In 2019, a joint committee on community pediatrics and adolescent health published, “The Impact of Racism on Child and Adolescent Health,” a policy statement calling on medical professionals to take decisive steps to both end racism and take better care of people impacted by it. Published in the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) journal Pediatrics, the statement labeled racism as a “socially transmitted disease.”
The diagnosis fits. Racism infects institutions and interpersonal relationships. It is suffocating and relentless and omnipresent in hospital delivery rooms and doctor’s offices, school classrooms and admissions offices, police stations, courtrooms, places of business, and bank lending offices. The damage wrought by racism is visible, quantifiable, and traceable through generations.
But what is often lost in discussion is the physiological toll it carries. Racism, asserts the AAP policy paper, is a “determinant of health that has a profound impact on the health status of children, adolescents, emerging adults, and their families.” And it turns out that perhaps the most pernicious symptom of racism is the stress and stress-related illnesses it causes.
Read the complete article at: Fatherly