How Racism Threatens Public Health
Racial profiling is a threat to public health because it exposes people to discrimination and the fear of discrimination. Race may be a social construct, but racism materializes in poor health.
What's the Latest Development?
This week, hearings will begin in New York City over whether its "stop and frisk" policy, which gives police the right to stop innocent individuals on the street, constitutes racial profiling. According to a report released by the Center for Constitutional Rights, in 2011, there were 685,724 stops. In 70 of 76 precincts, greater than 50 percent of stops targeted blacks and Latinos. In 33 precincts, that number skyrockets to over 90 percent. "Perhaps most shockingly, the number of stops of young black men (168,126) actually exceeded the number of young black men in New York City (158,406)."
What's the Big Idea?
Racism not only threatens the integrity of justice, it also threatens our very bodily integrity. Individuals who live in societies that subject them to racial discrimination experience higher rates of stress and, as a result, have higher mortality rates. Their children's mortality rates are also higher. Nancy Krieger, a leading sociologist, wrote in 2005: "At a time when the first generation of African Americans born in the post-Jim Crow Era is only 40 years old, it is probably not accidental that current life expectancy among African Americans resembles that of White Americans 40 years ago."
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A new study explores how certain personality traits affect individuals' attitudes on obesity in others.
- The study compared personality traits and obesity views among more than 3,000 mothers.
- The results showed that the personality traits neuroticism and extraversion are linked to more negative views and behaviors related to obesity.
- People who scored high in conscientiousness are more likely to experience "fat phobia.
Meanwhile, Spaniards are the least likely to say their culture is superior to others.
- Survey by Pew Research Center shows great variation in chauvinism across Europe.
- Eight most chauvinist countries are in the east, and include Russia.
- British much more likely than French (and slightly more likely than Germans) to say their culture is "superior" to others.
The history of the Geneva Conventions tells us how the international community draws the line on brutality.
- Henry Dunant's work led to the Red Cross and conventions on treating prisoners humanely.
- Four Geneva Conventions defined the rules for prisoners of war, torture, naval and medical personnel and more.
- Amendments to the agreements reflect the modern world but have not been ratified by all countries.
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