Journal of Interdisciplinary Perspectives and Scholarship

Document Type



Experiencing racism is a pervasive and persistent stressor that not only negatively impacts the health of people of color (POC), but all members of a population, including Whites. This essay discusses how experiencing racism over a lifetime may cause wear and tear on the body and increase risk for premature disease, disability, and death. The authors explore how racial capitalism has created a deeply flawed economic system that exploits POC and foments hostility among working-class whites towards POC. Blue collar workers of all races currently suffer from economic misery and social malaise. Recent alarming trends of increases in death rates among middle-aged working class White men and women supports Heather McGhee’s thesis in her book, The Sum of Us, that racism harms all members of a population.