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Families of color are more likely to live near landfills and hazardous waste treatment facilities. Children of color are 60% more likely to suffer from asthma, and twice as likely to experience lead poisoning. When renting, Latino, Black, and Asian American renters are much less likely to be told about and shown potential properties than white counterparts. Renters of color are more likely to be quoted higher rates, or are offered shorter/less secure leases.
Though Black folk represent only 13% of drug users (paralleling national racial demographics), they account for 35% of drug arrests, 55% of convictions, and 74% of those sent to prison on drug possession charges. Indeed, even though 72% of drug users are white, black men are 13 times more likely to be sent to prison for a drug offence than white men.
Differences in health and healthcare access across race go beyond what can be accounted for by class. Babies of color are at greater risk for low birthweight, as well as increased infant mortality. Babies born to black women are three times as likely to die in infancy as those born to white women. High blood pressure is twice as common among blacks as whites, and is even worse among Latinos in the United States. By far, people of color die younger and with more disease complications that white Americans.
In the face of these disparities, we're left with a choice. Do we believe there are inherent differences between these groups that causes one set to be more lazy, stupid, or undeserving? Or are there other factors at play to create an uneven playing field?
When we put today's racialized world in historical context, it becomes clear that there has never been a moment in United States history in which everyone has had equal opportunity. We continue to live in such an unequal setting today. The legacy of these disparities will continue for centuries without conscious and deliberate efforts to counteract them.
Watch this video to see how accumulated disparity can have profound effect on our lives. What can you do in your life to begin to combat some of these injustices?