Category Archives: Life

Post Traumatic Racism Syndrome

 

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Working in the medical industry I constantly have to keep up on new information as well as update my skill set. So while looking into a few disorders that come up from time to time with different patients of mine, I stumbled across an article written Sid Kirchheimer for WebMd way back in 2003. The article titled “Racism is harmful to health” got little if any play, neither in the media nor on the health care circuits. Now something this provocative should have gotten beau coup air time on your national nightly news, but that would be assuming that someone cared. In all actuality this flies by under the radar because “hey, it doesn’t affect my family or I have never ‘seen’ any racism.” Since this is the mindset of the majority why would this be big news or even just an interesting side story?

The article talks about how Blacks who we know for a fact suffer at the hands of racism are more likely to have hypertension (high blood pressure), heart disease which is linked to that hypertension and other stress related ailments. Now this part is no surprise since we all know that twice as many Blacks suffer from these well known illnesses, the interesting parts is how it is linked to racism. Two different studies which were done by a British group and by Harvard shows that normally blood pressure and stress go down at night but for Blacks who have suffered from racism it remains high thus leading to heart and other problems. According to Camara P. Jones, MD, MPH, PhD, research director of Social Determinants of Health for the CDC and a leading specialist on the health impact of racism “There’s a kind of stress, like you’re gunning your cardiovascular engine constantly if you’re black that results from dealing with people who are underestimating you, limiting your options,” and “By the time you get into the 25-44 year-old group, you start to see changes. We have evidence that in white folks, blood pressure is dropping at night, but not in black people.”

This information should be in the hands of doctors who can in turn educate and try to do preventative medicine instead of it becoming chronic problems. But unfortunately doctors are another cause of the problem of stress induced from racism, according to a recent report by the National Academies’ Institute of Medicine (IOM) numerous studies show that racial and ethnic minorities tend to receive lower-quality healthcare than whites — even when insurance status, income, age, and severity of conditions are comparable. But doctors would never admit to showing bias nor that there was any truth to the discrepancies in health care on a racial basis. Even though it is widely known that minorities receive bad to just downright sub standard care from hospitals, clinics and doctors.

Even after these studies get published and the news took the information and gave it willingly to the public you would still have a majority of the people claiming that racism doesn’t exist and both these medical findings is just another attempt at excuses for Blacks period. The stress caused by racism can be comparable to that of post traumatic stress syndrome. So maybe we can call what Blacks suffer as post traumatic racism syndrome since according to surveys Camara P. Jones conducted, she finds that whites rarely think about their race in the course of a day. “But 22% of blacks surveyed said they constantly think about their race, and 50% said they think of race at least once a day — they are constantly reminded of their blackness,” she says.” That has a profound effect on health.” But we know that the outcome would undoubtedly be the same, low or sub standard care and doctors who deny, deny, deny plus a public Blacks as well as Whites who also deny any claims that racism is more damaging than just lost jobs, housing and status.

 

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The Racist Bone

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The toe bones connected to the foot bone and the foot bones connected to the leg bone and the leg bones connected to the racist bone… Wait – A – Minute. Is there a racist bone? I don’t know but I have been reading a lot of articles where people are constantly throwing out the “he/she doesn’t have a racist bone in their body.” I even read one where a guy was saying that Bush didn’t have one of those bones either, now that was a barrel of laughs, yep, sure he nor they don’t. My philosophy has always been, if a person has to start off a sentence denying the obviousness of the racism/racist that it probably is racism/racist. Like how people usually start off their racists rants with “I’m not racist but…” It never ceases to amaze me that in this country which was literally built on racism, classism, sexism and any other ism you can think of, people would actually deny that racism still exists. Racism and racists exists people and those racist bones are riddled throughout most of their bodies.

Now I am not going to claim that only White people are racist because racism permeates all cultures, countries, continents and probably planets (if I read Brotherpeacemaker’s post correctly even “Andorians are racist”). The problem I am having is that people want to tout that they have no racist bones or they are not racist when they say these things which are usually aimed towards Blacks, but the question is how and when did they lose this racist bone? Just because Blacks have come a long way doesn’t mean that everything is equal game over, no it is just the opposite, and we still have a long arduous road ahead to continue until we get EQUALITY. I know that people are probably thinking, but Blacks do have equality, that is what was being fought for during the civil rights struggle. I also know that things are far from equal. You can see this in daily life but please remove any rose colored glasses first. We have disparities in all facets of our lives, housing, employment, education, healthcare and the justice system or for all the Blacks who are reading then it’s the in-justice system.

This world in which we live has been twisted toward the views of White people in general, we call this white privilege. When a person is born into a world where they are receiving clues and propaganda that they matter more than other races of people, they will grow up to have a feeling of superiority toward other races. The clues and propaganda come from a variety of sources, television shows – almost everyone on television looks like them and shows them just how special they are; news – when all viewpoints are told from their perspective and just how evil or bad other races especially Blacks are on a continual basis; businesses – businesses that they frequent or their parents workplace are 99% the same race as them, it lets them know that people like them are obviously more qualified; government – the people who run the country they live in look like them and make laws to protect them and their family interests; cities – is full of people who look like them and those that don’t live in a crappy part of the city they avoid just deserve the best life has to offer; friends/family – make comments about the negativity of other races, they are learning that these other races are in fact inferior because Grandpa or whoever doesn’t have a racist bone in their body.

Ruby Bridges, the first black student at the formerly all-white elementary school William Frantz, November 1960, in New Orleans, is now only 53 yrs old. So it wasn’t all that long ago that this poor little girl was getting death threats, spit on, yelled at and cursed by all manners of racist White people who if you asked them today would tell you that they don’t have a racist bone in their bodies. How can anyone think that pictures of such hatred could have disappeared just because laws were passed saying that the hatred was no longer going to be tolerated. When unfortunately hatred though now disguised in the form of all those disparities I listed before is still tolerated. It is tolerated that a person who is totally qualified for a job will be passed over because “ah you know you just don’t fit in with the company image”. Or maybe you go out for a Sunday drive and whoop, whoop the sound of sirens and “you were going 4 miles over the speed limit,” as you proclaim your innocence “uh are you rolling your eyes at me, you know I could give you a ticket?” Maybe you want to walk around the store looking for just the right gift, when you notice you are being followed, don’t worry it’s just store security trying to keep you safe while shopping.

But yet these same people who are passing Blacks over for employment, pulling racial profiling, following around innocent shoppers or any number of rude treatments that Blacks receive on a daily basis are being committed by the Moms, Dads, Grandmas, Grandpas and friends that everyone keeps saying doesn’t have a racist bone in them. All I am trying to get across is that no matter what people are saying racism/racist still exists. And whether or not it is in the bones, the heart or the brain is still up for debate but the fact that it exists is absolutely not.

 

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Curing Dysfunction With Dysfunction

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Should the merit of everything that happens to a person depend on whether or not someone else believes or has the same experience? Would someone tell a victim of rape that “well you know I have never been raped myself nor do I know anyone who has and men have treated me and all the ladies I know with nothing but respect, so you know if you are looking for rape then you undoubtedly will find it.” Of course not, that would be insensitive and extremely hurtful. So then why is it acceptable for people to say this to people who have been discriminated against or been the victim of racists and racism. It is as if in order for your encounter to have any weight or credence it must be verified by all who hear about it. Not to mention if racism doesn’t exist as these people love to say, then no matter how hard you look; it would never be found.

What is the reason for the constant barrage of people acting as if you have to prove to me that this happened? When I wasn’t even aware that it was necessary to prove my experiences? My thoughts go to how in the world can you criticize racism and say things like well “I don’t see it…” What rock are you living under that you don’t see or hear the news? You have Black men being shot the night before their wedding in a hail of like 50 bullets and the cause was contagious shooting by the cops. Please. You have a man go to get a job who has graduated with a Masters degree with honors and just because he is Black with locs in his hair he gets the inside name of “ghetto dude” by the staff assigned with hiring or not hiring this man. And yet who really thinks that this young man or “ghetto dude”, as the company so lovingly referred to him as, will get a fair shake in getting the job.

It is much easier to look the other way or basically just deny seeing anything at all. One reason is that the same people who do this are guilty of subtle forms of racism themselves on a constant basis. This isn’t just for White people because all races do this and yes this includes other Blacks as well. I read a Blog earlier in the week about racism etc. A person replied that the racism was terrible but the Black people who were complaining about it should stop wasting time thinking about or calling attention to racism and just go get an education. Now what makes this person assume that all Black people are uneducated especially those that bring attention to racism. All the people whose Blogs about racism that I like reading right now as well as myself are all pretty educated people; all having attended various colleges.

Not to mention this person would have Blacks stop complaining about or calling attention to racism. Am I supposed to think that this will somehow end racism? Well I guess that person would feel a lot better since then they would never have to hear about it and we could go on getting discriminated against in peaceful silence. Now is this person also for letting the police and the nightly news know that we should stop solving or reporting on crime because then that wouldn’t exist anymore as well. I guess we could all live in silent terror of the hordes of criminals that will be roaming the streets. But at least we won’t have to hear about it anymore. This is idiotic at best, advocating dysfunction to cure dysfunction. This is typical of how people think about racism since it doesn’t affect them then it is not on their radar.

I don’t have to convince, persuade or sway anyone’s opinions about racism. Think what ever you will about whether it does or doesn’t exist. Base your feelings on the any fact you want such as, you don’t know anyone who does it or had it happen, what difference, is it going to make to me. Are any of these things going to somehow keep me safe from someone who decides to discriminate against me? Is it going to stop racism the world over? No, racism and discrimination whether I ever see them again will undoubtedly continue on well into the future because like a bunch of ostriches people will continue to stick their heads in the sand or maybe stick them somewhere else.

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What Does It Mean To Be Black

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What does it mean to be black was a question posted by another Blogger who then promptly took the post down saying that “I was a little naive when posting this article in hope of starting an intelligent dialog.” So “I am going to close comments in light that no one today has answered this question.” I guess he was basically looking for this, now you need to clear your throat and in your best really super smart scientist or professor sounding voice say “Well to be black would mean that you derive your ancestry from northern to well um sub-Saharan Africa or well actually that you derive your ancestry from one of the many indigenous people of the continent of Africa. Yes that is what it means to be Black.” Come on that is what it means to be of African descent or to have Black skin.

But we all know that actually “being” Black means so many different things to so many different people. How can one give an intelligent answer to such a personal question? I am pretty sure that this guy did not in fact want each and every person to come to his Blog and give him “their” personal what it means to be Black to me story. What it seems this fellow wanted was basically for people to approve of his assessment on what it means to be Black, which was to not be Black at all.

Since this man didn’t want to be Black he couldn’t or wouldn’t even refer to himself as a Black man; it was always brown person or my brown skin. He told me it was because his skin color was not black it was in fact brown. How absurd, when he prominently refers to his wife several times in the post as White. Now by his logic or better yet by his illogical thinking shouldn’t he have referred to her as a peachy pink woman? Hell, if we are now using the Crayola School of skin color descriptions white was way off. But we all know that his skin color isn’t the real reason he doesn’t want to be called Black; it is that black conjures negative emotions and thoughts especially when referring to racial identity.

We have all heard the dismal words that are associated with black such as blacklisted, blackballed, Black Tuesday, Black market, blackmail and the list goes on and on. Even if we take the news and other media sources into account, they would have you believe that the Black race is out of control, all the Black on Black crime, Black athletes gone wild, and all the statistics to support every negative fear that most people associate with being Black. Regardless of this I think that he was extremely hypocritical such that it was almost laughable. It was fine to call his wife White and to clearly state that he has “assimilated FULLY to White culture” but he doesn’t want to refer to himself as black because his skin is brown. But, once his duplicity was called out he started back pedaling. Unfortunately after seeing his own blatant hypocrisy he started changing the wording in his post to lessen the off-putting representation of his mindset.

To me once you post something short of grammatical or massive reporting errors, I say leave it and face the music, love it or hate it these are my thoughts. I don’t write posts for people to come and shower me with love and acceptance, sometime my posts and those of the people I read most often get some pretty negative raunchy comments. Hey it goes with the territory when you are writing about racial issues. So for my man to start changing the wording of things because they hit a sour note with his readers was such a cowardly act and the beginning of the end.

His account of assimilating fully to the white culture somehow mutated into his having assimilated to humanity not exactly white culture. As if to be Black is to be separate from humanity. What the (insert expletive). That doesn’t even make sense. We are all a part of humanity and anything dealing with the human condition is part of it too. His wife makes a comment on the post stating that she doesn’t identify herself as White, yep sure, right, and this just after her husband called her White about two or three times in his post. I guess they don’t exactly see eye to eye on what her skin color or identity happens to be. She says that she has German and British ancestry but she doesn’t identify with either of them as well. But here in America being White is her identity regardless of what she wants to identify herself as. They can both identify their skin color as that of humanity or whatever but the fact still remains that when either of them walks out of their house they are seen as a Black man and a White woman. This is nothing new, surprising or horrible, it’s called life.

Anyway, the whole thing was like watching a train wreck in progress. You see the train you see the car on the tracks then bang a big ole crazy mess. Yet you can’t go back and take the car off the tracks all the inner nuts and bolts of their life philosophies were already out, the proverbial cards were on the table so to speak. It was foolish to think that by changing the wordage it would somehow alter the course that he had already established. If this post is any indication changing the wording or deleting his post didn’t do anything to stem the discussion.

The problem for this Blogger wasn’t that he didn’t get any answers to his supposed intelligent dialog starter it was the fact that he had been ill prepared to deal with the objections to his choices. Unable to recant what was previously said the poor guy folded like Superman on laundry day and packed that post up. This is just the ugly side effects of putting your unadulterated thoughts out for the world to analyze then pick apart. But as long as you open the dialog then you should feel that you have accomplished a goal of sorts.

So what does it mean to be Black well as I said before to be Black is a personal journey that no two people will travel the same way. Now the question this guy should think about is what it means to be Afrocentric. I can give him MY thoughts on the meaning. It means to have your main focus in life and mind centered on Black or African heritage; doing things that will further advance you and those of your collective heritage, while building strong and lasting family, friend and community bonds with those that share this heritage.

I know that this will not satiate this guy because this doesn’t encompass his lifestyle or that of his rainbow coalition of friends and family. But, I am sorry, this is how “I FEEL” and I don’t care if he or his wife or any one else in the world agrees with me. Because I don’t have to support, acquiesce, approval or give my endorsement to a persons lifestyle choices just because they feel that it was right for them. Now undoubtedly there are those people including this guy who will say this is a racist point of view. I don’t advocate for segregation, separatism or any types of violence against any group, I don’t hate any other groups but, hey, you are entitled to believe whatever you want.

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Quiet Racism

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Jay Bookman a writer for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution wrote an article that caught my eye recently, titled “Even quiet racism can drive everyone a little crazy.” Now as I started reading I was thinking, hey this guy might get it, somewhat. But as I read on, no doubt he started to lose me bit by bit. It starts off with him telling us about an RV trip he took to the Masters tournament where he was with a large group of white businessmen. He says, “They were introduced as prominent businessmen in their hometown, and as we inched our way through traffic, I was astonished when they began passing time by telling each other jokes about black people — although “black people” wasn’t the term they used — of a crudeness I hadn’t heard since childhood.” Now I get it that he was shocked by the jokes and whatever, but what I caught onto immediately was that no where in this piece did he say that he opposed what they were saying or that he told them this was unacceptable, he just sat there and listened or turned a blind eye to it, maybe even laughed along as to not be an outcast.

Now I am not saying that he needed to “be” the voice for a community that he is not even a member of but, he could have at least pointed out to them their blatant disgusting game was inappropriate. Anyway this wasn’t my main beef with the report. I was more disgusted that he goes on in his opinion to start and talk about how just because there may seem to be silent racism a Black will somehow see racism where NONE exists. He states that “Conversely, it also means that some black people will sense racism at work even in cases when it probably doesn’t exist. Its nebulous nature also means that people can cynically claim themselves to be victims of racism when the real cause of their problems is their own stupidity or criminality.” If he is on a bus with all these so called “prominent business men” who I am assuming from that title run and own businesses, wouldn’t he also conclude that from his own observations of their behavior these men are propagating racism in the workplace as well? How can they look at a person as inferior and make jokes about them one day then the next day at work they see them as equal by hiring them, giving them a safe comfortable work environment and treating them with the same respect as they do their white staff.

So why then is it so far fetched that more than likely the cause “IS” racism and not just over-sensitive Blacks or our own “stupidity or criminality. I do agree with some of his statements about people being responsible and the like, because yes anyone committing crimes need to take responsibility for their individual actions, but like anything that is done, it’s not happening in a vacuum. So I would like to look at the why they did it versus just what did they do. Why are these people acting in this manner, what makes Black communities have poor housing, education, health care, and employment? And could this be the “why” that we’re looking for?

He also makes reference to how Blacks are judged according to what any member of the group does, not on individual merit and I have to say kudos for that one. Because that has long been a pet peeve of mine as to why we need to defend ourselves as being an upstanding person because one Black does something to the contrary, yet whites can do a wrong and it doesn’t reflect on them as a community. Now unfortunately he goes downhill again with this statement “That sense of group responsibility — imposed from the outside — is itself a form of racism, far more subtle than racial jokes but toxic nonetheless. There’s no cure for it — it will exist as long as racism exists. But by acknowledging and discussing its existence, we can rob it of some of its power.”

I’m sorry but judging all Blacks by the actions of a few and those business men making racist jokes are toxic yes, but subtle, I don’t think so and let’s look at the big picture here. Isn’t the fact that they find it funny, acceptable and morally not a problem lend itself to the larger problem of Racism? These men are the very reason why so many Blacks are not being offered the jobs they deserve, the housing they deserve, the health care they deserve or the education they deserve. So to look at these men as toxic but subtle is a misnomer when they are far more than that. They are just a small peek at the type of adversity that awaits Blacks who dare to approach someone like them.

Mr. Bookman made some good points but then turned around and ruined the momentum by simplifying and falling back on poor old propaganda type thinking. This type of thinking is part of the reasons that constantly talking about racism doesn’t rob it of any of its power. We can talk until all of our heads pop off and things won’t change until we Blacks as a community decide to remove the control that they (White community) have over us and our image. We can only do this by ending our co-dependency relationship. I am not talking about some separatist movement per se, but I am talking about moving back to and building up our communities. Nice thought but I don’t hold out much hope of this taking place, which means that the least we can do is to resist and help our children resist the propaganda.

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The New Slave Trade Alive In New Orlean’s

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Rosetta James cries for her son 29 year old Glenn Thomas, who died in the Orleans Parish Prison. Unfortunately, none of the Prison authorities, the Sheriff’s office nor City or State Officials notified her of this. She had to be told by a family friend who received a call from their loved one who was in the jail with Glenn. Rosetta angrily went to the prison on July 4th for information, she was told that her son who had absolutely no known medical problems, died the night before of “natural causes”, and that if she wanted she could call back in a month to get an official report.

Glenn Thomas died while awaiting his day in court; he was picked up on a warrant for failure to appear in court for simple drug possession. The unfortunate part happens to be, that on his stated court date the city of New Orleans was uninhabitable and people were being kept from entering in this part of the city. So, if no one can enter, then how was the court date still in effect? He sat in jail for one year awaiting his trial date but never made it. Criminal Sheriff Marlin Gusman’s public information officer, Renee Lapeyrolerie, said they couldn’t provide details about Thomas’s death but said, “Well, in his criminal history he had a lot of drug arrests. Those things can be linked to health problems.”

This is the third such “natural cause” death there this year, and they just don’t know how any of these deaths occurred. Sheriff Gusman blames anything that goes on in the jail as “the prisoners own fault or not enough money”. We know that he didn’t commit suicide, and money isn’t the problem as the jail receives a per diem amount and 3.2 million dollars per year intended for medical expenses towards the inmates’ wellbeing. In his 2007 budget request to the City Council, Gusman asked for an additional $5 million for medical services, a request that was granted. People are speculating that the Sheriff would like to get the numbers inhabiting his prison back to the pre-Katrina amount, stating that they are pretty sure they know exactly “who” will be the inhabitants.

Sheriff Gusman has made sure that the city’s trail to revitalization will be paved by his inmates–literally. According to the Nation, “since Katrina, Gusman has used his Community Service Program and Neighborhood Response Team to deliver cheap labor for reconstruction projects. His office’s website features photos of inmates in orange jumpers and sweatshirts emblazoned with Sheriff Gusman Community Service Program next to road signs announcing, Project Clean-Up, Inmates Working.” According to the Nation, in its first session back after Katrina the legislature amended a law regulating parish jail labor in order to grant immunity to prison authorities “for injuries or damages caused or suffered by prisoners participating in any work program during incarceration at parish jail facilities.” When asked, a legislative staffer about the origins of the post-Katrina amendment, she said, “I believe it was because there was a labor shortage.”

This is pretty much the way things were about a century ago. The Antebellum city records refer to what is now the Orleans Parish Prison as the “Workhouse”. Also along with those arrested for crime, the jail was a storehouse for slaves whose masters chose to lease them to the Workhouse. The same archives also disclose that Blacks were sent to the Workhouse for “claiming to be free”: In the space where the master’s name was usually recorded, these inmates were referred to as “so-called free.” After the 1863 Emancipation Proclamation, Blacks arrested in New Orleans for black-code crimes such as vagrancy and unemployment were taken to the parish Workhouse. During Reconstruction, the incarcerated former slaves provided a stable pool of forced labor for railroad companies, agriculture and industry.

Lieutenant Eric Donnelly, director of the sheriff’s work-release program told a local business paper that the program played such a vital role in re-starting the city’s economic engine. “As soon as the hurricane ended and we got a new phone, it was ringing off the hook from employers saying they needed their inmates,” Donnelly said. “So as soon as we were getting them back in we had [employers] coming to pick them up themselves. That’s how much they rely on this program.” These employers might as well be calling looking for their “Slaves”. But, obviously to New Orlean’s as well as the rest of the nation, it doesn’t matter as long as those bad, bad black people are off the streets, whether that be dead from god only knows what in an overcrowded prison yet to even face charges, or worked like a slave just as their ancestors had, by a chain gang happy Sheriff.

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Illegal Immigrants Causing Outrage

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I just have to weigh in on illegal immigration, because it is and already has been a topic that brings about such outrage. I want to look at how these illegal immigrants are coming here bringing crime, racism, disharmony with the natural rhythm of people and things in this land. Some consider them a cancer upon the very land we stand and some see them as just a new face to help cultivate more diversity.

By the boatload is how they seem to arrive into the country, not just one or two, but whole families looking for a way out of a bad situation in their homeland. Once they get here they settle into their own little communities and refuse to speak the language of the land actually setting up government in their own image with officials who cater to their wants and needs also speaking their preferred language. If you go into these communities they expect you to speak their language and submit to the customs that they brought here with them.

The crime rate has skyrocketed with their arrival, rapes, kidnappings and even worse terrorist murders. They bring weapons and different types of contraband that is not tolerated in our society. The areas where they seem to be landing are dangerous to say the least. They kill and or injure the people we send there to patrol the area. Then actually complain within their little communities that we are the bad guys, the ones to be feared, constantly complaining about our efforts to secure our borders and ourselves.

Unable to care for themselves they take advantage of all of the resources used to help our own, such as food, housing, heating and education. The strain on resources is astronomical since they take but do little to contribute completely to our society while turning around and bringing even more of their family and friends further increasing this strain. Undercutting our ability to make a decent living is causing the living standards of our community to start to decline, which eventually has lead to the decline of our infrastructure.

Unfortunately they also bring in diseases that kill a large portion of our communities. In fact some of the diseases were given to our number as a means to hurt us. With the disease levels raising it is becoming more of a strain on our society to try and remedy this as a shortcoming of health professionals is a problem. Also being consumed by materialism they are taking our goods and services without repayment which is largely responsible for a down shift in values.

The strain on the land is also a problem. The illegal immigrants are sullying the environment with toxicities due to their inability to adapt quickly which causes them to live in conditions that prevent them from keeping the area clean of refuse. Sometimes it just seems that they do very little for the environment acting as if they don’t care at all, when nature is such a large part of our heritage.

We have members of our own communities who are helping these people to move into our society, trying to show them how to adapt quicker. This practice has been outlawed but due to their sympathetic eyes they don’t see a problem with giving them food, water, shelter and passage into the area. It is a great debate about what should be done to quail these human smugglers. These so called humanitarians are considered to be contributing to the downfall of our society.

These humanitarians listen to these illegal people’s sad stories of misconduct and persecution by their own government and feel sorry for them. They tell of their religious nature and how they only intend to share this country with us and those like us. They also told how they feel they should be allowed to make their way to the opposite coast, which was what they called manifest destiny as they said it gave them the right to take whatever they felt they needed. This happened to be our land, our resources and our very lives. But, no one cares about this illegal immigration because without it the people in the majority in this land wouldn’t be who they are today. The past is the past right, we can’t do anything about what happened back then, we just need to stop the new illegal immigrants from doing to us what we did to the original land owners. This sounds like a racist rant, yet these are the very arguments people are using to get others to join in on hating Hispanics.

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Let me be the judge

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I’m sure by now you’ve all seen or heard of one of daytime televisions staple the court room show. You name them, Texas Justice, The People’s Court, Judges Christina, Alex, Mathis or Joe Brown, and one of my most hated Judge Judy. These shows usually pit two idiots in a court room being presided over by an ex-judge who has whatever extra spark that makes them perfectly suitable for daytime drama. The one thing that all of these judges have in common is their undoubtedly uncanny ability to yell, insult and belittle their perspective idiot claimants or defendants unmercifully. At times you can be sure that the justice both idiots are searching for will not be found in any of these courtrooms.

 

Forgive me if you think that I hate courtroom television shows, I don’t. I had (noticed the past tense) come to love the People’s Court. I couldn’t get enough of it, setting my DVR to record it daily so I wouldn’t miss a thing. My boyfriend mind you can’t even stand one minute of hearing Judge Milians’ voice and runs from the room the minute he sees me gearing up to watch the show. I even have an autographed picture from the judge. But, as of late I have been having a serious problem getting through a show without being disgusted and fast forwarding through certain rants the judge has been making. Some of the things have been said in a way that feels really racial and caused me extreme anger.

 

I don’t say this lightly, as I was a huge fan but, as I take a step back it’s as if no matter what evidence a person of color produces it’s almost irrelevant…you lose! I once saw Judge Judy in which a black man had accused a white man of stealing his money; but before the presentation of any evidence she called the guy an out and out liar amongst other things, yelling it with such venom. The white man denied it all, in which she said that the black man was so ridiculous. Needless to say the black guy produced a video tape showing the white guy in full view stealing the money. She did not offer an apology nor did she take back any of the bad things she said. She just commented on how he should have produced the tape sooner. I feel a Geico moment here: “I’m sorry, if I had known you were there, I wouldn’t have said that.” But hey, he was no caveman just a black one so he didn’t even deserve that.

These shows are fodder for the masses of mindless drones just wanting to see the next verbal beat down in a Jerry Springer meets Court TV fashion. But, anything that makes the mind go blank in an attempt to block out the real issues of the day, this is a double bonus if you include a bit of minority bashing as well. Maybe I should not be so concerned with the treatment of minorities on these shows about truth and justice seeing as there is no truth and certainly no justice for most minorities in our legal system and these shows just want to reflect the position of America.


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The Negro Project Part 1

 

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Birth control and abortion are some of the hottest debates in this country and have been for a long time. But what, if anything, do we blacks know about the supposed humble beginnings of this revolution that has pitted right and left wingers on opposite ends of the debate? Margaret Sanger has been coined as the mother of birth control, abortion and also of Planned Parenthood. To a lot of people she was a godsend, someone who gave women control over their bodies during the time of suffrage and one of Time magazine’s hundred most important people of the 20th century. To some she is a monster bringing about the death of so many innocent fetuses. So what about the black community, where do you and I stand on these issues, but more importantly on the founder of these debates?

According to whom you speak to these days you will hear a plethora of information about Margaret Sanger. But the one story that most don’t want to speak about her is the fact that she was proposing birth control etc. because she felt that certain people shouldn’t be allowed to continue breeding. Taken from the website BlackGenocide, Sanger said “Our failure to segregate morons who are increasing and multiplying… demonstrates our foolhardy and extravagant sentimentalism.” She wrote in the recently republished “The Pivot of Civilization.” This book, written in 1922, was published at a time when scientific racism had been used to assert black inferiority. So who determines who is a moron? And better yet how would these morons be segregated? She was on record stating that sterilization or birth prevention was necessary for those that she felt were unfit stating “it is a vicious cycle; ignorance breeds poverty and poverty breeds ignorance. There is only one cure for both, and that is to stop breeding these things. Stop bringing to birth, children whose inheritance cannot be one of health or intelligence. Stop bringing into the world children whose parents cannot provide for them.”

She was also reported to have been a believer in the eugenics project. Eugenicists believe that civilization can be enhanced through selective breeding. From its inception eugenics was supported by prominent people, including Alexander Graham Bell, George Bernard Shaw, Winston Churchill, Adolf Hitler and of course Margaret Sanger. Eugenics became an academic discipline at many colleges and universities. Funding was provided by prestigious sources such as the Rockefeller Foundation, the Carnegie Institute of Washington, and the Harriman family (taken from Wikipedia). Having these beliefs she stated that: “inferior races were human weeds and a menace to civilization.”

Ms. Sanger died in 1966 but she did get her wish of having her creation Planned Parenthood seen as a liberal helper to the black community. People who undoubtedly find her a heroine of modern day women’s rights will charge that she was not involved with the eugenics movement. But not only did she never refute them she made remarks that would classify her as a racist in her own right. Also, her publication called The Birth Control Review founded in 1917 published pro-eugenics articles by known eugenicists such as Ernst Rudin on a regular basis. The eugenics movement was all about improving the hereditary qualities of a race or breed by controlling mating in order to eliminate “undesirable” characteristics and promote “desirable” traits. Also espousing that “all children born, beyond what would be required to keep up the population to a desired level, must necessarily perish, unless room is made for them by the deaths of grown persons. We should facilitate, instead of foolishly and vainly endeavoring to impede, the operations of nature in producing this mortality” according to An Essay on the Principle of Population, published in six editions from 1798 to 1826 by Thomas Robert Malthus, The principal of Malthus Eugenics.

Sanger gave this address called “A Plan for Peace,” before the New History Society on January 17, 1932, in New York City Margaret Sanger, as printed in the “The Birth Control Review, April 1932, 107.” Sanger suggested Congress set up a special department to study population problems and appoint a “Parliament of Population.” One of the main objectives of the “Population Congress” would be “to raise the level and increase the general intelligence of population.” This would be accomplished by applying a “stern and rigid policy of sterilization and segregation [in addition to tightening immigration laws] to that grade of population whose progeny is already tainted, or whose inheritance is such that objectionable traits may be transmitted to offspring.” It’s reasonable to conclude that as the leader of Planned Parenthood – even after 1929 – Sanger would not allow publication of ideas she didn’t support. Sanger’s defenders argue she only wanted to educate blacks about birth control’s “health benefits.” However, she counted the very people she wanted to “educate” among the “unfit,” whose numbers needed to be restricted.

Grant presents other arguments Sanger’s supporters use to refute her racist roots:

Blacks, Jews, Hispanics and other minorities are well represented in the “upper echelons” of Planned Parenthood Federation of America;

The former, high-profile president of the organization, Faye Wattleton, is a black woman;

“Aggressive” minority hiring practices have been standard procedure for more than two decades;

The “vast majority of the nation’s ethnic leadership solidly and actively supports the work” of the organization.

(From the Negro Project found on CWA)

Writer Walter A. Terpenning, another eugenicist, wrote an article for The Birth Control Review, June 1932, where he described bringing a black child into a hostile world as “pathetic.” In his article “God’s Chillun,” he wrote:

The birth of a colored child, even to parents who can give it adequate support, is pathetic in view of the unchristian and undemocratic treatment likely to be accorded it at the hands of a predominantly white community, and the denial of choice in propagation to this unfortunate class is nothing less than barbarous.

I will leave off on that little tidbit of repugnant thinking. This is just the tip of the iceberg with Margaret Sanger and the eugenicists that I just have to write more about. Let me just say that I am not opposed to birth control or abortion in anyway. But the origins of the two sure make you think about some things. I will be writing another article to continue the mad thinking of this founder of Planned Parenthood and her Eugenics friends, since there are a number of books that have come out in the last ten years that seems to have revived some of the eugenic thinking.

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Racism In Our Language

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I was extremely tired last night after putting the baby to bed and had a bunch of trouble getting started writing something for the Blog. I finally resorted to just surfing the web and letting my day drain from my mind when I came across a study called “Racism exists in our language”, you can read it in its entirety on Black Rising. The professor was talking about how rhetoric in how we speak changes perceptions. The professor named Victor Villanueva, said “Racism still exists, and “we have to look at [it] as a large systematic force that is still at work, It does us no good to deny its existence.” Now this is exactly what people need to start listening to.

Racism exists in our everyday life, people just have an acceptance which has been allowed to take place because we have individual people saying “I’m not racist” and so there really isn’t a problem. But there is a problem people, there is. Villanueva says “The new racism embeds racism within a set of other categories – language, religion, culture, and people have seen this new racism with Hurricane Katrina, yet they dismiss it and quickly forget about it. America resides in short-term memory.” The black community’s collective memory might be even shorter than that of the nation as a whole. We spend too much of our time worrying about what the black person did to get the malicious treatment delivered by the white community. We totally forget the actual act there for concentrating completely on the internal community feud thus never getting around to actually doing anything to combat such nasty treatment.

While we blacks are spending time playing the blame game, the white community is spending time figuring ways in which to render us invisible. Using such talk as “let’s all just be color blind”, which is one of my serious pet peeves see my article “Color Blind Racism” Villanueva says that “while being color-blind “would be the right thing” if it were actually possible, is not realistic. “No one wants to be rendered invisible, have a blind eye turned on her or him,”, so to be color-blind is to be “color-dumb, in all the senses of the word ‘dumb’.” There isn’t any possibility of the whole color blind argument ever coming into a society that is so obviously hung up on race but trying so hard to act oblivious to the inequities we live with day to day.

With such inequities in our society one can not simply blame the folks sitting at the bottom, there comes a time when you MUST look at the bigger picture to see that the blame needs to sit at the feet of not only our community but also the white community since they are the ones holding all the cards. Villanueva also talks of equity stating that it is impossible because capitalism works through exploitation. Since we in the black community have been exploited since our violent entrance into this society it (should but) doesn’t amaze me that we don’t do more to stick together and create equity within our own communities, but we are just too busy trying to get ours and forget everyone else. Which, you see plain as day with our celebrities such as Bill Cosby, and Oprah who are constantly saying things such as “pull yourself up by your bootstraps”, “I made it, why can’t you”, and “our community is so irresponsible, that is why we don’t do better”.

The fallacy of such statements sends a bogus message to our children that the reason they are not more successful in this society designed for them to fail is somehow totally through their own deficiencies. This will inevitably breed such thoughts as “if I were more like the white kids, I would be better” or “if I align myself with the white community, I’ll make it”. Bang, we have just produced another Uncle Tom who will begin their journey through life hating, leaving and inevitably doing serious harm to the black community along with those who seek to protect it. These new Toms will infect many more blacks causing eyes to shut to the truth of racism faster than those of us out there fighting the good fight to open those eyes to it. Since it is so much easier to live in the dark oblivious to the reality of racism, than to feel the pain of looking right at the racist light shining like the sun, people will tend to choose the easier. All of this will contribute in helping the internal feuding, inequity and racism to persist within the black community.

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