Letter to the Editor: What can we do?

To the editor:

What can we do as Americans if we are able to open our eyes and minds to this devastating indictment of our treatment of African-Americans?
If we cannot or do not want to wrap our minds around our moral culpability as a nation and a culture, let us think about it very simply and economically as capitalists.
There are approximately 44 million of us who identify as African American. Their median income is approximately two thirds of our national average income. If their income level reached that average literally $1 Trillion in income would be generated/added to our national economy every year.
Over 2 million blacks are incarcerated every year nationwide at a cost of over $31,000/individual or $62 Billion each year.
Total costs of our law enforcement and criminal justice systems per year are estimated to be up to $3.41 trillion. With the knowledge that African Americans currently consist of approximately 40% of those of us who are arrested and/or convicted and incarcerated yearly, their dysfunctionality/failure to thrive or institutional focus contributes to a potential cost of $1.36 trillion to us as tax payers every year.
Our health care costs as a nation have reached $3.5 trillion yearly. We can reliably attribute at least 25 percent of that cost to the inherent lack of wellness care and insurance in the African American population. That is $875 million annually drained from our economy. And this doesn’t even take into account the incalculable social service costs generated by a population which because of its ongoing overall deficits in functionality and opportunity we have in fact created; engenders literally trillions in costs which again, come back to us as tax payers and members of health care systems.
So, what can we, what should we, what must we do?  
Believe or not the “vaccine” for this 400-year contagion, though not inexpensive is substantially less than the devastating cost we are entailing as a society and a nation year in and year out in our failure to address it:
Ongoing implicit and often still explicit segregation not only institutionalizes dysfunctionality, frustration and poverty as well as encouraging our racial stigmatization of those who identify as Black or African American. And, in a co-contagion; a Caucasian and Hispanic underclass has developed which mimics the institutionalized disenfranchisement of Blacks, particularly as evidenced by substantial deficits in physical and mental health care and wellness and multiplying incidences of substance abuse.

Jim Martin

Perryville

 

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