Something strange happens to my submissions to the New York Times so I submitted a new text as comment to Charles Blow's column in the NYT on December 5th - Black in the Age of Obama. I am making it my blog post for Sunday morning here in Sweden because every such submission by me refers to the comparison of Infant Mortality statistics in Sweden (best or 2d best in the world) with those in the USA (30th in the world.)
Comment submitted to the NYT
December 6 2009
10:01 am Swedish Time
Sad to say, I must agree completely with the final lines in Charles Blow’s excellent column: \"The Age of Obama, so far at least, seems less about Obama as a black community game-changer than as a White House gamesman.\"
The most recent example is the president’s decision to turn his energies from the passage of universal health care, which would provide major benefit to both disadvantaged blacks and whites, to concentrate on expanding an unwinnable war whose costs can only worsen the situation of black America.
The Obama gamesman chooses to make human and financial commitments in Afghanistan that are most satisfying to the Republican Party that actively opposes the one Obama initiative that clearly is a black community game changer - universal health care.
One need only look at infant mortality in the black community – see CDC publication reported on in the Times – to see where game change is needed. The US is ranked 30th concerning infant mortality in that publication and a major contributor to that low ranking is premature births among black mothers. The potential for “Black game change” has been shown in one county in Wisconsin (also reported in the Times) where infant mortality in the black population has been reduced to the same low level as in the white - an indication that the difference is not so much genetic as it is societal. That level is close to the level in Sweden which is best or second best in the world as concerns this health statistic.
Universal pre-natal care in America is a Game Change that will ensure that fewer black babies die, something that one assumes would be welcomed by all, even Right-to-Lifers. Expansion of the war in Afghanistan can only be negative for Black America. But universal medical care will perhaps not insure many more votes from black Americans in a future election, but war in Afghanistan may well insure more votes from white America.
It was the worst of times.
Larry Lundgren – Linkoeping SWEDEN – only-neverinsweden.blogspot.com for more on this subject.