Monday, October 16, 2006

Race Gap Persists in Health Screening

Race Gap Persists in Health Screening - Washngton Post

Healthcare screening is important, without a doubt. That a gap exist between White and Black is also not surprising, given all the other gaps we experience. However, what is very surprising about this discussion is what was not said. A quick re-read confirmed this odd suspicion.

Not once were White people blamed for the fact that Black women get breast cancer, influenced by screening, at higher rates than Whites. They just do for some suspected but yet to be understood reasons. It was not slavery or Jim Crow, or segregation, or affirmative action. The researchers simply do not know, and that is OK for now. We can still talk about it.

White people did not have to be made to feel guilty, or immoral, or evil, about what they think today or what their ancestors did yesterday. Furthermore, Blacks did not have to be made to feel inferior about the gap, with speculation about some dark connection to a painful past better left behind, but rather that someone cares enough to notice and say 'hey, we think we found something worth mentioning, and we are not blaming anyone'.

It may be short-lived, but let us hope that readers of all hues hesitate over this important article, not only because the subject, healthcare screening, is important, but also because sometimes, at least for a moment, our differences can be something other than the starting point of a blame-game debate on race.

James C. Collier


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