Racism as the Root Cause of Infant Mortality

FIrst, apologies for being away from posting, but the ISP at my apartment has been intermittent of late (indeed, I’m typing this post really quickly and saving often, in the hopes that the ISP doesn’t crash again before I can click “publish”). I’m also finishing up the last details on the book and, it being summer, getting out papers for peer-review (three so far, the goal is two more), all of which can distract from the much more compelling blog-related tasks. So, with all those excuses firmly in place, I return to blogging here.

Second, I discovered a fairly cool new tool, “Slideshare,” wherein you can view, download, and share slideshows created by others, and upload your own. Exceedingly groovy, in my opinion, although a tier below most of the presentations at TED Talks, which are quite simply addictive.

And, finally, on to the actual substance of this post, racism as the root cause of infant mortality. Infant mortality is one of those “index measures,” that demographers and public health officials use to measure quality of life. High rates of infant mortality indicate that people in the general health and well being of a group of people, whether the ‘group’ is a city neighborhood, developing country, or a racial/ethnic group. Most of the time that scholars and researchers talk about infant mortality it’s in terms of large, structures of inequality as contributing factors, such as poverty. More recently, however, researchers have begun to pay attention to racism as a root cause of high rates of infant mortality, independent of poverty, educational levels, living conditions, or even maternal health behaviors. The following slideshow from Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, M.Ed., the Executive Director of the Boston Public Health Commission, makes a convincing case for racism as a root cause of infant mortality: