Titled "How companies make millions off lead-poisoned, poor blacks," McCoy's article has unveiled a ugly part of America that most of us didn't know existed. I didn't and I make it my business to track racial injustice of every kind.
As you may know, I'm a Christian. In my faith, we say the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. I apply that idea to most of the injustice that I study and talk about. Faith aside, I believe that a money trail exists for nearly all injustice, so I regularly ask myself, "Who's profiting off of making this group of people, in this place, miserable?" An answer always exists.
McCoy found that in Baltimore and many other cities like it, poor African Americans are suffering from lead poisoning. Yeah, that's still a thing and it's not just making people cough here and there, it's causing permanent brain damage and ruining people's lives. For real.
So companies who are responsible for this, are having to pay people relatively small sums of money as a settlement for what the damage it's caused. For instance, some people with permanent damage are being award between $100,000 to $150,000, but here is where it gets nefarious.
Victims who receive the settlements are rarely given them in one lump sum, but must agree to receive it over a period of decades. They are then being tracked down by companies that are kind of like the cousins of predatory payday lenders that offer them paltry sums up front, like $10,000, in exchange for agreeing to give them all of their remaining checks in perpetuity.
If that's not crazy to you, then we can't be friends. It's absurd and shouldn't even be allowed, particularly since we are talking about women and men who are actually suffering from brain damage and long-term health deficiencies. The company behind this is named Access Funding and it's profited to the tune of millions and millions of dollars off of this.
The stories and the narratives that McCoy tells in his longer piece are heartbreaking and one of them that you will find in there is Freddie Gray—yeah, that Freddie Gray. Before he was killed by Baltimore police, he had suffered lead poisoning and received a settlement. Like many of his neighbors, he too, was preyed upon by Access Funding.
Sometimes we only know racial injustice that looks like a cross-burning in a front yard, but this, in my book, is just as nefarious, maybe even more so. It's legal and parades itself as a service to the community.