It’s an old saying that Britain and America are two countries separated by a common language.
But they are united by racial wealth gaps that formed at a similar time for related reasons. Black Britons of the “Windrush generation,” arriving in Britain from the Caribbean between 1948 and 1973, and Black Americas from the Great Migration of the 1940s-1970s encountered similar disadvantages that were reproduced in the last 50 years.
Today, examining household assets, Black Britons of Caribbean backgrounds have 20 pence on the £1 compared to white Britons. Black Britons of African background – more recently arrived in Britain – have just 10 pence on the £1 compared to white Britons.
In the U.S., Black Americans have assets about 15 to 20 cents on the $1 compared to whites.
This is in large part the result of policymakers in both countries putting up roadblocks to Black advancement at the time they instituted policies to grow the middle class.
In my view as a historian of slavery, capitalism and African American inequality, it’s not just the long shadow of enslavement, which Britain abolished in its western colonies in 1833 and the U.S. ended in 1865 with passage of the 13th Amendment.
When Black members of the British Commonwealth moved to Britain starting in 1948 and African Americans moved from the South to the North and West, they encountered new obstacles.
The long struggle for equal job opportunities has had a lasting effect on the ability to accrue wealth and pass it on to subsequent generations.
The British illusion of opportunity
The moment Black opportunity in Britain opened up was June 22, 1948, when the British ship Empire Windrush docked on the River Thames, disembarking 802 passengers of Caribbean background in England.
They led the first sustained Black migration, the Windrush generation, mostly Black and Asian, arriving in Britain between 1948 and 1973.
U.K. employers wanted their labor amid a post-World War II shortage.
About a third of Windrush passengers were veterans of the British forces who served in World War II and recruited by employers for skilled jobs.
But, as British journalist Afua Hirsch argues, they faced persistent discrimination in housing and jobs. Employers wanted them as laborers, not neighbors, and they faced hostility from those determined to “Keep England White.”
When a Bristol bus company refused to employ Black conductors and drivers, Black workers counter-organized, staging a successful Bristol bus boycott against employment discrimination.
Meanwhile, civil rights leaders such as Olive Morris fought for economic inclusion through organizations like the Black Workers Movement. These efforts helped include Black workers in unionized industry and led to wage gains.
The American allure of opportunity
While the Windrush generation took shape, African Americans too were moving north and west in search of opportunity. Journalist Isabel Wilkerson contends that “the Great Migration had more in common with the vast movements of refugees from famine, war, and genocide in other parts of the world.”
In the three decades following the Great Depression, the American wage structure became more equal than at any time before or since, a process economic historians term “The Great Compression.” Between 1940 and 1960, the distance between earners in the top 10% and bottom 90% narrowed by a third.
But policies giving white Americans a boost up the ladder tended to hamstring African Americans.
Historian Matthew F. Delmontargues that “by funneling resources to white veterans and denying loans to Black veterans, the GI Bill intensified the racial wealth gap and shared the terrain of opportunity in America for decades after the war.”
By the time Black Americans began to narrow a persistent wealth gap, the economy was paying diminishing returns to workers.
The wealth-to-earnings ratio rose in the U.S. and U.K. after 1973, and Black Americans who had recently climbed one or two rungs on the ladder started to move backward relative to whites.
Britain’s failed promise
By the 1970s, multicultural Britain had taken shape. As British sociologist Paul Gilroyargues, Black Britain, including people of African and South Asian descent, had become a complex of class and cultures as diverse as England’s imperial geography that once included colonies in Asia, Africa and the Americas.
But diversity didn’t mean inclusion. Just as Black working-class Britons were making gains in unionized industry, that rung of the ladder cracked.
Starting in the late 1970s, factories closed or moved offshore, and ways into the middle class narrowed as the U.K. and U.S. pursued a strategy of more privatization and less government spending on social services.
Union strength declined across sectors, and worker wages stagnated. Many Black Britons were trapped in segregated neighborhoods and didn’t reap gains from rising home values. Today, 2 in 3 white British families own homes compared to 2 in 5 Black British families of Caribbean background and 1 in 5 Black British families of African background.
By the 2000s, those who lacked capital or technological skills in Britain had a hard time climbing up the economic ladder. Income inequality soared between 1979 and the early 2000s, reaching levels not seen since before WWII.
America’s reinvention of inequality
Meanwhile in the United States, legal barriers fell while the economy changed in ways that disadvantaged Black workers in new ways. In 1979 the average Black worker earned 82 cents on the dollar compared to white counterparts. By 2000, the earnings gap widened to 77 cents on the dollar.
The Great Recession of 2008 destroyed half of Black wealth, and in 2015 an estimated 1.5 million Black American men were missing from the economy, having died early, been incarcerated or shut out of the employment market – 8.2% of working-age African American men compared with 1.6% of white men in the same age range.
Despite wealth gains since 2016, Black wealth was more vulnerable and harder to accumulate.
The earnings gap remains wide today.
Black women workers in the U.S. earn 79 cents on the dollar compared to white women, and Black men earn 87% of white men’s wages.
Discrimination across the Atlantic
In the U.K., just before the pandemic, Black Britons of African and Caribbean background earned 85% and 87% of the wages of white Britons, respectively.
According to a study by two leading U.K. inequality think tanks, British women of color endure “intersecting structural barriers and discrimination faced at every point of the career pipeline, from school to university to employment.”
U.K. wealth is largely white, resulting from the “history of economic relations between Britain and the rest of the world, especially Africa, the Caribbean and Asia,” according to the Runnymede Trust, an inequality think tank.
Over the last 80 years, the underbelly of Britain and America is that both countries reinvented racial economic disadvantages.
Instead of making their economies fundamentally fair, racial exclusions gave way to inclusion that came with surcharges on opportunity while failing to rectify past wrongs.
Calvin Schermerhorn does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.
In this specific predicament, U.S. officials have to choose a strategy to deliver the aid without the perception of benefiting Hamas, a group the U.S. and Israel both classify as a terrorist organization.
When aiding people in war zones, you can’t just send money, a development strategy called “cash transfers” that has become increasingly popular due to its efficiency. Sending money can boost the supply of locally produced goods and services and help people on the ground pay for what they need most. But injecting cash into an economy so completely cut off from the world would only stoke inflation.
So the aid must consist of goods that have to be brought into Gaza, and services provided by people working as part of an aid mission. Humanitarian aid can include food and water; health, sanitation and hygiene supplies and services; and tents and other materials for shelter and settlement.
Due to the closure of the border with Israel, aid can arrive in Gaza only via the Rafah crossing on the Egyptian border.
The U.S. Agency for International Development, or USAID, will likely turn to its longtime partner on the ground, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, or UNRWA, to serve as supply depots and distribute goods. That agency, originally founded in 1949 as a temporary measure until a two-state solution could be found, serves in effect as a parallel yet unelected government for Palestinian refugees.
USAID will likely want to tap into UNRWA’s network of 284 schools – many of which are now transformed into humanitarian shelters housing two-thirds of the estimated 1 million people displaced by Israeli airstrikes – and 22 hospitals to expedite distribution.
Since Biden took office, total yearly U.S. assistance for the Palestinian territories has totaled around $150 million, restored from just $8 million in 2020 under the Trump administration. During the Obama administration, however, the U.S. was providing more aid to the territories than it is now, with $1 billion disbursed in the 2013 fiscal year.
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency is a U.N. organization. It’s not run by Hamas, unlike, for instance, the Gaza Ministry of Health. However, Hamas has frequently undermined UNRWA’s efforts and diverted international aid for military purposes.
Humanitarian aid professionals regularly have to contend with these trade-offs when deciding to what extent they can work with governments and local authorities that commit violent acts. They need to do so in exchange for the access required to help civilians under their control.
Similarly, Biden has had to make concessions to Israel while brokering for the freedom to send humanitarian aid to Gaza. For example, he has assured Israel that if any of the aid is diverted by Hamas, the operation will cease.
This promise may have been politically necessary. But if Biden already believes Hamas to be uncaring about civilian welfare, he may not expect the group to refrain from taking what they can.
Security best practices
What can be done to protect the security of humanitarian aid operations that take place in the midst of dangerous conflicts?
Under International Humanitarian Law, local authorities have the primary responsibility for ensuring the delivery of aid – even when they aren’t carrying out that task. To increase the chances that the local authorities will not attack them, aid groups can give “humanitarian notification” and voluntarily alert the local government as to where they will be operating.
Under the current agreement between the U.S., Israel and Egypt, the convoy will raise the U.N. flag. International inspectors will make sure no weapons are on board the vehicles before crossing over from Arish, Egypt, to Rafah, a city located on the Gaza Strip’s border with Egypt.
The aid convoy will likely cross without militarized security. This puts it at some danger of diversion once inside Gaza. But whether the aid convoy is attacked, seized or left alone, the Biden administration will have demonstrated its willingness to attempt a humanitarian relief operation. In this sense, a relatively small first convoy bearing water, medical supplies and food, among other items, serves as a test balloon for a sustained operation to follow soon after.
In that case, the presence of U.S. armed forces might provoke attacks on Gaza-bound aid convoys by Hamas and Islamic jihad fighters that otherwise would not have occurred. Combined with the mobilization of two U.S. Navy carrier groups in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, I’d be concerned that such a move might also stoke regional anger. It would undermine the Biden administration’s attempts to cool the situation.
On U.N.-approved missions, aid delivery may be secured by third-party peacekeepers – meaning, in this case, personnel who are neither Israeli nor Palestinian – with the U.N. Security Council’s blessing. In this case, tragically, it’s unlikely that such a resolution could conceivably pass such a vote, much less quickly enough to make a difference.
Topher L. McDougal does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.
“The majority of wound infections often manifest themselves immediately postoperatively, so close followup should take place […]”
Credit: 2023 Barbarewicz et al.
“The majority of wound infections often manifest themselves immediately postoperatively, so close followup should take place […]”
BUFFALO, NY- October 20, 2023 – A new research perspective was published in Oncoscience (Volume 10) on October 4, 2023, entitled, “Diagnosis and management of postoperative wound infections in the head and neck region.”
In everyday clinical practice at a department for oral and maxillofacial surgery, a large number of surgical procedures in the head and neck region take place under both outpatient and inpatient conditions. The basis of every surgical intervention is the patient’s consent to the respective procedure. Particular attention is drawn to the general and operation-specific risks.
Particularly in the case of soft tissue procedures in the facial region, bleeding, secondary bleeding, scarring and infection of the surgical area are among the most common complications/risks, depending on the respective procedure. In their new perspective, researchers Filip Barbarewicz, Kai-Olaf Henkel and Florian Dudde from Army Hospital Hamburg in Germany discuss the diagnosis and management of postoperative infections in the head and neck region.
“In order to minimize the wound infections/surgical site infections, aseptic operating conditions with maximum sterility are required.”
Furthermore, depending on the extent of the surgical procedure and the patient‘s previous illnesses, peri- and/or postoperative antibiotics should be considered in order to avoid postoperative surgical site infection. Abscesses, cellulitis, phlegmone and (depending on the location of the procedure) empyema are among the most common postoperative infections in the respective surgical area. The main pathogens of these infections are staphylococci, although mixed (germ) patterns are also possible.
“Risk factors for the development of a postoperative surgical site infection include, in particular, increased age, smoking, multiple comorbidities and/or systemic diseases (e.g., diabetes mellitus type II) as well as congenital and/ or acquired immune deficiency [10, 11].”
Continue reading the paper: DOI:https://doi.org/10.18632/oncoscience.589
Correspondence to: Florian Dudde
Keywords: surgical site infection, head and neck surgery
Oncoscience is a peer-reviewed, open-access, traditional journal covering the rapidly growing field of cancer research, especially emergent topics not currently covered by other journals. This journal has a special mission: Freeing oncology from publication cost. It is free for the readers and the authors.
To learn more about Oncoscience, visit Oncoscience.us and connect with us on social media:
G77 Nations, China, Push Back On U.S. "Loss And Damage" Climate Fund In Days Leading Up To UN Summit
As was the case in primary school with bringing in presents, make sure you bring enough for the rest of the class, otherwise people get ornery...
This age old rule looks like it could be rearing its head in the days leading up to the UN COP 28 climate summit, set to take place in the United Arab Emirates in about six weeks.
At the prior UN COP 27, which took place in Egypt last year, the U.S. pushed an idea for a new World Bank "loss and damage" climate slush fund to help poor countries with climate change. But the G77 nations plus China, including many developing countries, are pushing back on the idea, according to a new report from the Financial Times.
The goal was to arrange how the fund would operate and where the money would come from for the "particularly vulnerable" nations who would have access to it prior to the upcoming summit in UAE.
But as FT notes, Pedro Luis Pedroso Cuesta, the Cuban chair of the G77 plus China group, has said that talks about these details were instead "deadlocked" over issues of - you guessed it - where the money is going and the governance of the fund.
The U.S.'s proposal for the fund to be governed by the World Bank has been rejected by the G77 after "extensive" discussions, the report says. Cuesta has said that the nations seek to have the fund managed elsewhere, but that the U.S. wasn't open to such arrangements.
Cuesta said: “We have been confronted with an elephant in the room, and that elephant is the US. We have been faced with a very closed position that it is [the World Bank] or nothing.”
Christina Chan, a senior adviser to US climate envoy John Kerry, responded: “We have been working diligently at every turn to address concerns, problem-solve, and find landing zones.” She said the U.S. has been "clear and consistent" in their messaging on the need for the fund.
Cuesta contends that the World Bank, known for lending to less affluent nations, lacks a "climate culture" and often delays decision-making, hindering quick responses to climate emergencies like Pakistan's recent severe flooding.
The G77 coalition voiced concerns about the World Bank's legal framework potentially limiting the fund's ability to accept diverse funding sources like philanthropic donations or to access capital markets.
With just days left before the UN COP 28 summit, the World Bank insists that combating climate change is integral to its mission and vows to collaborate on structuring the fund.