Worst states in the USA for African Americans
Racial inequality in economic, social, and health terms is rampant across the United States. African Americans suffer from twice the level of unemployment attributed to whites. Poverty is twice as prevalent among African Americans as among whites. When we find employment, African Americans, on average, make 62 cents for every dollar earned by whites. African Americans have twice the incidence of and mortality from stroke, diabetes, kidney disease, and many cancers. We get sick early in life, suffer more morbidity, and die at a younger age. This bleak picture for African Americans is true nationally.
That being said, some states are worse than others. Some would think, immediately, that the worse states are in the South. Here, we ought to remember Malcolm X’s observation that “Down South is anywhere south of the Canadian border.” In a recent examination of conditions for African Americans in all the states in the Union, the newsletter 24/7 Wall St. found these states to be the worst:
3. Rhode Island
8. New Jersey
Turns out none of these states are in the South. What they tend to have in common is widespread racial residential segregation. As I’ve pointed out in the past, residential segregation is still as prevalent in this country as it was in the 1950s and 60s. Six of the 10 states in 24/7 Wall St’s list are home to almost half of the 30 most segregated cities in the U.S., according to a University of Michigan study on racial segregation. Residential segregation results in the herding of African Americans into areas with few jobs. These ghettoes are systematically denied adequate investment in housing, schools. good food sources, and most other services.
These social and economic inequities are what underlies the racial health inequities. To address racial health disparities, we must deal with the social inequities that spawn them. New York City Health Commissioner, Mary Bassett, agrees. In a recent interview with Politico, she explained that racist discrimination is an important social determinant of health. “Neighborhoods that are disadvantaged need [to] correct a historic injustice,” Bassett said to Politico. “The framing matters.”
Yes, the historic injustice of racial discrimination must be corrected in order to improve the health and well being of African Americans.