Recently, Kanye West has come out of what appears a battle with drug addiction and himself and has taken his thoughts to twitter. His tweets began receiving a magnitude of backlash; however, many people used this to talk about how “free thought” is not allowed anymore and a particular group tries to maintain control over ones thoughts. This has led to many artists and friends of Kanye to openly debate topics that are controversial in a sensible manner.
This article exams his thoughts on slavery and his take on politics. Kanye West said “When you hear about slavery for 400 years … for 400 years? That sounds like a choice”. He then tweets a quote from Harriet Tubman that says “I freed a thousand slaves I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves.” – Harriet Tubman. Personally, I’m shocked at what Kanye West is saying, and wanted to know people thoughts on his recent twitter rampage and thoughts ranging from philosophy to politics.
I recently read an article about structural segregation in the healthcare system and its effects on black expecting mothers. According to the article, “black infants in America are now more than twice as likely to die as white infants — 11.3 per 1,000 black babies, compared with 4.9 per 1,000 white babies”. The mortality rate among black infants is higher today than in the 1850, 15 years before the end of slavery. This says a lot about how structural segregation impacts the living conditions of African Americans, especially when it comes to the matter of life and death.
Further investigation shows that this is not a class problem. In fact, many well-educated middle-class African American women find themselves struggling with pregnancy-related problems. Research on maternal mortality has shown that black mothers are prone to suffer from chronic stress as a result of societal and systemic racism, leading to issues such as hypertension and pre-isclampsia. However, taking a step further from the seemingly de facto personal racism, de jure practices of segregation in the healthcare system prevent black women from receiving the help they need in order to cope with problems during their pregnancy. The racial bias in healthcare is manifested in the tendency of doctors to dismiss concerns and symptoms of black mothers on the grounds that they are self-inflicted. They tend to blame the high mortality rate on the women, who are often seen as poor and uneducated. This inevitably leads to the assumption that problems with her pregnancy are because of bad habits like smoking, drinking, drug abuse, and other issues traditionally associated with being black.
This is just one of the many examples of how structural segregation still effects the lives of African Americans in an era often considered as post-segregation. The importance of acknowledging de jure segregation rather than brushing it off as personal prejudice ultimately lies on the fact that we can always do something more, rather than resting on our laurels and gloating on the perceived victory of the past.
Why America’s Black Mothers and Babies Are in a Life-or-Death Crisis
This morning, I came across an article published on ESPN.com that was about a high school in New Jersey that recently fired their head football coach. Although the school denies this claim, players, parents, and the coach himself allege that he was fired due to the fact that his team was comprised mostly of African-American players.
This article struck me, as sports have for so long provided a space for minority voices to be heard and for their talents to be expressed, and this story is a huge set back. The coach claims that when he would bring a list of potential student-athletes he sought to bring to the school for his team, administrators would always ask whether the players were white.
The school claims that his contract’s termination was due to unprofessional dress and disrespecting the school’s president when questioned about his unprofessional dress. These reasons seem easily resolved and not ones that should result in a termination of a coach’s contract. He has filed a grievance against the school as a result of the actions taken against him. Players, parents, and students alike have spoken out against the school regarding the decision, and on Monday, 22 students walked out of class as a result of the decision.