Friday, November 28, 2014

Race and Plumbers: A Conspiracy Theory

Bear with me while I invoke a few hypotheticals for consideration...

A couple decades ago, I remember reading a study in a Scholarly journal in which the author presented a correlation between lead exposure and violence. The author further implied that inner city areas, where older buildings, contained greater quantities of lead paint and lead plumbing, could be significant factors in explaining higher crime levels there.

Given that these locations have a higher probability of being home to underprivileged, and the U.S. Black population tends to be concentrated in larger cities, and has a higher ratio of underprivileged, is it possible that much of the significantly higher levels of violence in the Black community could be attributed to lead poisoning?

Stretching deeper into hypothetical territory – African Americans have a substantially higher rate of sickle cell anemia. (

what if there is a correlative genetic component which makes one more sensitive to the effects of lead toxicity?

All hypothetical, yes, and increasingly so at the end, but what if?

What if the disparity in violence between the black population and other populations in the U.S. could be drastically reduced by simply eliminating the lead paint, the lead plumbing, any other sources of lead from the geography?

Is keeping the focus and resources on “Racism” (more specifically White racism) diverting resources and attention from other, potentially more effective approaches to the problem (environment, poverty, culture, ...) ?

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