Milwaukee’s black infant mortality problem

The City of Milwaukee is concerned about babies dying:

The Journal Sentinel said Milwaukee had an “infant mortality crisis.” Milwaukee’s infant mortality rate in 2009 was 10.4 deaths for every 1,000 live births, according to the city’s health department. As noteworthy as this overall rate is the racial breakdown: For white babies, the rate was 5.4; for blacks, 14.1, the JS said.

The city has set a goal of reducing the infant mortality rate for blacks by 15 percent, and the overall rate by 10 percent by 2017, the JS said.

One wonders, if the white and black infant mortality rates were equal, would there be quite as much concern?

It would seem that race affects infant mortality more than socio-economic status.  One study came up with the following graph:

Of course, high infant mortality among American blacks is not confined to Milwaukee.  It is the norm all over America.  Some people, noting this, try to explain the racial disparity as a byproduct of racial discrimination.  Ziba Kashef writes:

According to Dr. Michael Lu, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecologyand public health at UCLA, researchers have found that even when they control for such varied factors as poverty, housing, employment, medical risk, abuse, social support and so on, 90 percent of the differences in birth weight between black and white moms remains unaccounted for. “Most studies have looked at black-white differences during pregnancy, for example, differences in prenatal careutilization or maternal behavior,” he says. “What we’re finding is that these differences really explain very little of the disparities in birth outcomes.”

Even genetics fail to provide answers. To test the hypothesis, Dr. James W. Collins, Jr., associate professor of pediatrics at Northwestern University Medical School, compared birth outcomes of African American and Africa-born mothers in Illinois over a 15-year period. He assumed if there was something about African genes that caused poor birth outcomes, the statistics for African-born women might actually be worse. But Collins and his colleagues found that the babies of African-born women had birth weights similar to those of white American women and higher than those of black American women…

If the cause is not a shared gene, perhaps it’s a shared experience. For instance, the immune system begins to develop in utero and matures over time. During certain critical periods of development, Dr. Lu points out, the immune system can be adversely affected by certain experiences and exposures, such as repeated infections or undue stress. These exposures may pattern the immune system in a particular way that sets the stage for increased risk to poor health and poor birth outcomes. A mother with less than optimal immune response may give birth to a baby with less than optimal immune response and so on.

Chronic emotional stress results from many factors, including physically demanding jobs and a lack of control in the workplace, single parenthood, and financial worries–all problems experienced disproportionately by women of color. Discrimination is also a documented source of harmful stress. One study found that women who gave birth to very low birth weight babies were more likely to have experienced racial discrimination than women who had normal weight babies.

The above theory is now the pet theory within the establishment.  Yes, stress can cause health problems.  For example, in one experiment, middle-aged men were locked in a room for weeks at a time while voices were played over loudspeakers, over and over again, “Your heart is failing.  You’re going to DIE from a heart attack!  You’re going to DIE!”  Sure enough, those men died of heart attacks*.

Perhaps the media, schools, scientists and corporations should stop screaming at black women, “You’re victims of racism.  You’re suffering because of racism!  You’re all going to DIE because of racism!“.  I’d be stressed out too if they did that to me.

But back to the genetic factor.  I wonder if the “Africa-born mothers in Illinois” were from the same region in Africa where most American blacks hail from.  Not all Africans are the same; Africa is a very diverse continent.  Another thing to consider is that the white admixture in American blacks might be causing the problems.  Perhaps premature, and underweight, babies are a byproduct of hybridization.  In any case, it does not appear as if the genetic possibilities were thoroughly examined.


About jewamongyou

I am a paleolibertarian Jew who is also a race-realist. My opinions are often out of the mainstream and often considered "odd" but are they incorrect? Feel free to set me right if you believe so!
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16 Responses to Milwaukee’s black infant mortality problem

  1. Glinton says:

    “Africa is a very diverse continent”

    More to that point you mentioned, there is more human genetic diversity in Africa than the rest of the entire world combined. Look it up..

    • The Other Eugenicist says:

      And then go and read Peter Frost’s excellent article at Evo and Proud about the relevance of that diversity.

  2. Funny, when I read that they controlled using African-born mothers as controls, my mind leapt to hybridization effects. It would certainly be interesting if there was a loss of biological fitness in African-European hybrids (or African-Eurasian hybrids generally), though such a result would not be politically popular.

    That said, there is a whole raft of potentially confounding factors, with the differences in African region being the first of many, so such a finding probably wouldn’t be forthcoming even if it weren’t a taboo topic.

  3. bob sykes says:

    The Bantu have spread over much of Africa, even into Somalia, so it is possible that African born mothers are the same race as native American mothers.

    • jewamongyou says:

      Yes, possible – but “possible” is not good enough to reach the conclusion that Kashef reaches. If you’re going to discount genetic factors, you have to be more precise than “possible”.

  4. JL says:

    compared birth outcomes of African American and Africa-born mothers in Illinois over a 15-year period. He assumed if there was something about African genes that caused poor birth outcomes, the statistics for African-born women might actually be worse. But Collins and his colleagues found that the babies of African-born women had birth weights similar to those of white American women and higher than those of black American women…

    That study is available here. However, contrary to what is claimed above, the babies of African-born mothers did not have the same mean weight as those of white mothers. The mean for whites was 3446 g, for African-born blacks 3333 g, and for American-born blacks 3089 g. The gap between whites and African immigrants is smaller than that between whites and American-born blacks, but there’s still a gap.

    But back to the genetic factor. I wonder if the “Africa-born mothers in Illinois” were from the same region in Africa where most American blacks hail from.

    Yes, they were from the same region. I don’t think that’s a problem in the study. What is problematic in it is that African immigrants are disproportionately from wealthy, elite backgrounds, probably even more so in 1980-1995 than today.

    When they controlled for age, education, marital status,
    gravidity, prenatal care, and a history of fetal loss, the white v. African immigrant gap was 98 g, while the white v. American black gap was 248 g.

    Their models did not include controls for “lifestyle” variables, particularly smoking and drinking, which are major risk factors for low birth weight. I’m pretty sure that African immigrants have healthier lifestyles than Americans, including white Americans.

    Hispanic immigrants famously have better maternal outcomes than whites despite their poverty. However, it seems that this advantage evaporates in the second generation, probably due to increased drinking, drug use, and smoking.

    Another problem with the study is that the race of fathers was not controlled for. However, this is probably not a big thing, because black women, whether immigrants or not, rarely have children with white men.

    In sum, the results of that study are difficult to interpret because African immigrants are an unrepresentative sample, and because lifestyle differences were not studied. Outbreeding depression came to my mind as well, but that’s a very speculative theory.

  5. Georgia Resident says:

    It seems perfectly possible to me that some hybridizations might have hybrid incompatibility (white-African, for example), while others (white-East Asian, or white-Amerindian, in the case of most Hispanics) might produce some amount of hybrid vigor (there was some study done in Hawaii that found evidence of hybrid vigor in white-East Asian hybrids). The reason for this might be that all other races other than blacks diverged more recently from each other than from Africans, so there’s enough distance for hybrid vigor (not necessarily in all traits), but not so much as to cause severe incompatibilities.

    In any case, while I’m not thrilled with the presence of numerous mestizo immigrants in this country, I would probably surmise that their lives are far more “stressful” than those of the average black. After all, they’re poor, they often live in close proximity to blacks, it’s slightly more politically correct to criticize Mexicans than blacks, and unless they live in one of the areas of the country that have been thoroughly Hispanicized, they don’t speak the language of the people surrounding them. Yet they have, on average, lower infant mortality than whites, so attributing high black infant mortality to stress strikes me as a tad implausible.

  6. Bay Area Guy says:

    I think a good test of this theory would be to analyze the infant mortality rates of other “oppressed minority” groups throughout the world: Tibetans and Uighurs in China, Indians in Malaysia, Arabs in Israel, “mixed bloods” in Korea, etc.

    If their infant mortality rates match those of black Americans, then perhaps that theory holds water. If not, then something else must be at work.

  7. SFG says:

    OT, but you might want to look into this to help fight your anti-Semitic HBD comrades: if Kevin MacDonald’s right, Jews should act to protect their evolutionary interests. Well, the USA is a large, relatively philo-Semitic country, so European Jews should be pro-American. And, as far as I can tell, even the left-wing ones seem to be: BHL, cocky as he is, seems to like the USA. Sarkozy’s only a quarter, but he’s been the most pro-American French PM I can think of in a while… What do you think?

  8. CanSpeccy says:

    Isn’t it likely that differences in income largely explain racial differences in infant mortality? According to Wikipedia “Economic inequality has a lot to do with infant mortality in some US cities”.

    That being the case, then setting out to lower black infant mortality would amount to discrimination against poor non-black citizens, which is probably the politically correct thing to do, i.e., the anti-white racist thing to do.

    • Georgia Resident says:

      Well, as the table in the post shows, while richer households have lower infant mortality than poor households, there is still a significant gap in infant mortality between whites and blacks when controlling for socioeconomic status. Similarly, even though people from richer families tend to have higher IQs than people from poorer families, there is still a significant gap between whites and blacks in IQ when controlling for parental socioeconomic status. Hence the widespread puzzlement over the causes of low black IQs.

  9. Californian says:

    Might also consider how white people are discriminated against by affirmative action and all the rest. So why don’t whites have higher rates of stress related dysfunctions?

    Another thing to consider is the presence of fathers in the black household, or absence thereof.

    Just sayin’…

  10. Ian says:

    Seems to me like a biological aspect of an r/K schism in parental investment …

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