My Posts

Mistrust in Medicine: The Impact of Racism on Healthcare Today

I can remember, when I was very new to chaplaincy, being shocked by the amount of mistrust that patients verbalized towards the healthcare system. It was surprising to hear patients and families question the way in which hospitals operate, let alone the motives of their nurses, doctors, and other members of the healthcare team. My…

“Give Us the Ballot”: An Eye-Opening Look at Voting Rights in America

I recently finished Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America by Ari Berman, and I have to say: it rocked my world. Berman traces the history of voter suppression in America, the fight for the Voting Rights Act and the significance of that landmark law, and the ways in which…

We Aren’t Finished Yet; A Response to First Things’ “Another Narrative

This is a response of sorts to a recent article that I read online entitled, “Another Narrative”[1] from the site “First Things.” The article “Another Narrative” is a jumping off point, for me to dive into today’s societal issues and to try to grapple with all of the complexity surrounding them. Thanks to feedback I received,…

Housing Discrimination: Systemic Racism and the Shaping of American Cities

Housing discrimination has existed, and was allowed by law, at every level of American society. I don’t believe an honest discussion about how cities developed and why they developed the way they did, can take place without acknowledging the profound impact of biased mandates and practices. One such practice was ‘redlining’ which refers to the…

“Voter Fraud”: A Simple Phrase Used to Disenfranchise

“Do we need to start messaging ‘widespread reports of election fraud’ so we are positively set up for the recount regardless of the final number? I obviously think we should.” — Steve Baas, a lobbyist for the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce and former Republican legislative staffer, floated an idea on the email thread. “Yes.…

American Medicine and Systemic Racism

WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT, some of the quotes and information may be upsetting. I share it to shed light on our past and the way it affects our society today. A 2016 study revealed that half of the medical residents surveyed believed that African Americans felt less pain. (1) WHERE could this idea have come from?…

The Kerner Commission: Part 1 – Background

Have you heard of ‘The Kerner Commission’ from 1967-1968? I had not until I saw a random comment on Twitter that mentioned it. At this point, I’ve read through it multiple times, and I have been blown away by the insights it provides into our current situation. I believe that it shows that our current…

Systemic Racism: Overt to Abstract

In reading through the history of racism in America, I was surprised to learn that there was a conscious decision to make racist ideas “abstract.” A very basic outline of how that occurred follows: President Nixon recorded everything. As such, we have his recorded views on the superiority of the white race over other races.…