Every time I hear the bagpipes I realize that at that exact moment, on an abandoned runway at an air base in a friendly third-world country, the same music is being blared into a metal shipping container to torture someone.
I know this is slightly old news, but over the past week I've been reflecting upon Geraldine Ferraro's comments (which she doesn't regret in the slightest) and I have finally been persuaded. She's right. Being black is awesome. I really wish I could be black.
As a white person I will never be able to benefit from the myriad advantages black men enjoy in our society. Black men are:
40% more likely to get the death penalty if we commit the same crime.
Nine times more likely to be in prison than white men.
More likely to be in prison than in college.
Expected to live six fewer years on average – and “homicide remains a leading contributor to the black-white life-expectancy gap among males." Blacks are 13% of the population yet make up nearly 50% of homicide victims.
Twice as likely to be the victim of a violent crime (counting only crimes reported to police, a caveat without which the disparity would be higher).
Earning about 80-85% of what a white person with the same education earns for similar work.
Nine times more likely to have HIV or AIDS.
Statistically about as likely to be in Obama's current shoes (a sitting Senator) as you are likely to be hit by lightning tomorrow. Of the 1,895 people who have served in the U.S. Senate, five (0.26%) have been black and 1,876 (99%) have been white. So white people are 375 times more likely to be in the Senate by historical standards.
Ten times more likely to be dead of hypertension or lung cancer before they reach Obama's age.
Twice as likely to be unemployed (by the official and ridiculous BLS definition; real figures probably much higher)
16% less likely to have a HS diploma and 50% less likely to have a Bachelor's degree or more.
Yep, being a black male fuckin' rules. Ferraro is right in one respect – Obama really shouldn't be where he is right now. According to the odds he should be dead, in prison, dying of treatable illnesses, infected with AIDS, victimized by crime, or unemployed.
Sign me up.