NPNY Stands Against Racism and in Solidarity with Black Lives Matter
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The function, the very serious function of racism, is a distraction. It keeps you from doing your work. It keeps you explaining over and over again your reason for being. Toni Morrison (Pulitzer prize Author)
8 minutes and 46 seconds was the time it took to end the life of a Black man in America. This act of brutality has been replicated by police for decades resulting in the needless deaths of Black men and women.
Camara Jones, MD, MPH, Ph.D. (past president of the American Public Health Association) defines racism as:
A system of structuring opportunity and assigning value based on how one looks, that unfairly disadvantages some and unfairly advantages other individuals and communities and saps the strength of the whole society through the waste of human resources.
It is this structure of racism that produces stark gaps in wealth, health, housing, and employment opportunities. The overrepresentation of racial and ethnic morbidity and mortality seen in the COVID-19 pandemic highlights racial and economic inequities that have been present for centuries.
Racism is the pandemic that we, as nurse practitioners, must work to eradicate. It is only by ending these structural inequalities that we can affirm that health is not just the absence of disease but is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being (WHO definition).
The Nurse Practitioners of New York (NPNY) stands in solidarity with the anti-racist movements occurring throughout New York City, the nation, and the world.
Nurses have long led the struggle against racism and its effect on the communities that we serve. As nurse practitioners, it is our responsibility to ensure that the struggle continues until justice prevails.
We have a lot more work to do to save lives everywhere in particular for vulnerable populations and communities of color (Lauren Underwood, MSN, MPH; US House Representative, 14th District, IL)