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The Color Line: Race Matters in the Elimination of Health Disparities
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In this issue of the Journal, Gerald Oppenheimer traces the color line through the
course of American history.1 He demonstrates
how the original language of White racial differences began with the anxious response of
early Americans to waves of immigration,
beginning in the 1840s when the Irish (or
Celts) entered US ports, followed by nationals
from Central, Southern, and Eastern Europe.
Over time, the descendants of these “White ethnic groups” became the monolithic Caucasian race, the majority population, superior in all respects to the Black people of African descent. (Authors)
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