Linda Villarosa on the impact of the racist health care system on “Every Body”

After decades of reporting and editing stories about the physical and emotional health of black women, Linda Villarosa realized that everything she thought — everything we all thought — about health differences in the United States was wrong. In his new book, Under the skin: The hidden result of racism on the lives of Americans and the health of our nationVilarosis destroys the notion of the crisis in the health of blacks as an individual problem and reveals the origins of racism in today’s health care system, of which she has gained a deeper understanding throughout her career. Essence magazine, as a college professor, as an author who contributes to New York Times Magazine and Project 1619, and through his own experience of living as a black man in America. We talked about the impact of the racist health care system on every organism and what, after all, sustains it. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

“Regina Mahone.”

Rmade Mprotection: How does structural racism affect not only blacks but also the “health of our nation”?

L.anywhere Vilarosis: It is about what is happening in the country compared to other countries. Why our country is so rich and why our health care system is so advanced, but if you look from birth to death, we have among the highest infant mortality rates compared to other rich countries. We have among the lowest life expectancy compared to other rich countries. And by the way, we are the only rich country where maternal mortality is rising. Then I started thinking about these three things, and that also intersects with what’s happening to black people, which to me equals inequality.

Black people have never had equal health since we came to these shores. And then it’s like, well, why do we still think of it as a black problem? This is a problem for the whole country. This is a problem we all need to solve in America. And thinking about it more broadly helped me say, “Wait a minute, if this isn’t a problem that blacks have to solve on their own, then I need to find a way to report what’s going on.”

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