Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Two Nations 9

I finished Andrew Hacker’s 1992/1995 book Two Nations: Black and White, Separate, Hostile, Unequal.  In this post, I would like to highlight a sobering passage on pages 50-51:

“If you are a black woman, you can expect to live five fewer years than your white counterpart.  Among men, the gap is seven years.  Indeed, a man living in New York’s Harlem is less likely to reach sixty-five than is a resident of Bangladesh.  Black men have a three times greater chance of dying of AIDS and outnumber whites as murder victims by a factor of seven.  According to studies, you get less sleep, are more likely to be overweight and to develop hypertension.  This is not simply due to poverty.  Your shorter and more painful life results, in considerable measure, from the anxieties that come with being black in America.”

Hacker goes on to discuss police officers’ presumption of African-American guilt, and later he talks about racism.

I am a sensitive person.  There have been times when I have been afraid to go among people out of fear of being coldly received.  I cannot imagine what it would be like if I were an African-American male, going out into the world and putting up with people’s racism.  That would be stressful, to say the least.

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