By Nayvin Gordon and Karyn Pomerantz, October 28, 2019
The US Department of Health and Human Services promoted October 20-27, 2019 as national lead prevention week. As of 2017, pediatricians reported that more than half a million US children had lead poisoning (AAFP, 2019).
Continue reading “OVER FORTY YEARS OF LEAD POISONING IN CHILDREN — THE CRIMINAL NEGLIGENCE OF AMERICAN CAPITALISM”
The poisonous effects of lead have been documented for over 2,000 years. It is an environmental toxin whose effects are totally preventable; it has no biological role in the human body. Lead causes irreversible brain damage, especially in children. It affects numerous organs, such as the heart and kidneys, and influences behavior and cognition measured by IQ scores and other tests. Researchers have postulated that lead poisoning contributes to higher rates of impulsive behavior, attention deficit disorders, and poorer ability to process information. Nonetheless, the law does not require testing of all children for dangerous lead levels.
Dying of Whiteness: How the Politics of Racial Resentment Is Killing America’s Heartland by Jonathan M. Metzl
by Karyn Pomerantz, August 2019
Dying of Whiteness examines how racism hurts white working class people. Metzl counters the common ideology of white privilege, which posits that white people benefit from racism in terms of social status, safety, education, and housing. While racism devastates non-white communities, it also hurts ordinary white people. Metzl’s analysis doesn’t explicitly frame these inequities as different levels of exploitation caused by capitalism, but he demonstrates how racism enriches the rich, prompts people to support policies against their best interests, and divides people to keep the working class weak (see other blog pieces on white privilege).
Continue reading “Book Review: Dying of Whiteness: How the Politics of Racial Resentment Is Killing America’s Heartland by Jonathan M. Metzl”
By Karyn Pomerantz, January 2019
Selected non-fiction books that provide an analysis of racism in US history. Continue reading “Books on Structural and Personal Racism: Favorites I Read in 2018”
by Ellen Isaacs
appearing on Counterpunch, November 7, 2018
We live in a nation totally beholden to racism. Founded on racism, built on racism, surviving by virtue of racism. From the near total eradication of Native Americans by disease, slaughter, and death marches; to the enslavement of 12 million Africans and the continued oppression, imprisonment, impoverishment and wanton killing of their descendants; to the exploitation and deportation of immigrants; to the Jews and Irish and Italians being eventually admitted into invented whiteness in order to turn them anti-black, but still maligned; to the wars fought against “gooks” and “ragheads” to increase rich men’s profits – US capitalism survives on racism. And the US that survives this way is not beneficial to any of its working people, tearing us apart from each other, impoverishing our souls and our pocketbooks, depriving us of health and learning and peace needed by all and the strength we could have in our oneness. Separated, we are likely to be led down the road to fascism. Continue reading “MORE RACIST MURDERS, IN A SYSTEM THAT SURVIVES ON RACISM”
By Karyn Pomerantz, August 8, 2017
This blog post presents the ways the ruling class of owners and financiers intentionally use racism to create profit and separate the working class. It discusses structural racism and its manifestations in health. Subsequent pieces will discuss how structural racism affects health because of policies in housing, education, employment and other necessities of life. Continue reading “MORE ABOUT HEALTH: Structural Racism and Stress”