Controlling for race as a factor in an analysis of mortality among disparate groups in the US results in no change in the relative risk. In other words, poverty both worsens health status over the life-course and causes early death in all groups and race alone does not increase the risk of early death. However, as policy advocates, we must be aware that racist bias, both implicit and (too often) overt, is widespread and may counteract our efforts to reduce financial stress on families. It is well documented that children of color are up to three times more likely to live in poverty than white children and to remain poor all their lives, plagued by the effects of early childhood inequities. Underfunded schools, mass incarceration of young Black men, environmental pollution in neighborhoods resulting from legacy red-lining, discrimination against Latino children whether or not they are documented and widespread hopelessness resulting in alcoholism and elevated suicide rates among Native Americans living on reservations are all examples of structural racism keeping children and families in poverty.
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