“Blacks die sooner than whites. How many votes has this cost Democrats?” So headlined The Washington Post over the weekend. It’s not so much that black lives matter, you see, as black votes matter to Democrat politicians.
Writing in the Post, University of Massachusetts at Amherst Professor Dean Robinson takes a look at the research of Javier Rodriguez, Arline Geronimus, John Bound and Danny Dorling, four university professors who attempt to calculate how different election outcomes might have been if the voting-age blacks who died between 1970 and 2004 had lived and voted (Democrat).
According to Robinson, “Rodriguez and colleagues estimate that excess deaths among blacks totaled 2.7 million between 1970 and 2004, that 1.74 million would have been of voting age, and that 1 million would have voted in the 2004 election. Combining excess mortality with the consequences of felon disenfranchisement, they find that about 1 in 7 blacks (15 percent) did not have the opportunity to vote in 2004 for one of these two reasons.”
While the study authors conclude the 2004 presidential election would not have turned out different, they assert the “[o]utcomes of 7 senate and 11 gubernatorial races could have been reversed.”
Then Robinson lays out the familiar narrative about racial inequality. “Research has shown that blacks are not dying in excess because of differences in genetic endowment or health behavior,” he says. “Instead, health disparities reflect racial and class inequality and an accumulation of stressors, including segregation, discrimination, exposure to pollution and unequal access to health-care resources, to name a few.”