This past weekend I spent time visiting at a friend's grandma's house. She is 80, able to breathe & walk & drive on her own & is completely lucid and full of stories.
Both sets of my grandparents have passed years ago. My paternal grandparents both had diabetes, my grandpa had to lose part of his foot. All of my childhood is filled with memories of visiting family members in the hospital suffering from various cancers.
I say all this because can you guess the race of my friend's grandma? Can you guess her class? It hurts me to know that with mis abuelos went their language, their nopales y mole, their mambo music, their stories of living in Mexico & Texas in the 1930's. With them went the strongest ties to my culture.
People of color receive less quality healthcare, because that is how our medical system is set up. One effect of lower quality medical care is lower general health and shorter life expectancy. Another is keeping tradition and culture from being passed on to future generations. This is just another way the system intersects with race and class to deny people of color from asserting an identity that differs from the mainstream culture.