The Stigma of Mental Health in the African American Community

The Stigma of Mental Health in the African American Community

Let's Talk Mental Health

Caroline Stewart MSN, RN

Hello everyone, this is my 1st official blog post. I thought this topic would be a great for discussion because it’s so controversial. Before I dive into it, just a little information about myself, I have been a psychiatric nurse for almost 5 years. I have a Master’s Degree in Nursing and have cared for patients aged 4 to 102 all in mental health, behavioral health, psychiatry, whatever you like to call it. Although to some may seem like a short time in the field, I have learned so much and experienced more.  I love working in mental health, it’s a field of medicine that requires a “grey” thinking mindset.  I have grown passionately about mental health and caring for this vulnerable patient population. Next to mental health nursing, my love is education. I’ve had my hand in the education pot as well working, part-time…

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Baldwin’s “Notes for a Hypothetical Novel”: “We made the world we’re living in and we have to make it over”

a country is only as strong as the people who make it up and the country turns into what the people want it to become.”

radical eyes for equity

At first, I think, most relatively reasonable people believed the 2016 Republican field for president was amusing, a harmless opening act to the very serious politics that would befall us when the time came.

But toward the end of February 2016 with Donald Trump winning primary after primary, and with many very serious pundits now conceding that Trump could be the Republican nominee, this harmless opening act has turned decidedly ugly.

A testament to his genius as well as a damning statement about the recalcitrant nature of the U.S., James Baldwin’s work offers disturbing commentaries on our present, especially in the context of Trump’s blatant fascism and bigotry along with the so-called mainstream Republican candidates’ coded fascism and bigotry.

Baldwin’s “Notes for a Hypothetical Novel” proves to be one such insightful work.

In this address, Baldwin admits early, “I’m certain that there is something which unites all the Americans in this…

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Politics: Conservapedia and the Politically Correct Right Wing

first posted November 26, 2015

Sheriff’s ‘politically incorrect’ sign turns heads

The sheriff in Georgia paid for a sign with his own money that reads, “Warning: Harris County is politically incorrect. We say Merry Christmas, God Bless America and In God We Trust. We salute our troops and our flag. If this offends you — leave!”

Here is the definition of Politically Correct speech from Conservapedia, which touts itself as The Trustworthy Encyclopedia:

“In the past the term “crippled” was perfectly acceptable and not considered offensive. At some point, Americans like Senate Republican leader Bob Dole decided “crippled” was degrading and the preferred term changed to “handicapped.” This, too, was eventually deemed offensive and “disabled” became the preferred term. Today, even “disabled” is considered degrading to some and “differently abled” and “physically challenged” are used by those people. The same can be said for the changing uses of terms for Black Americans: “Negro” and “colored,” once perfectly acceptable terms, became offensive during the 1970s and “Afro-American” and “Black” came into use, which in turn gave way to “African-American,” and in broader usage, “people of color.” One perceived problem with “Negro” is that many persons, especially Southerners, seemed to have trouble pronouncing it, enunciating it as “nigra.”

I grew up in the South.

Did the racists who contemptuously spat the N-word suffer a speech impediment?

Conservapedia goes on to say: It is now acceptable in many Universities to have courses on gender, homosexual and African-American studies, which, in fact, encourage the mainstream public to become different to avoid criticism.

It is now acceptable to have academic studies of gender, or gay and African-American people?

Why is raising our standards of social conduct to embrace and respect differences in people so wrong?

Perhaps if I click the Conservapedia link to Homosexual I will find a clue:

Homosexuality

“If homosexuality were significantly influenced by genes, it would appear in every culture, but in twenty-nine of seventy-nine cultures surveyed by Ford and Beach in 1952, homosexuality was rare or absent. It was very rare in the Siriono, even though there were no prohibitions on homosexual relationships in that culture. The researcher observed only one man displaying slight homosexual traits but apparently not sexually involved with another man. Homosexuality appears to be rare among Orthodox Jews [Orthodox Judaism forbids homosexuality], so much so that learned rabbis, the interpreters of Jewish law, usually allowed men to sleep in the same bed, because likelihood of sexual contact was considered negligible. Kinsey also found very low homosexual incidence among Orthodox Jews…

Homosexuality is rare among Orthodox Jews?

Conservapedia cites Conservapedia on the data from Kinsey, so I researched the claim:

Here is what Kinsey actually said: “On the whole, homosexual contacts occur most frequently among the males who are not particularly active in their church connections. They occur less frequently among devout Catholics, Orthodox Jewish groups, and Protestants who are active in the church. The differences are not always great, but lie constantly in the same direction.” Sexual Behavior in the Human Male

Perhaps Homosexuality seems rare among Orthodox Jews because Gays from that community either stay in the closet or leave. The Jewish Week 2013

The author of the Conservapedia article cites a 1951 study by Ford and Beach, Patterns of Sexual Behavior, to support the thesis that Homosexuality is rare among cultures.

There is no Conservapedia link to the Ford and Beach Study.

Here is what Wikipedia has to say:

Patterns of Sexual Behavior, published in 1951, is a work of scientific literature co-authored by Clellan S. Ford and Frank A. Beach. The book integrates information about human sexual behavior from 191 different cultures, and includes detailed comparisons across animal species, with particular emphasis on primates.

The book notably considers homosexuality in both humans and other animals, citing evidence of accepted homosexual behavior in 49 of the 76 cultures for which the relevant data were available

Patterns of Sexual Behavior has been described as a “classic” of its field. Released in 1951, between the two volumes of the Kinsey Reports, the book was highly influential in the study of sexual behavior, and provided the intellectual foundation for the later research of Masters and Johnson. The study is credited with “making homosexual behavior more visible and more acceptable within the culture of its time.”

Wikipedia

49 out of 76 cultures accepted homosexual behavior. This is not the same as 27 cultures had no homosexuals at all.

An example: 6 of the 12 nations in South America recognize some type of same-sex unions.

Same-sex marriage is legal in Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay and Chile, Colombia and Ecuador countries have a form of civil union or registered partnership.

This not the same as there are no same-sex couples in 6 out of 12 nations in South America.

Here is an entry from Conservapedia on Atheism:

“There is historical evidence indicating that Darwinism was a causal factor for WWI and WWII

Unfortunately, there are no sources for this historical evidence.

I think Conservapedia is referring to the Eugenics Movement of which Darwin disapproved.

“The aid which we feel impelled to give to the helpless is mainly an incidental result of the instinct of sympathy, which was originally acquired as part of the social instincts, but subsequently rendered, in the manner previously indicated, more tender and more widely diffused. Nor could we check our sympathy, if so urged by hard reason, without deterioration in the noblest part of our nature. The surgeon may harden himself whilst performing an operation, for he knows that he is acting for the good of his patient; but if we were intentionally to neglect the weak and helpless, it could only be for a contingent benefit, with a certain and great present evil. Hence we must bear without complaining the undoubtedly bad effects of the weak surviving and propagating their kind; but there appears to be at least one check in steady action, namely the weaker and inferior members of society not marrying so freely as the sound; and this check might be indefinitely increased, though this is more to be hoped for than expected, by the weak in body or mind refraining from marriage.” Reflecting on Darwin.

It is a fact that Darwin’s theory was appropriated by the eugenics movement and used to justify its cause, but The Descent of Man was not a causal factor for either of the two world wars of the 20th Century.

Do we stop all scientific research because evil people pervert these discoveries for malignant reasons?

Do we blame the Internet because people use it to stalk and torment each other and to promote disinformation?

This is from a Conservapedia entry on President Obama:

Barack Hussein Obama: Barack Hussein Obama II (reportedly born in Honolulu, Hawaii on August 4, 1961) is the 44th President of the United States. Through heavy use of early voting by the Democrat political machine, Obama was elected president in 2008 with 365 electoral votes and 53% of the popular vote. In 2012 he was elected to a second term with 332 electoral votes and 51% of the popular vote, losing 5 million voters from four years earlier. Promoted heavily by liberals, as demonstrated by his unjustified receipt of the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize, Obama clutched the presidency despite a short and unremarkable political career by outspending his opponent, John McCain, by hundreds of millions of dollars in 2008, and spending more than a billion dollars from special interests to snag reelection in 2012.

The term Politically Correct implies a dogmatic, almost religious adherence to a political position regardless of the truth.

A political movement that demonizes its opposition, promotes an agenda based on dogma, refuses to use reason, and promotes itself as infallible even as it distorts the truth is by Conservative definition a politically correct movement.

In our inverted polarized democracy people who base their political decisions on dogma also present themselves as the rebellious defenders of reason and free speech.

I will let Conservapedia illustrate this point with an entry called: Mystery: Why Do Non-Conservatives Exist?

Conservative principles are based on reason. So why do non-conservatives still exist? Here are some reasons:

20%: did not hear about conservative principles until after they made up their mind and, perhaps due to pervasive societal bias, refuse to reconsider

  • 10%: genuinely lack of desire to find the truth, and instead desire attention, praise by liberal teachers, getting along by going along, and not standing up to liberal bullies
  • 10%: refuse to forgive themselves and let go of their past mistakes and image
  • 10%: believe myths created around government programs like the “New Deal” that liberal policies create jobs instead of destroying them and depriving people of liberty through government control.
  • 10%: fooled by the demonizing of conservatives and mistakenly feel that conservative benefits are available only to those who are from an intact family or privileged background
  • 10%: refuse to rise above their personal temptations, often self-destructive, and hate conservatives who criticize their self-indulgent behavior
  • 10%: feel that they deserve to make more money than they do, as in public school teachers, university professors and scientists, and refuse to rise above self-interest
  • 10%: harbor a grudge against a conservative, typically a parent but sometimes an ex-spouse, and refuse to forgive or rise above the animosity
  • 5%: like an anarchist, genuinely want to believe in and propagate destructive ideas (Due to the tendency of non-conservatives to refuse to admit this even to themselves, this number could be much higher)
  • 5%: are susceptible to marketing and suggestion to an overlarge degree.

According to the Conservapedia 43% percent of the people who live in the U.S. are flawed, attention seeking, angry, selfish, destructive, and brainwashed.

That 43% (or more)  disagrees with them is a mystery to the ideologues who write Conservapedia, because conservative orthodoxy does not allow them to be wrong.

You don’t get more politically correct than that.

(c) Rob Goldstein 2015-2019

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