To the Ohio State community:
On Oct. 23, the Washington Times published an opinion piece written by an Ohio State University Moritz College of Law student. The article, “The number one killer of black Americans,” describes how in 2011, “402 black Americans were aborted in America every single day.” As the Black Law Students Association at the OSU Moritz College of Law, our chapter is uniquely positioned to advocate on the issues of race relations and socioeconomic disparities in a productive and positive manner. We take offense to the racist undertones of this opinion piece and question its journalistic integrity.
This article challenges the principles of professionalism, scholastic integrity and common sense that we strive to uphold as Moritz law students. By making such sweeping and irresponsible statements regarding black women’s reproductive health, the opinion piece fails to address myriad factors that might influence a black woman’s decision to exercise her reproductive rights. The destructive generalizations made in this piece open the door for discussions regarding the larger issues that impact the black community. The article lacks consideration of relevant factors including, but not limited to racial inequalities, poverty and black women’s access to quality health care.
This article perpetuates that black women are the No. 1 killer of black Americans. We reject this notion. In making such sweeping implications, stereotypes of black Americans are recklessly perpetuated. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Cancer Institute, the leading causes of death in black Americans are heart disease, cancer and stroke. Access to affordable, quality health care is a significant factor in determining survival rates for black Americans. When discussing the mortality of black lives, lack of medical coverage, barriers to early detection and screening, and unequal access to improvements in treatments are equally important factors that desperately need to be incorporated into the conversation.
Our chapter wants to send a clear message to the greater OSU community that the Black Law Students Association is empowered to make a difference and to stand for social justice. We hope this continues to foster collaborative conversations directed toward addressing racial inequalities, better access to health care for black American women and other minorities, and the disproportionate effect that poverty has on black Americans. We strive to be a proactive catalyst for justice.
The Black Law Students Association at The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law