Michelle Williams, dean of the faculty at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, recently declared that racism is a public health issue and that public acknowledgment of this harmful legacy of slavery is long overdue.
She goes on to explain that the pandemic alone “is killing black Americans at nearly three times the rate of white Americans. . . As millions of people in the US and globally declare that ‘Black Lives Matter’ and demand real change, there has never been a more urgent time to address the inequities that rarely make the headlines but nonetheless claim lives every single day.”
As Williams notes, institutionalized racism has diminished the health, wealth, actualization and well-being of all Black Americans, which increases their risks of dying when dealing with added stress and challenges.
As a clinical psychologist and shadow-soul worker, I can assure you that racism does far more damage than this. Its oppressive power hurts other POC and marginalized groups, in particular. But this is the hardest truth: racism hurts the integrity of every human being and even non-human life and the planet.
It’s just one symptom of a sickness traceable to soul loss, existential angst, scarcity, greed, competition, exploitation and scapegoating that is pervasive and has deep historical roots that we all need to heal from.
We hardly examine these psychological and soul roots, because we’re barely on the same page around what’s happening on the surface with the Black community, still dealing with the most basic of human rights violations.
Have you noticed?
Lines are already getting drawn in the sand.
On one side, a critical mass is acknowledging that institutionalized racism is alive and well, and that it’s high-time for us as a society to tackle it to the ground.
On the opposite side, status-quo pushback has started to rear its ugly tail, amplified by its Commander-in-Chief.
I got a few people unsubscribing from my list — fortunately no nasty comments — most likely for taking a clear anti-racist stand, perceived as political (tho I’m not the one conflating these : ), or perhaps because I’m still on the topic.