I am trying to understand how people are linking racism to public health. State Senator’s Marshall Bullock, D-Detroit, and Erika Geiss, D-Taylor just introduced a resolution in the Senate to declare racism a public health crisis in the state of Michigan. They stated from the floor that they:

commit to working collaboratively with the Governor and every sector of society to develop an ongoing strategy to address, fund, and support solutions that strategically reduce the long-term impact that racism has on the quality of life and health for citizens of color.

This Senate resolution was co-sponsored by all of the Michigan State Senator’s in their Democratic caucus and one Republican Senator Dale Zorn, R-Ida. The same Republican senator that all of the Democrats were calling a racist for wearing a COVID mask that resembled the Confederate flag.

I have reached out to Michigan Democrat Senator Curtis Hertel and have invited him on my show to explain their thought process on this issue. He has accepted my invitation and I will be speaking with him on-air today (Thursday) at 10:06 am.

Michigan officials report that the positive case and death numbers show that this COVID-19 virus has taken a large toll on communities of color in Michigan. Specifically the communities of color in the metro Detroit area. In Michigan, 13.6% of the state’s population is black but account for 40% of all coronavirus deaths in Michigan.

Lets assume those numbers are correct, here is my question: how does that equate to the color of someone’s skin and then that relates to racism? Perhaps there is an answer out there and someone will be able to explain their thought process on this issue to me and others. I have found one medical reason that perhaps may explain some of the numbers and that is people with darker skin are likely to have a vitamin D deficiency due to the pigmentation in their skin. On the webmd website they state:

Several groups of researchers from different countries have found that the sickest patients often have the lowest levels of vitamin D, and that countries with higher death rates had larger numbers of people with vitamin D deficiency than countries with lower death rates.

If this is true and there is a possible vitamin D deficiency in the darker skin community I see the connection there but how does that then translate to racism?

According to Webster’s dictionary the definition of racism is:

a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race

If it has to do with the numbers of people dying from COVID-19 almost all of the deaths are in the age group 60 and higher? Can we declare ageism a public health crisis?

My concern is by relating every problem in the United States to racism we will water down the true race and bigotry problems we have in the United States. If everything is related to racism then nothing is related to racism.

The Live with Renk show airs Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to noon, to let me know your thoughts call (269) 441-9595