If you want to know what turns me off about soft-headed liberalism, read this post by law professor Christopher Bracey at BlackProf.com. The title: “Racism and Infant Mortality.”
On the matter of children dying during infancy, “the death rate for black babies is more than double the rate for white babies,” Prof. Bracey writes.
Between 1995 and 2002, the infant mortality rate for African Americans was nearly 14 deaths per 1,000 live births. For whites, the rate was about 6 deaths per 1,000 live births, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
“For years researchers remained puzzled as to the root cause of this disparity,” Bracey writes. “One of the leading causes of infant mortality among African-Americans is preterm birth. Neonatologists also agree that stress is an important risk factor because it initiates the release of stress hormones leading to preterm birth...”
So then, if “stress” contributes to the high black infant mortality rate, what’s causing all the stress?
Must be the “Big R.” Naturally.
According to Prof. Bracey: “A new series of studies from the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies’ Health Policy Institute, along with a small but growing number of neonatalogists nationwide, suggests that the stressful effects of racism play a role in creating this infant mortality disparity.”
Stressful effects of racism like what?
Bracey cites a UCLA researcher who says “the disproportionately higher number of fast-food restaurants and liquor stores, lower number of grocery stores and the higher cost of fresh produce in many urban, predominately black communities caused poorer pregnant black women to make stressful choices about what to eat and where to live.”
(Stressful choices about what to eat?...)
Then there’s “the higher crime rates in these communities and worries about sending children to poorly equipped, understaffed schools,” Bracey writes. Is all this “part of a trend of racial inequality that’s stressful to some poorer black expectant mothers”?
The professor concludes with this stark question: “If racial inequality is literally making us sick if not killing us outright, what can and should be done?”
All right now, let’s back it up. Let us assume, for argument’s sake, that “stress” is indeed a contributing factor to the disproportionate number of black babies dying. What’s missing from Prof. Bracey’s list of possible stressors?
There’s Mickey D’s, poorly equipped schools, crime... what else? What else might add to the stress of pregnancy?
How about being UNWED? Sounds pretty stressful to me... knocked up outside the security and stability of a marriage.
Everybody knows about the huge racial disparity in illegitimacy rates. In 2002, 23 percent of white women’s babies were born out of wedlock, compared with 68 percent of black women’s babies.
Could illegitimacy be a contributing factor to infant mortality?
Nicholas Eberstadt of the American Enterprise Institute cited an interesting set of statistics from 1960. It compared infant mortality rates for “legitimate and illegitimate births.”
For whites in 1960, the infant mortality rate for out-of-wedlock births was 33 deaths per 1,000 live births, compared with about 22 deaths per 1,000 for marital births.
Similarly, for “non-whites” in 1960, the infant mortality rate for out-of-wedlock births was about 51 deaths per 1,000 live births, compared with about 38 deaths per 1,000 for marital births.
I’m no expert on neonatology, and I’m not drawing any conclusions about anything. I just want to know why Chris Bracey, the Harvard-educated law professor and avowed liberal, didn’t even mention marriage or single motherhood in his blog post about racial disparities in infant mortality?
My guess is that the default position of leftists is to blame social forces, blame racism, blame the white man, blame America for any problems facing the black community. Leftists do not like to bring “personal responsibility” into the discussion.
If more black babies than white ones are being born prematurely and dying in infancy, that cannot be due to any choices or behaviors by black females themselves. No no no, they are helpless victims of the “stress” of living under a system of “racial inequality.”
That’s the kind of bullshit excuse-making that prevents black people from having an honest conversation about anything... especially the high murder rate.