[i]*This may belong in the Politics and World Issues forum, but a) I don't venture in there very often, and b) I thought more people might see the thread here.
EDIT: This was originally in the Off-topic forum. Obviously, it has since been moved.
Yesterday I had the great fortune to hear a presentation by a highly distinguished speaker, Dr. Adewale Troutman. I won't go into everything this man has accomplished (that could take a whole thread). The presentation, however, was part of a diversity forum, partly given in light of February being Black History Month, and had to do with equity in health, public housing, problems with the health-care system, etc., etc.
One of the staggering facts Dr. Troutman gave us was that African-Americans suffer an average of 83,000 excess deaths per year (i.e. deaths that, but for negligence or other "non-sufficient" reasons, should not have happened). Over the last 40 years that has come to around 3.3 million total deaths. Another sad fact: studies have shown that the grocery stores on the west end of Louisville, which is predominantly a minority area, receives produce and other foods that are not as fresh as the stores on the east end.
This is something that really got to me and the real reason for this thread, however. At one point in the presentation, Dr. Troutman asked "How many of you never think about your race?" One hand went up. "How many of you think about your race once a month?" A couple more hands went up. "Once a week?" A few more hands. "Everyday?" A whole bunch of hands go up, including Dr. Troutman's. Then Dr. Troutman says, "Look at where most of those hands went up," and points to an area of the room where a majority of the African-American attendants were sitting. "Why is that?" he asked.
So...why is that? Is this a good thing or a bad thing? Is it a good thing because it's a matter of pride for some people? If so, that' great. Or is it a bad thing, because some people still feel the oppression that exists in our society, despite the fact that we've made "progress" (I use that term very loosely here)? I would imagine, as in most things, that there's a bit of a gray area and it's a little bit of both. At any rate, I thought it was very interesting food for thought.
I could go on and on about all the stuff Dr. Troutman discussed, especially in light of the city of Louisville, but I thought I'd just stick with this for now.