Top text: Unfortunately, the “bootstraps” model of health care and being able to pay for that care has taken root in some Western societies, especially in the U.S.—where “Screw everyone else, I’ve got mine/my needs taken care of!” is something of an ideological stance, especially among conservatives. Image: Several different people object to a different model of health care. Speech bubbles: SOCIALISM! Obama-Care! MY tax dollars going to help poor people? NO! They just need to WORK HARDER to be able to afford insurance! If you’re mad about pre-existing conditions, just don’t get sick! Maybe some of these people without insurance could focus on staying healthy and taking care of themselves, without relying on big government.

Drawing Out Whiteness and Disability: Part 3

Previous installments: part 1; part 2.

Accessibility note: The image descriptions for this series, since they are very long, can be found under the image .jpgs in each installment, rather than in the alt-text field. 

Click “Read More” to read part 3 of this comic series; click the images to fully enlarge.

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Page 5

Panel 1

Top text: Even with the common ground, the disability movement has tended to ignore the question of race and white privilege.

Image: Annaham points her pen at something unseen.

Speech bubble: Again (*sigh*) using my experiences as an example, let’s look at some effects of white privilege at work in disability status…

Panel 2

Top text: When I go to the doctor for a fibro/pain checkup, I can usually count on being able to get medication without being labeled as “drug-seeking” or “addicted.”

Image: Annaham sits nervously in a doctor’s office while talking to her doctor.

Speech bubbles: Um…I need hydrocodone.

Sure, how much do you need?

Bottom text: Hydrocodone = generic for Vicodin.

Panel 3

Top text: Strangers who see that I use a cane for mobility probably won’t ascribe it to a desire to “cheat the system” or assume that I am disabled because of some effect of the “culture of poverty.”

Image: Annaham takes a walk through a wooded area, using a cane.

Bottom text: See B. Williams, “Babies & Banks” (1996).

Panel 4

Top text: The condition that I have (fibromyalgia) is most often diagnosed in working-class white women, so, in some ways, I fit the “profile” for this ailment, while non-white people might not; recent studies have shown that chronic pain is under-treated in minority patients.

Image: A seated abstract figure is shown.

Bottom text: K. Barker, The Fibromyalgia Story, 2005; see Dube, 2010.

Panel 5

Top text: As has been documented in several studies, there is also a rather large disparity in health care provision(s) among whites as a group when compared to people of color.

Image: Two arrows—one black, one white—face in opposing directions.

Bottom text: Cited in Wise’s Colorblind, 2010.

Panel 6

Top text: Writer/activist Ana Clarissa Rojas Durazo points out that “African-Americans, Latinos, and American Indians have the highest rates of death attributable to preventable diseases…” (86).

Image: Line drawing of a caduceus that features threatening snakes.

Bottom text: The structure of the U.S. healthcare system is not set up to favor people of color, or the poor; see “Medical Violence Against People of Color…” (2006)

Page 6

Panel 1

Top text: This disparity, somewhat obviously, can make it harder for people of color to seek treatment for health issues—some of which may be life-threatening or disabling.

Image: A medical cross is entwined by a sinister-looking dollar sign.

Panel 2

Top text: Although the medical model of disease and disability has its problems, access to medical treatment is still a life-and-death issue for many folks—particularly people of color.

Image: A stethoscope turns into a creepy snake.

Panel 3

Top text: Unfortunately, the “bootstraps” model of health care and being able to pay for that care has taken root in some Western societies, especially in the U.S.—where “Screw everyone else, I’ve got mine/my needs taken care of!” is something of an ideological stance, especially among conservatives.

Image: Several different people object to a different model of health care.

Speech bubbles: SOCIALISM!

Obama-Care!

MY tax dollars going to help poor people? NO!

They just need to WORK HARDER to be able to afford insurance!

If you’re mad about pre-existing conditions, just don’t get sick! Maybe some of these people without insurance could focus on staying healthy and taking care of themselves, without relying on big government.

Panel 4

Top text: Even with my life-threatening health issues, I have been lucky enough to have health insurance, and haven’t had to worry about things like…

Image: Annaham in the ER after an allergic reaction, hooked up to an oxygen tank. An arrow points at the image, with text: Gets teary on 200 mg of Benadryl.

Thought bubble: How am I going to pay for this?

Bottom text: These would be weird, out-of-nowhere anaphylactic attacks that I’ve been getting since the age of 14.

Panel 5

Top text: I know many people haven’t been so lucky.

Image: Past due letters and overdue bills litter a kitchen counter