Is race a factor in Health Care reform?

Race seems to always be a touchy subject on my blog. This is due partly because there is a wide variety of perspectives, ideologies, and theologies coming together to dialogue, which I think is a good thing.  Rather than avoiding it, I think continual dialogue is needed.  So I thought this video of Tim wise talking briefly on the subject could open up the discussion. Before anyone completely rips everything he says to shreds, please LISTEN first, and try to hear what he is saying.  Also lets all continue to work on being respectful to one another, treating one another with dignity.  Imagine us less worried about proving our point and supporting our parties ideology, and more concerned with building unity, understanding, and empathy, as we all move towards the goal of mutually benificial progress.  Freestyle with me, how has race impacted American politics?


  1. notesalongthepath · August 25, 2009

    You know, Drew, I thought we had come a long way with bringing down barriers between races. And I’m not going to give up hope because of an almost rabid attitude of what I hope is a small group of Americans. We need to keep writing about how unbalanced that rabid attitude is, how much suspicion it causes between people of different races, cultures, religions, and so on. I see President Obama standing on a beach, suddenly hit by a tidal wave, almost dragged out to sea. He’s got to get his bearings–he is the great communicator and we can all get through this together, with, like you say, mutual respect and honoring us all as children of One God. Thanks for your commitment.
    Pam B

  2. DR · August 25, 2009

    I’ve finally figured out what’s been bothering me with the issue of racism – where ever it’s brought up in a situation like this. . .
    I see a monster in this world (Sin) with many heads (Greed, lust, selfishness, hate, racism, callous indifference, willful ignorance . . . you name it . . .the list is long!)

    Addressing the one head of racism is futile in my mind to solving the issue at hand.

    Is racism part of the problem in the health care debate?
    YES, Yes and a thousand times yes. But it’s not the whole problem nor is it even the major problem. So what is the point?
    If we removed the issue of racism where ever it may be in the hearts and minds of those in this debate – would that mean we would then all be in agreement on one solution ? Is that what’s holding us all back from the final answer?
    So why then is it treated as if it were at the top of the matrix?
    What percentage of those who oppose government run health care are doing so because of racist reasons?
    How many of those who are opposed – simply just don’t like the thought of the government having that much control over their health care and the money that will be taken from them in ever increasing amounts for an ever decreasing service when it’s probably not even constitutional?
    There is no comparison.

    What was that about sifting out gnats while swallowing camels?
    It brings to mind the story of when the armies of the Philistines and the armies of the Israelites were positioned against one another and there was Goliath out front challenging the Israelites. Where there some puny little punks on the Philistine side that were also a part of the overall problem? Yes.
    And if they had come out and challenged the Israelis would that have solved the problem and won the war if the Jews went over and kicked those few butts?

  3. Steve Schwartz · August 25, 2009

    DR wrote: “So why then is it treated as if it were at the top of the matrix?”

    I don’t get this comment because NOWHERE have I heard ANYONE claiming the biggest issue affecting the healthcase discussion is racism. I think this Tim Wise interviewing is very enlightening and brings a certain perspective, but I didn’t even hear him saying (and this is his area of expertise and why he was on TV) that all resistance to healthcare reform is driven by racism. But its there.

    • DR · August 25, 2009

      So, take that sentence out of my entry and what say you to the rest?

  4. Steve Schwartz · August 25, 2009

    Also: I thought his point about people turning against the poor when the pictures became mainly African-American was very interesting. I work with the poor…and I see/hear these negative stereotypes a lot. Just yesterday on the front page of our local newspaper they highlighted a local health and wealth gospel church and the pastor was quoted as saying “why are people poor? Its a result of sin.”

    • DR · August 25, 2009

      Why are people poor?

  5. Steve Schwartz · August 25, 2009

    Okay, after reading the above comments I added some…but when I original came to Drew’s blog, I meant to post the following. I just wrote this via e-mail to a friend who send me this link, so I’ll just post it in its entirety rather than re-writing (though I fixed some typos):
    Thanks…I finally got to watch this. My concern is our media can’t seem to process issues of this depth. The governor of New York said something about racism last week (didn’t catch the details) and the headline I saw was “Governor Patterson Plays the Race Card”. What is that? It immediately trivializes it…and negates whether or not there is truth to what he said. If there is truth in it, it isn’t playing anything…so why not evaluate his claim for truth. Our media can no longer evaluate statements for truth, they just say “so and so said this” and “the other side said this”. I mean, if I go on TV and say “the sky is plaid” they ought to be able to say “Steve is wrong” or “Steve is lying”…but we get “Steve says the sky is plaid, others say its blue…our panel of pundits will debate who made the better case at 8pm. Tune in for the fireworks!” Oy vey.

    So back to the original point, I’m glad this point is being made…but since the media and many people can’t handle talking honestly about race, it seems raising this issue would be counterproductive to getting to real dialogue on the healthcare issue, even though it should be part of the real dialogue. Its very frustrating.

    • DR · August 25, 2009

      Whether we can handle it or not – please start the “real” dialogue…

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