Archive for Poverty

Can’t Wait for the Obama Family Hawaii Vacation

But can they?

Homelessness in Hawaii has grown in recent years, leaving the state with 487 homeless per 100,000 people, the nation’s highest rate per capita, ahead of New York and Nevada, according to federal statistics.

Since 2010, the rise has come even as the national rate has fallen during the economic recovery. The increase, driven by years of rising costs in the island chain, low wages and limited land, thrust the image of people sleeping on beaches alongside the state’s famed one of a relaxing tropical paradise.

Officials have tried to solve the problem, which is centered on Oahu, the most populated island. They’ve offered homeless services, banned sitting and lying on Waikiki’s sidewalks and proposed using shipping containers as temporary housing.

Compare that cozy bungalo with the Obamas’ quarters:

Please go to Hawaii, Mr. President. Please, please, please. The posts will write themselves.


Does Our Children Learn?

We don’t write about education choice and charter schools often enough—but enough, I suppose, to be on the email list of an advocacy group.

I expect I’ll be hearing from them about this soon:

Over the past three school years, I unintentionally participated in a tragic educational case study on the west side of Harlem. I worked in the same building as the Wadleigh Secondary School, at which 0% of students in grades six through eight met state standards in math or English. That isn’t a typo: Not a single one of the 33 students passed either exam, though many of the questions are as straightforward as “What is 15% of 60?”

Two floors above Wadleigh, I taught math at Success Academy Harlem West, a public charter school. The students there eat in the same cafeteria, exercise in the same gym and enjoy recess in the same courtyard. They also live on the same blocks and face many of the same challenges. The poverty rate at Wadleigh is 72%; at Harlem West, it is 60%. At both schools, more than 95% of students are black or Hispanic. About the only difference is that families at Harlem West won an admissions lottery.

Yet for our students, the academic year ended in triumph: 96% were proficient in math—compared with 35% citywide—and 80% scored at the advanced level. In reading and writing, 75% of our students were proficient, compared with 30% citywide.

Do the Wadleigh kids at least get to beat up the Harlem West kids? Seems only fair.

I don’t think the proof could be any more solid if the administrators wore white lab coats and wore stethoscopes. They have a control group in the Wadleigh kids: poor, black, and left to the mercilessness of the criminally woeful New York City public school system. Then you have the “clinical trial” of the Harlem West kids: poor, black, and rock stars.

If you are poor and black on the Democrat plantation of New York City, you’re lucky to be born at all (the genocide of black baby abortion being what it is). And even then, your problems are only beginning.

Last month, instead of acknowledging the astounding lack of learning at schools such as Wadleigh, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio proposed a hodgepodge of feel-good programs. He will create new Advanced Placement courses that students from Wadleigh won’t be prepared to take. He will enlist “literacy specialists” to try to counter chaotic classrooms and poor instruction. In short, he will do nothing effective.

I often think about those Wadleigh students, navigating unruly hallways and classrooms. They hold the same promise as my students, but of those who move on to high school, fewer than 10% graduate with the skills to complete college-level work. What if those Wadleigh students had attended the public school only two floors above them?

New York City has the resources to create world-class public schools for all students. The Big Apple spends $20,331 per pupil. That ranks No. 2 among the 100 largest school districts in the U.S., according to 2012-13 census data. The problem is that in New York the needs of adults supersede those of children. My colleagues finished summer vacation on Aug. 3, underwent two weeks of professional development and welcomed back students on Aug. 17. The district’s unionized teachers were required to arrive one day before the school year began on Sept. 9.

The Obama stimulus program was blown largely on keeping unionized teachers on the payroll during municipal shortfalls. Mark Zuckerberg made the same “mistake” in 2010 (“The bulk of the funds supported consultants and the salaries and pensions of teachers and administrators…”).

For Democrats, education is not about students, least of all about poor, black students. Education is about the votes and the campaign contributions of their unionized teachers.


Comments (1)

Welcome to Obamaville!

Population: 26,000

So how did L.A.’s homeless problem get so bad?

That’s a question many are asking as Los Angeles elected leaders on Tuesday said they would declare a “state of emergency” on the growing homelessness problem and commit $100 million toward housing and other services for homeless people.

Countywide, more than 44,000 homeless people were tallied in January, up from more than 39,000 in 2013, the report said. Well over half — nearly 26,000 — were in the city of Los Angeles.

Okay, that’s pretty special. The ObamEconomy blows, but for one county to account for 7.6 of the homeless—4.4% in one city alone? That’s a homegrown—or homeless grown—problem.

Experts blame soaring rents, low wages and stubbornly high unemployment.

ObamEconomy: see above.

They point to gentrification downtown and in Venice, where cheap hotel rooms, motels and single-room apartments — once the last refuge of the poor — are being eliminated.

The city’s affordable housing fund, which in 2008 totaled $108 million, plunged to $26 million in 2014. Officials are now trying to provide more money, but political backing to build housing throughout the county has been a struggle.

L.A.’s climate and warm weather have long been a magnet for homeless people.

Bingo. Being homeless doesn’t make you stupid. As this map shows, the homeless also know who the soft touches are. Oxnard has to be just as warm as Los Angeles proper, but where are the homeless of Oxnard?

Last time I went home to Portland, OR, I noticed a ton of young homeless, what we used to call runaways. I asked about it, and a local said Oregon had generous benefits. Word of mouth among runaways did the rest. The weather’s not as nice as LA’s, but if the money and the scenery are green, it’s not a bad trade.

Comments (1)

Jobs Corpse

When Obama pronounced “corps” as “corpse” (which he has done repeatedly), we thought he was an imbecile.

He is an imbecile, but a clairvoyant one:

The arrests this month of four young men on charges they hacked a fellow student to death in a federally funded job training center in Miami — and another murder in St. Louis this spring —are putting a spotlight on violence inside Job Corps.

The antipoverty program born during President Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty to give low-income teenagers free vocational training has been beset by violence for years, with lax enforcement of discipline policies set by the Labor Department, which runs the 125 job centers around the country.

The recent murders have prompted the agency’s inspector general, which earlier this year documented violence and other safety concerns that investigators said went unreported, to launch a deeper investigation into safety in the $1.7 billion program.

“There have now been two homicides in the last four months,” said Luiz Santos, spokesman for Inspector General Scott S. Dahl. “It’s really raised the bar for us in terms of looking at this program. This is very serious.”

Maybe homicide is their intended line of work. Nice of the federal government to set them up, for free.

Investigators said that Kaheem Arbelo, 20, and three other students at Homestead Job Center confessed to luring Amaya-Guardado to a prepared grave site, where they hacked him to death with a machete, dumped him in the grave and set him on fire, the Miami Herald reported. Investigators believe the killing may have stemmed from a debt that the victim owed to Arbelo.

In April, prosecutors charged a 20-year-old man with first-degree murder for shooting a fellow student in the chest while he lay in his dorm room bed on the St. Louis Job Corps campus. The suspect was a new student who was in the process of moving into the victim’s room, published reports said. The motive was unclear.

This violence followed the rape of a female student at the Oregon Job Corps center by a male security guard who pleaded guilty last year, and reports of assaults, sex abuse and drug abuse on the campus in McKinney, Tex.

But the inspector general found in February that despite the zero-tolerance policy for violence and illegal drugs, local job corps centers have failed to report and investigate serious misconduct like drug abuse and assaults, and many downgrade violent infractions to lesser infractions to keep students enrolled.

Seriously, what jobs do you think these punks are good for? Contract law? Brain surgery? They’re learning what they’ll need to learn to survive on the streets: violence and pleading down. What do you expect for $1,700,000,000 per ($5 from every American man, woman, child)?

PS: Out of curiousity, I went to the web page of Jobs Corps in Massachusetts and clicked on the site for the office nearest Boston. Approrpiately, I got an error message.

PPS: The WaPo profiles four Jobs Corps grads who’ve done rather better for themselves. But then you’d expect a few success stories over fifty years.


The Poor Are Subhuman

Hey, don’t get mad at me!

It’s settled science:

The urban poor in the United States are experiencing accelerated aging at the cellular level, and chronic stress linked both to income level and racial-ethnic identity is driving this physiological deterioration.

These are among the findings published this week by a group of prominent biologists and social researchers, including a Nobel laureate. Dr. Arline Geronimus, a visiting scholar at the Stanford Center for Advanced Study and the lead author of the study, described it as the most rigorous research of its kind examining how “structurally rooted social processes work through biological mechanisms to impact health.”

What They Found

Researchers analyzed telomeres of poor and lower middle-class black, white, and Mexican residents of Detroit. Telomeres are tiny caps at the ends of DNA strands, akin to the plastic caps at the end of shoelaces, that protect cells from aging prematurely. Telomeres naturally shorten as people age. But various types of intense chronic stress are believed to cause telomeres to shorten, and short telomeres are associated with an array of serious ailments including cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.

Evidence increasingly points to telomere length being highly predictive of healthy life expectancy. Put simply, “the shorter your telomeres, the greater your chance of dying.”

Epigenetics has covered this material before:

How an 1836 Famine Altered the Genes of Children Born Decades Later

I have two reactions. One is to observe that poverty is the dominant way of life in the world, and was even more so before the rise of capitalism. We are all, or almost all, the progeny of people who lived in grinding poverty—indeed, my parents were self-described “Depression babies”. The history of this country is three centuries of no welfare, no EBT cards or Section 8 housing, no SNAP or AFDC, no “transitional assistance”, no two-years of unemployment benefits. Think of all the Irish, Italian, Jewish, Chinese (et al) immigrants who arrived here with nothing. Millions of them, with telomeres shorter than a gnat’s attention span. How did they ever survive? Well, they didn’t; they’re all dead now.

Lucky them! We are the unfortunate McNamaras, Russos, Shapiros, and Chens left mired in generations of inescapable poverty. Oh wait, we’re not.

[T]elomere data is providing a new way to quantitatively analyze some of these complex topics. Blackburn ticked off a list of studies in which people’s experiences and perceptions directly correlated with their telomere lengths: whether people say they feel stressed or pessimistic; whether they feel racial discrimination towards others or feel discriminated against; whether they have experienced severely negative experiences in childhood, and so on.

“These are all really adding up in this quantitative way,” she said. “Once you get a quantitative relationship, then this is science, right?”

Right! Which leads to my second reaction: these people can’t be expected to act rationally, to make the best choices for themselves. They’re “stressed” and “pessimistic”; they perceive “racial discrimination” (real or imaginary); their childhoods sucked.

Democrats would tell you that that’s why we need ever more social spending, but I would go further. These poor people, God bless them, can’t be expected to look out for themselves: they’re a mess. Stressed out of their minds, they don’t know which way is up. Their diets are miserable, they smoke, they drink buckets of soda—we owe them an intervention. All our myriad social programs haven’t lengthened their telomeres one angstrom. We need to relieve them of their stresses by taking all the hassle out of their lives.

As a compassionate conservative, I propose the Poor Appropriation and Paternalism Act (PAPA). Anyone and everyone so wigged out by poorness becomes a ward of the state. We tell them what and when to eat, when to go to bed, what to read, whom to vote for. They can’t be expected to do it all themselves: imagine the stress! Democrats merely paper over their problems (with 10s and 20s); Republicans will anesthetize them into oblivion. They’ll never know such stresslessness.

Comments (2)

Time for Another Chutzpie™!

The award to the individual who best expresses nerve, gall, impudence, effrontry…chutzpah

Remarks by the President in Conversation on Poverty at Georgetown University

[W]hat’s happened in our economy is that those who are doing better and better — more skilled, more educated, luckier, having greater advantages — are withdrawing from sort of the commons — kids start going to private schools; kids start working out at private clubs instead of the public parks. An anti-government ideology then disinvests from those common goods and those things that draw us together.


Make some more room on the mantle next to your Nobel, Mr. President. You’ve earned a (another?) Chutzpie™!


Merry Land

The poor wretches, trying to piece their lives back together after such massive destruction and upheaval. Won’t you spare them just a few dollars of your money?

Nepal? I mean Baltimore!

You racist.

President Obama claimed last Tuesday that if the Republican-controlled Congress would implement his policies to make “massive investments in urban communities,” they could “make a difference right now” in the city, currently in upheaval following the death of Freddie Gray.

However, a Washington Free Beacon analysis found that the Obama administration and Democratically-controlled Congress did make a “massive” investment into Baltimore, appropriating $1,831,768,487 though the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), commonly known as the stimulus.

Yeah, but $1,643,559,223 went to the contract for those nifty green signs advertising ARRA “shovel-ready” projects.

Oops! Wrong sign.

The projects included $26.5 million from the Justice Department (DOJ) to combat gang activity and provide community support for at-risk juveniles.

Among the listed goals are “to curb the growth of criminal gangs in Maryland, and to effectively dismantle existing gangs.”

Funding also went to “Operation Safe Kids,” which sought to “develop and implement an effective community-based supervision model for at-risk juveniles to minimize residential placements without compromising public safety.”

The project also included criminal justice reform, to “identify non-violent substance abusing offenders who may be amenable to treatment, and place them under community-based supervision with intensive drug treatment combined with strong judicial oversight and support.”

The stimulus also gave the city $26 million for the “Healthy Neighborhoods, Inc. Neighborhood Stabilization Program,” to “redevelop residential foreclosed, abandoned, or vacant properties in designated neighborhoods in Baltimore, Maryland.”

Roughly $9.5 million went towards homelessness prevention.

A total of $5,644,792 of Community Services Block Grants went to Baltimore meant to “promote the economic and social well-being of children, youth, families and communities.”

The only shovels busy in Baltimore were those pitching $100 bills into the storm drains to “promote the economic and social well-being of children, youth, families and communities”. If each shovel can handle 100 bills a throw, that’s 180,000 chucks of $10,000 each. Say you throw 10 shovelfuls a minute, and work 35 hours a week, that would run to eight-and-a-half weeks—two months—of steady employment flushing money down the sewer. Nice work if you can get it.

I haven’t paid any attention to Baltimore before, except for its baseball and football teams, and one of my favorite TV series ever, aptly set in Baltimore, “Homicide: Life on the Street”. But I’m thankful to the anarchists and agitators for opening my eyes. Baltimore is Little Detroit. Like Detroit, its population peaked in 1950 (when it was the nation’s sixth-largest city, right behind Detroit; today it is 26th; in 1950, no city in Texas was larger; today six are); like Detroit, it has been a slough of Democrat politics and politicians for decades. Like Detroit, it is on life support, not expected to survive.

Like Detroit, it is also majority African American.

I can’t tell you which factor is paramount in Baltimore’s decline, but I can confidently guarantee that if all factors continue unchanged, so will the decline. Obama’s talk of “massive investments in urban communities” is palaver—palaver and shovels full of Benjamins—unless people address the real root causes.

Until then, I sadly but sincerely believe that Nepal is a better investment of your charitable dollars.

PS: I meant to work this point into the body of the piece, but it’ll have to do here: didn’t CVS invest “massively” in this urban community? And the other shop owners in the neighborhood—those Latino and Asian owned businesses that were specifically targeted by the gangs, sparing the black-owned shops? Private enterprise, not government, is the only hope of urban communities. The former built businesses and created jobs; the latter said “stand down” and let it burn.


Thanks, Greedy Capitalists

We may be subsisting on crumbs from your table, but they’re very tasty crumbs, and nutritious!


In 1820, according to data compiled by Roser*, the share of the global population living in poverty was 94 percent while 84 percent lived in “extreme” poverty. By 1992, the poverty rate had dropped to 51 percent, while the “extreme” poverty rate had dropped to 24 percent. Using a different measure of international poverty, the rate has dropped from 53 percent in 1981 to 17 percent in 2011 – representing the most rapid reduction in poverty in world history.

“In the past only a small elite lived a life without poverty,” Roser explains. “Since the onset of industriali[z]ation – and as a consequence of this, economic growth — the share of people living in poverty started decreasing and kept on falling ever since.”

“In the past only a small elite lived a life without poverty,” Roser explains. “Since the onset of industriali[z]ation – and as a consequence of this, economic growth — the share of people living in poverty started decreasing and kept on falling ever since.”

*Note from Roser:

“The share of people of living in poverty and extreme poverty is taken from Bourguignon and Morrison (2002) and ‘the poverty lines were calibrated so that poverty and extreme poverty headcounts in 1992 coincided roughly with estimates from other sources.’ And in footnote they say ‘these definitions correspond to poverty lines equal to consumption per capita of $2 and $1 a day, expressed in 1985 PPP.’

To this I added the share of people living below the international poverty line which, since the revision in 2008, is $1.25 at 2005 purchasing-power parity (PPP). This data is from the World Bank and is available here – for the period 1981-2011. The revisions in the definition of the poverty line and the PPP adjustment make the poverty figures not comparable to earlier data – to illustrate this I have plotted both series for the time from 1981 to 1992. The World Bank data was downloaded in January 2015.”

I would add, because it’s true, that the decline in the poverty rate accelerated (if that’s not a form of double negative) just after the second world war. Our much-maligned times, jacked-up on technology and industrialization, have seen billions—billions—of people lifted out of a starvation existence (if that’s not an oxymoron). Those living on $1.25 a day have fallen by two-thirds (53% to 17%) in the last thirty years alone (1981-2011).

Hug a capitalist today.

PS: And the next time you hear someone longing for an agrarian, pre-industrial existence, cross the street. For you are in the presence of true evil, a genocidal monster on par with Hitler, Stalin, and Mao.


Vote Democrat, Be Poor

Lest there be any doubt:

The gap between the rich and poor in big cities in the United States is still widening, according to a new report.

Atlanta is the most unequal city with the wealthy taking home nearly 20 times more than low-income households, data from the Brookings Institution revealed.

Nationwide the rich took home around 9.3 times more money – but in big cities it was up to 11.6 times.

It showed the average wage for top earners in Atlanta was $288,159 – nearly $274,000 more than the bottom fifth’s earnings.

The income gap was also large in San Francisco, Boston and Miami, with San Francisco boasting the highest earnings for the wealthy at $423,171. Rich households in Washington were the only others to top $300,000.

The nation’s most equal city is Virginia Beach, where the rich only take home around six times more.

Colorado Springs, Mesa and Oklahoma City are also fairly equal.

I didn’t look up the party affiliation of all the unequal city mayors—all almost certainly Democrat—but the most equal cities are all led by Republican mayors (John Giles of Mesa, AZ is a self-identified conservative).

Go ahead, libs, I’m waiting for your explanation.


The Equal Parenting Act

If not now, when?

“When kids come to school, the rich kids are bringing in their backpack support from family, both moral support and encouragements and so on,” Putnam said. “And the poor kids are bringing from their neighborhoods gang violence and depression and family disruption and so on. Not that the kids themselves are responsible for it, but that’s in their backpack.”

“So it affects all the kids,” Putnam told the co-hosts. “If you’re lucky, you go to school with rich kids and if you’re not so lucky, you go to school with poor kids. That means the schools are like an echo chamber, and they’re making the problem worse.”

“Is our education system actually exacerbating inequality?” co-host Krystal Ball asked.

Putnam said it’s “not so much because of what the schools are doing to the kids” but because of what kids have learned at home and are bringing to school.

Why should the rich parents have good parenting habits when the poor parents don’t? Wouldn’t it be fair to spread the parenting around, so that the rich kids get violence and depression and the poor kids get encouragement and moral support? Why doesn’t Congress act?

To be serious for a moment, we once went to a back-to-school night where the teacher, new to the school after having taught for several years in an inner-city school, was astonished to see a classroom full of parents instead of the one or two he was accustomed to seeing. He never said, and we never inferred, the reason. But we can think about it.

And it wasn’t just at school:

“What we also know is the amount of verbal interaction between parents and their kids, first of all, differs a lot between upper-class and lower-class families,” Putnam assessed. “Secondly that, difference has been growing a lot. So now kids like my grandchildren, who have well-educated parents, get about 45 minutes a day more verbal interaction with their parents. More, how was your day, and family dinners and so on. And those various alternatives we see as a kind of a scissors grab, we call it, things getting better and better for rich kids and getting worse and worse for poor kids. And that shows up all the way through the rest of their lives.”

Some of those kids have parents working multiple jobs, some have parents working no jobs, and some don’t have parents at all (or just one). I have a moderately broad definition of family: one of each, two of each, one plus a grandparent, aunt, uncle, etc. But kids need someone to care about them, to ask them how there day was. The facts of life are conservative. It doesn’t take a village to raise a child, much less an act of Congress. It takes a family.

Comments (1)

Reprimitivization Watch

Let’s get the race card on the table at the start: when I write about Detroit—80% African American—I write about race. I feel uneasy doing so, but I only report the sad truths—bankruptcy, abandonment, water cutoffs—that I read in the news.

To which add squatters:

A year-and-a-half after filing for bankruptcy, Detroit is on its way out. For outside investors, now is the time to get in to the Motor City, but beware of a pesky problem.

Squatters are a bigger nuisance than bedbugs and, in Detroit, Charlie LeDuff found an outrageous story that puts a new twist on the old saying “A man is the king of his castle.”

Sarah Hamilton owns a home in Detroit and was planning to sell it. That is, until she ran into a problem: Lynn Williams, a squatter, had moved into the home. Sarah says she’s been threatened with a knife and the police were even called on her after an altercation. Lynn says Sarah tried running her down with a car.

Later that night, Sarah was cuffed. As she was booked in, Lynn moved back in to the home.

Charlie LeDuff got to work. After getting permission, and the keys, from Sarah, he planned to move in himself. But not without the cops’ knowledge first.

LeDuff was not armed and Lynn Williams, known in the penal system as Arthur Williams, is on probation for a felony assault conviction.

Check out what happens when he tried to get in wearing his bathrobe and carrying the deed to the house, and Lynn’s reason for why she’s squatting and refusing to pack up and move out by clicking play above.

Pardon my second American Idol reference of the morning, but, as below, I feel like I’m watching an audition in the early weeks, when they feature some mentally unstable derelict with delusions of grandeur. Or at least tonality.

I tell myself that it’s not about race, or not just. It’s about communities—geographic or racial—that give themselves over, body and soul, to the Democratic Party. Women like Lynn (née Arthur) Williams didn’t turn Detroit into the reprimitivized [bleep]hole it has become. Not alone anyway. Generations of Democrat politicians, owned and operated by the unions, plundered the city until what we see is all that’s left.

But now that the grown-ups have come onto the scene, now that the rotting has been stopped or slowed, there is no place for Ms. Williams on the streets of a city that will never be great again, but might, just might, achieve decency. The 80% Africans Americans and 20% other deserve nothing less.

Kevin D. Williamson agrees:

The Democrats, if they had any remaining intellectual honesty, would hold their convention in Detroit. Democratic leadership, Democratic unions and the Democratic policies that empower them, Democrat-dominated school bureaucracies, Democrat-style law enforcement, Democratic levels of taxation and spending, the politics of protest and grievance in the classical Democratic mode — all of these have made Detroit what it is today: an unwholesome slop-pail of woe and degradation that does not seem to belong in North America, a craptastical crater groaning with misery, a city-shaped void in what once was the industrial soul of the nation. If you want to see the end point of Barack Obama’s shining path, visit Detroit.


Murder is Their Business, and Business Sure is Swell

At least one industry in Detroit is alive: the death industry.

Nearly one-third of all pregnancies in the city of Detroit end in abortion, a statistic public health officials blame on rising poverty and dwindling access to affordable contraception.

Can we stop here for a second? Affordable contraception? How much does a condom cost? Nothing, if you get it from Planned Parenthood. (They tell us they offer more services than just abortion—here’s their chance to prove it.)

Anyway, back to the jolly news:

While the abortion rate has been climbing in Detroit, it’s been declining in Michigan and across the U.S. “We’re seeing a picture that looks more like some Third-World country than someplace in the United States,” said Dr. Susan Schooley, chairwoman of the Department of Family Medicine at Henry Ford Hospital.

Funding for family planning and contraceptives has decreased significantly in Michigan in recent years, from more than $5 million in 2006 to $692,300 in 2013, according to the state Department of Community Health. The number of clients receiving free family-planning assistance decreased by about 80,000 between 2006 and 2013.

“Both routine primary care and family planning-specific primary care are not available in Detroit,” Schooley said. “To the extent that a significant proportion of those (pregnancies) are unplanned, it leads to all these decision-making options of which abortion is one lousy choice.”

On that we agree. I do have to wonder, however, how these clients are so engaged with medicine to get their abortions, yet so disengaged when it comes to “family planning”. I guess a city so wasted as Detroit really has been “re-primitivized”—darkened streets, vast tracts of abandoned buildings, a population plummet of almost two-thirds. (Say, you don’t suppose that could be related, do you?) Concepts such as consequence and responsibility seem irrelevant to life on Detroit’s streets.

I just wish the victims of this genocide weren’t disparately born by unborn black children. (Detroit is over 80% black.)

It’s another public health challenge for Detroit, which is the most dangerous city in America to be a child, according to a Detroit News study. Published in January, the study found that the death rate for children 18 and younger is higher in Detroit than in any U.S. city its size or larger. The highest number of deaths occur in the first year, most related to premature birth. Homicide is the second greatest cause of child deaths in the city.

Just peachy. Those children who survive until birth will be lucky to live to adulthood. It really is “third world”.

But have you noticed something missing from this story?

Loretta Davis, president and CEO of Detroit’s Institute for Population Health, which administers health services for the city of Detroit including family planning programs, said the increasing abortion rate represents a “public health failure.”

“Somehow, we need to be able to get to these women and girls and reach them in such a way that they are able to make a healthy decision around their sexuality and choose a method of birth control that will work for them,” Davis said.

Have I forgotten my biology, or do women and girls need men and boys to have an abortion (who has babies anymore)? Why are they excluded from this discussion? The article mentions all sorts of medical interventions on women (pills, implants, multiple abortions), yet ignores the cheapest (and safest, I’ll wager) contraception of all (save abstinence), the condom. I won’t dictate personal preference, but if the slogan “keep your laws off our bodies” is to have any meaning, someone has to take responsibility for your bodies. I’d rather it not fall so disproportionately on the black unborn.

PS: Call me what you will, but if you polled the black unborn, I think they’d agree with me.

PPS: I have written essentially the same piece several times before, about the abortion rate among black women in New York City. So, it’s not unique to Detroit. The “third world” extends to a stone’s throw from Park Avenue and the West Village, too.


« Previous entries Next Page » Next Page »