I’m not racist.
I would never refuse to give a patient pain medication or fail to properly get her on a transplant waiting list just because she was black.
And, yet, to deny that I hold any bias would be foolish, naïve at best.
Ask any American if he or she is racist and you’re likely to get a resounding no. Look at numbers on interview callbacks or prison sentences, and you get a different story. In 2004, researchers at UChicago and MIT found thatpeople with White-sounding names were 50 percent more likely to get callbacks for job interviews compared to those with African American-sounding names. More recently, a report by the U.S. Sentencing Commission found that convicted Black males received federal prison sentences that were 20 percent longer than those given to White males convicted of similar crimes.
Even medicine, a field presumed to have an intrinsic social accountability that differentiates it from others, isn’t immune to the effects of pervasive racism…