1. Read the post below to introduce the lesson to sociologist and physician Jonathon Metzel.
2. When you have finished reading the following entry, select one of the following:
c) read the transcript of the interview
d) (or you can do both b and c)
3. Complete 2 and be ready to discuss it tomorrow.
Impact of racism on whites
Dr. Jonathon Metzel, a sociologist and medical doctor
As both a sociologist and a physician, Metzel explores the link between racism and the negative impact on society, especially among whites. In his book, Dying of Whiteness, Dr. Methelis states that the life expectancy of white Americans has been declining for three consecutive years in 2015, 2016, and 2017. (That was before the Covid-19 pandemic!) The last time that life expectancy in the U.S. fell for three years in a row was a hundred years ago due to World War I and the 1919 World War II. flu outbreak. The reasons it is now declining again are surprisingly race-related. It has not been 100 years and it is almost unheard of in the developed world. Life expectancy should increase.
Here is an introduction to Metzel’s book. If you have read the last 2 pages of reading (18-19), Metzel makes it clear that
This is not a liberal or conservative policy at all, but a type of policy:
“It is best to avoid the cruel assumption that more money or health care is automatically good … There are too many examples of liberal or democratic initiatives that worsen the health of minorities and low-income people … politics requires people to oppose affordable health care, accumulating arsenals, cutting funding for schools, or making other dangerous decisions, it literally requires people to die for their whiteness.
I argue that in order to move forward, we need a white America that seeks to cooperate rather than dominate, and an open-minded and interconnected mindset that we all too often ignore.
This does not mean that everyone becomes a Democrat – far from it. On the contrary, our nation urgently needs to recognize how the systems of inequality we build and support benefit no one … ”
Chris Hayes was invited to Dr. Metzel on his podcast Why This Happens?
You can find the transcript here if you want to read it while listening or just want to read the interview instead of listening. But you can also listen to a podcast about Apple here and Stitcher here. If you listen to the interview, it lasts about 50 minutes. Note that this is only an interview with Metzel. To fully understand Metzel’s findings, read his book, Dying of Whiteness.
Here is the embedded episode:
Here’s an interview trailer:
Activation Alert: ** This interview deals with death from suicide and gun violence **
Life expectancy in America has been declining for three years in a row. After a war or famine, you can expect a reduction in life expectancy – a witness in an industrialized country in the midst of a thriving era, but unprecedented. It’s a sign of disaster that something terrible has happened.
Jonathan Metzlo revealed the origin of this distress signal and found something amazing. He writes that a policy that promises to transform the American great again into a policy based on mobilizing and maintaining the power of whites is shortening the lives of white Americans who vote for them. Metzl is investigating the policies that white voters want to risk their lives, from supporting concealment to reducing social services.
Anne Case and Angus Deaton (cited in Metzel’s book) describe in detail the rising mortality of whites without higher education. Here is an explanation from the Brookings Institution. And here’s Deaths of Despair – 2020 published a book written by Case and Deaton as part of their groundbreaking 2015 continuation of the study.
Here is a summary of Case and Deaton’s work,
Case and Deaton find that while middle-aged mortality rates continue to decline among all education classes in most of the world’s rich countries, U.S. middle-aged non-Hispanic Caucasians with a high school diploma or lower have been on the rise since the late 1990s. This is due to the increased number of “deaths from despair” – deaths from drugs, alcohol and suicide – and the slowdown in mortality from heart disease and cancer, the two largest middle-aged killers.
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