Fighting for america's paradise: The struggle against structural racism

Rachel R. Hardeman, Simone L. Hardeman-Jones, Eduardo M. Medina

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Structural racismis a fundamental cause of racial inequities in health in the United States. Structural racism is manifested in inequality in the criminal justice system; de facto segregation in education, health care, and housing; and ineffective and disproportionately violent policing and economic disenfranchisement in communities of color. The inequality that Black people and communities of color face is the direct result of centuries of public policy that made Black and Brown skin a liability. The United States is now in an unprecedented moment in its history with a new administration that explicitly states, "Themoment has come for our nation to deal with systemic racism . . . and to deal with the denial of the promise of this nation-to so many." The opportunities for creating innovative and bold policy must reflect the urgency of the moment and seek to dismantle the systems of oppression that have for far too long left the American promise unfulfilled. The policy suggestions made by the authors of this article speak to the structural targets needed for dismantling some of the many manifestations of structural racism so as to achieve health equity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)563-575
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of health politics, policy and law
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Rachel R. Hardeman’s research has benefited from support provided by the Minnesota Population Center (award no. P2CHD041023), which receives funding from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. This article does not reflect the views of GreenLight Fund Twin Cities.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Duke University Press. All rights reserved.


  • Health and social policy
  • Health equity
  • Racial justice
  • Social determinants of health
  • Structural racism


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