Sklar Center Statement on Black Lives Matter
Systemic Racism and Health Care
Life in America and around the world has certainly turned chaotic. We at the Sklar Center are experiencing the sadness and grief that many people are feeling. The murder of George Floyd on video was a stunning and graphic example of the experience of Black people in America. We are all profoundly affected at the Sklar Center. We want to see changes in policing and in the other ways that People of Color are treated by our institutional racially biased society.
Here we are–in the middle of a terrible pandemic. The handling of this pandemic and the huge number of cases and deaths have revealed serious flaws in our medical system and in our society in general. The United States accounts for 4% of the world population, yet our country accounts for almost one-third of worldwide deaths from COVID-19. The disparities in our country that contribute to that high death rate have now come to a critical head with the murder of George Floyd.
In functional medicine, we look to find root causes of illness and disease. As we reflect on the pandemic, we’re forced to confront a healthcare system that does not get people healthy. What are the root causes of this suffering and death? Black people, no matter what their income or status, have poorer outcomes. In our country, the color of your skin is a major determinant of health status. Added to that, many Americans do not have access to medical care This is the result of our health insurance system which is set up for financial gain. The health insurance companies have made more money than ever during this critical pandemic time.
However, the COVID-19 pandemic affects the racially and economically disadvantaged parts of the population disproportionately. Without a coordinated, accessible healthcare system, these inequalities result in more illness and death for those groups.
While we do not have all the answers, we know the priorities are upside down. Now is our opportunity to turn the system right side up, both individually and as a community. Join the Sklar Center in our continuing mission to educate the community and bring the message of optimal health to everyone.
We are working to educate ourselves with the following reading list:
- How to Be an Antiracist by Dr. Ibram X. Kendi
- I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
- Me and White Supremacy by Layla F. Saad
- Raising Our Hands by Jenna Arnold
- So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
- The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
- The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin
- The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander
- When Affirmative Action Was White: An Untold History of Racial Inequality in Twentieth-Century America by Ira Katznelson
- White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo, PhD