Racism Institutionalized: From The Civil War To The Lack Of Diversity In Medicine
If you ever see me in the news under a headline to the tune of, "Andy Lazris loses medical license", just know that such is the consequence for daring to speak against the wealthy and corrupt. When it comes to healthcare, it's more like the white, wealthy, and corrupt.
If you buy Health care reform book, it becomes apparent that the medical industry is built by the privileged for the privileged. Today, in a country where the population of African-American people comprises over 12% of the population, the percentage of active physicians from this community is approximately 5%. My upcoming book, A Fork in the Road in Baltimore,maps out a very small part of a systematic hindrance to success for the second-largest racial minority.
This is a community whose settlement in America dates back so many generations, but their progress has been undercut every step of the way. According to some Civil War related books online this glorified race war ended in 1865, but discriminatory governmental tactics live on.
How Many Racists Do You See?
Any telling of America's past that paints the North as a liberal, anti-slavery defender of rights is a most lurid historical fiction. Mere decades before the war, Northerners had been working to actively cut down successful African Americans, shamelessly on a mission to keep them from moving into their neighborhoods. Churches, businesses, schools, farms, and even orphanages were razed to the ground with little thought or care for the many casualties and lives lost.
These were not under-the-table criminal activities. These were initiated by elite, upper-class white people. In 1834, Connecticut, Philadelphia, and New York saw horrifying atrocities that had political stamps of approval.
The mayor of New York waited days before calling state militia to put a stop to the destruction of homes and businesses belonging to African Americans. Hordes of white people egged each other on as they destroyed property and attacked people without mercy. One could say that the African Americans in the North who continued to ask for equality were brave, but truly, they were left with very few choices.
No matter where they were or what they did, they were brutalized as a community and as people. Massacres were encouraged by officials in 1838 when over 10,000 gathered to destroy Pennsylvania Hall. This was a newly built grand structure that was a safe space for community gatherings, and African Americans had spent years working to raise funds for it. It could fit thousands inside, and overnight, it was reduced to rubble.
This wasn't enough. Politicians in Pennsylvania quickly redid the state's constitution to state that free African Americans were no longer allowed to vote. This was voted in enthusiastically by the white men, who formed an overwhelming majority.
In Connecticut, after a school was burned down with the students inside, a lawsuit was filed against Prudence Crandall, the director, resulting in a high court passing a rule that stated that people of color did not qualify as citizens of the United States. Education was snatched, access to certain states was revoked, and white people lost all legal responsibility to show even a semblance of decency.
With hatred so intense and potent, the idea that it'd take only a century or two to erase is an offense. The beastly acts of violence and depravity carried out against a whole race take generations to recover from. While white people were already in and welcomed into high positions in the years following the Civil War, where they could have a hand in how the country and legislature moved forward, African Americans were still in a state of recovery.
Then again, racism didn't end there.
Spot The Bigotry
After the end of the Civil War, Constitutional amendments were made, establishing birthright citizenship for everyone born on American soil and equality for all citizens. Racial discrimination was prohibited in voting, thus securing voting rights for Black men (women's rights hadn't yet secured the vote).
An optimist would say that this marked the start of conscientious improvement. The optimist should read their history books and purchase non fiction books 2021 that highlight racism over the years. In 1877, our blessed government did declare that the costs associated with protecting African American communities were not affordable. Just like that, brutality was back on the table, and the government was supposedly too poor to keep people from tormenting their fellow citizens.
Like dominos came retrenchment, organized voter suppression, segregation, and an extent of re-enslavement. A prime example of one step forward, two steps back. Colleges that accepted back students were shut down and reopened for "whites only" up until 1963. That means it wasn't as if there was a violent period in our history.
Our history is violence, hatred, and bigotry, with small pauses where we pretend to seek redemption. In the 1890s, more changes were made to the constitution with vile intentions. 130,000 Black men in Louisiana were registered voters before 1898's new constitution, which saw the number cut down to 1,342 by 1904.
From Massacres To Massacres
The dehumanization bred propaganda, which fused ridicule and mockery into this hatred, and cemented it into arts and culture. There was little to no help from white communities at this time; there was only blunt hatred or complicity.
New generations of African Americans, fortunately, took the initiative to create their own art that was modern, cosmopolitan, and painted a picture of African Americans beyond their suffering. However, if you buy Civil War-related books online that state that the war brought the end of the worst of racism, it's beside the point.
The evil was still very much alive; all that had changed was that people finally felt the need to justify it. Violent and political attacks were plenty, but perhaps not as violent as those which preceded them. However, that speaks more to the heinous nature of the former because the 1900s were anything but mild. Even the best nonfiction books to read about this time can't fully relate to the horrors.
In 1915, there was organized activism protesting racist media and supporting artists of color. Amidst lynching and rape, this community forged ahead, taking to newspapers and magazines to voice their stories and building what they didn't have. They created political clubs, churches, schools, and more, all from scratch, while surviving acts of terror.
However, as social respectability and rights inched forward, racism drifted up into institutions that ingrained it into rules that, on the surface, had nothing to do with race but still affected people of color for generations.
A Crime Against Humanity Future
As this community was working to rebuild, or rather to build themselves up, one Abraham Flexner, a vastly underqualified white man, was charged with the responsibility of developing a critique of medical education in America.
With all the know-how of a high school educator (which he was), Flexner pushed all the right keys on his typewriter and had several medical colleges in America shut down because, as he said, to give a medical education to people of color would put white people at risk. This wasn't a time when you could so easily shop for health benefits-related books or buy affordable nonfiction books and teach yourself. Students were robbed of their futures overnight.
So facing ruthless antagonism, animosity, and antipathy, they were now robbed of their education and opportunities. Keep in mind that these opportunities had only recently been obtained.
Today, patients have difficulty finding a doctor who isn't white, and therefore, they have difficulty finding a doctor who they feel comfortable with. In 2021 research showed that clinical trials in America generally had participants, out of which fewer than 5% were African American. This has a huge impact on medical and pharmaceutical developments. People of African American descent are more at risk of asthma, influenza, diabetes, and more.
Their exclusion from research and progress means that the results might not be as helpful to them as they would be to groups who make up larger portions of participants.
Many decisions, political, corporate, social, and economic, have played a part in the gigantic and repeated destabilization of the advancement of African Americans. To deny that this is ongoing is to deny the facts, and anyone who thinks that racism is a problem of the past is long overdue for a visit to non-fiction book websites.
If you'd like to read a Civil War book, then buy Three Brothers from Virginia online. This book captures very little of the war but explores how love can continue to thrive in even the worst spaces. My bookstore online is a great place to buy affordable non fiction books.
In all of my work, I aim to remind people of the truth they seem to ignore instinctively. If you're a fan of medical fiction books, buy The Geriatrics Vengeance Club online to get your brutal honesty with a hearty side of laughs, and a singalong, because this story comes with a soundtrack. If you like what you find on the Andy Lazris store, don't miss the award-nominatedJanuary 6th and the Millenial Horde.