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Is Health a White Privilege? Education, Money & Power Provide Access to Good Health

October 31, 2017 by Mountain Family0

By Center for Health Progress

Education, money, and power provide access to good health. However, access to those systems is limited for people of color by the historic and systemic injustices that benefit white people. This is one manifestation of White Privilege.

The data show that factors like your race, income, and ZIP Code have a bigger impact on your health than your behavior, your medical care, or your genetic code. These social determinants of health are also social determinants of economic and social class mobility–those that get good educations are more likely to earn more and achieve positions of authority, those that earn more are able to take advantage of more opportunities and experiences, and those who hold positions of power are able to make decisions that benefit them and their families.

Great disparities exist between white and non-white people in education, money, and the concentration of power, which gives white people a significant advantage in achieving and maintaining good health.

These disparities exist for many reasons, from institutional policies that under-resourced schools in communities of color, to discriminatory lending, hiring, and employment practices, to both the explicit and subversive ways people of color have been kept out of positions of authority in major institutions and government. These disparities will continue to exist until we address their root causes. The opportunity to live a healthy life should be a matter of fact, not a matter of privilege. Because when our neighbors are healthy, our communities prosper, and Colorado is stronger.

 

 


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