Tag Archives: Just Sayin’

Keeping our eyes on Medicaid & Medicare

In just a week our lives have been turned into that of spectators watching a magic show. We know the actor is performing a trick right in front of our eyes. We know that if we get distracted for a second, he can pull it off.  In this first week chaos of  immigrant banning, Mexico insulting,  government job firing and threats against urban culture, we could miss some huge moves.

In a NY Times op-ed, Gene Sperling,   an economist and former Director of the National Economic Council and Assistant to the President for Economic Policy under presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama: “If Donald J. Trump decides to gut the basic guarantee of Medicare and revamp its structure so that it hurts older and sicker people, Democrats must and will push back hard. But if Democrats focus too much of their attention on Medicare, they may inadvertently assist the quieter war on Medicaid — one that could deny health benefits to millions of children, seniors, working families and people with disabilities. Of the two battles, the Republican effort to dismantle Medicaid is more certain. It would take only three Republican senators thinking twice about the wisdom of block grants and per capita caps to put a halt to the coming war on Medicaid. DON’T MISS THIS.” …..continue

2016 Election depression – What now for “the African-Americans”?

A good rule of thumb for choosing a therapist is to find someone who can understand your feelings – someone who sees the world from your perspective in some way. You assume that their familiarity with you will help them protect you more effectively.

Painting by artist Kerry James Marshall, now at the NY Metropolitan Museum of Art
Painting by artist Kerry James Marshall, now at the NY Metropolitan Museum of Art

In this 2016 election upset, the outsider who has stunned the world, has demonstrated that he sees women, immigrants, African Americans and Latinos as the outsiders. The newly elected misogynistic, reportedly racist, clearly flawed president-elect has no history of public service and yet he is taking on the role of protector & advocate for all Americans.  Many black folks (and whites, gays and women and differently-abled)  are now decidedly nervous.  With a penchant for “law & order” while being blind to the injustices acted out on black men & women daily through the criminal justice system, our fathers, spouses and children can become easy targets in this crisis of economic, religious and racial change.  What to do, what to do?

10 Steps to protect black life, especially in a Republican administration:

PLAN AHEAD

  1. Start planning now to take your whole family to vote.  Four years will pass before you know it. Be educated and prepared for local upcoming elections.
  2. Join & become active in your local political process and party of choice.
  3. Keep a lawyer & law enforcement friends on speed dial. Check out apps that will automatically send your phone video to the ACLU. Know and communicate with your local public officials.
  4. Teach your kids how to interact with policemen & others in authority.
  5. BE VIGILANT: Monitor your kids’ whereabouts, know their friends & keep them busy in healthy activities. Be nicely nosy.  Practice gentle but effective intervention. Parenting is a 24/7 job.
  6. ADJUST THE SOLUTION TO THE LEVEL OF THE PROBLEM: Don’t use the police to settle family disputes & minor neighborhood disagreements. Have a plan in place for settling differences & learn to back down when it can save a life.  If the issue is serious enough,  use your church, school or community officials to help you negotiate solutions. If a family member has extreme stress or mental health needs, get them to a psychiatrist, mental health clinic or therapist. If drugs are being used in your home, contact a drug program or addictions counselor for help. Be respectfully persistent in getting them help from the right professionals. Police persons are not mental health specialists!
  7. Face your relationship problems with the intention of being fair to all parties. You could win the argument now but be faced with violence later. Every little slight does not require redress. Allow yourself & others to make interpersonal mistakes – to have a bad day. Let the minor things pass while you plan a fair, effective strategy to handle common problems in a democratic way.

We are reading…..”Nobody: Casualties of America’s War on the Vulnerable from Ferguson to Flint and Beyond”

nobodycasualtiesofamericaswaronthe-vulnerable

There is an almost palpable level of fear rising in the minds of many Americans over the steady stream of
unarmed young black men and boys, women and girls killed by police. How do we protect our children? How do
black people conduct themselves to be sure that they are not seen as dangerous. Not shot down, because by
their physical appearance alone, their movements are intuitively misperceived as imminently threatening.
While the majority of killings have been white officers against black citizens, there is that small number
of black officers on black victims that indicates that it’s not only about white on black racism.

Whether it’s this American drama on our urban streets or any of the international wars that bring death
to everyday life, it is clear, killing is not a solution to anything. Guns do not speak more articulately
than human reasoning. Mental health, is the essence of prevention. Racism is a mental health issue. Diminishing
the value of “others” is a mental health problem. In this book, Marc Lamont Hill joins Ta-Nehisi Coates and Michelle Alexander
in bringing clarity to the ongoing war against black men.

Black children expelled from school 3 times more than their white counterparts

Black students with learning disabilities were suspended much more often than white students with the same problems.
Black students with learning disabilities were suspended much more often than white students with the same problems.

A study released today by the US Department of Education shows that racism is alive and well in public schools across the country.  This study included data from every school district in the country which showed:

  • Black students were expelled or suspended at triple the rate of whites
  • Black girls were expelled more often than most other students and at more than double the rate of white students
  • Black students had less access to qualified and trained teachers than white students
  • 25% of school districts pay teachers in less diverse schools up to $5000 more than teachers in predominantly black or Latino schools
  • This disparity in treatment begins early with black preschool students representing 43 percent of preschoolers suspended more than once when they are only 18 percent of the preschool population.

This early pattern of school mistreatment shapes black children to fit into the school to prison pipeline, with 16 percent (black students’ population) comprising 27 per cent of students referred to law enforcement and making up 31 per cent of students arrested in school. Recall the case of the five year old Florida girl who was handcuffed with her ankles bound for throwing a temper tantrum in 2005 or the six year old Georgia kindergartner who was handcuffed and taken to the police station  for having a meltdown over candy.

“Diabetes is a disease of nutritional ignorance”

“Diabetes is a disease of nutritional ignorance”. That’s the first thing  I heard this morning when I turned on the TV.  Joel Fuhrman, M.D. seemed to be calling out my relatives with that line. Hearing it said that way, I thought, maybe they would listen.

For years now, I’ve been banging the same drum about how many of the problems clients present with: diabetes, bipolar disorder, MS, depression, anxiety, panic attacks, low blood sugar, stroke, arthritis and even Parkinson’s – these problems are caused primarily by what we eat.

We are poisoning ourselves, voluntarily, because it tastes good. We are committing mass suicide while making food manufacturers wealthy and making our families miserable. But Dr. Furhman was so convincing this morning that I couldn’t help sharing his message with you and here’s a story he told:

He had a patient whose 80+ year old mother was diabetic, had a stroke and was suffering in the hospital.  He had gotten her daughter to change her diet and lose, I think he said, 100 lbs. Even though the mother had watched her daughter’s gradual success, she felt that she couldn’t do it. So she had continued eating the bread, cereal, potatoes, fried foods and all the other addictive foods that we’re told we can’t walk away from. Now, finally, there she was incapacitated, stuck in her bed and just waiting to die – from her decision. How many of us have relatives like that? So what happened with her?…………

Lo and behold, she wasn’t ready to die. She adopted a new way of eating – went back to the real old way – you know, real food – fresh veggies, nicely seasoned, peas, beans & greens with a little meat and fish, sugar no more than once a week AND SHE LOST THE WEIGHT,  IS NO LONGER DIABETIC, IS NO LONGER SICK, IS OUT AND ABOUT AND ENJOYING HER 80+ YEARS!!!! What about the people you love? What about you?