Sunday, February 22, 2015

Pre-term Birth Subtly Affects Memory Function. Why this is important in the Fight Against Racism

What if we held a cute pig race, but some of the racers had 10lb weights strapped to their hind legs. Would that be fair?

A recent study found that preterm births affect a person's memory functions.
“Our study provides evidence that prematurity can result in problems with a particular subprocess of recollection,” according to Kerstin H. Kipp, principal investigator of the research project when she was at the University of the Saarland (Kipp is now with the State University of Music and Performing Arts Stuttgart and the University of Ulm.)
“The specific modification in the memory network is so subtle that it could be overlooked because it doesn’t manifest itself in clear memory impairment. But memory deficits can appear in situations in which retrieving contextual information is essential,”
 So what does this mean when conservatives say that all children must be treated equally or we're biased against white people?

To keep this quick and simple, statistics show black children are more than 50%  likely to be born prematurely than whites and Asians and more likely than other ethnicities, though Native Americans are close. (Original source CDC)

Throwing all the kids in the pool to sink or swim is like organizing a deep end race between a shark baby, a whale baby, and a human baby.  It isn't fair.  Saying it's fair is a way to continue to encode racism.  Treating all children the same as conservatives want to pretend they do (though only small amounts of time are needed to discover natural advantages of more affluent communities) is a way to continue racism.

The study was on a form of memory that is not normally associated with "learning" in school. First of all was it the narrowness of subject (which scientists love to use to quell blow-back). Or will we learn later that it's at the core of learning instead of somewhere out in the wilderness? Scientists are always revising those kinds of findings.  Meanwhile there are children who need a good education.

And the info gleaned from the recent study and the CDC graphic show this starts at birth.

End of story, unless, of course, you are Bill O'Reilly or other right wing scammer promoting the continued ability of the richest to take from society at the expense of the poor (and paid to do so by the same wealthy folk).

In our real life we need to show the real statistics when confronted about treating all ethnicities alike "to be fair". Tell them that's incorrect until society fixes conditions that forces certain minorities, from birth, to fight against problems that harm their ability to learn.

Picture at top used via Creative Commons License (CC by 2.0) thanks to Flickr user krgjumper (only name identified by Flickr).