Letters to the Editor

Racial disparities begin before birth

Monique Jones, 30, holds her 5-month-old baby, Matthias, at her apartment in North Highlands. Jones has lost four children to birth complications. African American children in Sacramento County die at more than twice the rate of their white peers.
Monique Jones, 30, holds her 5-month-old baby, Matthias, at her apartment in North Highlands. Jones has lost four children to birth complications. African American children in Sacramento County die at more than twice the rate of their white peers. lsterling@sacbee.com

Racism and black children dying

Re “Black, and born at risk” (Page 1A, July 10): It is heartbreaking and unacceptable that African American children in Sacramento County die at more than twice the rate of white children. While one’s ZIP code is an important factor, it is also well established that a lifetime of racism-related stress prior to becoming pregnant plays a significant role in rates of preterm births and perinatal deaths.

Racial disparities begin before pregnancy and continue with disparities in: school discipline (starting in preschool), quality of education, employment, arrest rates and incarceration. The Steering Committee on the Reduction of African American Child Deaths needs to lead a communitywide discussion of how to reduce and eliminate systemic racism so that our babies can live and grow up more safely.

Dr. Harry Wang,

Sacramento

Common sense solution to risk

Sammy Caiola’s article about infant mortality asks, “So what’s the answer?” How about this: Wait until you are financially stable to have children. Wait until you are married. Why would moms care so little about their children to bring them into dangerous, stress-filled, unstable situations? And why should taxpayers continue to support these ladies’ bad choices?

Debbie Towne, Sacramento

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