Kilroy Was Here
March 28, 2003
Progress of Racial Justice
The Christian Science Monitor has an important article on the state of racial justice today and how it compares to the state of racial justice during the famous Bakke decision which outlawed racial quotas 25 years ago.
From that article:
- In 1978, the life expectancy of a black child was five years shorter than that of a white child. Today it is six years shorter.
- Twenty-five years ago, a black child's mother was three times as likely to die of complications during childbirth as a white mother. Today she is 3-1/2 times as likely to die during childbirth.
- The infant mortality rate for blacks was twice that for whites. Today it is slightly more than twice.
- In 1978, four times as many black families lived with incomes below the poverty line as white families. Today, that ratio remains unchanged.
- For black adults, the unemployment rate was twice that of whites, and for black teens it was three times. Today, both statistics remain unchanged.
- The median income of a black family in 1978 was 60 percent of the median income of a white family. Today, it is 66 percent of white-family income.
- In 1978, blacks represented 11.5 percent of the population, but they were only 1.2 percent of the lawyers and judges, 2 percent of the physicians, 2.3 percent of the dentists, 1.1 percent of the engineers, and 2.6 percent of college and university professors. Today, blacks represent 12.3 percent of the population, and are 5.1 percent of the lawyers and judges, 5.6 percent of physicians, 4.1 percent of dentists, 5.5 percent of engineers, and 6.1 percent of college and university professors.
Yet, rather than find the cause of this disheartening disparity in a economic and political system that has disenfranchised blacks for over 300 years, conservatives are still blaming the victim.
"The question underlying the University of Michigan cases is why are so few African-American 17- and 18-year-olds academically competitive with white and Asian 17- and 18-year-olds," says Mr. Clegg of the Center for Equal Opportunity.
"The answer to that question is not discrimination," Clegg says. "The answer is extremely high illegitimacy rates, poor public schools, and a culture that too often views studying hard as 'acting white.' "
He adds, "Those problems are not going to be solved by racial and ethnic preferences."
At some point in the future, I'll address this in more detail. But of course, we have a war going on now.
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