Tuesday, March 15, 2022

the last book I ever read (Jessie Singer's There Are No Accidents, excerpt nine)

from There Are No Accidents: The Deadly Rise of Injury and Disaster―Who Profits and Who Pays the Price by Jessie Singer:

In the United States, racist decision-making can define public policy, direct budget allocations, and allocate governmental resources. One-on-one human interaction alone does not cause accidents, but rules and policies may expose some people to more dangerous conditions than others.

And these decisions can have historical reach. Redlining in the 1930s and 1940s undermined Black homeownership and empowered the (racist) builders of America’s early highways to build those roads straight through Black neighborhoods. Then, the highways were a segregationist tool. Today, Black people are still less likely to own their homes and more likely to live near a highway. Those historic policies cause accidents now. People who don’t own their homes are more likely to die in an accidental fire. Extreme heat is worse in redlined neighborhoods because of highway pollution, so people who live near highways may be more likely to die of accidental overheating. Living near highways delivers more drivers traveling at highway speeds to residential streets, and people who live near highways are more likely to be killed in a car accident.

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