As part of the New York Times’ 1619 Project, examining the history of race and racism since slavery was introduced into British North America four hundred years ago, D’Angelo Lovell Williams argues that race and racism have long torpedoed efforts to implement universal health care in the United States.
According to Williams, federal policy, starting with the end of the Civil War in 1865, was based on the belief that “free assistance of any kind” to newly freed Blacks would “breed dependence and that when it came to black infirmity, hard labor was a better salve than white medicine.”
Those are beliefs echoed in politics and rhetoric today, but one of the worst racists in the United States Congress at that time, whose views shaped post-Civil War policy, was Samuel Sullivan Cox. During the 38th session of Congress, Cox led opposition against the formation of a Freedmen’ Bureau to assist newly emancipated Africans based on his belief that that African race was doomed to extinction by its inherent inferiority and inability to survive outside of bondage. [Read more…] about Racism’s War On Equality Has A Long History