Lovell Jones, Ph.D.
Number of posts: 15
Email address: email
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By Lovell Jones, Ph.D.:
bias in our justice system
Over two decades ago I first wrote an Op Ed piece on the value of a human life. The focus was that in this society we continue to value a human life on a sliding scale with white males at the top and black males at the bottom. Yes, our societal norms have changed over the centuries since the first Africans were brought to the shores of the Americas, but have our values, especially in terms of valuing human life, changed. If you look at what is taking place today, the answer is probably NO.
chronic v. infectious
This is a very short opinion piece because I don’t think it need must explanation. I want you to think the recent events in Dallas regarding the transmission of Ebola on to American soil. I see it as a big wake up call to all Americans, but specifically to affluent America. Why do I say that? For the vast majority of the 20th century our medical care system was based on a public health model…
perception v. reality 1
I came across this blog written by Gina Crosley-Corcaran titled “Explaining White privilege to a Broke White People.” Well, after hearing a few African Americans who have succeeded say that racism and “white privilege” does exist and did not block their ability to achieve, I thought I would review Peggy McIntosh’s “White privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack” and share a few thoughts and questions about “white privilege.” These are paraphrased from what was asked by Gina Crosley-Carcaran in her article.
the michael brown killing
Over the past few days since the shooting of Michael Brown the discussions on the various cable channels have been quite interesting. It truly illustrated that your perception of the shooting all comes from your point of view. If you are conservative, whether black or white, you find every reason you can point to Michael Brown’s past and actions on that day to justify the officer’s shooting of that young man six times. You strive for every fact to prove your point that the shooting was justified. If you are liberal, you are doing the same thing except it is too valid the outrage over the shooting.
food For thought
How many of you are aware that Albert Einstein taught a physics class at Lincoln University (an HBCU in Pennsylvania) in 1946? In doing so, the Nobel Prize-winning scientist once said, “The separation of the races is not a disease of colored people. It is a disease of white people. I do not intend to be quiet about it.” Another noted figure, Martin Luther King, once said, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter.” But we have become silent, for I don’t see the human outcry about where we are today.
food for thought
Multiple studies have shown that racial and ethnic minorities frequently receive lower quality health care, are less likely to get routine care and have higher rates of morbidity and mortality than non-minorities. Even as medical discoveries improve health care over all, these disparities are cited over and over again as something that has to change. As we entered 2014, I wanted to know much has changed and when we will learn that new discoveries will not lead to a reduction in disparities.
Vince Lombardi once said “the difference between a success and failure is not a lack KNOWLEDGE, but rather a LACK of WILL.” With the passing of Nelson Mandela, we lost an individual who was a model of knowledge and will. In America we know what to do but lack a Nelson Mandela. Does this absence signal not only a lack of knowledge but the will to rally around the cause of fighting for equity?
Food For Thought
As we have been debating the fiscal cliff and the failure to adequate address the national debt, I continue to wonder why a solution to the problem that is so obvious, fails to be included in any of the discussions that are taking place. One of the major reasons we are facing this crisis, the cost of health care and those contributing factors. Are we not including it in our discussions because of the linking impact of slavery and the perceptions that have resulted from it. That it is those people problems and not mine.
Houston is the fourth largest city in this nation. It has the largest medical complex in the WORLD, not just in the USA. The Texas Medical Center (TMC) is one of the largest employers in the city. Everyday there are more than 200,000 – 250,000 people who come in and out of the TMC. Yet it still shows the impact of the exclusions of Title, VI and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 in addressing health care.
The African American citizens of Houston are not the only individuals who have felt the impact of these exclusions. Today, we talk about addressing health disparities as one of the top priorities of the current US Department of Health & Human Services agendas. Yet, no one has mentioned our failures over the years of the civil rights movement to address these exclusions and their continued impact on the health of this nation.
The Center for Research on Minority Health (CRMH) is transforming into the Dorothy I. Height Center for Health Equity & Evaluation Research (CHEER). It has been over 25 years since the statement was made, that “Health in minority communities can not be addressed as a single issue. That it has to be addressed in a holistic manner.” Several years later it was stated that “Addressing health alone will not solve the health disparities gap.”
Since the initial planning of the Biennial Symposium Series on Minorities & Cancer in 1985, the happening has continued to morph from the blending of the idea of “science that benefits community.”
Sometimes, the best Food For Thought comes from a known but unknown source. The Mother’s Day sermon this year was given by Reverend Will Bowen. Reverend Bowen in July of 2006 handed out 250 purple bracelets inviting people to use them as a tool to eradicate complaining from their lives. He was not the first to come up with the idea, but the first to use the purple bracelet to help work their way to a complaint-free life. That is every day you complain while wearing the bracelet you change it to the other wrist. The goal is to go 21 days without complaining. After 4 plus years I am still working on reaching 21 days.
The title of his sermon was to be “If it’s not one thing, it’s my Mother.” However, life and one greater than us all, has a way of changing things.
I continue to say that we stuffer from the prophecy of Ben Franklin. To paraphrase this man, he said just before his death that until we really deal with the issue of race and the impact it continues to have on our society, we will continue to suffer as a nation, and that it would get worse as time moved forward. As we face more and more of this economic threat to this nation, I truly believe that we know how to make this nation better for all. However, I also believe that we are stopped for the simple reason that we refuse to face the fact that this nation still discriminates and continues to judge individuals on the basis of their color and/or status in life.
It is so evident why we continue to fall into that same hole. The people who are guiding the path we are walking have not changed. Let me update something I said over a decade ago that fits today. “Unfortunately, when we approach efforts to solve this nation’s debt crisis, we tend to fall back to what we have done before. It may be under a different name or packaged in a different box, but it is ultimately the same racist strategy that has really got us nowhere.” The thing that those in Congress, especially those not of color, fail to realize is that this nation is no longer really white middle-class individuals. That their cutting is not only hurting those that don’t look like them, but those that do. However, the legacy of slavery, that which Ben was talking about, has those who are white and hurting, saying subconsciously whether they realize it or not, “well I am still white and that must count for something.” What they don’t realize is that that is counting for less and less with each passing day.
A very short food for thought, but one that may be one of my most important in asking about the well being of this nation. You may not agree with this line of thought, but all I ask is that you think about it as you watch the angry crowds and ask where is my America?
My two greatest fears on the night that Presidential Candidate Barack Obama was elected President of these United States were that first, some maniac would shoot him on Inauguration Day and second, segments of white America would rise up as they did during the Reconstruction Era to “Take Back America.”
“In the last two decades, we have made very little progress in addressing health disparities” – Lovell Jones, PhD A few weeks ago, as I sat in LAX waiting for my red eye to wing my way back to Houston for a morning meeting, I wondered if our nation truly wants to eliminate health disparities, or have we created just another industry that relies on health disparities to continue in order to become another employment opportunity? A few years ago I asked, “How can we expect solutions from those who benefit from the problem?” It is in the vested interest of the beneficiary to continue the situation. Unfortunately, they live for the moment and not the future. In the end, we all suffer. Such was apparent with the passage of the recent Health Reform Bill in the US House of Representatives. Why do I say that? Just think about the […]
In his last public act, Benjamin Franklin presented to the US Congress a petition on behalf of the Philadelphia Society for the Abolition of Slavery asking for the abolition of slavery and an end to the slave trade. The petition, signed on February 3, 1790, asked the first US Congress, then meeting in New York City, to “devise means for removing the Inconsistency from the Character of the American People,” and “promote mercy and justice toward this distressed Race.” The Senate took no action and the House tabled it, claiming the Constitution restrained them from prohibiting the importation or emancipation of slaves until 1808. Franklin, in a public forum once stated that “Slavery is such an atrocious debasement of human nature, that its very extirpation, if not performed with solicitous care, may sometimes open a source of serious evils.” With the submission of the petition, it is said that Franklin […]