Fewer Precious White Children Being Born As Babies Of Color Reach All-Time High
The privilege of white children starts in the womb. Even from birth, children of color are somehow shirked of basic health care just as they’re coming into the world, learning quite early that their lives aren’t nearly as valuable as that of white children. And yet with historic news that babies of color account for over half of infants born in 2011, that privilege stands to be reexamined.
USA Today writes that although minority births declined last year, white births declined more so by about 10%. That tips kids of color just over the half mark:
Hispanics, blacks, Asians and other minorities in 2011 accounted for 50.4% of births, 49.7% of all children under 5 and slightly more than half of the 4 million kids under 1, the Census Bureau reports today.
But non-white children don’t seem to receive as good care, nor their mothers, than their privileged counterparts. Rachel Maddow reported not too long ago that Mississippi has the worst infant death rate in the entire United States, adding that “if Mississippi were a country, it would rank below Sri Lanka and below Botswana. It would be 83rd in the world in terms of infant mortality.” But upon leaning further into the numbers to understand this fundamental threat to Mississippi mothers, it becomes evident that white mothers don’t face nearly the same health risks:
“…you end up very quickly realizing that the issue is in racial disparity… the reason Mississippi is the worst in the country, the reason Mississippi has worst than Botswana`s infant mortality rate, is because African-American women have more than doubled the infant mortality rate of white women there. And it makes the state the worst in the country.”
Mississippi isn’t alone either, as the risk to black children has been noted across America, according to The Seattle Times:
A college-educated black woman in the United States is more likely to lose her baby than a white woman with only a high school education. An African-American woman who starts prenatal care in her first trimester is more likely to lose her baby than a white woman with late or no prenatal care. A black woman who does not smoke has worse birth outcomes than a white woman who smokes.
Yet despite disparities like the aforementioned, USA Today reports that for the first time in history, minority children are outpacing whites in the delivery room, which carries “huge implications for education, economics and politics.” While some of those challenges include reportedly accomodating larger kindergarten classes, others put a rather large spotlight on the injustices mothers and children of color confront from as early as prenatal visits.