Reply To: Week 13: Tweedy Reading

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I think that this acknowledgement of vulnerability and anxiety over health disparities itself is a central facet of health inequality. It is vital to acknowledge the structural barriers that are inexplicably tied to racially discontinuous health outcomes, as access to care, education, a parental history of drugs and alcohol that feeds to subsequent generations, etc., are all vital in the success of a child. This structural violence is only exacerbated by narratives that place blame on those suffering, and see this distribution of health as a ‘natural outcome’.

It is important to observe the language used in scientific literature to showcase health outcomes. Theories such as the “slavery hypertension hypothesis” attempt to normalize the conception of inherently different racial biologies that lead to differing risks. Rather, theories such as that of allostatic load better encapsulate these inequalities. The narrative that you describe above feeds into a continuous stress on the body, and small microaggressions feed into insecurities that have a very real impact. Stigma and ‘racialized portraits’ lead to a culture of exclusion and anxiety that affects the health outcomes of black people. The anxiety, fear, and fury that Tweedy describes is thus itself vital in health outcomes.