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Major current religious and ethical conflicts:
Definition of "racism:"
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines "Racism" as:
- A belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities, and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race.
- A doctrine or political program based on the assumption of racism and designed to execute its principles.
- A political or social system founded on racism.
Racial prejudice or discrimination. 1
This dictionary also has a definition for the word "Race" for use by students:
"Any one of the groups that human beings can be divided into, based on shared distinctive physical traits." 2
Racism is one topic that many religious believers, agnostics, atheists, humanists, secularists, non-religiously affiliated persons, etc. agree should be eliminated.
Many Jews, Christians, and Muslims accept the accuracy of passages at Genesis 1:26-27 from the Hebrew Scriptures -- called the Torah by Jews, the Old Testament by Christians, and the Tawrat by Muslims. These two verses discuss God's creation of the first humans, Adam and Eve "in the image of God."
If Adam and Eve were created "in the image of God," then it would seem logical to believe that their children, grand-children, and all their additional descendents down to the present day would also be "in the image of God," regardless of the person's skin color, age, sex, gender identity, race, country of origin, language, etc. Thus, no one should be discriminated against.
Many scientists, non-religious persons and some religious persons accept the belief that all members of any two species of life on earth today -- like dogs and cats, or humans and mosquitos -- share a common ancestor who typically lived in the ancient past.
If one accepts that all of the approximately 7.6 billion humans who are currently alive on Earth share a common male and female ancestor 4 then many people would agree that all humans are of value, and that nobody should be discriminated against because of their race.
The Golden Rule, has been expressed in the Bible at in Matthew 7:12 as: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." It is also an integral part of many other religions and secular belief systems, using different wording.
Racism, and any other similar form of discrimination is, by definition, a violation of the Golden Rule.
2018 is the 50th anniversary of the Kerner Commission:
President Lyndon B. Johnson created the Commission in 1968 to investigate causes of the country's racial unrest. The study identified "white racism" as the main cause, and concluded that:
"... our nation is moving toward two societies, one black, one white -- separate and unequal."
Birth Mortality rates differ greatly by race:
Racial differences in maternal mortallity (MMR) and infant mortality (IMR) are quite large. The Center for American Progress reports that racism is the:
"... evergreen toxin [that is] killing [large numbers of] black mothers and infants."
Danyelle Solomon, writing for the Center, said:
"African American women and their babies are dying at alarming rates. According to the most recent data, black mothers are three to four times more likely to die in childbirth than their white, non-Hispanic counterparts, while the death rate for infants born to black mothers is more than twice that of infants born to white, non-Hispanic infants.
A growing body of research suggests that even when clinicians control for education, income, and health, black women and their infants are dying at significantly higher rates than other groups of U.S. mothers and babies. And while race is a consistent factor threaded throughout the data, the driver of these disparities is racism."
Often, the first time that a pregnant black woman sees a doctor about her pregnancy, is in her ninth month when her labor contractions have already begun.
Among developed nations worldwide, the U.S. has the highest rates of maternal and infant mortality. Recent data (2011-2013) also shows that, for every million live births:
- 435 black women die, while only 127 non-Hispanic white women die.
- 117 black newborns die, while only 48 non-Hispanic white newborns die.
On 2018-APR-26, the main author of the ReligiousTolerance.org web site sent an email to a dozen leading pro-life groups in the U.S.:
- American Life League
- American Right to Life
- Campaign Life Coalition
- Family Policy Alliance
- Knights of Columbus
- National Black Pro-life Union
- National Right to Life Committee
- Priests For Life
- Prolife Across America
- Pro-Life Action League
- Project Defending Life
- Sisters of Life
"Recent data (2011-2013) show that, for every 100,000 live births in the U.S.,
11.7 black newborns die during childbirth, while only 4.8 non-Hispanic white newborns die.
Is your group addressing this loss of life among babies?
Do you know of any pro-life group that is?"
Few groups responsed to our emails.
U.S. Child suicide rates differ by race:
Researchers reported in JAMA (The Journal of the American Medical Association) Pediatrics that:
"Suicide rates in the United States have traditionally been higher among white than black individuals across all age groups. However, suicide rates increased from 1993 to 1997 and 2008 to 2012 among black children aged 5 to 11 years (from 1.36 to 2.54 per million) and decreased among white children of the same age (from 1.14 to 0.77 per million).
As a result, suicide rates among children ages 5 to 17 now differ greatly by race:
Suicide below the age of 5 is almost non-existent.
By the age of 11, recent suicide rates among black children was more than twice those of whites.
By the age of 12, suicide rates were approximately equal at about 18 per million.
- By the age of 17, suicides by white youths were about double that of black youths, about 80 vs. 40 per million.
The cause(s) of these shifts is unknown.
The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above
essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.
J. Bridge et al., "Age-related racial disparity in suicide rates among US youths from 2001 to 2015," JAMA Pediatrics. 2018-MAY-21, at: https://jamanetwork.com/
Essays about Racism:
How you may have arrived here:
Original posting: 2018-APR-24
Latest update: 2018-MAY-24
Author: B.A. Robinson