Let’s ignore for the moment that the United States is the most creative, innovative, productive, socially mobile, economically free, wealthy (excluding countries such as Bermuda and Luxemburg) and most charitable nation on earth and focus, as lefties like to do, on the negative. Topic of the day—lifespan.
The lede of an AP report posted on Yahoo last week read “Americans are living longer than ever, but not as long as people in 41 other countries.” Dr. Christopher Murray, head of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, followed with the quote: “Something’s wrong here when one of the richest countries in the world, the one that spends the most on health care, is not able to keep up with other countries.”
Three-quarters of the way through the article we learn that one of the main reasons life expectancy in the U.S. (77.9 years) lags a few years behind countries such as Japan and France is that the life expectancy of African Americans is five years shorter on average than the life expectancy of white Americans. The average life expectancy of an African American male is even shorter, only 69.8 years. The article ends—one guess—by quoting various public health officials calling for universal health coverage and the elimination of racial disparities.
The story could be an object lesson on why the media is liberal—i.e. subjective. Just when the analysis, with the next logical question (why is there racial disparity in health and lifespan?), gets interesting and possibly revealing, it ends.
For virtually the entire span of human history it can be shown that shortened lifespan is connected to lower economic conditions is connected to violence and other hazardous lifestyles is connected to poor education. Test data over the last 30 years shows that upon graduation the average African American student is roughly four years behind the average white and Asian student in the core subjects. The trend was highlighted by the scores on the Michigan Merit Examination recently given to Detroit-area students published in the Detroit News. In largely white Livingston county test scores in the areas of math, reading, science and writing were respectively 57%, 70%, 67% and 50%. In mostly black Wayne county those same scores were 37%, 59%, 43% and 32%.
Neither increased spending on education nor 30-years of affirmative action has done much to reverse these truly alarming educational deficiencies. Unfortunately, not until the African-American community leadership accepts responsibility to address this as a cultural crisis rather than a strictly social problem is much of anything likely to change. The situation is not helped by a media that frames the issue solely in terms of injustice and discrimination.