Clinical psychologist says racism attributes to African American’s shortened life expectancy
By Maria Lloyd
In an op-ed titled “Healing the wounded psyches of Black Americans,” African American clinical psychologist Dr. Earl Bracy addresses a number of psychological and physical abuse African Americans endure from racism and discrimination.
Recollecting his own experience with matters regarding racial discrimination he writes: “Growing up in Alabama, I recall roughly 50 percent of the Black men in the community being alcoholics. I am also convinced that their alcoholism was a direct result of being castrated emotionally and psychologically by a racist society.”
Based in Milwaukee, WI, Dr. Bracy writes that evidence points to racism and discrimination for the shortened life span of African Americans. “There is also much evidence to support the notion that racism and discrimination play a role in the shortened life expectancy of Black Americans,” he writes. “This is evidenced by the high rates of heart disease, cancer, strokes, kidney disease, stress and other maladies, such as giving birth to preterm or low birth weight babies. Milwaukee is often at the bottom of lists in categories when it comes to things that negatively affect Black people.”
How does the country address racism? Dr. Bracy recommends educating everyone about the hardships African Americans face in the United States. “It is extremely important to educate all citizens about the historical inequities and atrocities inflicted on African Americans. Everyone, including those in the medical profession, has a responsibility to afford dignity and respect to every individual, regardless of race, ethnicity, social status, s****l preference, economic status or religious affiliation.”