A new study released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention hopes to add awareness to African-American homicide rates as one of the most pressing health issues facing life expectancy. Along with heart disease, cancer, and diabetes, murder rates amongst black males account heavily for the large gap between white and black male life spans.
According to the CDC numbers, white females have the longest life expectancy at 81.3 years, black females at 78 years, white males at 76.5 years and black males have the shortest at 71.8 years.
“We expected heart disease and cancer, those are still the main focus, but what’s interesting is when you look at the graph for males, you see how important homicide is for directly affecting life expectancy for African-Americans,” says Kenneth D. Kochanek, lead author of the report and statistician with the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics.
With intense national media spotlight directed on the reactions to homicide verdicts involving white males killing black males, coupled with black on black murder coverage on nightly local news, we tend to validate solutions that seemingly cloaks state violence enacted upon black males.
Respected emergency room physician Dr. Robert Gore told Dr. Tyeese Gains of TheGrio.com that homicide should be treated as medical issue, similar to a disease:
“We have to look at [violence and homicide] like a disease,” says Dr. Robert Gore, emergency medical physician at Kings County-SUNY Downstate Hospitals and executive director of KAVI — the Kings Against Violence Initiative in Brooklyn. “There are over 700,000 reported violent acts per year involving U.S. youth presenting to our hospitals. We have to stop looking at violence as a purely social problem.”
Bringing this issue to the medical community through legislation as Dr. Gore mentions in his interview would not solve this problem, only worsen it. If legislation could work to help the current crisis, we wouldn’t have such an egregious health care system in the first place. And why do we such degenerate and wasteful system? It’s profitable.
Hospitals, Wall Street, and insurers have no interest in any legislation that brings a halt to profits that are made off the backs of black and brown peoples of America. So accordingly, the state will not disobey its own interests and help raise black males life expectancy thru the law. It’s hard to check oneself when one may have to give up one’s power.