Health Affairs recently released a disturbing and disparaging report concerning the health and wellbeing of minority children in America:
Bethesda, MD — Almost 17 percent of black children and 20.5 percent of Latino children in the United States live in “double jeopardy,” meaning that they live in both poor families and poor neighborhoods, according to research released today in the March/April issue of the journal Health Affairs.
In contrast, only 1.4 percent of white children live in double jeopardy. According to researchers, the type of neighborhood one lives in plays a significant role in racial and ethnic health disparities. In addition, poor white children are more likely than poor black or Latino children to live in better neighborhoods.
A typical poor white child lives in a neighborhood where the poverty rate is 13.6 percent, while a typical poor black child lives in a neighborhood where the poverty level is nearly 30 percent.
A typical poor Latino child lives in a neighborhood where the poverty rate is 26 percent. Segregated, disadvantaged neighborhoods affect health in the following ways:
· By limiting economic advancement for minorities because of poor education, limited job opportunities, and a poor return on housing investment.
· By exposing minorities to violent crime, environmental hazards, poor municipal services, and a lack of grocery stores and healthy food options.
· By leading to segregated health care settings with poorer-quality health care.
How is it possible to lead a cogent and healthy life if one cannot leap from the projects and the ghetto that others create based on the color of your skin?
Lack of access to broadband technology for research papers and internet reading is the third jeopardy – and it is also a major problem in the inner city urban core.
With a lack of access to publicly available information, the mind rots, the spirit wilts and illiteracy becomes the standard of the day as self interest and community investment in the propagation of a willing society decays in the streets and rots in the gutters.
We must not only cure the bodies of these minority children in crises, we must also provide open access to healing the mind with verifiable realities of dreams coming true.