Racist content and divisive misinformation are increasing in frequency in our society, particularly in cloaked websites. These practices have alarmingly reached the healthcare professions and the wellness community, including naturopathic medicine. A small number of Naturopathic Doctors (NDs) have recently disseminated COVID-19 misinformation and racist materials. This includes “all lives matter” content, anti-semitism, and other ideas that promote the oppression of and discrimination against members of the Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) community.
Racist content (phrases, images, etc.) in social media are easily shared, both promoting racism in our culture and anchoring it as “truth” in some minds. Cloaked websites, such as the naturopathic website described above, share similar traits including claiming to provide the “truth” and leaving more offensive content off their home pages, while propagating COVID-19 misinformation and racist content.
It is urgent to recognize that downplaying COVID-19 is directly leading to more cases and deaths, a disproportionate number of which are in communities of color. In the wider discourse regarding the pandemic, there has been a deliberate attempt to confuse the public about the scientific consensus re. COVID-19.
Since its inception, the Naturopathic Alliance has spoken against both COVID-19 misinformation and structural racism, and how they are intertwined through this pandemic. The Naturopathic Alliance’s intention with this post is to represent naturopathic doctors who:
- Support public health measures such as mask-wearing and physical distancing to control the spread of COVID-19
- Recognize the pernicious effects of systemic racism and other forms of discrimination
- Support the growth of naturopathic medicine in becoming more inclusive
We urge everyone to seek evidence-based public health information and reject all forms of racism.
We can stand together, learn, and emerge as leaders of a new wave of natural medicine that is evidence-based and inclusive to all.
We acknowledge that most NDs and other health care providers do not intend to promote racism. It’s never too late to learn and understand the unintentional harm one’s actions may be causing to others. For more information, please check out our page of resources here.
BLOG POST AUTHORS
Colleen Ambrose, ND, MAT
Adriana Berusch Gerardino, ND Student
Ginger Nash, ND
New Haven, CT
Cindy Beernink, ND, MEd