Violence is a Community Health Issue Pt. II: The Problem is Not Out There It is in Here

America was founded on violence. Lest we forget; there were an estimated 10 to 18 million indigenous people here when Columbus arrived- ninety eight percent of whom no longer exist. From the 16th to the 19th centuries, an estimated 12 million Africans were shipped as slaves to the Americas.  By the 1860 United States Census, the slave population in the United States was four million. This was followed by the race wars against Black Americans ranging from 1880 way up into the 1950’s, where Blacks were killed on a daily basis.  Violence is not new to our country.

United States military expenditures make up 58 percent of the military expenditures made by the top 10 military powers. The United States has the highest rate of gun ownership, gun homicide rate, and total firearms-related deaths, including suicides and accidents, in the world.  Guns are big business.

The current debate for and against tougher gun control laws, licensing, and manufacturing; has thrown a spotlight on the significant amount of money invested in gun manufactures with the $150-billon dollar state controlled retirement funds. Some of the biggest gun makers in the nation are owned by private equity funds run by Wall Street titans – $1.2 billion dollars in hedge funds.  $11 to $18 million dollars of NYC pension retirement funds are invested in gun manufactures. The problem is not out there it is in here.

We started a war on drugs and, as a result of this war, a half million, mostly Black men, are in jail on minor drug charges who did not kill anyone. The school principals, social workers, parents, politicians and teachers who are worrying about street drugs and pushers infiltrating our schools and exposing our children, should instead be worrying about the increasing number of public schools that are making the school nurse an active participant in children’s medicine by dispensing legal drugs: Legal drugs that contribute to violence.

In every case of mass shooting in the past few decades, from Columbine, to Virginia Tech, to the Aurora Movie theater to Newtown; the killers were later found to be taking legal, medical doctor prescribed, pharmaceutical, mind-altering, prescription drugs. Big trillion-dollar gun drugs that we quietly move to the side while we focus on gun control, and criminal background checks. None of these shooters would turn up in a criminal background check.

Medical doctors treated every single one of shooters with numerous mind-altering or mood-altering drugs for things like depression, hyperactivity, ADD, ADHD, Bipolar Syndrome and other new diseases. Drugs that come with a Black Box Warning, the most serious and highest level of warning demanded by the FDA stating: “These drugs may increase the risk of suicidal thinking and suicidal behavior in children and young adults.” Not only may they increase risk of suicidal behavior but they do and they did.

We are a culture that is comfortable with violence. Violence is an American reality. We expect it. We see nothing wrong with it. It is who we are.  We carry out this violence, against the planet, against animals, we pollute the waters; we poison the air and burn down the trees. We rape the land of its value and then create genetically modified foods. And we, the people, act as in a hypnotic trance – bamboozled. Lost.

Allow yourself to consider this insanity. We continue the violence by waging war against ourselves. We stuff our bodies with ever bigger portions of all kinds of over processed, dead devitalized foods, thereby becoming the fattest and sickest of any wealthy nation on the planet. Our adolescents die at higher rates of sexually transmitted infections and we have the highest incidence of AIDS, diabetes, chronic lung disease, heart disease and drug-related deaths.

It’s time we woke up to the epidemic that is sweeping our nation. We subject our children to a culture dominated by fear, “if you see something, say something.” We create video games where you “win” by killing the greatest number people; movies where violence is the norm; and then we wonder what happened.

The problem is not out there it’s in here.

Too many parents are distracted, too many single mothers and fathers don’t have the education and support they need. Too many adults have not healed their own wounds and so they pass their damage on to their children like karmic sludge.

We need to take a good hard look at our priorities.  We can start by looking at all the prescription drugs, many of which are being begged for by parents, and teachers to numb the minds of unruly kids; and then prescribed by medical doctors, to see what role this plays in causing these slaughters of the innocent. We also have to look at the pharmaceutical drugs the parents took before and during pregnancy.

We are impacting our children, every last one of us, the adults who are supposedly supervising, the parents, the principals, the social workers, the teachers and the medical doctors prescribing the drugs known to cause suicidal behavior and violent incidents.

We have to look at the huge surge in sugar and artificial everything, as well as the serious lack of nutrition and exercise in our kids’ lives. We have to look at childhood vaccinations. In 1983, only seven vaccinations were suggested for kids. Thirty years later, in 2012, medical authorities now suggest SIXTY childhood vaccinations. This 2012, 60-vaccination schedule put out by the federal government’s Center for Disease Control is approved and endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatric Physicians, The American Academy of Family Physicians and the Department of Health and Human Services. Our children don’t have a fighting chance!

If we want to make an impact and not have our children die in vain, then we have to wake up, get off the gun wagon bandwagon, and step up to the reality of what is going on in our minds, our homes, and our communities that is rooted in imbalance.

We have to change from an insurance-based health care system, to one closer to those that provide universal access to health care. Any mention of “socialized medicine” is a bad word in some circles, but is a winning solution in those countries that have it. The over abundance of high-fructose corn syrup is a business decision of the food industry. Evidence regarding global warming must be taken seriously. We fund war and argue about cuts to education, transportation, social services and health. We ignore the fact that 75% of the wealth of this nation is owned by 10% of the people while at the same time almost the same amount, (3,500,000 people, 1 in 50 of whom are children) experience homelessness in America.  Yes, the problem is in here, and nothing less that a revolution will bring about the necessary change – a revolution that will not be televised – a revolution of the mind.

This change can only come with a revolution of our minds about what we think, what we want and how we behave – and it must connect to the spirit.  We have to pay attention to each other. Change must come from within the individual, the home and the extended family. Change then must extend to the neighborhood and the community.  We have to take non-institutional action about the state of disconnectedness in our country and commit to healing on an individual and community and national basis.

 

 

 

Harlem

BY LANGSTON HUGHES

What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up

like a raisin in the sun?

Or fester like a sore—

And then run?

Does it stink like rotten meat?

Or crust and sugar over—

like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags

like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?

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