Anti-racism vs. government as collection agent: healthcare

Harvard College Democrats think reform bill may save 45,000 deaths per year, but oblivious to other causes of death of higher priority.

We are at a juncture where we have to decide whether the battle against national chauvinism is more important than the battle to boost healthcare corporate profits that Congress is looking at as “healthcare reform.” MIM has argued over decades that the anti-racist path actually does more for healthcare outcomes than healthcare “reform.”

Against MIM, a series of critics have skipped over the importance of anti-racism in a variety of ways:

  • Far right conservative Republican activist Ann Coulter says racism is not a factor in healthcare:

    “One factor contributing to the U.S.’s infant mortality rate is that blacks have intractably high infant mortality rates — irrespective of age, education, socioeconomic status and so on. No one knows why.

    Neither medical care nor discrimination can explain it: Hispanics in the U.S. have lower infant mortality rates than either blacks or whites.”(1)

  • Others have said MIM is wrong, because Ted Kennedy and Bob Avakian said so. When MIM offered to take leadership of the RCP=CIA including with the promise of a purge and reorganization into mass organizations, one objection was that “I want healthcare.”
  • The Harvard College Democrats have stated for some unknown reason that healthcare “reform” can’t wait, but without stating so imply anti-racist struggle can wait.
    Those are the principal arguments against MIM so far.

    As MIM has documented from its earliest MIM Notes issues back in the 1980s and 1990s, oppressed nationalities within U.$. borders suffer premature deaths annually far in excess of 45,000 that Harvard College Democrats are pointing to.(2)

    Speaking for myself, I have no health insurance, but the reason is racism that interfered with what would have been normal career tracks for me. That is not a sufficient argument by itself, but an example of how racism intersects with healthcare. In my own case, there is also the example of how falsehoods spread by white supremacist networks make professional healthcare systems less trustworthy.

    When MIM says that the contradiction between imperialism and oppressed nations is principal, including within U.$. borders, it means that misnamed class struggles take a backseat. The healthcare “reform” is not a class struggle. It merely shuffles the healthcare business around from one set of white-dominated capitalist hands to another set of bourgeois white-dominated hands.

    By leaving out the importance of opposing lynching and raising the status of colonized peoples to the question of healthcare implementation, typical Liberals whitewash their own system. With the hatreds unleashed by 9/11 inside U.$. borders and the long-standing perception of Arabs as “terrorists,” there is also healthcare urgency in the anti-colonial struggle. It’s not reasonable to think that colonized people receive the same reception here inside U.$. borders as people who are not colonized.

    Raising the issue as if there were not a question of anti-racist priorities to address at all is typical of white nationalism. When we learn to think dialectically, we learn to think of how struggles overlap and the most efficient paths forward.

    1. 30Sept2009,
    has a 1990 article where we pointed to 75,000 deaths of Blacks alone each year. Later articles pointed to other studies and 90,000 deaths each year.


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