Race, Education And Health Essay

4123 words - 16 pages

It is no coincidence that it is called poor health. What I mean is that the people who have it hardest in this country, those with the lowest incomes, have the worst health. It could just as easily be called minority health, rather than poor health, because the majority of the people living in poverty are racial or ethnic minorities. Many racial minorities in the US suffer from poor health, but not because they have worse genetics, rather from worse educational opportunities. This is a problem of all those in poverty, but since a disproportionate amount of those in poverty are minorities; I am focusing my paper on how to alleviate the educational disparities within the minority population. Studies have shown that education is the ticket out of poverty and into a higher Socio–Economic Status. Therefore, by bettering educational opportunities to those who need it, through funding and other programs I will discuss later, we can help the impoverished minorities into a higher SES and promote equality throughout the nation. The reason Higher SES is so important is because SES directly correlates with health, so in order for people to get healthier, something needs to be done at the base level to purport these people into better health. I aim to show that by bettering education, people will have higher SES, and therefore an increase in health and quality of life.

RACE AND GENETICS

In this paper, I am arguing that unequal educational opportunities are why minorities tend to have poor health. A key point to understand is that there is NO genetic basis for race. What I mean by that is, besides skin color, we are all 95% the same. The differences in DNA are so statistically insignificant that it can’t possibly explain the huge disparities in health today. Also, with so many people of mixed origin in the U.S. today, there is no way that genetics are the cause of such inequities.

Although there are a few “race related” diseases, such as sickle cell anemia, the illnesses that are killing the minority population are environment related, like Coronary Heart Disease. In a study done by Alan Goodman, he cites four important points about race and genetics:

1. “The concept of race is based on the idea of fixed, ideal and unchanging types”
• Racial categories date back to the days of ancient empires, and haven’t changed significantly since then, despite the huge changes in cultures since those times. There has obviously been a huge amount of racial mixture since those times, and the concept of race now is just an archaic social construct.

2. “Human Variation is continuous”
• These racial categories are completely arbitrary. There is no way a clear line can be drawn between the races, and all races relate on a gradient today.

3. “Human Variation is nonconcordant”
• What he means by this is that traits vary independently of other traits. Since race only really correlates with skin, hair, and eye color, there is no basis for the claim that...

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