From the Washington Post news section:
George Floyd’s America
Racism’s hidden toll
The point of this long article is that George Floyd lived down to most of the worst stereotypes about blacks, so that just proves his stereotypical behavior was due to White Racism.
It’s really quite simple when you think about it. As we all know, Systemic Racism is, axiomatically, the most powerful force in the known universe. Therefore, white people’s perceptions of blacks are not caused by black behavior, but instead black behavior is caused by white perceptions, which travel backward in time to force blacks to behave in ways that subsequently enable white perceptions to pounce.
In Minneapolis, the physical and mental strain of a lifetime confronting racism surfaced in George Floyd’s final years
By Robert Samuels
Oct. 22, 2020
MINNEAPOLIS — George Floyd came to this city with a broken body and wilted dreams, his many attempts at a better life out of his grasp. He was left with no college degree, no sports contract, no rap career, not even a steady job. At 43, what he had was an arrest record and a drug problem, his hopes hinging on one last shot at healing. …
Finding a way to live has never been a sure thing for Black men in America, who are taught from an early age that any misstep could lead to a prison cell or a coffin. They have higher rates of hypertension, obesity and heart disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They are twice as likely as White men to die of a cocaine overdose, twice as likely to be killed by police and, in Floyd’s age group, 10 times as likely to die of a homicide.
Public-health researchers and scientists once held that these disparities were the result of poor choices — bad diets, lack of exercise, being in the wrong place at the wrong time. But experts are increasingly pointing to another culprit: systemic racism. Being Black in America, they have found, is its own preexisting condition.
“Racism is painful and hurtful,” said Ayana Jordan, a professor at Yale who studies race and addiction. “It is a trauma that is introduced into our lives.”
This body of research became popularized around 30 years ago when Arline Geronimus, a behavioral researcher at the University of Michigan, hypothesized that young Black mothers were in worse shape than young White mothers because their bodies were responding to a distinct type of stress. Other epidemiologists, such as Sherman James, had been finding similar patterns with different groups of African Americans, from farmers in North Carolina to teenagers in California. Even when controlling for income level, age, geography and educational status, experts found Black people were often sicker than their White counterparts.
That’s why blacks aren’t good athletes. They’re just too sickly and weak from stress. As you know, blacks appear stressed out all the time, diligently rechecking their work over and over looking for the tiniest mistakes.
Darrell Hudson, a public health professor at Washington University in St. Louis who specializes in race and health, said studies since have shown that African Americans tended to have elevated levels of hormones such as cortisol, which typically rise as a response to stress. While those rises can be helpful in limited spurts — providing focus to pull an all-nighter, or increasing heart rates to accomplish a strenuous physical challenge — they also strain the immune system. That’s why students get sick after finals week or athletes can get so sore after big games.
If those cortisol levels remain high over a prolonged period, as has been found in African Americans, the strain makes people more susceptible to sickness. Hudson and other researchers concluded that those elevated levels were not about genetics, but racism. The stress of everything, from everyday slights to fears of a deadly interaction with the police, alters human physiology.
Of course, the stress felt by blacks has nothing to do with the stress imposed upon them by other blacks. In fact, blacks never stress out other blacks. That’s why life is so peaceful in the handful of neighborhoods where white people allow blacks to live 100% with other blacks.
“There’s nothing different about how people respond to stress across race,” Hudson said. “The context that people live in is racialized, however. It’s about the chronicity of it and your relationship with it: Do you feel you have some control over what stresses you, without a herculean effort and a lot of luck? If not, everything piles up.”
Racism also takes a toll on the psyche. Self-esteem falls and anxiety rises when people are trying to make it in a country where they are taught as children that they may never be given a fair shake.
That’s why blacks have so little self-esteem.
Scientists refer to this coping strategy as “John Henryism,” so named after the hammer-wielding African American folk hero who died of a heart attack trying to prove his worth while building a railroad.
Who hasn’t known a black man who has worked himself to death?
“You saw it in Floyd’s attempts to move from the protective, supportive, familiar environments he was raised in pursuit of upward mobility,” Hudson said. “The challenge of moving away to pursue opportunities can’t be overstated, in my opinion.”
That’s why blacks never refer to each other as “homeboys:” everybody knows they are constantly on the road looking for the slightest opportunity. Who can forget the massive numbers of black men who poured into North Dakota during the recent fracking boom to work all winter in the frigid outdoors?
Close friends and family said they witnessed those anxieties in Floyd, whose size, stature and arrest record played into some of the most pernicious stereotypes about Black men. From an early age, he knew his most fundamental challenge was to stay alive. “It’s the rules of the neighborhood and the rules of the house: Try not to get killed,” said Rodney Floyd, a younger brother of George Floyd.
Growing older, trying to chart a new path but ultimately succumbing to the pressures of his Third Ward neighborhood, they said Floyd developed a bad back and bad knees, high blood pressure and, according to autopsy reports, a weakened heart.
But that had nothing to do with why Floyd died. Nothing.
And as he watched his friends die, the warnings he received as a young boy began to feel more like a prophecy.
He went to Minneapolis to start a new life. But there he found that there were some things about being a Black man that he could not escape. …
At times, though, Hunter worried that Floyd’s desire to be loved clouded his judgment.
… He so wanted to be liked by everyone that he would find himself hanging out with friends who got caught up in drugs and the criminal justice system.
Hunter was disappointed but not surprised when Floyd ended up in jail. So many of their friends did in a neighborhood where there were few men with 9-to-5 jobs to serve as role models, few jobs to start out on their own and plenty of opportunities to get involved in the drug game.
Hunter said that Floyd’s life was moving in a more stable direction after his last sentence in 2013. …
Instead of making it to the pros, Floyd ended up spending a lot of his time outside Scott Food Mart, known as the Blue Store. Many of the men on the corner had served jail time and had trouble finding jobs, but they rapped about how lucky they were to live past 21. Some used cocaine and PCP, both of which police say Floyd tested positive for after his arrest in 2008….
The depth of Floyd’s substance use in Houston is unknown. Dozens of his friends, family and family attorneys interviewed for this story were not willing to discuss specifics.
Okay, I’ll put that down as “bad.”