Please do those monthly exams and get annual mammograms.
Laurie Barclay, MD
April 13, 2009
Triple-negative breast cancers (negative for estrogen receptor [ER], progesterone receptor [PR], and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 [HER2]), are 3-fold more common in black women than in nonblack women, regardless of age or body mass index (BMI), according to the results of a study reported in the March 25 issue of Breast Cancer Research.
“We investigated clinical and pathologic features of breast cancers (BC) in an unselected series of patients diagnosed in a tertiary care hospital serving a diverse population,” write Lesley A. Stead, from Boston University Medical Center in Massachusetts, and colleagues. “We focused on [Tneg] tumours ([ER], [PR] and HER2 negative), which are associated with poor prognosis.”
Between 1998 and 2006, 415 women were diagnosed with invasive breast cancers and had available data on tumor grade and stage; ER, PR, and HER2 status; and patient age, BMI, and self-identified racial/ethnic group. Using contingency tables and multivariate logistic regression, the investigators evaluated associations between patient and tumor characteristics.
The patient sample had a wide range of racial and ethnic origins, with birthplace representing a total of 44 countries; 36% were white, 43% black, 10% Hispanic, and 11% other. Obesity, defined as BMI higher than 30 kg/m2, was present in 47%. Tumor receptor status was ER+ and/or PR+ in 72%, triple-negative tumors in 20%, and HER2+ in 13%.
Compared with white women, black women had 3-fold higher odds of having a triple-negative tumor (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.6 – 5.5; P = .0001). In black women diagnosed before and after age 50 years, triple-negative tumors were equally prevalent (31% vs 29%; P = not significant). Similarly, prevalence of triple-negative tumors was similar in black women who were obese and nonobese (29% vs 31%; P = not significant). In the overall patient sample, the proportion of triple-negative tumors decreased as BMI increased (P = .08).
Limitations of this study include relatively small sample size and lack of data on clinical outcome or on potential confounders, such as parity.
“Black women of diverse background have 3-fold more Tneg tumours than non-black women, regardless of age and BMI,” the study authors write. “Other factors must determine tumour subtype. The higher prevalence of Tneg tumours in black women in all age and weight categories likely contributes to black women’s unfavorable breast cancer prognosis.”
I posted this blog entry last April on my previous blog Black is Black is Black Ain’t. One of the commenter’s on this blog mentioned Mayer’s rant in Playboy and I went back to look at what I wrote this fool. I realize that in all this talk about the “normality” of the preferences of folks like Chad Ochocinco and Terrel Owens has a white male side of lust and revulsion around black women. What gets me looking back at this blog is Mayer’s staunch denial of the femininity and beauty of black women his “creeping to he slave shack” comments reflect the fact that he has plenty of sexual fantasies about black female actresses. His thinking reflects the pre-1960’s practice of paramour rights were white men could take sexual liberties with black women whether they were willing or not, single or married. Have some black men picked up on this thinking from their white male buddies? Are the uneven percentage of intermarriages not just a black male thing? How many non-black men sing the same song as John Meyer. Read my re-post and let me know what you think.
John Mayer’s racial arrogance, narcissism and ignorance knows no bounds. Some of his recent comments could have been uttered by any Confederate flag waving, Christian Identify, Aryan Nations militiamen. Lets take a look at his behavior. In December, he racially heckled Kumail Nanjiani, an up and coming Pakistani comedian. Last month, Mayer gave playboy interview and praised Asians for their abilty to “talk white.” His sexist pig rants about his ex-girlfriends disgusting and no matter how annoying you find Perez Hilton you do not have the right use an anti-gay slur. He then switches to “I wish I was in Dixie” narcissism and states black people love him and that he knows what it is like to be “black.” Mayer’s racial narcissism is in full force when he agrees with the playboy interviewers “assumption” that black women are wantonly throwing themselves at him. He then prattles on he is a sexual white supremacist then he listed the few black women who he would stoop to have sex with if his willie did not have a racist mid of his own. He described how repellent black women are by invoking a member of KKK. He concludes by describing Holly Robinson-Pete, Karyn Parsons and Kerri Washington his “Benetton heart” finds attractive with the aplomb of a plantation owner at a slave auction. He seems to have no problem associating himself with men that raped and sexually assaulted black women from slavery up until the late 1960’s.
Mayer’s so-called “hood pass” which gives him access to the richest, most powerful black men in the world including the President of the United States. But apparently, his racial arrogance gives him the privilege to call this group of elite black men n**gers. I guess he also forgot that some of men have black wives? Yesterday he jumps on the apology train when he realizes that he has just alienated a large group of his fans….and folks like me who were foolish enough to buy his music should respond with Jesus like compassion?
It amazes me how quickly whites avow their racism. So far I have seen three of the typical comments to his comments: 1) He is just a rock star jack*ss or this just a product of his own individual persona2) Black people are racist (even more racist) than whites. 3) He is just a sexist. Please spear me, with the advent of computer mediated communication and video technology, this type of racial douchbaggery happens with startling regularity.
So Mayer doesn’t want revoke black peoples constitutional rights and I don’t doesn’t wax nostalgically about the days of lynching and rape (but his invocation of David Duke makes this debatable), but he has demonstrated a patten of contempt for people of color that has deep historical and contemporary connotations. But of course, some whites will insist Mayer is still not racist. Most whites cannot tolerate any investigation of the fact that their skin color still affords them social, economic, legal, educational and in the case of men sexual privilege. Many whites will not admit that their knowledge of most people of color is informed by stereotypes, rather than with any understanding of our history, culture or current challenges and are arrogant enough to feel that they are “expert” enough to state wholesale “truths” people of color. These facts of American life must be cast aside quickly because it challenges the core assumptions that have supported white privilege for centuries. What can whites do to challenge the racial status quo:
work to repeal racist drug sentencing laws
work to mandate that death row prisoners get DNA testing so that the criminal justice system will stop killing innocent blacks and Hispanics (and even a few poor whites).
Work to repeal racist school funding policies that give white schools more money and resources than black or Hispanic schools.
Work for sensible immigration policies that penalize employers for hiring undocumented workers instead of black, Hispanic or Native Americans.
Challenge your friends and family when they use racist slurs in your presence
Donate to or volunteer at HBCU’s and grassroots organizations that are working to improve black, Hispanic and Native American lives.
By Mary Ann Roser/AMERICAN-STATESMAN STAFF
Saturday, July 31, 2010
How a woman experiences menopause in the U.S. might have a lot to do with her race or ethnicity, according to a recently published University of Texas study. White, African American, Hispanic and Asian women all report different experiences with their physical symptoms as well as their attitudes toward menopause — and culture is a big reason why, said lead researcher Eun-Ok Im, a UT professor of nursing.
But other factors, including biology, education, overall health and socioeconomic status, could be influential, according to the study published in July in the Western Journal of Nursing Research, as well as other research. “More in-depth cultural studies are needed to understand the reasons for the ethnic difference in menopausal symptom experience,” the paper says.
Im’s work is based on an Internet survey of 512 women in those four ethnic/racial groups between the ages of 40 and 60. It is part of a larger five-year study funded by a $1.2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health, Im said. In general, her team found that certain menopause symptoms bother some groups greatly; others, not so much. For example, hot flashes were cited as a symptom by 67.8 percent of African American women, 64.4 percent of white women and 52.5 percent of Hispanic women. Only 26.1 percent of Asian women reported having hot flashes.
Researchers don’t know why Asian women have fewer hot flashes, said Im, who is of Korean heritage. But ingesting soy products for years before menopause and generally having less body fat could be factors, said Dr. Margery Gass, a gynecologist and executive director of the North American Menopause Society, a nonprofit that educates the public and professionals about menopause.
Asians’ body mass index “is way below everyone else’s,” said Gass, who said Im’s paper was well-done and a welcome addition to the research on ethnic differences in menopause. Weight gain was cited as a menopause symptom by 54.6 percent of black women and 50.8 percent of Hispanic women in the study. It was mentioned by 45 percent of white women and 33.3 percent of Asian women in the paper. Declining interest in sex was cited more often by Hispanic and Asian women.
Overall, white women in the study were more likely to complain of menopause symptoms. Of the 41 listed symptoms, they cited 31 the most frequently, including neck and skull aches, racing heartbeat, ankle swelling, exhaustion or fatigue, difficulty sleeping, urination at night, feeling clumsy, depression, anxiousness, difficulty concentrating and grouchiness.There also were commonalities. Women, regardless of ethnicity, reported feeling hot or cold most often, with forgetfulness being the second most common symptom, the paper said.
Im published a paper in Nursing Research this year involving the same 512 women and their attitudes about menopause. Minority women, in particular, said their culture had discouraged them from complaining.
“As African American women, we are always expected to be strong women who aren’t supposed to whine about anything,” one black woman was quoted as saying. “You just take life as it comes and do what you have to do. If you are having troubles or problems, you should just pray about it and keep going. I don’t think that my culture believes that menopausal symptoms are something that you would have to run to the doctor.”
That paper said that the women in all four groups tried to see menopause as a natural part of life and face it with optimism and humor. Im said she was surprised to see that attitude showing up in most of the white women, who had in the past tended to see menopause as a dreaded loss of youth.Some gynecologists say they see that shift in their own practices.”The mindset has changed,” said Dr. Sherry Neyman, an Austin obstetrician/gynecologist for 14 years. More white women “would like to go through a more natural menopause and not seek drugs as a first line of therapy.” She sees that in patients of other ethnic groups, too.
The study says that only those with the most serious symptoms took medication and that most of the women managed menopause in other ways: “Interestingly, many NH (non-Hispanic) Asians adopted mind control strategies such as ‘trying to be optimistic’ and ‘trying to calm down’ to manage symptoms. “Im notes that because the study was based on Internet questionnaires, women with comparatively lower levels of income and education were underrepresented.
That makes it hard to generalize the results to the population, said Gass, the menopause society chief. But, she said, “this type of research certainly gives a very good idea of what is happening and alerts clinicians to the fact that various contextual items play a role” in how women experience menopause.
Now this is an unusual combination! I wish I was in Philly to see this. Condi surrounded by black folks that are not her relatives? This probably has not happened since she left Birmingham. Miracles do happen.
Reposted from theGrio
MATT MOORE, Associated Press
NANCY C. ALBRITTON, Associated Press
Condoleezza Rice is no stranger to the whims of royalty. So when the Queen of Soul herself, Aretha Franklin, decided the two should get together to play a song or two for charity, it was decreed. The former U.S. secretary of state and Franklin take the stage Tuesday evening at Philadelphia’s Mann Music Center in a rare duet for Rice, the classically trained pianist, and Franklin, the divalicious voice of a generation. Their aim is to raise money for urban children and awareness for music and the arts. “It is a joint effort for the inner-city youth of Philadelphia and Detroit,” Franklin told The Associated Press the night before their concert with the Philadelphia Orchestra. Their appearance will brim not only with Franklin’s catalog of hits, but arias from the world of opera and classical music.
“We decided to give it a try,” Franklin said. “So here we are, in the city of Brotherly — and Sisterly — Love.”
Rice, better known as a diplomat and national security adviser, will accompany Franklin singing her hits “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” and “I Say a Little Prayer.” Rice said she’s been practicing furiously for her performance of Mozart’s piano concerto in D Minor with the orchestra. Franklin’s repertoire will include songs from her new album “A Woman Falling Out of Love,” to be released later this year. Rice’s given name is derived from the Italian opera stage instruction con dolcezza, meaning “with sweetness.” Long a musician of note, she played from elementary school through college and beyond, in quartets and performing chamber music.
She has even played with cellist Yo-Yo Ma but “this will be the first time I’ve played with an orchestra since I was 18,” she said. When she learned that Rice played classical music, Franklin sent for one of her recordings “to hear what she sounded like.”Previously, she said, “All I had seen of Dr. Rice was in a political atmosphere. It just seemed foreign that she would be a classical pianist.”Franklin was surprised.”She really does play,” Franklin said. “She’s formidable.”The two met at a White House function, Rice recalled. “We were just talking and chatting and she said ‘You play, don’t you?’ And I said, ‘Yes.’ And she said we should do something together.” Rice told the AP their plan to play together was borne of their mutual appreciation for music and determination to keep it near and accessible to children.
Franklin, relaxing in her hotel suite and holding a single long-stemmed peach-hued rose, deplored school budget cuts of music and arts programs as “a travesty” that cannot be allowed. “Imagine what all of this would be without music. If you have to cut, cut something else. Not the music. We need the music. It soothes the savage beast. We need the music.” Rice, in a separate interview, agreed. “Nothing makes me more unhappy than when I hear people talk about music education in the schools as extracurricular,” Rice said. Both women lauded each other’s talents, and abilities, but Rice made it clear she’ll leave the singing to Franklin.”You do not want to hear me sing!” Rice said. “I’m a good choir musician, but I think I will stick to playing the piano.”
November 22, 2009
The Invisible Woman of Color
By Tom Jacobs
New research finds black women are more likely to go unnoticed and unappreciated than black men or whites of either gender. The study suggests that on an unconscious level, black women are treated as “interchangeable and indistinguishable” from one another. ( Editorial Note: So either black women are overly recognized as stereotypes or we invisible. Ain’t that about a B*tch!)
Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man is a classic novel about a black man who feels unseen by his white neighbors. But new research suggests the most invisible Americans of all may be African-American women.
A just-published study suggests black women experience “a qualitatively different form of racism” that contributes to them not being “recognized or correctly credited for their contributions.” On an unconscious level, African-American females are “treated as interchangeable and indistinguishable from one another,” according to University of Kansas psychologists Amanda Sesko and Monica Biernat.
In the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, Sesko and Biernat describe two experiments — one testing facial recognition, another examining spoken statements. In the first, 131 white undergraduates looked at 32 headshots. After completing a short filler task, they were shown those same 32 photos along with 24 new head shots — six each of white men, white women, black men and black women. They were asked to indicate whether each photo was new, or a repeat from the first group.
The results: “White participants were least likely to correctly recognize black women in comparison to the other groups. They were relatively unable to distinguish a black woman they had seen before from a ‘new’ black woman.”
In the second study, participants listened to a recorded conversation among eight college students, and were shown photos of the discussion participants as they spoke. Afterwards, they were asked to match specific statements with photos of the people who spoke them.
“Black and white women were more likely to be confused with each other than black and white men,” the researchers report. “Participants were more likely to incorrectly attribute statements made by black women to other targets than they were to misattribute white women’s, black men’s or white men’s statements.”
“These effects cannot be attributed to particular features of the targets, as careful pre-testing was conducted to ensure equal age, attractiveness, facial expression and distinctiveness (among the head shots),” the researchers conclude. “Instead, these studies provide evidence of black women’s relative invisibility, at least among college-age white samples on a predominantly white campus.”
Since some are confusing the actually Black Panthers with some fools who keep popping up on FOX TV, it is a good time to look back and the career of Elaine Brown. Ms. Brown is the only woman to ascend to leadership of the Black Panthers. The Panthers were ahead of the time in many ways but equality for women was not one of them. The idea of the strong black women has partial roots the black power movement and who can forget Kwame Ture’s quote “The position of women in SNCC is prone.” I saw him speak a year before he died and he was still apologizing. Huey Newton’s views about women were abhorrent.
Elaine Brown grew up in the ghetto of North Philadelphia, with a single, working mother and an absent father. Despite desperate poverty, Brown’s mother worked to provide for Elaine’s private school education. As a young woman. After graduating from Philadelphia High School for Girls, she studied at Temple University for less than a semester. After withdrawing from Temple Brown moved to Los Angeles, California to try being a professional songwriter.
Upon arriving in California with little money and few contacts, Brown became involved with the Black Liberation Movement and she began working for the radical newspaper Harambee. Soon after, Brown became the first representative of the Black Student Alliance to the Black Congress in California. In April 1968, after the assassination of Martin Luther King Junior, she attended her first meeting of the Los Angeles chapter of the Black Panther Party. In 1968, Brown joined the Black Panther Party as a rank-and-file member, studying revolutionary literature, selling Black Panther Party newspapers, and cleaning guns, among other tasks. Brown soon helped the Party set up its first Free Breakfast for Children program in Los Angeles, as well as the Party’s initial Free Busing to Prisons Program and Free Legal Aid Program. Huey Newton a Panther with extremely misogynist views stated, “A woman in the Black Power movement was considered, at best, irrelevant. A woman asserting herself was a pariah. If a black woman assumed a role of leadership, she was said to be eroding black manhood, to be hindering the progress of the black race. She was an enemy of the black people…. I knew I had to muster something mighty to manage the Black Panther Party.”
During Brown’s leadership of the Black Panther Party, she focused on electoral politics and community service. In 1977, she managed Lionel Wilson’s victorious campaign to become Oakland’s first black mayor. Also, Brown developed the Panther’s Liberation School, which was recognized by the state of California as a model school.
Brown stepped down from Chairwoman of the Black Panther Party less than a year after Newton’s return from Cuba in 1977 when Newton condoned the beating of Regina Davis, the administrator of the Panther Liberation School. In her autobiography, A Taste of Power, she states this incident was the point at which Brown could no longer tolerate the sexism and patriarchy of the Black Panther Party.
Brown eventually returned to the civil rights struggle, focusing on the need for radical prison reform. From 1980 to 1983 she attended Southwestern University School of Law in Los Angeles. In 1996, Brown moved to Atlanta, Georgia and founded Fields of Flowers, Inc., a non-profit organization committed to providing educational opportunities for impoverished African-American children. In 1998, Brown co-founded the grassroots group Mothers Advocating Juvenile Justice to advocate for children being prosecuted as adults in the state of Georgia.
In 2003, Brown helped co-found the National Alliance for Radical Prison Reform, which helps thousands of prisoners find housing after they are released on parole, facilitates transportation for family visits to prisons, helps prisoners find employment, and raises money for prisoner phone calls and gifts. Brown has continued her prison reform advocacy by lecturing frequently at colleges and universities in the US. I got to hear her speak a few years ago and she was funny, informative and has risen above many of the rumors and antipathy that swirl around her tenure as a leader in the black panthers.
In March 2007, Brown announced her bid to be the 2008 Green Party presidential nominee. Brown felt that a campaign was necessary to promote the interests of those not represented by the major political parties, especially the interests of women under 30 and African-Americans. Her platform focused on the needs of working-class families, promoting living wages for all, free health care, more funding for public education, more affordable housing, removal of troops from Iraq, improving the environment, and promoting equality. Brown intended on using her campaign to bring many minorities to the Green party in hopes that it would better represent a revolutionary force for social justice. In late 2007, Brown resigned from the Green Party, as she found that the Party remained dominated by whites who had “no intention of using the ballot to actualize real social progress, and will aggressively repel attempts to do so.” Read more about Ms. Brown on her own website.
Not only are black women unprotected by law enforcement and criminal justice, but they are assaulted rather than assisted by those sworn to “protect and serve.” This is how police treat a black female victim of domestic violence.
By Rhonda Cook – The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Janice Wells called the Richland Police Department when she feared a prowler was outside her clapboard house in the rural west Georgia town. The third-grade teacher had phoned for help. But within minutes of an officer coming to her backdoor, she was screaming in pain and begging not to be shocked again with a Taser. With each scream and cry, the officer threatened her with more shocks.
“All of it’s just unreal to me. I was scared to death,” Wells said in an interview with the AJC. “He kept tasing me and tasing me. My fingernails are still burned. My leg, back and my butt had a long scar on it for days.” The officer in question is Ryan Smith of the Lumpkin Police Department. Smith was called to back up an officer from the Richland Police Department because the sheriff’s office in the county, Stewart, had no deputies to send. Smith resigned as a result of the incident. The other officer involved, Tim Murphy of Richland PD, was fired for using pepper spray while trying to arrest Wells.
Wells is considering filing a lawsuit, according to her attorney. The details of the altercation between Wells and the officers have been fodder discussions in the two towns, which are only 10 miles apart. Some have speculated there was a racial component to the altercation between Wells and the policemen; Wells is black and the officers are white.
Stewart County Sheriff Larry Jones, who came to the house seconds after the last electric shock was administered, suspects the outcome would have been different if the woman had been white and the officers black. “I don’t think they would have done a white female like that,” said Jones, who is black. “If they had, it wouldn’t have been any doubt about whether they need to be terminated.”
Much of what happened in front of Wells’ house was recorded by the camera on the dash of Smith’s patrol car. The AJC obtained a copy of the video. Wells, hidden from camera view by the open door of the Richland patrol car, can be heard pleading, “Don’t do that! Don’t do that!” “Get in the car. Get in the car. You’re going to get it again,” Smith answered. Almost immediately there is another clicking as the Taser is discharged again and Wells screams.
“Don’t do it! Don’t do it!” Wells pleads again.
Smith, who quit eight days after the incident, remains unrepentant. “I did what I had to do to take control of the situation,” Smith told the AJC about his decision to repeatedly discharge his Taser. Yet his former boss, Lumpkin Police Chief Steven Ogle, was shocked when he saw the video. “I couldn’t believe it,” Ogle said. “You don’t use it [a Taser] for punitive reasons, to prod someone. It was evident it was an improper use of force. He was an excellent officer other than that incident.” Smith resigned just as Ogle started the process to fire him, the chief said. Smith now works for the Chattahoochee County Sheriff’s office.
And on April 28, the Richland Police Department fired Murphy, the officer who first arrived at Wells’ home. Murphy declined to comment saying he had been told there was an open investigation. Some of the details contained in police department records conflict with those provided in interviews. And only the end of the encounter between Wells and the officers is captured on video. But all agree that the struggle between Wells, 57, and Murphy, 52, started because she would not tell him the name of a friend who was at her house in Richland, 35 miles southeast of Columbus, when Murphy arrived around 9:30 p.m. on April 26. Wells, who teaches in Columbus, said she had called to report a prowler. Murphy wrote in his police report that he was dispatched to check out a report of an “unwanted guest.”
John Robinson was at Wells’ house when Murphy pulled up. Robinson told the AJC his friend of 26 years had called him to be with her until the police arrived. Robinson lives 10 miles from Wells and her husband was in McRae, almost 90 miles away. According to Robinson, Wells and the police reports, the officer only asked Robinson how long he had known Wells, the status of their relationship and where he lived. Murphy asked nothing more, not even Robinson’s name.Moments later Robinson left. Murphy wrote he let the man leave because it is best to separate people in domestic violence situations.“I could always arrest him later if I needed to since he lived nearby,” Murphy wrote in a report obtained by the AJC.
But Wells and Robinson said there was no violence and nothing to suggest there had been any. As Robinson pulled out of the driveway, Murphy asked Wells for her friend’s name. She refused to give it. “’You don’t need to know that,’” Murphy wrote in his report was Wells’ response. “I told her that she would need to give me the information that I needed or she would be arrested for obstruction. I explained that state law mandates that we investigate to determine if there has been any family violence.” She retrieved her purse and began walking around the side of her house until Murphy said he was taking her to jail.
“Janice then backed up from me in a fight or flight stance and I grabbed her arm and placed a handcuff on it,” Murphy wrote. “She pulled away and she took off. I sprayed her with pepper spray. I chased her around the house and tripped and fell, injuring my knee just as I caught up with her. As I was once again walking her to the car, she broke loose again and ran. She tripped and fell and I grabbed her again. As we got to the car, I attempted to get the other handcuff on her and get her in the car.”
Wells told the AJC, she finally stopped. “I fell to the ground. I was balled up and I was begging him to leave me alone,” Wells said. “Then he called for help.” Smith answered Murphy’s call for backup. In his report, Smith wrote he was concerned for Murphy’s welfare because his voice was weak. “[He] sound[ed] as if he could barely talk,” Smith wrote.The camera recorded images of Smith’s short drive down a two-lane road, but once he got within sight of the Wells’ clapboard house, the dash cam also began recording sound. As Smith pulled up, the video showed, Murphy was leaning on the roof of his car and a side door was open. He appeared to be talking to Wells, who was “in a ball position facing the ground,” according to Smith’s report.
Smith, 22, said nothing as he strode to the side of the car, his Taser in hand.Then came the sound of the electric buzz of the Taser and Wells screaming “Oh God! Oh God!”“Get in the car! Get in the car! Get in the car! You gonna get it again,” Smith screamed. Wells cried. In seconds the sound of the Taser can be heard again.“Don’t do it. Don’t do it. I ain’t gonna do nothing,” Wells pleaded. Smith is heard threatening a more aggressive setting on his Taser.
And then he used it again.
“It felt like electricity going through your body,” Wells said. “He was tasing me so fast and I was asking them to stop. To me, it was like it was a dream.” Murphy’s report says Smith used his Taser three times.Smith said he probably discharged the Taser three or four times for a total of six seconds. One of those times, he shocked himself.
The sound from the video suggests he discharged the device at least four times. Wells’ attorney, Gary Parker, said it may have been as many as 12 times. Parker said no decision has been made on filing a lawsuit but he is talking with local officials about a resolution.
After hearing about the calls to Wells’ house, a woman he had known for years, the sheriff got to the house just as she was shocked for the last time. He said he could hear her screams as he pulled up.“Larry, help me,” Wells said as the sheriff walked up. “Larry, I didn’t do nothing.” Jones said, “It took my best to hold my composure.”
On the video, Jones can be heard softly reassuring Wells. Later that night, Jones bonded Wells out of jail and drove her to an area hospital to be examined.He watched the video from the dash camera later.“It was worse than what I thought it was. I was shocked,” the sheriff told the AJC.”The public needs to know.”
One of the legacies of racially gendered privilege is that violent crime against black women is unreported, under-investigated and brought to trial at staggeringly low rates. While attacks against white women occupy hours of media coverage daily crime against black women is rarely broadcast. So little attention is paid to crime against black women that serial killers who prey on them are rarely caught. Records show Lonnie David Franklin Jr. was arrested time and time again for theft and violent crimes, and although he served time, it was never as much as probation officers recommended. Everyone knows about Son of Sam, Ted Bundy and John Wayne Gacy, but have you heard of the Grim Sleeper?
A backyard mechanic identified by police this week as the Grim Sleeper serial killer had a lengthy criminal history stretching over four decades but was never sent to prison despite calls by law enforcement officials for tough sentences, according to Los Angeles County court records released Friday.
Probation reports show that Lonnie David Franklin Jr. repeatedly cycled through the county’s justice system years before he was charged this week with killing 10 women in South Los Angeles.
Franklin was arrested at least 15 times for car theft, burglary, receiving stolen property, assaults, firearms possession and other crimes, the records show. In most cases, he avoided prosecution or was sent to jail and placed on probation even as law enforcement officers called him a serious criminal and urged prison terms.
Franklin allegedly killed seven women between 1985 and 1988, when his crimes seemed to abruptly stop, authorities say. The slayings resumed with three more between 2002 and 2007, police said.
In 2003, Los Angeles probation officers wrote that Franklin — then 50 — had admitted spending three decades as an active criminal and was back to his old ways when he was caught driving a luxury SUV stolen from the Glendale Galleria.
“If at this age the defendant is still engaging in criminal activities … the community can best be served by imposing the maximum time possible in state prison,” one probation officer wrote.
Franklin faced up to three years in prison after pleading no contest to receiving stolen property. As part of a plea agreement with prosecutors, however, he was sentenced to jail for 270 days.
Once he entered jail, Franklin again benefited from Los Angeles’ overburdened justice system. Sheriff’s officials were releasing inmates early to ease overcrowding in the county’s jails. Franklin was released in May 2003, more than four months early, according to jail data obtained by The Times.
Two months later, when he should still have been behind bars, Franklin allegedly killed again. In July 2003, a crossing guard in the Westmont area of the city stumbled across the lifeless body of Valerie McCorvey. The 35-year-old had suffered trauma to her neck, police said.
Franklin was only recently identified as a suspect in the case when a “familial search” of state DNA records indicated that a convicted felon was probably related to the killer. Franklin is the felon’s father.
Los Angeles Times
Jack Leonard and Victoria Kim
PORTLAND, Ore. — Tamara Hargens-Bradley
African-American women’s beliefs about depression and depression care are consistently and systematically influenced by racism, according to a new study conducted at Oregon Health & Science University. The results are published online in the American Journal of Public Health.
To be eligible for the study, participants had to be 18 or older, consider themselves African-American, have a score of 15 or higher on Patient Health Questionnaire Depression scale and have experienced intimate partner violence at some time in their lives. Thirty women participated in four private focus groups facilitated by African-American female community members of the research team.
Study participants were asked about their experiences and beliefs surrounding the relationship between violence and health in general, mental health, depression, and depression treatments. They also were asked to discuss their recommendations for improving depression care. The researchers found one issue dominated discussions about depression care — the participants’ deep mistrust of what they perceived to be a “White” health care system.
“These women were extremely wary of most depression treatments and providers they associated with ‘White’ systems of care. Although they acknowledged that violence, depression and substance abuse adversely affected their health, discussions about health care revolved around their perceptions of racism,” said Christina Nicolaidis, M.D., M.P.H., principal investigator and an associate professor of medicine (general internal medicine and geriatrics), and public health and preventive medicine in the OHSU School of Medicine. “Based on our findings, we recommend health and mental health providers endeavor to better understand and acknowledge how racism informs the experiences and perceptions of their patients.”
The expectation of being a “strong Black woman” also was a significant barrier to recognizing depression and seeking care. Co-investigator S. Renee Mitchell has used this finding to launch a campaign asking: “Strong Black woman – what are you burying, your feelings or the myth?” The research team also has organized several community depression and violence awareness events titled “Redefining the Blues.” An additional event is planned for the fall.
Study participants expressed a desire for community-based depression programs that addressed violence and drug use and are staffed by African-Americans with “real-life experiences.” In response to this request, the research team used their study data to create a community-based, culturally tailored depression-care program, which they currently are pilot-testing at Bradley-Angle House’s Healing Roots Center, a drop-in center for survivors of domestic and sexual violence.
The researchers make clear that their results aren’t reflective of all African-American depressed women, especially those who live in places with larger African-American populations, those with higher incomes and those who have not experienced intimate partner violence.
“Future study is needed to test the generalizability of our findings, as well as the effectiveness of culturally specific interventions in reducing depressions severity and improving depression care among African-American women,” the researchers concluded.
After reading this article about these courageous women, I wondered what issues lesbian sisters have in regard to dating and romance in the West. I would love to hear some opinions.please feel post away!
July 6, 2010 10:49 AM
Posted by David Gutnick @ The Fifa Worlc Cup Official Web SiteWhen South Africans tossed their racist laws into the garbage can at the beginning of the 1990’s, they showed the rest of the world that they were in the mood to make history. Anti-apartheid activists who had spent years in jail were finally free and hungry to remake their society.
Every citizen – no matter who they were – was to be treated with respect. The South African constitution – adopted in 1996 – was the first in the world to prohibit discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation.
“The state may not unfairly discriminate directly or indirectly against anyone on one or more grounds, including race, gender, sex, pregnancy, marital status, ethnic or social origin, colour, sexual orientation, age, disability, religion, conscience, belief, culture, language and birth.” In the eyes of the law, gay and lesbian people have guaranteed rights. That is what is on paper. What happens in townships like Soweto, Alexandra and Diepsloot, and communities across South Africa is something else. Women who love women are still pushed aside, beaten and murdered.
That is why the Chosen Few soccer club is so extraordinary.It is the country’s only lesbian soccer team and it has made one of apartheid’s terrible symbols home base.
The Women’s Prison
“I was arrested on the 18th of November. They interrogated me in the night and then they assaulted me. What made them so cruel?” That is the voice of one of the thousands of black women who were thrown into Johannesburg Women’s jail by the South African government.
The heroic tales of women who spent years locked up because they fought for racial equality now boom out of loudspeakers hanging in the dark, damp cells. The tales of suffering are unbearable: Black prisoners were not allowed to wear undergarments; guards regularly fondled and raped women if they complained. Among the prisoners were articulate political prisoners who continued their work even under the most horrific conditions. “Because we were a big group of powerful women we made our jailers know what our cause was and what we were all about.”As you walk the somber corridors hearing those beautifully intense voices you cannot but wonder if their ghosts live behind the thick metal cell doors. They may well be living there.
However, these days they have to share their space with a new generation of revolutionaries.
The soccer-loving members of Chosen Few have turned a cell that used to hold political prisoners into their dressing room.Tin toilet buckets and blankets chewed up by rats have been replaced with balls and uniforms.”We come from different communities whereby we have been discriminated against because of our sexuality of being lesbians. And when you come to Chosen Few you meet other lesbians who have struggles just like you.”Twenty-two-year old Sidi Mofoneng’s dyed blond hair is shaved in zigzags. She chomps on gum as she kicks a ball around in the prison courtyard before practice. “In South Africa, when you’re black – we have our culture, we got our beliefs, we have religions. I am a Sesotho speaker and I come from a culture where they believe that being a lesbian is a sin. People do not believe that you can be born like that. They cannot believe it.”
Even worse, they attack women they suspect of being lesbian with their fists, sticks and guns.
On April 28th, 2008, Eudy Simelane, a member of South Africa’s national women’s soccer team and a lesbian rights activist, was gang raped and stabbed 25 times in KwaThema township.
Chosen Few member Sidi has experienced her own horror.A couple of weeks ago she was beaten up when she went out shopping.”It happened with my mom. We were in a mall. This other guy knew I was a lesbian because we go to the same school. I wanted to pass and buy something. So he did not want to let me pass and buy that thing. And he started calling me a faggot and swearing at me. I wanted to pass, and one thing I remember is being down and bleeding on my mouth. There is a long way for us to go to be accepted for who we are”.
Tuesday and Thursday soccer practice
The Chosen Few practice on a parking lot down the hill from the jail. Local schools will not allow them to use their grassy pitches.So Lerto-Chicken-Marumolwa and the rest of the team practice on gravel. “They don’t say because you are lesbian we are not going to allow you. It’s just no no no no. The field is empty. But look where we are training right now.”For an hour and a half, the women run round the parking lot. Their passes are smooth, their headers are powerful.Sidi’s a great dribbler and easily darts around her teammates.The goalposts are red plastic cones. Whoever scores has to chase the ball as it rolls down the hill towards the highway.Sweat dribbles down smiling faces.
A young man named Jambulo wanders by the practice. “They look very good. We always see boys playing, but these are girls. They are working very hard. “When Jambulo learns that Chosen Few are lesbians, his face falls.”That is a lesbian soccer team? I do not like lesbians – women who act like a boy. I do not like lesbians. Seriously.”Every Chosen Few soccer practice ends with stretching exercises and songs – the same songs that were sung by the women who were imprisoned just up the hill.As the sun goes down the winter evening is getting chilly. It is time for Lerato and her teammates to head back to their dressing room. “No, I am not tired. I am feeling somehow refreshed. I am just happy. Everyday when I come here some of the stress that I have from home, it feels like I am releasing some of the load that I was carrying with me”.In a few weeks, Chosen Few will fly off to Cologne, Germany to compete in the VIII Gay Games. They joke that before the first ball is kicked they might just take a few minutes and roll around on the soft grass.