I was flabbergasted to see this story about the best and worst cities for Black women in one of the Broadsheet newsletters last week. 

On one level, I applaud that someone has done the research, that looking beyond white experience was valued enough to do it. Exposing the data on systemic discrimination is always a gut check of “What the hell kind of country are we?” but, in my opinion, it’s also validation for underrepresented groups that they aren’t “crazy” or “imagining things” or playing some sort of race or gender card. 

No, no. It’s not me. I’m not too over-sensitive. This is a thing. Data shows it.

I’ve always said that data doesn’t do enough to change things, but at a minimum, it gives you ammo. People may not act, but they can no longer claim they didn’t know. And that opens up new conversations about why they don’t act and accountability. 

But still, I felt absolutely gross as a white person and an American reading it. From the piece: “A few patterns emerge: First, as pictured in the chart above, black women’s livability experiences are generally worst in Midwestern cities. (And although Pittsburgh is not technically part of the Midwest, it has many traits common to the region.) Second, livability is generally best for black women in southern metros, from the Deep South, to several cities in North Carolina, to several metros closer to the Mason-Dixon line. And finally, while black women’s economic prospects are strongest in the D.C.-Maryland-Virginia (DMV) area, their health conditions—perhaps the most critical metric for livability—lag significantly there compared to other regions.

Looking across all criteria, the one metro that jumps out is Washington, D.C., which ranks above all metros in educational, economic, and overall outcomes, with its neighbor Baltimore following close behind in each of these categories. However, Baltimore ranks well below the median in health outcomes, a reflection of the city’s extraordinarily high rates of maternal and infant mortality, cancer, domestic violence, police violence, and poverty.”

We have whole sections of the country where black women cannot thrive. The parts of the country they thrive best are also places that have some of the worst racial legacies, historically speaking. And the cities they thrive in most also have some of the worst health outcomes for them. 

How is this OK in 2020? We would be horrified if we were reading this stark reality about a racial minority in another country.

Today’s new questions on Chairman Mom:

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