In 2005, Roland Fryer, the youngest African American professor in Harvard's history, published a paper reported on in the New York Times:
"It addresses the six-year disparity in life expectancy for blacks versus whites, arguing that much of the gap is due to a single factor: a higher rate of salt sensitivity among African-Americans, which leads to higher rates of cardiovascular disease, stroke and kidney disease.
"Fryer's notion that there might be a genetic predisposition at work was heightened when he came across a period illustration that seemed to show a slave trader in Africa licking the face of a prospective slave. The ocean voyage from Africa to America was so gruesome that as many as 15 percent of the Africans died en route, mainly from illnesses that led to dehydration. A person with a higher capacity for salt retention might also retain more water and thus increase his chance of surviving.
"So it may have been that a slave trader would try to select, with a lick to the cheek, the "saltier" Africans. Whether selected by the slavers or by nature, the Africans who did manage to survive the voyage -- and who then formed the gene pool of modern African-Americans -- may have been disproportionately marked by hypertension."Today, Senator Steven Bradford (Democrat Inglewood) is authoring SB 617 - a singularly important single-sentence bill.
Section 4665 is added to the Labor Code, to read:
Notwithstanding any other law, including, but not limited to, Section 4663, heredity and genetics shall be excluded as bases of causation for purposes of determining the apportionment of permanent disability.
Senator Bradford is taking aim at the racist heart of the apportionment regime in California's Workers' Compensation system.
35% of African Americans are hypertensive - causing 20% of all African American deaths...its bad enough that these facts are rooted in slavery. It's worse that Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Legislature enshrined these facts into a California law that perpetrates a racist system - one that the Court of Appeals, Third Appellate District wrongfully endorsed in the case of City of Jackson v WCAB (Rice).
Hats off to Senator Bradford! And all hands on deck to help him!