Vanderbilt Professor Says Racial Prejudice Keeps Rural Tennesseans From Embracing Obamacare

by Chris Butler

A Vanderbilt professor says rural Tennesseans are too racially prejudiced to realize Obamacare is good for them.

That professor, Jonathan Metzl, told Boston University Today that he knows this about rural Tennesseans because he’s interviewed them.

As The Tennessee Star previously reported, Metzl recently wrote a book called , Dying of Whiteness: How the Politics of Racial Resentment is Killing America’s Heartland.

In the book, Metzl said people in the United States refuse to pass more gun control laws because of white supremacy and “white privilege. He also said white Tennessee residents endanger their own health by rejecting government health care programs and by embracing pro-gun and anti-tax policies.

Metzl spoke to BU Today this week to promote his book.

“One of the most jarring parts of the research was talking to people in rural Tennessee. These were white Americans who would have really benefited from healthcare reform, but who were loath to support Medicaid expansion and the Affordable Care Act because they didn’t want, as they put it, Mexicans and welfare queens and other minorities to benefit. For them, there was an ideology that was more powerful than self-preservation,” Metzl said.


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