Racism: The Evergreen Toxin Killing Black Mothers and Infants
"America was founded on idealistic and visionary principals that have sadly yet to be fully realized because of deep-rooted and persistent racism. Today, the United States is the richest nation in the world, yet black women and their infants are dying at higher rates than women in other developed countries.30 Research and data continue to show that racism is the evergreen toxin permeating all aspects of American society—and it is killing black women and their babies. To combat systemic racism, the United States must employ systematic policy changes.
To that end, the theory of “targeted universalism,” an equity framework that focuses on executing targeted strategies to meet universal goals, is the way forward. Targeted universalism provides benefits to “both the dominant and the marginal groups but pays particular attention to the situation of the marginal group.”31 History, research, and data prove that racism must be addressed directly. As Anne Price, president of the Insight Center for Community Economic Development, stated, “to address the root cause of the black IMR and the systemic racial inequities that impact black families, we must execute policies that support equal opportunity and serve to support mothers, especially black mothers.”32
If the universal goal is to close the maternal and infant mortality gap—which it unquestionably should be—policies and programs that are targeted to black mothers must be implemented. A failure to target resources to those most in need will only further entrench the problem."
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