Hillary Clinton expressed her condolences following the death of Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman. But the former U.S. Senator's tweet has sent netizens into frenzy as she is receiving backlash for linking colon cancer to black people. Hillary in her tweet had said that colon cancer has taken too many black lives.
Following the news that Boseman had died after suffering from colon cancer, Hillary took to Twitter to express her condolences. "Colon cancer has taken too many young Black men too soon. I'm heartbroken for Chadwick Boseman's family and friends, and for everyone who saw themselves in his roles. He was a hero on screen and off. Sending comfort to everyone grieving," she tweeted.
This tweet boomeranged and people started trolling the U.S. politician for bringing in the race factor. Many hit back at Clinton asking her to respect them and their lives. "I'm tired of people saying all diseases are more prominent in the black community! That's not true and its part of the ongoing racism towards black Americans," said twitter user Christine Wade. "Didn't realize colon cancer was racist," said another twitter user.
Here's how netizens reacted to Hillary Clinton's tweet on Boseman's death.
Is There any Truth in Hillary Clinton's Claim?
Colorectal cancer is said to be the third most common cancer in both men and women in the United States. It is the second most common cause of cancer-related deaths in America, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI).
African Americans have the highest incidence and mortality rates of colorectal cancer (CRC) when compared to any ethnic group in the United States, as per NCBI data. But the fact is that the same research portal also stated that this is also due to disparities in access to care, cancer screening and other socio-economic factors.
Going by the statistics available with the NCBI, the cases of CRC among African Americans started decreasing in the early 2000s. In 2013, the rate of cases suffering from colon cancer was 26 percent higher among African Americans than whites. But recent studies state that the difference has come down to 11 percent among African Americans and whites.
The research also points out the fact that after considering data from the surveillance, epidemiology, and end results program of the National Cancer Institute, the CRC incidence has decreased in recent years. This change is mostly attributed to increased endoscopic examination of the colorectum.
Increased colonoscopic screening [a procedure where a doctor uses a flexible tube with a miniature camera attached to it to view the inside lining of the rectum and colon] in African Americans has been cited as a major reason for the recent decrease in number of African Americans suffering from colon cancer, states the American Journal of Pathology.
Essentially, it is not about the race but disparity in access to health care that is the reason why the number of African Americans suffering from colon cancer is more than the whites. Many factors including inherited syndrome cause colon cancer. Thus, it is not right to generalize or attribute any condition to a particular race.