Comments by Iden Campbell, CPRP

Showing 155 of 155 comments.

  • John, from my understanding the Vets were invited. There are however many Tweets, FB post, and even articles written about White people in particular women disrespecting elders and treating the protest and protectors as somewhat of a vacation and exotics to be with. They have also reported that these same people are taking supplies and doing their fair share of work. This is the issue with many movements when White folks overstepping their boundaries instead of being allies they want to take over.

    If Bernie decides to run in 2020, hopefully, he will implement the lessons he learned in reference to race in this election.

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  • Frank, why is it that you can’t leave this conversation on its original topic. Why are so intent on bringing everything to the table but the topic at hand. You can’t let the Black folks have a discussion without bringing in something to take away from their concerns.

    Everything thrown into the pot except what we really need to be talking about. American slavery had nothing to with biblical slavery. Brother, please get a grip on reality and the history of America.

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  • Whiteness and its survival is the only revolution at hand in America today. Even the Progressive/Liberal/Independent bodies will remain silent at the end of the day. Look at this blog comment feed and see who has over ran it.

    “If it not led by people of color and immigrants, if it doesn’t have fighting racism and xenophobia at its core, and if it is not mobilizing white people to lead other whites to choose multiracial solidarity over fear and hate – then it’s not a revolution.”

    When you’re stuck in mud it’s hard to see what’s keeping you stuck. Whiteness is stuck right now, it is up to the community to get unstuck before they can do anything for anybody else.

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  • Nowhere in this comment did I say I would not stand against the Murphy bill. Go to my profile and you will that I have written about the bill and why I am against it. I am simply stating that if I had the power to stop folks from fighting it I wouldn’t expend my energy there. I would do it against something else I feel is more threatening and a group of people fighting against the bill is no threat to me.

    ”My personal agenda is to ensure I speak for myself first and foremost. I don’t have the power to threaten any anti-Murphy struggle and even if I did that wouldn’t be where I would place my energy. “

    I am going to chalk it up to you needing sleep. Cleary you misread what I wrote or I don’t know the definition of anti.

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  • Richard

    What we are talking about in this blog is the internal systemic racism going on in the mh movements (psych/peer/consumer/MAD). For me especially the structural racism I see in peer-run organizations. The staff and especially the administrative staff. In this case, they are primarily;y responsible for what happens within these movements and space they take up and deny others access to. We are not talking about general society. Only within these movements.

    We should be natural allies, and I’m here for it.

    As far as the movie is concerned I boycotted the movie even though I have waited my entire adult life waiting for this movie only to have it produced by a an unapologetic rapist whose victim later died by suicide caused by the lasting trauma this man and his business partner caused. This would be an interesting topic on race and oppression. That should be written by someone with close familiarity with the subject.

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  • oldhead, you and your tears should take a break. Don’t believe for one minute that I will ever silence my voice because you feel like I am not the voice of millions. As a matter of fact, I am sure that there are millions that feel as I do about White dominant culture in the mental health, psych survivor communities. We all speak differently but rest assured I am not the only Black person that has experienced structural racism within the many movements of peers/consumers/MAD America. No matter how enlightened, Liberal or progressive you think you are you were born and fed racism as your main diet. And you my friend have shown us your wonderful mane of self-denial over the last few days. I greatly appreciate it.

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  • You are one of the founders of the revolution…tell us what happened to it? You sit behind a keyboard with a fake name, no picture and troll post with your obnoxious vitriol. When you are ready to discuss why you feel you are so entitled to be the enlightened voice or why this movement belongs to your demographic only, please move on to a blog that connects more to your rhetoric.

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  • And so the question is still unanswered. I still stand against Murphy, that doesn’t make the question any less valid.

    I know your comprehension is better than this. To think that my asking you a question means that I would in any way not make moves in my best interest.

    “you would nonetheless roll over and accept Murphy’s wrath to “show” those “other” groups not to fuck with you? Pretty petty. Some would call it treacherous. Certainly not how people who pursue unity act.”

    Come on man!

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  • AA

    You are assuming that I am doing what I asked in the question. I have blogs against Murphy, written support letters, and made calls. The question still begs to be answered. This is exactly why Donald Trump is President-elect because so many people had the same question in relation to him or Clinton, which only one candidate answered effectively.

    My question to olhead who keep posting Murphy alerts within this blog’s comments is a valid question. Whether he answers or not there are black/brown/copper toned folks who are making the decision one way or another. Just like White folks who voted against their own interest during the election cycle. It happens.

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  • John Hogget, I appreciate your feedback and lessons learned from your travels. You have made this comment section so much more real.

    As with most social justice movements, the American environmental justice movement was born out of the civil rights movement of the 1960s. The most famous environmentalist in America born to a slave which meant he was a slave was Booker T. Washington. He founded Tuskegee Institute an agriculture college to educate Black students. Today, it is still educating students.

    Most Black environmentalist, myself included are here but as with any movement taken over by the dominant culture we are quickly forgotten as are their achievements.

    White Environmentalist believe we don’t have the skills or knowledge to be valuable to the environmental activism workforce. Too many believe we are too busy being a Black activist to be any other type of activist. Again us not being allowed to be individuals as White society is afforded.

    This also goes for our Native American land protectors

    “Native Americans … disrupted Earth Day proceedings in 1970 to challenge the policymaking process by White environmentalists that left tribes out of decision-making processes related to Indian affairs. Gaylord Nelson, one of the sponsors and key supporters of the event, was greeted by Indian demonstrators who threw garbage on the stage and accused him of sponsoring legislation that would take land away from the Chippewa tribe to facilitate the creation of a national park.”

    As you stated the respective movements are in the same bind. How to unite. However, the one major difference Blacks in the environmental movement have more voice and are therefore heard and seen more. Yet, they are still locked out due to systemic/structural racism. Which White folks are not letting go of any time in this decade at least

    Racism in the food movement

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  • A group of White folks co=opting Dr. King words to fit their reality. How have they actively involved Black folks and other POC other than co-opting words and not being true to Dr. King and his words?

    “There is also the International Association for the Advancement of Creative Maladjustment inspired by something Martin Luther King Jr.”

    I used to believe that these splintered movements could be a civil rights movement, not anymore. It’s too racist, sexist, and whatever other isms you want to throw in there.

    “our civil rights movement from their civil rights movement.”

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  • Frank, you’re still missing the point. If we want to discuss slavery do it right. Knowing that the African slave trade was an aberration that has never been duplicated in history since 1853 when it was officially illegal to own slaves in America is important. Knowing that Africans had descendants that still live in this country that are at best treated as second class citizen 153 later is important. You could never fully understand this as long as you stand on your mountain top trying to find comparisons of every other slave form. There has never in the history of mankind been a slave trade as massive as the African slave trade, there has never been as much wealth accumulated by one country as the African slave did for the American econmomy. The African slave trade created the wealth, the headstart this country has over others, by stripping away the human capital of another continent. It tore families apart for eternity. So I wonder why do you keep trying to find ways to compare other slave trades to what happened to those people? Could it be pure and simple ignorance or something more sinister?

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  • As I asked oldhead earlier I’ll ask you a similar question. What makes you think two Black voices are not enough to be valid. What makes you think you have to hear from millions of us for our voice to be valid? When a White man speaks he is allowed to speak for himself and himself alone. Why are Earl and I not afforded that same right? I can speak for myself her and say that this blog was bout my personal experience and mine alone. Why is that not enough?

    “I certainly don’t agree with everything in these articles. But they make points showing that any given African-American writer may not necessarily speak for most black people (a point Oldhead also made)”

    In this case, I totally agree. But then again this narrative is created by White media who in turn villainize anything black/brown/copper toned. So what point is this proving other than white media and white society make the rules?

    Quote: “The media, which lean overwhelmingly left, and the political fraternity, with its own leftist component, don’t fool around much with narratives that contradict left-wing (aka “progressive”) essentials. Among these essentials: the conviction that American whites, having racked up a record of racial oppression, are due for a comeuppance. On such terms, a dead white cop, shot by an inner-city (or in the Harris County case, a suburban) black man isn’t half so interesting a story as an inner-city black man shot by a white cop.”

    Who were those folks they surveyed I would like to know?

    “(The Rasmussen poll surveyed 1,000 respondents from Aug. 17-18 and has a 3-point margin of error.)”

    Most people don’t know the origin of Black Lives Matter including Black folks. SoI can see this survey being correct from that point of view. If you ask folks who know what it’s origin is you would get a completely different survey response.

    Not once did this article
    link to a BLM website, quote a BLM activist first hand or show written statements from BLM activist asking for the young lady to be removed from her position. Lots of people think that every Black activist is a BLM activist. Certainly not true. It was the student body, is the thinking of the author that the entire Black student body members of BLM? I wonder.

    I say to this quote as many others before me. There was no White Lives matter or All Lives matter until there was Black Lives Matter. More co-optation. When will it stop?

    Quote: “When the phrase “all lives matter” is seen as derogatory, the person holding that view is seriously in need of a course correction. The idea behind the position seems to be that because of victim privilege, only black people have the right to say their lives matter. Everyone else stands on a different moral plane, so that saying that their lives also matter is an affront to the priority that the victim-race must maintain…What about people who see the phrase “black lives matter” as excluding them, as if their non-black lives don’t matter? Do they have moral standing in Shep Smith’s universe? I suspect not, because such people are not anointed with the sacred status of victims.”

    This quote reminds me of these blog comments. It’s like you all are telling the authors that we have no right to express our opinions and your waiting for an apology. I think the wait will be long.

    “Former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley drew criticism for telling a group of Black Lives Matter protestors that “all lives matter” at an event in New Hampshire last month. O’Malley has since apologized for the claim. “That was a mistake on my part and I meant no disrespect,” O’Malley said. “I did not mean to be insensitive in any way or communicate that I did not understand the tremendous passion, commitment and feeling and depth of feeling that all of us should be attaching to this issue.” GOP primary front-runner Donald Trump called O’Malley a “little, weak, pathetic baby” for apologizing.”

    If White folks equate being guilt tripped with having facts explained and shown to then have at it. Let it backfire. One day these same folks will realize that without many of these victim blaming people all of the creature comforts that have will poof disappear. Immigrants do all the dirty jobs Americans won’t. When activist need folks to call the hill to stop a bill remember this quote when those calls don;t get made. We are not our grandparents generation. We are not going to sit idly by anymore and suffer under the foot of systemic oppression believing in promises and poorly written laws. Either we learn together or we go down in flames together. Having White folks angry at me does not scare me.

    “that whites do not like to be relentlessly guilt-tripped and have reparative behavior prescribed, and that overfocusing on how one is oppressed and victimized may backfire.”

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  • Fred Abbe,

    Considering your history and I was in awe reading it you would think your experiences would be more akin to the Jewish people and the holocaust atrocities. That you would use your families anguish and their language instead of my African ancestors and culture. As a converted Jew, I would never co-opt the horror and pain and suffering my brothers and sisters went through in the holocaust to explain the horror I’ve gone through in forced treatment and systemic racism in this country. It would never cross my mind to do that.

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  • Hi Nomadic, it’s been a long time. I hope you are well.

    I totally agree on this point “So we need to organize and fight back”

    I take issue with using Uncle Tom…”and the most important component of this is that we refuse to be Uncle Tom’s” the definition of an Uncle Tom is “a black man considered to be excessively obedient or servile.” Are you asking Black men specifically to not be Uncle Tom’s?

    I always thought most folks on MIA were anti this “The Therapy, Recovery, and Healing Movement, which is strong here on Mad In America, is sickening.”

    Thanks for commenting on the blog.

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  • Thank you for that outsider peek into our society. As seen recently in the SC shooting of Walter Scott the officer will walk free because of a holdout juror. The video clearly shows the man being shot dead while sprinting from a cop standing in full shooting pose. Just like I was taught to shoot any running inmate in a prison yard trying to escape. Yet we have a large portion of White America who sees any Black man as a criminal and one that cold be dead within a moments notice.

    How can women effectively work together and unite? How can Black folks unite? And so forth. The marginalized have to unite within themselves before they can roll into one united ball. Or will implode from within.

    The aboriginal people have suffered a great deal as well. The question I have always wanted to ask the world is why is the Black/Brown/Copper skin viewed with such hatred? It’s worldwide so there has to be something to it. Something more than just ‘I’m superior to you.’

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  • Who said I was a slave survivor? That’s your claim since you like to conflate slavery and psych disorders. I’ve never experienced slavery and would never want to. It seems some folks/White to be exact like to co-opt those experiences for themselves. You can have at it if it makes you feel better to continue to trample on dead folks pain. It will never be yours, though, never. You will always be a pretender to the legacy of slaves, their heroism and bravery is something that a thief can never obtain.

    Just for context slavery ended 153 years ago here in America. That means I am 7-8 generations removed from slavery on my maternal side and 9-10 generations on my paternal side from Antigua. In modern history 153 years ago is not that long ago.

    And if you want to hear from slaves take a look here for their narratives so that you can co-opt more of their lives. Here them in their own voices 100-year-old men and women talking about the horrors they experienced in a land that they would never feel at home in.

    Also for you Frank.

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  • Thank you, John!
    “I echo a comment from one of the authors: how many black people and people of colour would feel welcome at MIA pages after reading these comments? The tone was overwhelmingly, “We do not want these debates here.” They were not, “How do we use these ideas, whether we agree or disagree with parts of the blog, to build a stronger movement?”

    If we could get these type of questions imagine the ideas and movement we could possibly garner. We can strive for that. This movement the many movements within it are stagnant mainly because so many folks feel disenfranchised from it, especially POC.

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  • Thank you, Richard. You made a good point and I will be writing on this specifically “You, and others have NOT made a convincing enough argument for why this analogy should be avoided.”

    Just to set the record straight I am not one for identity or respectability politics. I speak for myself and no one else. The question to Oldhead was serious…why should a group of marginalized folks stand on the frontlines for another group of marginalized folks that have systemically oppressed them?

    By systemic I mean there are few Blacks or other POC working at any of the national TA centers, statewide peer organizations, working in other local peer orgs., or sitting on boards of directors, and committees. We just in the last few years have been seeing POC’s keynoting at Alt. And there is still Inaps who I think might not even know a POC. Years after year their keynotes are White men over 55.

    Having one or two POC here and there means nada. The organizations should represent those that they serve. And people should not be emailing Black folks if they would be the POC representation on boards etc. That’s classic tokenism. No one can unite under those conditions unless the give up their souls and 99.9% of the Blacks I know are just not down for that.

    I have not read your blogs and will do so to familiarize myself with your work. It is nice to me you and I look forward to having many more discussions with you.

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  • The key word here is ‘most white people” that stills leave’s us with hundreds of millions of White people just in America alone with enough power to continue to systemically oppress POC. Until the other half of those “most White people” stand up to the system there will be no uniting. It’s not up to Blacks to end the system even though we are the ones who fight the most against it. We have laid the modern day framework for resistance. Yet, here is an 85-year-old woman who benefited from the very system she is telling us to unite against without first trying to discuss the racial divide. How can people unite when there is distrust, real distrust, and real divide even amongst the poorest of us? Or is it true that facts no longer matter in this America?

    “I think that intersectionality is a word that academia uses in order to draw the lifeblood out of the struggles to destroy the power relations among us. To overcome those divisions is really to win against capitalism…”

    Intersectionality was a term coined by Kimberle’ Crenshaw in 1989 (Black woman) she recognized that struggles intersected ith each other and that we should be discussing those struggles even though separately knowing that they linked back together. For someone fighting the psych struggle and not acknowledging intersectionality is like denying that psych drugs don’t lead to obesity, hypertension, and diabetes. Those are intersections.

    Unity cannot happen at least in this country until those some white folks stop being afraid of their own shadows and start waking up to what discussions around privilege, oppression, systemic oppression mean to the hundreds of millions of folks voicing concerns about them. Like when are we going to be acknowledged as telling the truth instead of someone shouting out stop lying all the time? When?

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  • In the next lifetime when you are a different person who may be a descendant of a slave let’s talk about the differences of freedoms. I am sure if I was a white-passing person who hasn’t had to live under generations of trauma from slavery I would be speechifying and co-opting others pain too.

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  • You’re still comparing slavery and psychiatry. I’m not for that discussion. And yes you are in the MH movement, a splintered group of a larger group. You might not want to admit but you are. Any job, any protest you participate in is a direct result of the MH movement at large.

    Were you one of the first attendees at Alternatives? Do you protest and march with folks who say they are in recovery, MAD, psych survivor? If so you are involved in the movement, a splintered group but nonetheless the movement.

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  • Matt, DC has also become a city divided not only by race but by income and education. Which gives folks less of a chance to break down those stereotypes. As they like to call these urban areas the coastal elites. They forget the new carpet baggers are coming from the red states and bringing all of the preconceived notions of all POC with them. Which is not a good thing.

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  • Hi, Matt. I actually lived in the town Occoquan for about 2 1/2 years in the early 90’s. As you can imagine I was one a few Black faces in town. I also lived in the Appalachian Mountains for about 5 years in the mid 90’s. I was the only Black person in my town of Crossnore, NC. It does help to be exposed to different cultures, ethnicities etc. in order for bias, prejudices and racism to be broken down.

    I am a resident of SE/Ward 8/Anacostia/East of The River in DC which I fast becoming another area for gentrification but mostly Black for now. I find myself still in man instances one of the only in many groups I mingle with. And I find if I feel even the least bit unsafe or uncomfortable I will not discuss many topics that deal with any of the isms, oppression etc.

    I have heard that from many of my friends and associates as well. People talk about creating safe space a lot in DC in reality, there aren’t many, especially online. And sometimes I step out on faith and speak the truth.

    College degrees may help folks feel less of the need to talk in public about race, I assure the conversations are being had in private in safer space with folks that look like them. here codes, unspoken codes in all communities. And Black folks just like any of group of folks have learned to look at body language and speech to know we are safe around. I don’t know you and I’m sure that folks just meeting you at a meetup up are not going to open up to you about racism without getting a good feel for you. I’m happy to see you have some insight into your personal history and will continue to grow in that.

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  • humanbeing, poor people are given the short end of the stick. There is no doubt in that. There is also nothing wrong with having a conversation about racism and Black folks feeling about racism. These are two different conversations that intersect.

    It seems that folks want to put the buggy before the horse. Before we can become one united human race we need to discuss the intersections of the human race. We are not magically going to become without dealing with internal problems. And it’s okay to discuss those problems separately because they are separate. There are poor Black folks just as there are poor white folks. The needs are different and the same on some levels. When we become unafraid to discuss those points then we move closer to being united.

    Until then there is no need for me to dig my head in the sand and pretend we are a post-racial society. If we were I wouldn’t have White ran orgs. emailing me to be a POC on their board or committee or if not could I refer another POC.

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  • I might have this deleted later by MIA, but yes, you have been mean spitied in your responses to myself and other blog posters. That is my personal experience, others may have a different opinion. Does that justify you in not wanting to respond to me? I’ll wait for your answer.

    Black folks are not monolithic. The White establishment has made it seem as if we are. I’ve been asked by many organizations to be the POC on their board or committee. That is making me a monolithic voice. White orgs do this daily in 2016 not 1916.

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  • Frank, the term was created to keep their property in line. If you have examples of modern psychiatry doing the following please share;

    1) Raping the women to create new property
    2) Raping men to break them down in front of their family
    3) Cutting the foot off to keep you from running
    4) Seling your children for profit
    5) Creating multi-million and multi-billion dollar industry off of free labor
    6) Taking you away from your homeland, forcing you to learn a new language, therefore denying future generations of knowing their culture, language, and history

    Please those facts here I would love to see them. There is something in the water that keeps a group of individuals wanting to steal even the worse of a people’s history. And that is frankly what you are doing to those who were slaves, stealing their pain and suffering and co-opting it as your own instead of creating new language to describe your suffering and pain.

    This is probably one of the main reasons the mh movements have never been taken seriously outside of itself and those who see dollar signs. It’s not original, never has been genuine, and feeds off the suffering of others.

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  • Anyone that has been in any part of the mental community whether they are called psych survivors/consumers/MAD/peers know there is racism, oppression, and sexism. I could go on with isms. I have written several blogs on this and speak about it on my FB as well. There is nothing new here, we just decided to write it as a team this time.

    Black folks in this country that are descendants of slaves have fought for centuries in multiple ways to become citizens who are treated equally. There are lots of folks who feel as Earl and I do. For whatever reasons they are silent. For the large part if a Black person in this movement is not discussing race or oppression with you means several things, but most importantly know this. They do not trust you enough to have the discussion.

    Black folks have a unique history in this country. Our ancestors were slaves in this foreign land, forced to learn a new language, forced to have children by their rapist owners, forced to work free for their lifetimes, had a mental illness created just for them (Drapetomia), and were eventually so called freed to a country that hated them. They were freed without a dime in their pockets, no homes, no transportation, or education and only the clothing on their backs. We all know if we are true to history the hell they went through right after slavery. The systemic oppressions that were created to keep them in place.

    And now 150+ years later here we are having this discussion with White folks still gaslighting us for telling the truth.

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  • Do you know the history of Alternatives? From what I have researched and discussed with folks it was a conference started by several folks within these movements that make up psych survivors/peers/consumers. Many of them running organizations today that supposedly speak for the masses. That meet with SAMSHA and local government organizations, and on the Hill representing the movements.

    When you have 500+ individuals from almost every state and territory going to a national conference espousing mental health, recovery, peer support etc. and the majority of those folks are White or White passing, executive directors or working in the field of peer support I assume it has a lot to do with the movement.

    If it was created to sabotage the movement where are the folks that helped usher in the conference going to be held accountable? You would rather trash individual folks voicing concern about one of the many issues within these movements than to step to other White men or White women with privilege and ask them why do they continuing to sabotage a supposedly humane movement.

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  • From my experience Old Head there are Black that I know personally who are afraid to lose jobs, contracts, and social capital and choose not to speak about racism. Then there are those like me, a handful that will speak about it and get pretentious replies like this.

    “But this blog shuts down such discussion and trivializes the matter”
    “rather than the thoughts of several Black individuals”

    Is this entire blog so foul that there is no way for you to have a discussion with folks who are expressing concerns?

    Why do you need several Black voices for this to be valid? Do you know we are not monolithic?

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  • Matt, we are well within our rights to feel how we feel about certain experiences. And those that we express those feelings too are within their rights to acknowledge or not acknowledge those feelings.

    White folks have no greater knowledge or lived experience as to what should and should not offend me. Regardless of how calmly you wrote your response it still comes off as condescending.

    Take a look at the article posted below. You so eloquently displayed all of the symptoms noted in this article. There is also a link to mansplaining another thing that you have shown greatness in while conversing with Sera today.

    I appreciate your comments and suggestions as to how I should go about living as a Black man. I mean your experience walking in those shoes are well noted.

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  • We are not talking about or comparing African slavery in America to any other slave trade or period. That is why these conversations get thrown off point. Africans enslaved here in America had offspring that are still here. I’m one of them and the treatment I have received in the mental health system could never if I lived 100 years be compared to what my ancestors went through on American soil as slaves. Never.

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  • “To be honest I don’t see why this movement being majority white is such a problem in and of itself.”

    Why should I be okay being part of the most diagnosed group of people be okay with a majority of White folks advocating for my well-being, treatment and access to services when they have no clue as to my environment, cultural needs and family life.

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  • Thank you, Stephen. I appreciate your honesty about being able to pass. I knew of Blacks folks passing when I grew up and one of the most salacious tales of one passing is the J. Edgar Hoover story. Older folks in DC talk of his passing and the fear he put in folks to keep quiet.

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  • Sometimes folks latch onto an idea because it speaks to something deep within. Even though they may know the issue has serious concerns from others the only thing that matters is that the concept meets their reality. These movements within the MH, psych survivors etc, have shown this to be the case time and time again. No other voice is to be taken seriously if that voice is not white, old, and seemingly healthy emotionally and mentally. What a shame this was supposed to be a revolutionary movement.

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  • Divide and conquer has been around since the beginning of time. The difference here is that whenever divide and conquer is used as a tactic in he Black community our allies are able to go back to their way of lie and possibly become our next oppressor. During slavery this tactic was used successfully for one main reason Black folks can never (even if we wanted to) assimilate into white culture our skin color simply won’t allow it. The Irish indentured slaves were able to do that sand therefore effectively became another group that became oppressors. So, yes we are weary because we know and remember history. When a group of folks are offered power it’s rarely turned away.

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  • Can you give me some examples of communism in the Black community in 2016?

    “Who is selling communism to the black community?”

    Are you saying Russia is behind the recent protest and uprisings in the Black community?

    And is an uprising and protest of the military state communistic?

    Rising up against your oppressor has always been in the Africans blood, from the United States to the Carribean.

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  • I don’t think anti-racism is about politics. The reason we can’t get in front of this dog is because we want politics, and legislation to change peoples minds and hearts. It won’t happen.

    I have personally asked some white folks to speak out and do more than share articles on FB,or retweet on Twitter. If a white person is coming from an open heart and willing o accept what may come from the Black community in reference to their article, bog or whatever then I applaud them for stepping up.

    Endorsing on the other hand no. Not unless you are specifically asked by a Black group or Black folks to endorse a movement. Black folks are not puppets or children that need the affection of our oppressor or their children.
    You actually sound like one of those white folks right here. “Actually there is a focused and substantive discussion of some of these issues in Will Hall’s blog you might want to join” Trust me if I wanted to join the discussion I would have.

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  • My words
    “We need to see and hear more speakers that look like us at conferences and on committees. When we see ourselves and when others see and hear us, minds and values change”

    When people see themselves they tend to respond in positive. When people don’t see themselves sometimes its turned inward and becomes self hate, low self esteem etc. This goes for all groups. Women, LGBT, Black, and other ethnic minorities. White has been the default skin color for far to long in this country.
    When people saw that LGBT folks had long term relationships some spanning two and three decades they saw this as a oh, their like me. This helped win the marriage debate in public an with the SCOTUS.

    Your words
    “This statement unfortunately borders on espousing tokenism. Where I live, “people who look like us” is a pejorative phrase used by many Black people to describe opportunistic Black politicians and the like who “front” for the oppressor by lending out their skin tone to promote racist policies.”

    All communities are different. What happens in your community doesn’t necessarily happen in mine.

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  • Thanks, for reading CatNight!

    Privilege folks are human and those of us who do not come from privileged backgrounds ask to be treated with respect. That is a very basic first step. For white folks, I suggest taking an Undoing Racism course For all others volunteer in underserved communities, schools, recovery centers etc. Human connection is the cure for most ills.

    Lastly take an organizing workshop conducted by local community leaders from those underserved communities.

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  • Give me a new hashtag and I can tweet it! I have made calls, written blogs and hosted meetings around Murphy. The organization has not been consistent nor involved enough on a grass roots level. Those that want Murphy defeated need to organize on a local level and get folks from many communities involved. Right now most of the folks I know don’t understand the Murphy bill nor the implications. There needs to be more edication a grassroots level.

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  • Oldhead, I said what I had to say to you. From my conversations with you on another blog. I have no time for folks like you. Your view on politics are yours, your definitions of politicians and their views are yours. You will never change my view and I am not trying to change yours. This blog is my personal view point from personal lived experience. If you don’t like it don’t read or comment on it.

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  • Indeed! I totally believe we can shift the focus in this country to focus more on well-being if we can shift it within the community first.

    The splintered groups have to come together somehow and be willing to be more involved with each others planning processes, we have to be constantly moving and evolving to get there. Which I’m totally okay with.

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  • Thanks, Alex!

    We all have work to do. I certainly have lots of work to do around race and misogyny. Being open and willing to grow will get us to where we need to be. There are many hateful things happening within the MH communitiy, But I also know personally of some really amazing and wonderful people who are willing to change and are doing the work to change the way we treat each other.

    We as a community with many sub-groups within have to challenge ourselves to stretch and grow to meet these challenges. The folks I consider revolutionary that are looking at new ways to create a loving community have my admiration and love.

    William Kellibrew and Leah Harris and their work around Trauma, Lauren Spiro and her self reflective work around Trauma, self-love and healing, and Sharon Khuen and her work around sirituality and the Work that reconnects, and Sera Davidow powerful blogs that continue to wake up many folks. These are just a few of the people who are living the future now.

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  • Thanks for reading the blog, J.

    I have not seen the post he made on Facebook. This blog was written without knowledge of that post. It is not my intention to shame this person, I do however want to point out as I have on some my other blogs that racism and misogyny are very prevalent in the MH communities and we have folks who are hurting because of them. We also have fresh wounds to help heal because many folks have seen the video, also worked with this man and were friends with him for decades.

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  • There are many definitions and groups within this movement. I can talk to 5 different folks at a conference and they will all have different language and definitions depending on the region and group of folks they associate with. I used the word that I am familiar with and I assume you are doing the same.

    You say anti, I say mental health.

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  • Your impression of hostility is just that…your impression. You are free to ask me if I was being hostile in my reply and I will gladly respond.

    Being the first isn’t always an individual goal unless one states such. Being first in many cases for Black folks means breaking down doors, ceilings and walls that systemic oppression has built.

    As far as political prisoners are concerned I don’t know of any folks that are political prisoners from the MH communities. If I am wrong please provide links so that I may learn about them. Otherwise this blog is not in relation to the prison industrial complex or political prisoners or exiles.

    I know what revolution is. I’ve lived it, I have family members that were a part of the Black Panther Party in NYC, SNCC. I grew up around revolutionaries.

    My people period are revolutionaries. Think of all the benefits you have because of the civil rights movement.

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  • Nice try.

    “The Black Lives Matter movement arose from the realisation that working in partnerships with whites just got them nowhere. Our lot can’t be trusted. Soon as hands start being offered everything starts to get filtered down and things don’t change or get worse. The Black Lives Matter movement is a political slogan that challenges you to admit to why racism is perpetuated.”

    It is always best to get it from the horses mouth as to why they created something.

    “So she composed a love note to black people on Facebook, urging them to come together to ensure “that black lives matter.”

    “Her friend, Patrisse Cullors, a community organizer from Los Angeles, spotted the Facebook post and put a hashtag in front of those three words. #BlackLivesMatter was born.”

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  • “I’m also tired of hearing people talk about “revolution” when they don’t really have a viable explanation of what they mean by this. Ms. Chisolm, for example, is an admirable person but she is not a revolutionary.”

    When you become the first of anything let me know. Revolutionary is stepping up to be the first when others have been afraid or have told you to wait your turn.

    I’m revolutionary…I’ve been many a first.

    “Black and other disenfranchised people need “better mental health services.”
    We need equitable care without racism being part of the equation.

    From your responses on my other blogs you are surely one of those I seek to out.

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  • rasselas.redux, this blog isn’t about #BlackLivesMatter nor did I mention BLM.

    “All you have listed you should have been doing anyway, prior to the Black Lives Matter movement even existing.”

    What makes you think I haven’t?

    “There is nothing racist in insistenting that All Lives Matter. That’s inclusive. That includes all marginalised and discriminated against groups and individuals. A lot of the rhetroic comes across to me as overly emotive and maye even a little bit emotionally blackmailing.”

    If #AllLivesMattered why wasn’t this being said before Alicia Garza created the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter?

    There is no need to emotionally blackmail you with the truth.

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  • Most can do this without cost to themselves personally or professionally. The question is are you willing to do it?

    “When you see it interrupt it and correct it. If you don’t feel like you can at the time then do the work (internal and with other white people) so you can take steps towards ending racism in your life time.”

    Thanks Lauren!

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  • This person isn’t being made a scapegoat. The video is just one of the many daily insults that Blacks and other POC encounter within the MH community on a personal and professional level.

    Many people don’t speak our for fear of losing income, friends, access to support, and housing. You know why folks don’t speak out, I shouldn’t have to explain this to anyone.

    Maintaining professional silence is a must in this community if you want work, invitation to speaking engagements etc. I know of many people who sit silent with pain, humiliation, and trauma due to sexism, racism, and misogony within the MH movement.

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  • The video was just one catalyst. Having worked in the field of MH recovery since 2002 I am simply tired of moving within a mirage of justice. I deserve better and so do the many women that face misogyny on a daily basis at work, conferences and other public events.

    Of course there was a beginning before the person started recording, and I am certain we would have seen more of the same behavior at the begining.

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  • Circa, I believe it very important that we as a movement find language that model our beliefs, pain, and trauma. With that said any language that play off slavery and the lynching movement in America is very harmful and not Trauma-Informed. We are a healing community and it is important for all of us to realize how words play into furthering the pain that many have forced to endure.

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  • Yes, supporting one another is a must. If you have financial capability buy Mad products and other artist and small business owners products in our community. Learning communities are one way to go to keep us focused and turn these moments into support groups. It is hard to stay focused when you have people coming to strategic planning meetings to share their stories but if we are to survive and be sustainable we have to work with these individuals and let them know that this meeting is for planning and the support groups are on another day. Of course do it in a mindful way that respects the person and the space you are in. We fight the stigma, discrimination and all the other abuses as we have been and by becoming more focused and by being civilly disobedient. It’s coming!

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  • Wow Jonathan, thanks for writing this. I haven’t been on meds for 6 years now and fortunately I did not experience the nightmare withdrawals I have heard about and what I have read here today. As a kid my first medication was being restrained, then I was put on Prozac in my late 20’s which quickly escalated to Seroquel, Trazodone, Geoadon, Rozerem and Concerta. I was a walking zombie, I took the Seroquel after 6pm I could not get up in the morning to go to work. I was constantly arguing with my supervisor about being late until one day he gave me the ultimatum to quit or be fired. Of course I quilt. These drugs do kill and maime make no mistake about it, it seems they were designed to do just that. I was able to get off these medications after a week long retreat at Stone House in Mebane NC I spent a week there meditation, doing yoga and having body work done. It was my first time receiving a massage. Along with that massage I had a special treatment done called Cranial Sacral, it was performed on the base of my skull. When I woke up the next morning the swelling in my brain had disappeared along with the fogginess and dizziness. It was an absolutely amazing feeling to have that experience. Today I maintain my wellness with talk therapy, yoga, meditation, acupuncture and massage therapy and a day of silence (Monday’s). I know not everyone can be as fortunate and I am grateful that I did not experience the terrible side effects of my tapering after I cam back from my retreat. It’s not easy at times as I still feel suicidal, depressed and people find my personality difficult to handle most times. But I would rather feel it all than be a zombie.

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  • Hi Joe, I did some research and you are correct on the campaigns 10×10 and What A Difference disappearing. The 10×10 campaign has been rolled over into the Promote Acceptance Campaign
    and the What A Difference is now in archives at Unfortunately I can’t give you much more than that as I don’t know much about either campaign. I did promote the What A Difference campaign as recently as last Fall but did not about it’s disappearance until reading your post.
    SAMSHA promotes bit ticket items that I think are place holders for us in recovery to pick up and run with. In that instance we are to create the change using their suggestions but also to create unique ways to use it in our communities. We can’t keep having meetings and expect change to come from a meeting if we are not creating deliverable that will show how to create change and identify change. Is it SAMSHA’s fault or the recovery community fault that we don’t see change with the transformation grants or the networking grants? I would say the blame can go to us all. We have a fallen for the old meeting trap and support group trap, thinking that’s all we need to do. Offer people a meeting and they will have discussion and go out and create change. It doesn’t work like that, we have to look at individual communities and the cultures those communities have and create change locally not globally. We are too different to fit the same shoe. Those campaigns were good campaigns but they were not used effectively by our community or SAMSHA. Let’s stop thinking the same and doing the same old thing. To create effective and long lasting change we use the tools given us but shape them to our circumstances. I think Robert Whitaker will have some good measures in 10 years if we wake up.

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  • And I see the CEO has received a fortune 500 salary as well. “Alan Miller, chairman and CEO of Universal Health Services, reported total compensation of $11.7 million for the 2012.” Treatment hospitals and centers that are for profit should all be suspect just as for profit prisons. They abuse, murder and cripple people and hardly any governmental oversight, local or federal. And it’s a shame most cities, including the district of Columbia send our so called ‘Emotionally Disturbed’ children away to these hospitals for special treatment they can’t get at home. Like this survivor of the Rotenburg Center
    If you have access in your community to free alternative treatment please take advantage of it as well as meditation and yoga. It has done my body right.
    We have to bring it home to the community, we need to wake up individually and see what is happening to our neighbors, our loved ones and friends. We can’t keep sleep walking and pretending everything is fine as long as we are not the ones involved in a mental health crisis. Continue speaking out and being a voice for those who cannot speak for themselves.

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  • Thanks Jonathan, I’m thrilled that I did, the conversation has been great. As a trans man it has been an up hill battle to get my community to see that there is an epidemic in our community. Forced treatment, discrimination, homelessness, addiction, suicide and mental health issues. In no particular order of importance. We are slowly waking up after the 2010-2011 national study of over 6,500 trans/genderqueer individuals which showed that our suicide attempts are higher than the general population, our addiction and mental health issues are very high. Mostly due to medical/social service providers discrimination on all levels and the fear of seeking treatment. We are between a rock and hard place as a community. The DSM-V creates a situation where we have to prove we are not crazy in order to transition but yet it’s consider a disorder. Which is it? Is it a disorder that needs treatment or is it not? They can’t make up their minds. So were are forced to basically lie and say we have never felt suicidal or depressed in the wrong bodies so please give me those hormone shots!
    I will never forget one of my wake up calls to action around medication and what it does to our bodies. I was in an ER in Manhattan and the doctor treating me asked me out of the blue how did I feel taking Prozac and did it decrease my libido. I told very frankly that I was no longer able to have orgasms no matter how long I had sex. He looked me dead in the eye and said “look your too young not to be enjoying sex, you have options and you can tell your doctor you want to look at other treatment options”. He opened my eyes, I went home and started doing research on the web and haven’t looked back since. I don’t take a vitamin without research!
    Your right when you say we need to create change city by city and community by community. Massive federal change can’t create community but at a local level we can do so much more. Look at what Phoenix is doing with its campaign to end homelessness, on a local community level.

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  • Copy_cat, unfortunately this is normal in our communities. Recovery treatment centers have built in turnstiles and people seem to go through the revolving doors rapidly. The system is changing to a pay for success kind of system so that means these treatment centers that keep sending people back out through the revolving door won’t be getting paid to keep doing that. Will it work? We will have to wait and see but I think it will be better then this current system we have. I’m saddened when I hear stories like your friends story, no one should have to go through the cycle like tat if they are actively seeking treatment. Do you know if you have ACT Teams and Housing First in your community? If so you may want to try to link him up with them. Families need real support to and not just the kind that say your child has a brain disease. They need community support like when a family member has cancer and the community rallies around the family and cook meals and run errands and help with doctor appointments. It’s all abut community action at this point people need to wake up.

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  • Awesome! Yes, be creative as you want, try to stay as pure as possible, raise money with other parents, open micro-enterprises and maybe even throw in a Kickstarter campaign. All things I am working on now. The Soteria model is amazing as well as Housing First. The one draw back with some Housing First models is that they require individuals to have Social Security benefits, which to me says we know you will be in this program forever. As Christy Respress, Pathways to Housing DC told me recently Housing First is not for everyone so we must be creative and find what fits each community. If you can do Housing First and invite those with earned income in that would be amazing. I know a lot of folks who are able to work but find it hard to maintain housing, I am one of those people. For a myriad of reasons our executive functioning just doesn’t function when it comes to housing and how to maintain it. I definitely prefer not to shut down the hospitals before we have alternatives in place. I don’t want to add to the homeless population in any city. I just don’t get why schools would push drugs onto a young person, especially one in school. So many schools recently have been expelling student after suicide attempts and mental health breaks. This is when the school should be supporting them the most. Good luck and keep me posted!

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  • larmac, thank you for your kind words. Your son is blessed to have a parent stand with him and I am happy to see you here sharing and being involved in conversations that can lead to solutions. Your son is young and he has the opportunity to have a family and lead the life he chooses in way past generations didn’t have. Let me know if I can support you in anyway. I just might make it to that next hearing.

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  • wileywitch, having an apartment, room or house is the best thing a person having a mental health break can have. Preferably with someone to come home to and support them. I have been homeless more times than I care to count and each time was due to me losing a job after a break, Luckily most times I had an automobile but I was still terrified on more than one occasion living in a shelter but still on the streets. Thank you for reviewing my first blog and offering inspiration!

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  • Donna, right now the most successful program I know of is Pathways to Housing, they now have programs in NYC, DC, Philadelphia and Vermont. Dr. Sam Tsemberis is the creator of the Housing First Concept. They are all vested in peer support and peer health workers. Pathways DC played a huge part in The Campbell Center start-up.

    There are other programs that are ran by peer organizations that provide housing in upstate New York, Montgomery County MD and NYC. I can’t find the links to these programs but I will ask Leah Harris for the info and pass it on to you. Also Miriam’s Kitchen in DC just launched a movement in DC called The Way Home Campaign.

    The Campbell Center along with about 50 other community agencies are meeting regularly, providing testimony to the city council and working with housing developers to help end homelessness in DC. I think we ourselves have to find a way to create housing options that are open to providing housing to those that are traditionally underserved by medication peddling providers.

    Thank you for your kind words and reviewing my first blog!

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  • The movement of recovery is made up of people who have been through similar circumstances as Kate’s daughter and I am sure they have family members who have went through what Kate speaks on. Why can’t we all do this together? We in the movement know what it’s like firsthand to be a family member in distress, let’s talk about this more, bring it home with that connection.

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