It has always been treacherous to be Black in America — and if you’re a Black Man in America — your chances for even average survival are slimmer than your White peers.

In urban cores like Chicago — where over a third of the population is
Black — you can begin to see how the threat of just being born a
certain color can crumble a vital urban core.
Forbes reported this month:

  • Black Americans have an average life expectancy of 73.3 years, five years shorter than white Americans.
  • Black American males
    have a life expectancy of 69.8 years, slightly longer than the averages
    for Iran and Syria and slightly shorter than in Nicaragua and Morocco.

Those numbers are startling, but not new. From a 1992 report:

  • The infant mortality rate in the U.S. was 8.5 infant deaths per 1000 live births.
  • The rate for White infants was 6.8 while the rate for Black infants was 16.7.
  • The Black infant mortality rate is higher than the rate of every industrialized country and even some Third World countries.
  • Black women die during childbirth four times more often than white women.
  • In 1990, life expectancy for a Black man in Harlem was lower than for a man in Bangladesh.

Is the Urban Core rotting Blacks — especially the Black Man — from
the inside out with minority-on-minority violence and an uncaring
social welfare program that sustains hunger but doesn’t grow the
We’ve recently witnessed the assassination of three Black students in Newark and the killing of an Orange police officer and since July in Omaha, Nebraska, there have been over 40 shootings with handguns.

Omaha’s mayor wants to hire more police officers, but we wonder if the
problem is harder to quell than a gun-on-gun solution when Omaha has
the third-highest Black poverty rate among America’s 100 largest metro areas.
More Blacks live in poverty right now in Omaha than those who remained in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans.

When you look at “Segregation by Race” in Omaha against the 100 largest metro areas in America, Omaha ranks 45th.
Here are the Top 10 Child Poverty Rates for Blacks in the 100 largest metro areas in America:

  1. Omaha 59.4
  2. Knoxville, Tenn. 58.7
  3. Toledo, Ohio 57.2
  4. Syracuse, N.Y. 55.4
  5. Oklahoma City 49.7
  6. Dayton, Ohio 49.6
  7. Grand Rapids, Mich 49.6
  8. Youngstown, Ohio 49.4
  9. Milwaukee 48.7
  10. Baton Rouge, La. 46.6

I argue today that historic abject poverty, lack of access to equal education and innate socially mandated Racism has led us into the most awful headline of the week.

Nearly Half of United States Murder Victims are Black

What’s alarming about that news is Blacks only make up 13% of the population, yet half the murder victims in America are Black.

  • 6,800 Black men were murdered in 2005, making up more than half the nearly 13,000 male murder victims.
  • Black women made up 35 percent, or 1,200, of the nearly 3,500 female homicide victims.
  • Young Black men
    aged between 17 and 29 bore a disproportionately high burden in the
    grim statistics, making up 51 percent of African-American murder
  • More than half the murders of Blacks took place in densely populated urban areas.
  • Firearms were involved 77 percent of the time in homicides involving
    Black people and around 60 percent of the time in murders of whites.
  • Most murder victims — 93 percent of Blacks and 85 percent of Whites — were killed by someone of their own race.

How do we get out of this Black Box of Punishment based on Racial discrimination and skin color?
Is “Being Black” in America a crime-of-birth? Is their
punishment an early death in childhood or a quick murder at the end of
a handgun in their youth?

Or is “Born Black” a preformed condition of our national mindset that punishes the poor by default and disparages the underprivileged by purpose?


  1. Is “Being Black” in America a crime-of-birth? Is their punishment an early death in childhood or a quick murder at the end of a handgun in their youth?
    I would say YES, being “Black” is a crime-of-birth inflicted upon each new generation that is born into the “inner city” mindset. Black poor more than any other economically disadvantaged population segment engage in perceived antisocial behaviors. They have, possible through misplaced bravura or defiance. created a culture and identity that idealizes criminal behavior while villifying educaction and financial success.
    While the wind of such behaviors continue to be sewn, the “Blacks” will continue reap the bloody whirlwind.
    Remember most – not all – Black victims were the victims of Black criminals.

  2. jonolan –
    Now that’s a provocative comment!
    Is there a way out of the whirlwind or do you feel Blacks are just condemned to keep killing each other?

  3. David,
    Is there a way out? I think so. Education is the key. Not “book learning”, though that will help economically, but educating youths that they don’t have to and should not join in the mindset. We can indoctrinate our children in so many hateful things; I would hope the same techniques could be used for good for once.
    It’ll be hard though and will carry a short term – as measured in GENERATIONS – burden of pain and frustration. How do you tell people not to hate, to take responsibility for themselves, to not go for the easy buck? How do you teach people that they matter so that they don’t make choices based on dispair?
    The good news is that I think it’s starting to happen.

  4. jonolan!
    Wowser! Superb comment full of compassion and great insight and I am wholly with you.
    I agree there is nothing wrong with being street smart and having a vocation that doesn’t require higher education. I plan to examine that in a future blog post.
    We need to pay poor people better so there isn’t an advantage to staying poor and that can be scary as socio-economic systems are pulled away and people and families are expected to stand on their own.
    That standing up also gives them greater political power and a say in what happens in mainstream society and so there will always be adversarial political opponents who will continue to press down instead of lift up in order to keep a slim, yet powerful, majority rule in place.
    What makes you think this change is beginning to happen now?

  5. David,
    I live in the Bedford-Stuyvesant area of Brooklyn, an area that used to be a “free fire zone”. It no longer is so. Bedstuy is is still fairly poor – and 90% Black – but they decided for themselves to clean up their neighborhoods.
    I see more and more assemblies, programming and marches by Blacks denouncing “thug” behavior and “thug” language.
    Essentially I see the beginnings of what I call true pride as opposed to defiance-based bravado. The times I think are changing – and for once for the better. But beginnings are a fragile time…

  6. I love it you’re in the mix of history, jonolan.
    How are you handled in the community? Are you treated as White or Black?
    Is your relationship with your girlfriend accepted by the community or condemned?

  7. I’m treated as a person; the residents just don’t seem to care about my race – which was a shock I admit. They care about having a connected andsafe neighborhood – we all watch out for each other, not only in matters of safety – which have been very few in the 4 years I’ve been here – but in the little things too like reminding someone about alternate side parking at that they need to move their car before they get a ticket LOL!
    My relationship with my girlfriend is completely accepted by my neighbors.

  8. That’s excellent news, jonoloan! The sooner we all become “tan” as a society, the better.
    I’m glad there’s no harassment in your relationship. That’s a good, recent change, in the mindset of many that seek to divide us.

  9. Black in America will always be a problem. It’s the one drop rule you wrote about before and maybe if we all had the drop we’d all be equal and then we could beat each other up over other things we can’t change like height and eye colors.

  10. I have a few remarks about this topic. I believe the only way out of the ghetto style of living is for the individual to change for the better. I live in an are where there is a mix of all nationalities, and I have seen people who come from these poorer areas and they are on a path to great success.
    One of these people really moved me. He came from a ghetto environment and is black. We were talking about future careers. He isn’t sure on what he wants to do exactly, but he want to be some kind of doctor. He said he is interested in psychology, which i think would be a great career for him because he really thinks deeply into different things. He comes from the same background where people say it is impossible to get out of. He has family in jail, and others that are in gangs, but he made the choice to stay away from crime in order to complete his goals of being a doctor. This, i feel, is the first step for people in the ghetto environment to get out of it. They should make goals, and try their hardest to keep them. My friend will have a little trouble paying for college, but for the first person in his family that will go to college, he understands that it really doesn’t matter if he makes it into a top school or not, just as long as he can get the job he wants. I can tell you now that he is the type of person, that before affirmative action, he could make it into a school like Virginia Tech easily. The only problem is money.
    The government should get away from just forking over money into poorer families, because as you can see, it hasn’t gotten them anywhere. If they invested the same money into helping some of these well qualified poorer kids pay for college tuition, they would see the benefits of it later in life as they get good jobs that pay well. This is the true way out of poverty. My dad did it (we’re white, though). He came from a poor family that couldn’t afford to pay for him to go to college, and he wanted to go into the military, so he applied for the Air Force academy, which paid for his education. Now he is in his 40’s and is making a good amount of money.
    All these kids need is motivation to know that they can succeed, and someone to help them understand that making easy money through crime is the wrong path. I don’t feel that their race has anything to do with it. It is the society in which they were raised.

  11. It would be great if you used your real name instead of a fake name.
    Your example is interesting, but is your friend’s experience that of the majority in his culture? If not, why not?
    Outliers aren’t really indicative of appropriate trends analysis.

  12. All of his black friends who came from similar backgrounds were changed and are now on a successful path as well. I believe that his experience has the possibility of representing the majority of his culture. They just need to be further educated about what they can do for themselves.
    oh, about the name thing. I tried to change it in the profile, but i can’t edit it. What should i do about that?

  13. You need to to to Users | Name | Enter your First and Last Name — then go a bit further down on the page to the “Display Name Publicly As” and choose the right name and then save the page.

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