whiteness and the public health crisis

Armed and Unmasked: Whiteness and Health

Armed and Unmasked: Whiteness at the Core of a Public Health Crisis




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White Supremacy and the Covid crisis aren’t separate. They’re linked. 

Defunding public health services and deregulating gun ownership have been catastrophic for public health and yet, the majority of white voters support exactly those policies. The spectacle of hundreds of mostly white, unmasked Trump supporters crammed into indoor rally venues during a pandemic exemplifies this phenomenon. In this interview, conducted just days before the Memorial Day killing of George Floyd, physician and public health researcher Jonathan Metzl describes how American racism sabotages our public health system and costs millions of lives in a suicidal way. Metzl talks about the deadly role of Donald Trump and the conclusions he’s drawn about how any of this can be turned around.


Jonathan Metzl is a professor of sociology and psychiatry, and the director of the Center for Medicine, Health, and Society at Vanderbilt University. His most recent book is called Dying of Whiteness: How the Politics of Racial Resentment is Killing America’s Heartland.


For more on the Covid-19 crisis, check out our Forward Thinking on Covid-19 series.


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