As a result of the way science, and specifically medical science, have been used against people of color, there is a deep mistrust of science in African and Latinx cultures. Sometimes known as the “Tuskeegee effect,” this article describes why many African Americans are wary of the medical establishment during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Race & Science
The science of eugenics, a misuse of biological science, runs deep in our countries history. Scientists at institutions like Harvard and the University of Virginia played central roles in eugenics. What is less known is that some progressive religious leaders were also active in promoting it.
“Walk into any university science lab today, and it may seem like a diverse place—our graduate programs attract students from all over the world, and the U.S. has gained greatly from the talent of immigrant scientists. But in these labs, you’ll rarely see students and faculty from American minority populations.”
In terms of number and severity of cases, the coronavirus pandemic is disproportionately impacting black and brown populations in the United States.
Any discussion of race and science must include the many historical ways science has been used against non-white Americans. Some of that history is described here. Two of the more prominent instances include the Tuskegee Study and the experience of Henrietta Lacks.
Martin Luther King, Jr. famously noted that Sunday mornings at 11am were the most segregated hour of the week in America. A 2015 Lifeway survey suggests that this has not changed and that churchgoers think that is ok.