Within the chronic illness communities, there was an outcry about the suicide of Seven, a 10-year-old who was bullied because of his colostomy bag. Ranging conversations and posts demand the normalization of medical devices, castigate those who bully others because of illness and encourage a shared barrage of colostomy bags, proud for all to see. Here is what nobody is talking about: this young boy, Seven, was African-American. With the continuously polarized political sphere and what feels like unprecedented incidences of hate-motivated violence towards minority members, excluding racism from this conversation feels like a disservice. It feels like a disservice to Seven, his family, and ultimately, society. Let’s talk about racism.
In comparison to white Americans, individuals of African-American and Latino descent have lower rates of health insurance coverage across all age groups (Sohn 2017.) Data indicate that white Americans had the lowest uninsured rate at 6.3%. African American and Asian Americans were uninsured at 10.6% and 7.3%, respectively. Latinos comprised the highest uninsured racial Group at 16.1% (U.S. Census Bureau, 2017.) We want to join the conversation about the connections between lack of healthcare opportunities and racism. Have you personally experienced racial discrimination in a healthcare setting? Send us a message to share your story, raise your voice and demand equal access, treatment and opportunity for all!