‘Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane.’ — Martin Luther King Jr., 1966

THE GRAPHIC image of one man’s death did more than break hearts — it opened the floodgates of memories, and generations of systemic racism and injustice. In one of our darkest hours, it reminded us that not all Americans are treated equally. And this is not a problem for some, but a problem for every one of us. If some of our leaders try to divide us in a fog of hatred, we need to speak out.

The issue at hand is equity — disparate results from our education, health care and justice systems based on the tone of one’s skin. New research by Protect Our Care finds that African Americans are far more likely to face barriers to accessing health care and to protecting themselves from the coronavirus. Additionally, due to a variety of social and economic factors, they are more likely to suffer the brunt of the financial consequences of the pandemic. And that is true right here in New Hampshire. African Americans account for 5.7% of COVID-19 cases, while making up less than 2% of the population.

This is not a new issue but it is one that we have not given enough attention to, and now we are paying a human price for. In New Hampshire, African Americans are more likely to lack insurance coverage. According to USA Today, “while the Affordable Care Act helped many people of color get health coverage, many still don’t have insurance and access to providers. According to the U.S. Census, “8.5% of whites were uninsured in 2017, compared to 10.6% of African Americans, 7.3% for Asian Americans and 16.1% for Hispanics.” And, the research found that black Americans have higher rates of chronic illnesses — putting them at a higher risk of contracting and dying from the coronavirus. All that is compounded by the fact that 19% of African Americans were unable to see a physician in 2018 due to lack of coverage or cost.

There are times we look in the mirror and don’t like what we see. And, we don’t like what we have become. Last week, many of us felt that way. The deep-rooted political divide that has fractured our society ran up against one of the most tragic parts of our national legacy — racism and intolerance.

America lost George Floyd to unspeakable brutality on May 25 and countless other African Americans before him. New Hampshire has lost far too many people to the coronavirus and failed to provide health care to many in need. This is our wake-up call. We need a health care system that is fair, accessible and does not discriminate against people of color here in New Hampshire.

It is time to make it our top priority to close these gaps, to embrace tolerance, and celebrate diversity. These are deep and very old wounds, we need to heal them and heal ourselves.

Nancy Glynn lives in Manchester, Lynn Carpenter and Gary Sobelson, MD live in Concord.

Sunday, July 12, 2020

SOME of you may know me. I represented Fremont (and several other towns as legislative districts changed) in the New Hampshire House of Representatives for 18 years. For 16 of those years, I sat on the Committee for Children and Family Law. I chose that committee because I considered it the …

Saturday, July 11, 2020

UNDER THE best of circumstances, policing in the United States is a difficult and demanding profession. The actions of the Minneapolis police officer who murdered George Floyd have sparked a national outrage and produced civil unrest unseen since the 1960s.

Friday, July 10, 2020

FOLLOWING a challenging and unique spring, school officials across New Hampshire are working hard through the summer to prepare schools to reopen this fall. Last week, the School Transition, Reopening, and Redesign Taskforce (STRRT) submitted high-level recommendations to the Department of E…

A SMART and safe return to normalcy for our country continues as Make America Great Again rallies are back in New Hampshire. This Saturday, President Donald Trump will host an outdoor rally at the Portsmouth International Airport with thousands of patriots who love our country and our president.

Thursday, July 09, 2020
Wednesday, July 08, 2020
Tuesday, July 07, 2020

FEW THINGS are as terrifying as a letter from the IRS. The reason for this fear is justified — our tax code is so overly complex that it generally requires a professional to help average Americans in navigating the treacherous waters of the federal tax code. The reason that President Trump p…

Monday, July 06, 2020
Sunday, July 05, 2020

NEW HAMPSHIRE takes pride in our dedication to the democratic process. Granite Staters have turned out in record numbers for our midterm and primary elections because this is a state that deeply values every individual voice. As we move toward September’s primary elections, we have needed to…

Thursday, July 02, 2020

WHEN I was in college, I took a plain wood-framed mirror from my dorm and put it in an art show with the title “Portrait of a Racist.” My campus had been struck with a spat of racist incidents — messages left on public bulletin boards. The community had a deep period of reflection.

RECENTLY, we watched with anger as Gov. Chris Sununu referred to people like us as “union bosses” during his televised debrief, simply because our fellow union members were demonstrating for their right to a fair contract. We want to set the record straight on exactly who the union is and wh…