We Will Not Be Silent

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As we write this editorial, worldwide protests following the killing of George Floyd continue. Like those of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and far, far, too many others before him, Mr Floyd’s death was a sign of the blatant disregard for human lives all too often demonstrated by those whom we all should be able to trust with protecting our safety.

The mission of Applied Radiology is to educate radiology professionals in all aspects of medical imaging. Unfortunately, in all aspects of medicine, social disparities remain rampant. We stand with the many medical societies and publications that have denounced the ongoing injustices disproportionately affecting the Black community. We share the sentiments of the statement from the American Medical Association and recognize that “racism in its systemic, structural, institutional, and interpersonal forms is an urgent threat to public health, the advancement of health equity, and a barrier to excellence in the delivery of medical care.”1

Earlier this year, we elucidated our commitment to creating A Welcoming Environment, embracing “readers and contributors of all races, ethnicities, genders, gender identities, sexual orientations, ages, social classes, abilities or attributes, and medical backgrounds.”2 Given the current circumstances, we need to be even clearer:

We are committed to fighting systemic injustice. We are committed to fighting the longstanding health disparities being exacerbated by the pandemic’s impact on vulnerable communities. And we pledge to continue fighting for diversity, inclusion, and equitable access to health care.

Racism is a public health crisis and, as a health care publication, we have a responsibility to educate our readers about the disparities and biases that affect the patients entrusted to our care — our fellow human beings.

In his address at the Riverside Church in New York City on April 4, 1967, Martin Luther King Jr, PhD, said, “A time comes when silence is betrayal.” Dr King was referencing his opposition to the war in Vietnam, but his words have particular relevance today.

We oppose racism and police brutality.

We believe that Black Lives Matter.

We will not be silent.

References

  1. AMA Board of Trustees pledges action against racism, police brutality | American Medical Association. https://www.ama-assn.org/press-center/ama-statements/ama-board-trustees-pledges-action-against-racism-police-brutality. Accessed June 7, 2020.
  2. Schwartz ES. A Welcoming Environment. Appl Radiol. 2020;49(2):8.
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Schwartz ES, Anderson OO, Anderson KN.  We Will Not Be Silent.  Appl Radiol.  2020;49(4):8.

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About the Author

Erin Simon Schwartz, MD, FACR; O Oliver Anderson; Kieran N Anderson

Erin Simon Schwartz, MD, FACR; O Oliver Anderson; Kieran N Anderson

Dr. Schwartz is the Editor-in-Chief of Applied Radiology. She is an Associate Professor of Radiology, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, and a Pediatric Neuroradiologist at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. She can be reached at erin@appliedradiology.com. Mr O Oliver Anderson is President & CEO, and his son, Kieran N Anderson is the Vice President & Group Publisher at Anderson Publishing, Ltd, They can be reached at: oliver@appliedradiology.com and kieran@appliedradiology.com.



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