Black America Ranks First At Bottom of Nearly Every Socioeconomic Indicator

Reduce infant mortality by urging expectant Black mothers to seek medical care from Black physicians

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Black Americans are often ranked in the last and final spot or near the very bottom statistically; especially in economic and related statistics that are stratified by race and ethnicity. Consequently, it is important to remind ourselves that we are ranked No. 1 for several vital socioeconomic indicators. We warn you at the outset that these No. 1 rankings are not favorable, and they appear to be tightly linked to a plain and simple strategy.

Table 1 (below) presents selected No. 1 rankings. After considering the rankings, we discuss what we believe is the primary reason for these rankings and potential courses of action that can unseat us from these No. 1 rankings.

It is no accident that we have achieved these No. 1 rankings.

We were reminded of this while reading recently a 1970 book authored by sociologist Sidney Willhelm entitled, Who Needs the Negro? He argued that automation technologies were rendering Black American labor obsolete; therefore, a logical plan would be to eliminate us. Since the 1970s, Black Americans’ continued presence in the US is explained by some as attributable to our roles as consumers, who ensure profitability for many US corporations.

While the latter argument may be valid in part, it ignores an important reality. Specifically, we are positioned as frogs in a pot of soon-to-be-boiling water if we fail to recognize that these No. 1 rankings (others that we have not considered, and new ones that are likely to arise in the future) contribute directly to the suppression of our population and economic growth.[1] These No. 1 rankings result in decelerated population growth. If they persist, then they will ultimately cause a decline in, and a disappearance of, the Black American population.

How do we get out of the pot?

Obviously, gaining independence and self- determination are the best answers. However, on a more immediate basis, we can take the following actions:

(1.) Reduce abortions by becoming more thoughtful and deliberate about procreation processes, and by valuing and accepting the challenge of parenthood— recognizing that answers to all human problems have come through the womb.

(2.) Reduce infant mortality by urging expectant Black mothers to seek medical care from Black physicians—even if it costs more in financial resources and time. Also, we must groom more Black youth to enter the medical profession— even if they must travel abroad to obtain medical training. In the past, Cuba has offered to assist in this regard.

(3.) Reduce homicides by revising our consumption of media (print, movies, videos, music, social media, computer games, etc.), which help shape our perceptions of ourselves and others and motivate homicidal acts.

(4.) Reduce suicides by being attentive to, nurturing, and validating young Black boys with love and care.

(5.) Reduce deaths by police shootings by developing and implementing security forces in our areas of influence (communities) to preclude contact with the police. Also, all Black Americans should become more vigilant about avoiding police contact.

(6.) Reduce incarceration rates by growing and developing larger and more vibrant economies in our areas of influence as a method for reducing criminal activity.

The above-recommended actions are not new. However, if practiced intensively and persistently, then they can help unseat us from these adverse socioeconomic indicator No. 1 rankings. If we do not take these actions, then the pot will boil and cause our demise. Not immediately, but at some future point.

Dr. Brooks Robinson is the founder of the Black Economics website.


[1] This statement is based on the theory that population growth can support economic growth.

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