by Ans Irfan, MD, MPH, posted 6-11-2020
Racism is a public health issue. Police violence is a public health issue. Social justice is a public health issue. Let us add a qualifying noun such as “structural” or “systematic” to strengthen our “response” to anti-Blackness and racism. Black lives matter.
With some wordsmithing, some variation of these lines basically constitutes large chunks of the “statements” and “responses” issued by most, if not all, institutions that constitute the public health industrial complex: public health academia; public health associations; public health publishing industry.
Words. Empty words and self-aggrandizing performative advocacy are all that they are. Words matter. What matters more, much more, is the actions that follow them.
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