Injuries of Inequality
Celeste Watkins-Hayes coins the term injuries of inequality in her book Remaking a Life.
Individuals of color affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the 80s, and even now, face an injury of inequality at the hands of the state. Looking at black, queer individuals, there is a certain pathologization of black bodies that incites blame and responsibility to the individual. There is no urge to empathize or call to action to help these communities in the same way as their white counterparts. Stigma, racism, class, gender, to name a few, all pose as inhibiting factors to individuals, when their identities exist outside of the inner-circle identities. The inner-circle of identities representing the hegemonic, or dominant group. Those in power.
Those in the inner-circle are offered a bit more grace than those outside of it, and thus have access to more resources and protection.
While structural violence inflicts the wound, the lack of access to resources and protection will only further afflict. Vulnerable communities don’t receive the same privileges in the first place. (E.g. black communities having disproportionate access to sex education and safe sex resources.) But, the wound is only exacerbated by a lack of resources and safety nets. (E.g. black, queer people not being given effective, feasible, and sensitive treatment options after an HIV/AIDS diagnosis.)
These communities are made vulnerable by the intentional and systematic exclusion of marginalized communities from protection and safety nets.
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