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Wealthy white kids have been tagged with the term “affluenza” for their social problems. According to one psychologist, “affluenza” is a social condition that suggests  young adults whose families are rich have a sense of entitlement that explains away bad behavior because their spoiled upbringing makes it impossible for them to distinguish right from wrong. That’s just as preposterous as  “hood disease.”

Living in urban America is not a disease. We all have a responsibility to help address the root causes of violence in our communities – violence that results in emotional stress in black children.

But in trying to identify the problem, let’s not further stereotype black kids and lower their self-esteem by attaching racially insensitive slang terms like “hood disease” to describe their mental health.

What do you think?

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COMMENTARY: When Did Living in Urban America Become a Disease?  was originally published on

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