Racial Disparities Among Black Americans Essay examples

776 Words Dec 13th, 2016 4 Pages
6. Racial health disparities, like racial income and wealth disparities, are clearly present in our society. Black Americans have greater risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer (lecture 10). Blacks also have far higher rates of hypertension from high blood pressure. Like other types of inequality, there is a debate over where the root of this discrepancy lies.
The biological argument is one that genetics are the basis for susceptibility to disease. If this were the case, then west Africans that share ancestry with black Americans should demonstrate similar rates of disease, but this is not the case. Blacks in the Caribbean also express lower rates of hypertension. The continuation of the biological argument, then relates to epigenetics, which is the phenomenon genetic code in response to external circumstances, particularly in regards to trauma. Looking at the issue with an epigenetic lens, experiencing racial trauma and macroaggressions on a daily basis could change the genetic code to be more susceptible to disease. This theory is supported by the fact that newer immigrants tend to have better health than those who have been here longer (lecture 10). Consequently, biology alone is unable to describe the reason for the health differences we observe.
Another theory is that since a greater proportion of people of color are low income, the differences we see in health outcomes between races are a proxy for the differences that exist…

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