(Jacob Bruns, Headline USA) In order to celebrate the “intersection” between Black History Month and American Heart Month, politicized experts from the Mayo Clinic suggested that black people die of heart disease more frequently than others because of racism, the Mayo Clinic News Network reported.
The claim was made by LaPrincess Brewer, a medical doctor whose research “seeks to better elucidate the social determinants of cardiovascular health and how they contribute to racial and ethnic disparities in cardiovascular disease,” according to her online biography.
Brewer noted that black Americans have the highest risk of hypertension—that is, high blood pressure—among all races throughout the world.
“African Americans, unfortunately, have the highest rates of uncontrolled hypertension in the world, which dramatically increases their risk for developing heart disease,” Brewer noted.
Common risk factors for hypertension include obesity; lack of exercise; high-sodium or low-potassium diets; and frequent use of tobacco, alcohol or amphetamines.
However, Brewer claimed that soaring hypertension rates were due not to decisions made by black people, but rather to systemic racism or socioeconomic issues.
According to Brewer, this racism causes “food insecurity, housing insecurity, redlining, which really limits certain individuals from receiving opportunities and resources to better their health.”
The term “redlining,” which has entered common veracular with the rise of social justice and the diversity, equity and inclusion movement, typically refers to a bank’s use of geographic location when evaluating whether to approve loans based on the likelihood that the borrower may default.
Indeed, mitigating factors—such as the amount of crystal meth available in a given neighborhood—may correlate both with hypertension and the bank’s willingness to loan money to an individual whose credit history raises red flags.
The argument made by Brewer is not new.
In 2021, for instance, University of Chicago cardiologist Bryan Smith published an article arguing that “health inequalities” have caused higher rates of heart failure among the black population.
Among the “inequalities” Smith identified were “structural and social inequities, which cause increased stress and distrust in the medical system, a lack of nutritious food options (living in food deserts), and poor access to medical care.”
Such arguments have also advanced at the highest levels of government, by no less than the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Prior to gaining notoriety as the nation’s lead authority overseeing the COVID-19 pandemic, the CDC released a 2019 pamphlet “exploring racial and ethnic disparities” in obesity, hypertension and heart disease.
The attempt to make heart disease racist goes hand-in-hand with attempts to explain all differences among races as results of systematic inequalities.
For example, Mother’s Day was declared racist in 2023, because black people live in the anxiety of dying at the hands of a racist white person on a daily basis.
Fortunately, several news sites have begun maintaining comprehensive lists of things that have been declared racist. Among them: white paint, Canadian ice hockey, defending against hurricane looters, driving your car, organizing your pantry and frolicking in the rain.
Headline USA’s Ben Sellers contributed to this report.