Un-American woke values have been infecting popular culture, governments, and corporations at an astonishing pace for some time but now they are spreading with potentially deadly consequences to the professions that provide medical care and the schools that train those professionals.
Race-based health policy got a big booster when COVID-19 arrived on the scene.
The pandemic became “a testbed for deploying racist equity measures like determining vaccine and medication distribution by race,” Daniel Greenfield recently wrote.
For example, the Centers for Disease Control, National Institutes of Health, and National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine “produced a framework which claimed that ‘COVID-19 illnesses and deaths are strongly associated with race’ due to ‘systemic racism’ and that it was the job of the medical system to reduce these ‘health inequities.’”
The argument is that “minorities, especially black people, are disadvantaged, and that moving them to the head of the line will remedy the ‘inequity.’”
The most recent case in point is the profession of pharmacy, whose practitioners have traditionally dispensed healing medicines. Now they are expected to dispense social justice.
In the United States, the profession has adopted a new official Oath of a Pharmacist intended “to incorporate contemporary language and address diversity, equity, inclusion, and antiracism,” according to a joint statement issued December 16, 2021, by the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) and the American Pharmacists Association (APhA). The new wording of the oath, which is to be used for all spring 2022 pharmacy school commencement ceremonies, was approved by a joint AACP and APhA oath revision steering committee and approved by their boards in November 2021.
The relevant part of the new oath, now freighted with neo-Marxist cant, states: “I promise to devote myself to a lifetime of service to others through the profession of pharmacy. In fulfilling this vow: I will consider the welfare of humanity and relief of suffering my primary concerns. I will promote inclusion, embrace diversity, and advocate for justice to advance health equity.”
Oddly enough, the words “diversity,” “equity” as part of “health equity,” and “inclusion,” appear in the oath, but “antiracism” does not.
Perhaps the word “antiracism” is absent from the pledge because in the leftist mind it is implied by the language in the oath.
Social justice profiteer Lakesha M. Butler, director of diversity, equity, and inclusion at Southern Illinois University–Edwardsville School of Pharmacy, sat on a committee that redrafted the previous oath.
“The joint committee led a critical charge of boldly expanding our professional oath to include the necessary elements of DEIA,” Butler said in a press release from her university. “The revised oath charges all pharmacists to take an active responsibility in promoting health equity and commit to being change agents in the system of pharmacy practice and beyond.”
So pharmacists now apparently use the acronym DEIA to stand for diversity, equity, inclusion and antiracism.
Antiracism, as expounded by its most prominent advocate, $20,000 per hour lecturer Ibram X. Kendi (born Ibram Henry Rogers), is “a simplistic reiteration of critical race theory’s core concepts,” writes Christopher Rufo at City Journal. Kendi’s thesis is that “if the races are equal, then racial disparities can owe only to racism and must be rectified through ‘antiracist discrimination.’”
According to those in the topsy-turvy world of antiracism, whites hold the power in America, a country which itself is systemically racist, and engaging in racial discrimination against whites doesn’t count as racism – it’s actually praiseworthy behavior.
After drug-addled career criminal George Floyd, who happened to be a black man, happened to die of fentanyl poisoning after rough handling by the Minneapolis police, sparking a series of leftist-led riots nationwide that caused more than $2 billion in damage, Georges Benjamin, executive director of the American Public Health Association, took the opportunity to use the incident to condemn America as a racist hellhole.
“Racism is a longstanding systemic structure in this country that must be dismantled, through brutally honest conversations, policy changes and practices,” he stated in a May 29, 2020 press release. “Racism attacks people’s physical and mental health. And racism is an ongoing public health crisis that needs our attention now!”
“We see discrimination every day in all aspects of life, including housing, education, the criminal justice system and employment,” Benjamin continued. “And it is amplified during this pandemic as communities of color face inequities in everything from a greater burden of COVID-19 cases to less access to testing, treatment and care.”
The high priests of wokeness regard everything in America as racist, even the medical field.
Disturbing evidence of this kind of thinking ran in the medical journal, the Lancet, on October 10, 2020, in an article titled “From race-based to race-conscious medicine: how anti-racist uprisings call us to act,” as Black Lives Matter was burning cities to the ground.
“The brutalisation of Jacob Blake and murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, and countless others—coupled with horrifying statistics about the disproportionate burden of COVID-19 on Black and Brown communities—have forced the USA and the world to reckon with how structural racism conditions survival,” the article begins.
Of course, the individuals cited above are not victims supporting the claim of “structural racism.”
Blake is an alleged rapist wanted on a felony warrant who was shot several times by police during a domestic disturbance investigation. He was armed with a knife. The U.S. Department of Justice said in October 2021 it wouldn’t be bringing charges against the white shooter, police officer Rusten Sheskey.
Floyd was a drug-addled career criminal who died in Minneapolis police custody in May 2020 after resisting arrest. White police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted in the death but medical evidence showed the Fentanyl in Floyd’s system killed him.
Taylor was killed by police in a botched drug raid after her accomplice-sometime boyfriend fired on police. There is no proof racial animus had anything to do with it, despite the public relations campaign conducted by Oprah Winfrey aimed at whipping up racial hostility in the case.
Three white men were convicted of murder and given life sentences on January 7 of this year in the February 23, 2020 killing of Ahmaud Arbery. While race was apparently a factor in their crimes, they were not police officers, so the “structural racism” argument goes out the window.
McDade, who was reportedly born female but identified as male, was a suspect in the fatal stabbing of Malik Johnson and was killed by police investigating the stabbing scene who said the suspect was found with a bloody knife and a gun. On September 3, 2020, a grand jury found that the policeman’s use of force was justified. A self-recorded video showed the suspect contemplating committing suicide-by-cop, promising to die “through a shootout … because I don’t want to be here on earth.” A police bodycam showed McDade with a gun during a confrontation with police but was not recording when he allegedly pointed a gun at police and fired.
Although the examples cited failed to show proof of “structural racism,” the Lancet article continued, assuming the accusation was true.
“Although clinicians often imagine themselves as beneficent caregivers, it is increasingly clear that medicine is not a stand-alone institution immune to racial inequities, but rather is an institution of structural racism.”
This is the way it goes with this kind of thing. Racial hoaxes are perpetrated routinely by the Left to advance their various causes.
Now pharmacists have become complicit in this dishonest push.
On January 18 AACP and APhA hosted what they described as “a profession-wide virtual event for all pharmacists, faculty members, administrators, and student pharmacists to reaffirm their commitment to the oath.”
Butler led the brief indoctrination session on Facebook Live. Butler’s LinkedIn profile, which proudly displays her pronouns as “she/her/hers” in case there was any doubt, lists her as CEO and founder of her own consultancy “whose mission is to disrupt and dismantle inequities and injustices in healthcare and higher education.”
“This is personal for me as we are not just reciting words,” Butler said during the online event.
“But this is an important step for all members of our profession to take an active role in promoting health equity, and commit to being change agents for the patients that we serve. All patients that we serve, directly and indirectly, need us more than ever.”
This thing called “health equity” is a variant of social justice ideology that one source has defined as “the absence of unfair and avoidable or remediable differences in health among population groups defined socially, economically, demographically or geographically.”
In other words, health equity seems aimed at eliminating the myriad differences that make every individual person unique.
John Sailer, researcher at the National Association of Scholars (NAS), studies the politicization of medical schools. NAS characterizes its mission as “uphold[ing] the standards of a liberal arts education that fosters intellectual freedom, searches for the truth, and promotes virtuous citizenship.”
The changed pharmacists’ oath “is an especially stark example of a quickly accelerating trend—the blending of politics and medicine,” Sailer told this writer.
“Already, medical schools across the country are bending their curricula and practice to promote the ambiguous but politically charged notion of ‘health equity.’ It’s no surprise that the AACP and APhA have followed suit—though requiring a commitment to inclusion, diversity, and health equity in an oath is something of an innovation,” he said.
“Ultimately, the move subordinates science to the goal of social justice. Inevitably, this will further politicize medicine and science, and, in the long run, that hurts everyone.”
How this ideological push will affect pharmacists’ jobs and the prescriptions that Americans take is not yet clear.
But it cannot be a good thing.