This forum oldie is from 10/3/05.
I think it's particularly apropos given a disturbing new tenor.
Former Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, aka "Drug Czar" William "Bill" Bennett's remarks on September 28, 2005 on his radio show "Morning in America" that "I do know that it's true that if you wanted to reduce crime, you could — if that were your sole purpose, you could abort every black baby in this country, and your crime rate would go down." set off a national firestorm of criticism, much of it warranted.
Naturally, commentary ensued in the TimesDaily forum.
Of course, there is a time and place for everything. And there is a rational opportunity to discuss ameliorating or eliminating problems, and seeking solutions to the same.
Like some others, I seek understanding.
This is the content of my commentary seeking understanding.
What wasn't said was that if all humans were summarily executed or otherwise eliminated, all crime would cease.
To somehow suggest that Blacks are responsible for all crime (and that Whites are not) by intimating that if they (Blacks) were denied the opportunity to experience life by being forcibly snatched from the womb by jack-booted government thugs, is abohrrent.
Mr. Bennett's remarks surreptitiously infer that Blacks are almost singlehandedly responsible for crime. His remark reveals a disturbing fact: that beneath all the appearances of civility and decorum, an inherently discriminatory element of hatred exists.
Why, for example, did he not mention Whites, Asians, Hispanics or any other racial/ethnic group?
Already, Blacks and Black males in particular have a significantly reduced possibility of living to adulthood than do Whites, Asians or Hispanics.
To cite problems begs the question: why do these health statistics exist? But speaking to the issue of incarceration rates of Blacks (greater than that of Whites or other ethnic groups) and poverty (similarly greater), why does it exist?
We know, for example, that education reduces poverty, and increases opportunity for self-sufficiency, home ownership, improved health and more.
Why then, do these extraordinary disparities exist?
The abortion ratio for black women (503 per 1,000 live births) was 3.0 times the ratio for white women (167 per 1,000 live births). The differential between the abortion ratio for black women and that for white women has increased from 2.0 in 1989 (the first year for which black and other races were reported separately) to 3.0 in 2000 (51). In addition, the abortion rate for black women has been approximately 3 times as high as that for white women (range: 2.6--3.1) since 1991 (the first year for which rates by race were published). ref: Abortion Surveillance, United States, 2000; http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/ss5212a1.htm
In the 2000 census, 36.4 million persons, approximately 12.9% of the U.S. population, identified themselves as Black or African American. For many health conditions, non-Hispanic blacks bear a disproportionate burden of disease, injury, death, and disability. ref: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5401a1.htm
Life expectancy for black newborns is still five years less than life expectancy for white newborns (72.8 versus 78.0 years, respectively). Slightly more than two percent of black children born in 2002 were expected to die before reaching age 20, compared with just over one percent of white children born in the same year. In addition to being more likely to survive to age 20, whites also have longer life expectancies than blacks. ref: http://www.childtrendsdatabank.org/indicators/78LifeExpectancy.cfm
In Alabama, the elderly and black males are most likely to die of hyperthermia or hypothermia. Public health interventions must be directed toward these groups. ref: Temperature-Related Deaths in Alabama; South Med J 93(8):787-792, 2000; http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/410602_print
Firearm injuries were the most common cause of death among Black males. Black males were more than twice as likely to die from a firearm injury as from a motor vehicle traffic injury. ref: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics, National Vital Statistics System; http://www.childstats.gov/americaschildren/hea8.asp
A black man living almost anywhere in the South increases his risk for dying from a stroke by 51% compared with a black man living elsewhere, says George Howard, DrPH, professor and chair of the department of biostatistics, University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health. "Diabetes, high blood pressure, and low socioeconomic status are three big drivers of stroke risk." These are all more common among blacks than whites. Howard's team looked at stroke death rates from 1997 through 2001. They compared the findings in the southern states that make up the "stroke belt" to nonsouthern states with large black populations: California, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. The stroke belt consists of Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee plus Florida and Virginia. ref: "Regional Differences in the Increased Stroke Mortality of African Americans: The Remarkable Stroke Burden of Being a Southern African American," American Stroke Association's International Stroke Conference 2005, New Orleans, Feb. 2-5, 2005; http://my.webmd.com/content/article/100/105562.htm
Black men remain the group with the lowest life expectancy. Those born in 1999 are expected to live to the age of 67.8, which is about 7 years less than for comparable white men (74.6). Among women born in 1999, blacks are expected to live to the age of 74.7, and whites to age 79.9. ref: African-Americans and Health; http://www.jointcenter.org/DB/factsheet/lifexpec.htm