Wide health gaps tied to race

  • Article by: Rebecca Harrington , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 31, 2014 - 11:53 PM

State officials warned that Minnesota must work to close some of the widest racial health disparities in the nation.

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carbonfiberJan. 31, 1410:04 PM

The radon example. Is that the best they can come up with? I am white, and I rent. Am I at risk? Does renting automatically imply a risk? Is there a duty on the part of my landlord to test for radon? Should I test and do some radon abatement in my building (alterations to property are prohibited in my lease terms). I guess not. Should we ban renting, including Section 8, and mandate home ownership for MN residents? I get that there are disparities, but this could have been formulated in a more effective way.

kenw1952wJan. 31, 1410:13 PM

"Ehlinger cited the Health Department’s own radon testing program. It educates homeowners to test their houses for the chemical, which can cause lung cancer. But only one-fifth of black residents own their own homes in Minnesota — compared to 75 percent of white residents — meaning that blacks were less likely to be reached by the program and, as renters, less likely to be able to install radon remediation systems where they live.............I am a homeowner and the only way I ever learned about radon was from TV commercials. Never received a thing from Dept. Health or any other gov't agency. I chose to take heed of the TV commercials and to learn more about radon and it is a gross misstatement to try and claim I would n't have the same concern if I was only renting. It's easy to twist information to support your position and that is all this article does and it helps to further the cause of another State agency to get more taxpayer money to spend. Life is all about choices and it starts with a person's priorities.....they are a choice too. Radon detectors are not that expensive. I would be willing to bet that renters are less likely to even have smoke detectors or that it is important to them to spend a couple bucks to keep a battery in it if the landlord has them in the unit.

mglovettJan. 31, 1410:35 PM

The highest discrepancy in high school grad rates, employment, and now health. Will anyone now admit that the Minnesota experiment has failed? Can anyone explain why we are worse than Mississippi, New York, and any other State? Could it be that intent does not equal results.

georgepaulFeb. 1, 14 2:20 AM

Sounds like the problems are being caused by poverty not "structural racism," whatever that means.

mattieFeb. 1, 14 4:50 AM

Baloney. Healthcare disparities is income based. And if a person is on welfare, yes they can get Medicaid, but often don't have a car or bus fare to get to an appointment. Don't make this a race-thing, ridiculous. And soon they will see middle class sick people who cannot afford healthcare-stay your doctor appointment or keep your house? Sad

u4775Feb. 1, 14 6:45 AM

I am getting very tired of the race card being played.

SnippetFeb. 1, 14 7:25 AM

"Structural Racism" is an incredibly manipulative term. If people are deliberately harming minorities because they believe that their race confers upon them superiority and upon minorities inferiority then those individuals should be arrested, read their rights, tried in a court of law, and punished in compliance with the constitution of the United States. Otherwise, throwing out generalized, unprovable, vague, circular accusations aimed at one racial group (guess which?) is not only legally and philosophically dubious, it is highly unlikely to lead to a solution to any social problem.

davehougFeb. 1, 14 7:46 AM

Every time you see the word gap, ASK how MN whites compare to other states, and how MN blacks compare to other states. Yes we have a smaller black middle-class but that is because so many have recently moved here. Our black population is poorer than many other locations with an established black middle-class. That still means MN should reach out to help the needy, just that it is more complex than a sound bite about racism.

trice01Feb. 1, 14 8:14 AM

In order to fully understand Dr. Ehlinger's perspective, it's informative to read his blog written as the head of MDHS. A clear pattern of obsession with race and a repeated sneering contempt for "our social and economic systems" suggests that the good doctor is no newcomer at the table when it comes to white guilt and redistribution of wealth. The villain is, of course, "A culture that values individualism, individual freedom and survival of the most fortunate over social solidarity." Not to mention one that plots in every waking moment to persecute minorities who are helpless victims of their surroundings and have no ability to effect their own situations. That, Dr. Ehlinger, is called the Racism of Low Expectations.

mondaveauFeb. 1, 14 8:32 AM

"Before she reaches her first birthday, a black child in Minnesota is more than twice as likely to die as a white child."------Does this stat hold true for black children raised by white parents? A more detailed analysis of statistics is often required to truly understand the situation. Does the stat for Native American teen suicide make any distinction between those living on or off the reservation? Does the stat for health coverage in the Hispanic community factor for how many might not have coverage due to their immigration status? Statistics can mislead, and those who intend to mislead often use statistics to do so.


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