interacting with police

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But within that near-consensus, the respondents reported having different kinds of experiences with discrimination, which varied considerably depending on things like gender, age and where they lived.

Take, for example, the question of whether discrimination that was the result of individual bias was a bigger problem than discrimination embedded into laws and government. Among the folks who said that discrimination existed, exactly half of all respondents felt the discrimination that black people face from individual people was a bigger cause for concern. But younger people were more likely to say they felt that institutional discrimination was a bigger concern.

There was also a city-rural divide here, with people who lived in urban areas more likely to see this discrimination as driven by institutional factors as opposed to individual bias than those who lived in rural areas…Related image

There were some stark differences in the way people in different income brackets said they experienced discrimination. Just about 2 in 3 people who earned more than $75,000 a year said that someone has referred to them or black people with racial slurs; less than half of all people who made less than $25,000 said the same. The same trend was true when respondents were asked whether someone acted afraid of them because of their race: Fifty-five percent of people who made more than $75,000 a year or more said this was true, compared with 33 percent of those who made less than $25,000 a year….More

 

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White Republicans May Be Too Racist to Appreciate Obama…But the French Aren’t. Obama 2017!

Wow! Obama for President…of France!

A Citizens’ Petition Calls For A New French President: Barack Obama

The French presidential campaign has been marked by scandal, surprises and upsets as the April election approaches.

Now a petition is calling for an even bigger plot twist: the return of President Barack Obama. As in, French President Barack Obama.

Earlier this week, the Obama 2017 campaign was launched, calling for the former U.S. president to step forward as a candidate in the French election while there’s still time.

“Barack Obama has completed his second term as President of the United States,” the site says. “Why not hire him as president of France? … [He] has the best resume in the world for the job.”

Posters for Obama 2017 have been plastered around Paris. The slogan, of course: “Oui on peut,” French for “Yes we can.” And a campaign-style website is gathering signatures to persuade Obama to run.

It’s not the first time French citizens have expressed longing for Obama’s leadership — at least two petitions were started last year — but it’s by far the most successful. According to the site’s organizers, some 27,000 people have signed the petition so far.

A group of four friends — “basic 30-year-old guys from Paris” who work in creative industries — came up with the idea “after a drink,” according to one of the people behind the site. He asked NPR not to use his name, to avoid possible legal consequences that could damage his career.

“We were thinking about French politics and saying that we were fed up with the fact that we all the time had to vote against someone,” he says, “and how it would be cool to be able to vote for someone we admire. We came up with Obama.”

“I think the whole world would love to have him as president,” he says.

They have an Island Prison where they kept their last dictator, Napoleon… Think we might be able to work a deal and use it for the Chumph?

 
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Posted by on February 24, 2017 in Giant Negros

 

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Voted

Voted this morning. Big crowd, but the line moved very fast. Even though I am a new voter in this county, there were no problems.

Odd thing…The Democrats were out in force manning a table in the area reserved.

There was no Republican table. No Trump signs. And no signs for the Republican candidates.

How did your voting go?

 
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Posted by on November 8, 2016 in General

 

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An American Born, Ethnically Indian Doctor and Race

A Doctor of Indian Descent, not the author of this article.

South Asians (India, Pakistan region) in America also experience racial bias based on their brown skin – even when they are born and raised in the USA. They, along with East Asians have been used as the Model Minority wedge against black and HIspanic folks by the racist right. One of the reasons for South Asian “success” in America, is we are stealing the best and brightest with a strong commitment and background in education from the region. When we say we are “a nation of immigrants”, what that really means in no small part is we have been very successful at robbing the brain trusts for over 100 years with people from European countries before 1965, and around the world now. A large portion of the scientists who built the Atomic Bomb, and who later led our development of rockets were immigrants – educated for the most part in high-level European Schools.

America however, has had a complex relationship with racism for the “groups in the middle” – those that aren’t either black or white. Whether in the days of segregation, classifying the miniscule population of East Asians as “white”, and not subjecting them to segregated schools, to conditions which forced the building of separate “Chinatowns” in areas with any significant Asian population geographically segregated from the white community.

How I Deal with Racist Patients

When a patient requested ‘no Indian doctors,’ I expected the hospital higher-ups to stick up for me. But they didn’t.
Despite being born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama, a city infamous for itsformer Jim Crow laws and the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing, the most culturally insensitive conversations I’ve ever found myself in went something like this:

“Where are you from, darling?”

“Birmingham! I was born here.”

“No, no, where are you really from?”

I guess my brown skin has always given me away as not really American, so with a quick smile and a congenial laugh, I have always replied with a simple “Oh, my family is originally from India.” Usually this satisfies whoever I happen to be talking to at the moment, and we move on to discussing their favorite place to grab some chicken tikka masala. You know, the only topic safe to discuss with Indians, apparently.

As a physician, I spend much of my day being a “people person,” if you will. From patients and their families to other members of the medical team, most doctors spend the large majority of their day communicating with other people. So we’re well versed with handling almost everything that comes our way, from the inappropriate to the mundane.

Just the other day in clinic, a patient of mine told me about his travels in South Asia and excitedly asked me where I was born after I told him I’m Indian. Upon hearing that I was actually born in Birmingham, he dejectedly stated, “Oh, please, you’re a fake Indian.” Ouch.

Despite this obvious personal affront, I have coped well with the identity crisis that comes with simultaneously being denied the right to call myself either American or Indian. This unique no-man’s-land has usually been cushioned by an ability to separate these casual conversations from my role in the doctor-patient relationship. Except, of course, in the unique situations whereby my race has precluded me from doing my job—not due to any issue on my end, but due to the patients on the receiving end of my care.

I remember early in my residency, a patient specifically requested that no “foreigners” take care of her. This request was made in passing, one time, to her primary doctor, who happened to be white. It never came up again while she was in the hospital, so nothing was ever really done about it.

Fast forward a year or so later in my residency when a patient’s family explicitly requested, well, actually demanded, that no Indian doctors directly care for their mother. This was a little problematic, from a medical and technical aspect, given that the majority of her primary team of doctors was, in fact, some variety of Indian.

As you can imagine, this situation was also ethically, morally, and personally problematic. I wish I could say that this situation was handled well and all misunderstandings were cleared—but the racism and disrespect of this request were brushed away, and the medical team was told by the powers that be to handle the situation with sensitivity. Excuse me, what?

As a medical community, we are all very aware of the racial biases and healthcare discrimination faced by our patients. In fact, NEJM and JAMA have both recently published perspective pieces on these topics. But very few people have taken a look at the opposite end of that spectrum and how the judgments placed on physicians impact patient care and physician well being.

Instead of ignoring these issues, we should be taking strides within the medical community to break down unfair judgments and racist ideals. Minority doctors all tell stories about these experiences and we usually laugh because that’s what makes us feel a little better, but deep down we all know how unfunny it is.

I really don’t mind casual conversation about the best Indian restaurant in town, or the nostalgic reminiscing about that wonderful Indian neighbor from so long ago, or even that little game I play every time somebody asks me if I know that other Dr. Khan/Patel/Singh/Insert-Brown-Last-Name-Here.

But I do mind being judged by the color of my skin. Of all the things that I had imagined brown could do for me, I never really expected it to make me feel out of place both inside and outside of the hospital.

 

 
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Posted by on September 26, 2015 in The New Jim Crow, The Post-Racial Life

 

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