As a physician living in Sumter, the bedrock of my patient population comes from towns like Summerton, Paxville, Mayesville, Manning, Turbeville, Bishopville and others. These are towns with populations of 60-90+% African American descendents of slavery. These towns barely hung on through Reconstruction, and were forgotten altogether when King Cotton and the textile mills were outsourced 50 years ago.
Sadly, this population is genetically plagued by sickle cell disease, hypertension, diabetes, and kidney failure - not to mention how culture affects diet and lifestyle factors. Make no mistake - this population is as genetically vulnerable as polynesians and American Samoans are to the same Western diet and lifestyle pitfalls. Add in bone-crushing poverty, gang violence, hard drug manufacture, and a culture that discourges rising above your roots.
The result is an American Pariah. An untouchable caste with no hope and no help from the rest of us.
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