A recent study of death records suggests both whites and blacks may improve their mortality should they be more tolerant as opposed to being racially prejudiced. Data from racial attitudes between 1993 through 2002 was examined by researchers. The survey data responses were linked with death records to 2008. This to determine effects of prejudice over mortality. The data spanned 100 communities throughout the States from approximately 11,000 individuals.

By 2008 around 15% of those surveyed had died (1,651). The death records survey revealed that those individuals within communities with racial disparity towards blacks increased mortality by 24%. The mortality risk was asides from those individual’s socio-economic and personally held attitudes. The research was carried out At Pennsylvania University and highlights how communities are affected as a whole by racial prejudice.

The results challenge beliefs that only victims alone suffer from prejudice. Prejudice was found to be detrimental to the health of white and black participants. Discrimination not only damages and affects low status groups but also majority member groups within the very same community. Structural racism equates to social forces, ideologies, social systems and processes interacting to maintain and create ethnic and racial inequalities. For further details of John A Powell’s finding’s please follow this link.

The survey looked at and scrutinized the employment opportunities of blacks along with housing and income. Further looking at the level or degree of innate ability to learn. Also how motivated black people were to extricate themselves from poverty. Further questions over ‘lazy’ and ‘intelligent’ embraced both white and blacks. There were acknowledgements as to the honesty of responses and to how socially acceptable answers were. Other information absent asides from death records was lifestyle factors such as alcohol consumption and smoking.

While the theories and findings from death records do not conclusively prove premature death can be traced to prejudice those within neighborhoods with reduced racial tension may well be seen as having a greater sense of community thus fostering a more healthy neighborhood. Researchers refer to this as social capital.

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