While some call her white, others sometimes assume she is mixed — usually Black with some other unidentified ethnicity or race. While she eventually received medical care, finding a doctor who would take her seriously proved challenging.
But assumptions about varying shades of skin color can, for example, lead someone who is Indian, like himself, to be mistaken as Hispanic, he said. These same groups often underutilize mental health services and preventative care. Clark experienced this herself when she attempted to get care for an injury.
Brittany Clark Courtesy of Clark. It kept her tossing and turning at night, her old pastimes like dancing and concerts became too painful, and her work began to suffer. The rapidly growing Latino population in the United States is highly diverse and is challenging that paradigm.
Clark recalled when a store clerk accused her of trying to steal a hat when she was a teenager. Black and Native women face their own unique challenges as they are two to three times more likely to die from pregnancy-related complications than white women.
She sought out multiple doctors, explaining that the pain was real, arguing with them in attempts to convince them she was genuine. Some may identify as AfroLatino or Indigenous Latino.
Not a post-racial nation
Her naturally coiled hair and olive skin paired with the last name Clark make her identity ambiguous by nature. Top menu Get our headlines by. Clark grew up in the predominantly Hispanic farming town about 20 miles outside of El Paso, Tex. She never thought of herself as different but as she got older she began to notice how much she stood out. Reports have also indicated disparities in emergency room care as non-white patients are more likely to have higher wait times and are less likely to be admitted.
Brittany Clark working on des. Donate Now! New Mexico In Depth. Harpalani explained that it is harder to track information on skin-color discrimination because unlike race, skin color is not categorized in government data. These same patients are also less likely to receive pain medication when presenting with abdominal pain. Racial minorities also face the daunting task of seeking care in medically underserved communities like El Paso. Features like frizzy hair or smaller eyes can be misleading and can lead people to be miss-racialized.
Clark has dealt with people trying to assume her race for most of her life. Brittany Clark, a young Mexican-American tattoo artist who grew up in the small border town of Fabens, Texas, recalled two of her classmates coming up to her on a Martin Luther King Jr. Day and asking if she wanted to play.
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From the killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor at the hands of police, to the emergence of armed militia groups confronting racial justice protests, to the toppling of public statues that commemorate the Confederacy, the country has been embroiled in a sharp struggle over violence against Black people, in particular. For her, changing her hair was a way to alter her street race and the way people saw her. Harpalani explains it can be the other way around in some instances, such as the bullying Clark experienced as.
Several studies have shown that textured, curly hair worn in a natural state is less accepted in majority white spaces and that Black people face bias at work and school because of it.
Studies have shown sharp disparities among racial groups in healthcare. A study shows that hair can ificantly alter how people perceive Black, mixed-race and Latina women.
There has been a long history of confusion in distinguishing between discrimination based on race and on color, which are distinct, said Harpalani, specifically when it came to civil rights laws. Discrimination against women of color with curly hair often le them to alter it in an attempt to fit in or appear more white. In Clark injured her back in a car accident that left her with a herniated disk that is now permanently fused. S tudies show that racial minorities are less likely to receive advanced medical procedures and testing. As a young girl, Clark said she was sometimes bullied because of the way that she looked.
Other times her appearance led to classic examples of discrimination.
Facts are more important than ever
She remembered a routine traffic stop where the ambiguity of her identity became apparent. Access to equitable healthcare is one prominent example. Clark is one of the Clark said her quality of life decreased drastically as she dealt with constant back pain.
The Civil Rights act of led courts to group people based on race, leaving out skin color. And she started to see other ways her appearance affected her.
This may lead to further discrimination regardless of the race they identify as. Lopez said skin color can vary from light to dark even within families.