Monday, December 06, 2004

Racial Politics

Racial politics is always ugly. Can the Jim Crow history justify what goes on today?

The LA Times is running a five-part series (link to Part 2, here) on South-Central LA's King-Drew hospital. I have read the first two parts and, even having been aware of the mess for some years, am appalled.

Being sick or hurt is bad; being in a hospital can be worse; being in a government-run hospital can be even worse. Finding oneself in a government hospital that for many years has been governed by racial politics is apparently the very worst. Most of the victims are Black or Hispanic but the governing Los Angels County Board of Supervisors has chosen to treat the problem with kid gloves for years.

Paramedics report that the injured often flee when they realize where they are being transported. Those are the lucky ones. The Times story documents how some of the less aware have gone along -- and eventually died because of malpractice.