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#Wellness: #Companies make millions off #lead-poisoned, poor #blacks. #Longevity

This is the one of the heaviest stories I've read in years. A chilling reminder of how systemic practices perpetuate race and class inequity in the U.S. 

First, you have thousands of poor folks of color poisoned by lead paint in places like Baltimore (including, it should be noted, Freddie Gray), thanks to the indifference of landlords, local housing authorities and elected officials, going back decades. This lead then impairs cognitive development (and is also correlated highly with criminal acting out by the way). 

Then when lawsuits finally seek to provide some measure of relief to the victims, companies swoop in and offer buy-outs of the victims' structured settlements, for pennies on the dollar, even though the terms of the agreements are both hard to understand (especially when cognitively impaired) and almost impossible for a desperately poor person to resist. When you're desperate, these kinds of deals probably look good to many folks. The "choice" they are exercising in taking the deals is no choice at all, in any meaningful sense. The fact that there are investors out there who make money buying up people's settlements -- when those settlements are the result of years of institutional racism and class oppression -- means there are people making serious bank directly BECAUSE poor black folks were poisoned. 

In other words, rich white people (and make no mistake, that's mostly who the investors are, given what we know about the racial demographics of investors generally) are profiting off of black pain. Directly. Not coincidentally. Not passively. Actively profiteering from the destruction of black lives. This is why we have to insist that Black Lives Matter. Because some folks clearly need a reminder.

Structured-settlement annuitants are lured by quick cash to unload their future payouts for dimes on the dollar.