23 05 2007

Hey, I took a short break from blogging/commenting, but I’m back now, and I love love love this new blog:

I’ll have more to talk about soon, including:
–the concept of violence in media as catharsis ( I was actually inspired by Trinity and her posts on BDSM and violence in entertainment)
–Women and immigration
–exceprts from one of bell hooks’ books: Killing Rage: Ending Racism

I’ve been really rushed/stressed out with AP exams, getting ready for prom, getting ready for finals, figuring summer plans…etc, etc, so that’s why I took a break. Plus I needed to put aside some spiritual time for myself. Now that I’m back in the saddle, I plan to post a lot more, especially since the summer is coming up and I’ll have TIMMMEEEE, PRECIOUS TIME!


Greenadelphia! and All For the Taking

10 05 2007

This is a really awesome organization I just found out about. Greenadelphia! is fighting for urban sustainability and making Philly’s environment better to live in for everyone. There is an Urban Sustainability Forum coming up on May 17 for anyone who’s interested.

Also, All For the Taking fights for affordable housing for everyone and preserving communities. They are currently fighting against plans for casinos to be built in certain neighborhoods. The casinos would break up the communities and cause more housing and poverty issues, and possibly cause gentrification of the areas, which leads to higher rents, pushing low-income families and individuals out and contributing to homelessness.

better late than never.

4 05 2007

fuck the lapd. seriously. I am so pissed off.

Happy belated May Day!

2 05 2007

I’ve read some articles about the protests yesterday, and I am very proud of everyone who participated, because fighting for immigrant rights is really important and benefits us all. However, the fight against unions that has been going on for some time has really affected those workers in professions that traditionally have unions. Here’s an article from Alternet talking about this issue: De-Unionization Hurts Women, Especially Latinas

Although women have made many gains since the 1960s, they must still catch up with men when it comes to equal pay and the benefits that generally accompany it, like educational attainment and access to health insurance, paid leave and other benefits. This is particularly true for women of color, who have the highest levels of disparities in income in comparison to men. In 2006, women overall made 77 percent of men’s annual earnings.

Read the rest of this entry »

Everyone needs to read these articles

21 03 2007

A New Era of Slave Catchers

DSS field workers not told of New Bedford Raid, state says

Advocates: Immigrant Raids Tear Apart Families

Families are being separated. Little kids are being taken away from their mothers and fathers. This is inhumane and immoral. I am so stunned by this and so stuck–what the hell can we do? How can we band together as a society and say “This is wrong”? Why are so many people stuck on the stereotype of immigrants (both legal and illegal) as lazy, dirty, unintelligent scum? How the hell does this happen?

Land of the free, my ass.

Boal, pt 2.

26 02 2007

oh, here’s a quick link to a site that contains an overview of Boal’s philosophy:
Theatre of the Oppressed

It’s such a neat idea, really. The theatre geek inside me is giddy with possibility.

Mental Illness in POC and the Poor

9 12 2006

   Besides being interested in feminism and anti-racism, I’ve been a psychology geek for several years now. The other day, i was thinking about how generally screwed-up the mental health system is in America, and how ignored I felt when I was in inpatient care. Then I started thinking about how the politics of race play into this, since I had noticed during my stay at Horsham Clinic how many POC (for future reference, People Of Color) teenagers were there, and more importantly, how many of them were repeat patients. Most of the middle-to-upper class white patients, unless they had severe drug abuse or self-injury issues, got out within a week or two, while everyone poor or POC got stuck in the awful loop of inpatient, outpatient, therapy, out of therapy, crisis, inpatient. I googled “mental illness in minorities” (since google doesn’t seem to recognize the term “POC”) and found several articles that I found of interest. They all confirm my earlier observations: that people of color with mental illness suffer not only from the illnesses, but from the racism, classism, and sexism present in society. According to this link, “Although minorities are just a likely as non-minorities to experience severe mental disorders such as anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, they are far less likely to receive treatment. For instance, the percentage of African Americans receiving needed care is only half that of whites, and 24% of Hispanics with depression and anxiety receive appropriate care compared to 34% of whites with the same diagnosis.” The article talks about how there is a profound lack of research concerning mental illness in POC–what a surprise, considering “white” is the default in American society. Also, if one is uninsured or has a lower income (as some POC do due to racism and lack of good medical infrastructure), they are distinctly less likely to receive the care they need.

Another issue is language barriers. Certain groups of POC are more likely to have learned English as a second language or to not have learned it at all, making it hard for them to go to a doctor and describe what’s wrong with them. Also, with the current anti-immigrant climate in this country, I’d be willing to bet that at least one doctor would harass patients over their English difficulties (hey, my own psychiatrist has been condescending towards me due to my being “overly emotional”).

I was also interested in the rate of mental illness in the homeless and the percentage of the homeless who were POC.  This link, which discusses homelessness in St. Louis, states that around 5 to 10 percent of the homeless population is schizophrenic, and that over the years, the number of homeless minorities has increased dramatically. So, the trifecta of poverty, mental illness, and racism strikes again.

I feel that part of the problem is that it seems as if the pharmaceutical and insurance industries are so tightly woven together, they’ve created the mental health industry, which makes providing care to the mentally ill all about profit. This bothers me deeply, as I feel everyone with a mental illness deserves the proper care and treatment, regardless of economic status. I’m not advocating that every therapist and psychiatrist give their services for free, but it wouldn’t kill anybody to establish a few low-cost mental health clinics in areas of poverty.

I don’t know how much I can do to help level the playing field, but perhaps an awareness campaign can help. Does anyone know of any books or articles about such campaigns?