Researchers at the University of Maryland think that they have revealed where the most racist areas in America are by Google searches. The study, led by David H. Chae, assistant professor of epidemiology in the University of Maryland School of Public Health, found that the areas where people most frequently search for the “n-word” are the same areas where black people die more frequently. The study was the first of its kind, because usually studies about the prevalence of racism in a certain area rely on surveys from people who have been victims of discrimination.
In this study, Chae used a method previously developed by co-author Seth I. Stephens-Davidowitz, that was based on the number of ‘n-word’ searches that ended in -er and -ers. The researchers did not include “ni**a or ni**as” in the study. Usually when a person uses those words they mean it in an entirely different manner than someone putting the -er on the end. As a fellow writer, Justin Rosario, explained, one is a term of familiarity and the other is a term of intense racism.
After they found out how often people searched for the word, they compared it to the mortality rate of African-Americans in those areas. They included not just murders or accidents, but also socioeconomic and demographic characteristics. For instance, they included healthcare, education and levels of poverty in the areas. They also made sure to adjust the formula for the mortality of white people in the areas which have an overall greater mortality rate because of impoverished conditions.
What they found was that in the areas that had the greatest volume of racist search terms, African-Americans had a bigger mortality rate:
They examined Black mortality rates in 196 media markets, which were compiled by the National Center for Health Statistics. Each one standard deviation increase in the level of area racism was related to an 8.2% greater all-cause Black mortality rate, which would be equivalent to over 30,000 deaths annually in the country.
Chae explained that the reason they also included socioeconomic conditions was because institutional racism leads to poor healthcare services, schooling, et cetera. He also explained that other studies would have to take place over a longer period of time to get a better idea of how much racism affects mortality rates but the preliminary findings are pretty awful:
These findings add to mounting evidence that population-level racial disparities in health are driven by racism,” said Chae. “Racism represents a serious social and moral dilemma. The persistence of racial disparities in disease and mortality reflects the fact that issues of racism remain unresolved.
When you look at the map you will notice that Appalachia, and parts of the Deep South, are lit up like a Christmas tree.
What’s interesting is that if you compare Chae’s map of racism to a map of the 2012 presidential election, you start to see and even more interesting pattern:
The areas the Chae concluded had not only a high mortality rate for black Americans, but also love the ‘n-word’ all voted for Romney in the 2012 presidential election.
This isn’t at all surprising; the GOP has been at war with minorities for as long as I can remember. They claim to be totally, not-at-all racist and all-inclusive, but their policies prove otherwise. The fact that poverty is also high in the areas that search for the “n-word” and have a high mortality rate, crappy healthcare and horrible schools is also not surprising. The policies of the Republican Party will never lift these people out of poverty , but they continue to be elected by people who vote against their own self interests. Those people who vote them in are often times fans of institutionalized racism and can’t stand the thought of losing their white privilege.
The next time you hear a member of the Republican Party say,”We aren’t racist! You liberals are just race-baiters!” Show them these two maps and watch them stutter.
Featured image courtesy of David H. Chae, University of Maryland School of Public Health/ PLOS One