Racism is a Health Crisis, says Black Muslim Physician

Black Americans continue to struggle against centuries of racism and subjugation.

Recent protests of the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery fueled global outcry at the decimation of Black lives in the country.

Despite the threat of coronavirus, people took the street for weeks, braving the dangers of infection and physical peril at the hands of law enforcement and military to express their outrage and demand change.

According to polls, approximately 15-26 million American engaged in social protests across the nation, including medical professionals tackling the pandemic.

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Despite the dangers of potential COVID-19 transmission, doctors and healthcare workers supported police brutality protests.

Internal medicine specialist, Dr. Constance Shabazz joined protesters in her city. She shared the historical and modern connections between racism and healthcare with AboutIslam and why many medical professionals consider racism a medical crisis.

Racism is a Health Crisis, says Black Muslim Physician - About Islam

A History of Medical Racism

Dr. Shabazz contended that racism remains a major health issue for Black Americans.

“We were forcibly brought into this country in unsanitary conditions and poor nutrition, all hallmarks of racism and health.

“[Slaveowners] forced back into the fields right after giving birth with no time for healing. Then we have people like J. Marion Sims, noted as the father of gynecology, took enslaved women sold to him for use and experimented on them against their will and without anesthesia.  

“Physicians are less likely to offer African Americans pain medications. We are all assumed to be drug addicts.”

Dr. Shabazz explained to About Islam ways racism in healthcare affect People of Color during the COVID pandemic.

“It ripped off a band aid, exposing the racist systems in healthcare and everywhere else.  There is no effective way to deal with COVID, any other health crisis or the underlying systemic race issues until we deal with racism. It will affect all of it. We have to deal with all of them.”

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