Wednesday, August 11, 2010

"The [U.S.] Middle Class is Under Assault" says HuffPo. And what about Poor Women in the U.S.? Is that called NON-Assault?

image is from here
Arianna Huffington, founder of the Huffington Post, is writing about the assault against the predominantly white middle class. (Intro and link are below.) The predominantly white middle class are suffering in the U.S., due in large part to fucked up ways of maintaining and intensifying economic injustice and corporate, government, and military corruption put in place by the last several presidents--whose platforms and policies criss-cross and weave together Republican and Democratic lines.

What makes me a bit furious about stories like this isn't the focus on how the middle class is suffering, exactly. I know too many people who have been living middle class who are currently out of work and whose unemployment checks have finally run out. This has happened because the Congress and the Senate would rather support a CORRUPT war in Afghanistan than extend benefits allowing unemployed people who are looking for work every damn day and who cannot find jobs, to be able to pay for food and housing. (And the U.S. government's completely illegal war in Iraq isn't over yet, either.) The U.S. government's war on people of color globally, and within the U.S. specifically, is still going on and given the ageist, gendered, and raced political nature of poverty, that means U.S. poor people = children and women of color--disproportionately.Which brings me to the matter of being furious.

Why aren't the lives of Black, Brown, and Indigenous women centered in the discussion of "Who is Being Assaulted in the U.S.A."? Because poor women of color face assault from a whole helluva lot of sources: the U.S. government and its agencies and representatives, white people of all genders, the rich/wealthy and their tax breaks and various forms of corporate welfare, as well as evading taxes by having billions in Swiss and other foreign bank accounts--never reported to the IRS. And last but not least, MEN. Each of these groups systematically stigmatises and degrades the public image and social personhood of poor women of color in the U.S., and rarely are the crimes against WOC's humanity discussed in open debate by mainstream media.

An occasional report will surface about some "greater health risk" to African Americans*1, perhaps. And all the sexism and misogyny that Black women in the U.S. endure will be left out of the story.

Or Amnesty International may come out with a particularly searing report on how one in three American Indian [Indigenous] women are raped*2, overwhelmingly by white men they do not know who come onto reservation land to commit this act of disgusting violating and degradation and violence on land that isn't governed by U.S. federal laws the way non-res U.S. land is. So the white rapists know they are more likely to get away with it, for all kinds of despicable reasons.

*1. See, for example, the article below, in which a white woman is an "expert" on African American health-risk factors. Note how she DOESN'T state that LIVING IN A RACIST SOCIETY is harmful to African American people's health, including by taking a FUCKING HUGE TOLL on their cardiovascular systems! Now how can it be that an "expert" AND The American Heart Association doesn't KNOW THAT? (More commentary and analysis follows.)

Why African-Americans At Greater Risk of Cardiovascular Disease

Related: Heart Disease, High Cholesterol, diabetes, African-American , [and what about WHITE MALE SUPREMACY????  -- JUST ASKING.  -- Julian]

Melanie Thomassian
Monday, August 24, 2009

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death for all racial and ethnic groups in the U.S.—but this is even more evident in the African-American community.
The American Heart Association state that:
  • Compared to the general public, African-Americans have a higher risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, and vascular dementia.
  • More than 40 percent of African-Americans have high blood pressure and are at risk for stroke, which can lead to greater risk for developing Alzheimer’s.
  • African-Americans, as a group, are at greater risk for heart disease and stroke.
  • Every year more than 100,000 African-Americans have a stroke.

According to the American Heart Association's, “Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics,” the total cardiovascular heart disease prevalence in 2006 was:
  • 45.9% male, 45.9% female for Blacks
  • 37.8% male, 33.3% female for Whites
  • 26.1% male, 32.5% female for Mexican-Americans
But, why is there such a significant difference in these statistics?

Given that fact that African-Americans tend to have higher blood pressure levels than Caucasians, this increases the risk of heart disease.

It’s also true that African-Americans tend to have a much higher risk of disability and death from a stroke than Caucasians, partly due to high blood pressure as mentioned, and also because of higher rates of diabetes, which causes complications.

To clarify, the major modifiable risk factors for cardiovascular disease include:
  • Having high blood pressure
  • Having high blood cholesterol
  • Smoking cigarettes
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Being physically inactive
  • Having type 2 diabetes
  • Some other factors to note include high stress levels and drinking too much alcohol
What needs to be realized is that these conditions, and their resulting complications do need have to be a way of life for African-Americans—heart disease is not necessarily an inevitable outcome for you.

Perhaps you have a family history of heart problems, if you already know you have an elevated risk, one of the most important things you can do is to visit your doctor at least once each year for a general health check-up.

Over the next few weeks I’ll be focusing on specific ways to reduce your risk of suffering heart disease complications, including looking at what you can do right now to lesson these complications, and also taking a look at diet and exercise, etc, so stay tuned!

Don't forget to drop me a line with any queries or concerns and I'll try to answer them promptly!

Do you struggle with healthy eating or weight loss? Get your free ebook on how to break bad habits by visiting the award winning Authored by registered dietitian, Melanie Thomassian.

*          *          *

So what "bad habits" is any Black person in the U.S. supposed to break that will cause "other factors" to be less harmful? Aren't "high stress levels" caused by the myriad ways white supremacy bears down ruthlessly and relentlessly hard on anyone who endures it daily? Perhaps some deep, relaxing breathing? Pilates classes? I don't fucking think so!

Here's the goddamned sad reality: if you're not Black, you don't know what white supremacy feels like to a person who is Black. And most people who are not Black don't want to know--don't care to find out, don't want to empathise, and, especially, will not organise to end white supremacy's devastating harm to African Americans currently living in the U.S.

To Melanie and to the AHA: please update your recommendations to include radical systemic, institutional change, organised by anyone and everyone with full accountability directly to African American women, to weed out all expressions and manifestations of white supremacy as a PRIMARY way to positively impact the cardiovascular health of African Americans.

*2. When will dominant media report and make recommendations that the following MUST END: the RAPE, BATTERY, HARASSMENT, OBJECTIFICATION, PIMPING, TRAFFICKING, and other forms of male aggression, violence, violation, degradation, humiliation, assault, and indignity against the personhood and humanity of women of color? When will THE SYSTEMATIC RAPE OF WOMEN OF ALL COLORS BE TERMED "AN ASSAULT" akin to the one Ariana Huffington notes is currently happening to the U.S.'s "middle class"? When will the poverty and sexual assault that women of color endure in the U.S. be seen as news-worthy? When will the stories and realities of what Indigenous North American women matter as much to Arianna Huffington and the largely white MALE press people who report on matters of "assault" against various demographics of people in the U.S.?

See below for Arianna Huffington's report on the disproportionately white middle class. And please don't forget that except perhaps for life on reservations in this country--people who are part of the Fourth World, most people in the U.S. have no idea what life in many parts of the Third World is like. And those of us in the Last World will have to establish respectful, mutual relationships with people, in which we are not materially or emotionally exploiting and psychically pillaging the lives of people who live in the Third World.

Arianna Huffington: Third World America: Chronicling the Assault on America's Middle Class...and the Solutions

Arianna Huffington: From foreclosures to unemployment to household debt to bankruptcies, the American middle class is under assault -- and America is in danger of becoming a Third World nation. That's why, in conjunction with the publication of my upcoming book, Third World America, HuffPost is launching a "Third World America" section to bear witness to what is happening to the American middle class in small towns and big cities all across the country. Every day, we will also focus on the solutions that are making a difference in the lives of ordinary Americans, and offer many ways for you to get involved -- things we can all do to make sure we never find ourselves living in Third World America. Start by watching this video, taking our Pledge for the American Dream, and sharing your story. Click here to read more of Arianna Huffington's report.