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AARP and NNPA Join Forces for Riveting Webinar on Saving Black Lives During COVID-19 Pandemic

NNPA NEWSWIRE — Jointly hosted by NNPA President and CEO Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr., and AARP Vice President of Multicultural Leadership, Shani Hosten, the live program also marked the first appearance by renowned infectious disease expert and Meharry Medical College President Dr. James Hildreth as a member of the NNPA Coronavirus Task Force and Resource Center.

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“AARP community connections have mutual aid and support groups where they might help with grocery shopping, financial assistance, or emotional support,” said Reginald Nance, AARP’s New York associate state director of multicultural outreach. (Photo: iStockphoto / NNPA)

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior Correspondent
@StacyBrownMedia

AARP, the nation’s oldest and largest nonprofit dedicated to empowering Americans 50 and over, and the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA), the trade association of the Black Press of America, held a briefing to help provide critical information for those most at-risk and impacted by the novel coronavirus.

The 45-minute webinar addressed tools and resources to help the African American community navigate through the pandemic and included a panel of experts in the fields of health, caregiving, financial security, and entrepreneurship.

Lorraine Miller and Chris Brown of Burrell Communications in Chicago coordinated the webinar, which was titled, “AARP – NNPA COVID-19 Black Media Update.”

Jointly hosted by NNPA President and CEO Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr., and AARP Vice President of Multicultural Leadership, Shani Hosten, the live program also marked the first appearance by renowned infectious disease expert and Meharry Medical College President Dr. James Hildreth as a member of the NNPA Coronavirus Task Force and Resource Center.

“Data is critical, and we’ve got to have testing, testing, testing,” Dr. Hildreth stated.

“Testing is our best hope to save lives. I’ve been insisting this to the mayor of Nashville, the governor of Tennessee, and anyone who will listen. If we don’t do widespread testing, people are going to die, and that’s the bottom line,” he said.

As of the webinar, more than 609,000 Americans have contracted COVID-19, the deadly disease that’s caused by the coronavirus.

There have been at least 25,603 deaths, and based on incomplete data, African Americans are disproportionately affected and represent the majority who’ve died from the virus.

“This is a particularly critical time for the African American community,” Hosten stated, noting the various resources AARP has developed, including a Black resources tool kit on its website.

Chavis stated that it’s essential to get accurate information out as much as possible to the Black community.

“We want to make sure that during this pandemic, we get information out that will help save Black lives,” he said.

Rita Choula, AARP’s director of caregiving and caregiving information resources, said providing care to family members has its own share of problems. Still, the coronavirus has made that all the more challenging.

“People are stressed and worried, not only about caring for themselves but protecting and caring for someone in the home or someone long distance,” Choula stated.

“It’s very important that there is increased conversation with nursing facilities through virtual visitation and phone calls, which is what AARP is advocating.”

Cristina Firvida, AARP’s vice president of financial security and consumer affairs, noted that AARP has continued to advocate at the state and federal level for everyone struggling financially during the pandemic.

“Our friends, our families are hurting. We focused on how we can get more money in the hands of individuals as well as businesses,” Firvida said, adding that AARP lobbied that seniors also receive $1,200 stimulus payments.

She said the original bill allowed for seniors to receive just $600.

Reginald Nance, AARP’s New York associate state director of multicultural outreach, noted the importance of fraud protection and emphasized that AARP has organized various forms of assistance for seniors nationwide.

“AARP community connections have mutual aid and support groups where they might help with grocery shopping, financial assistance, or emotional support,” Nance stated.

Dr. Hildreth wrapped up the webinar by noting that the federal government fell asleep at the wheel and could have prevented much of the mayhem caused by the coronavirus.

He called the spread of COVID-19 “entirely predictable,” and noted that the lack of planning by the federal government obviously was bad news for African Americans.

Dr. Hildreth also stated his frustration with those who imply that African Americans are more susceptible to the virus.

“Absent a vaccine or a drug, the only way to protect our communities, which means to keep the virus out, is we have to have testing,” Dr. Hildreth stated.

“We need to do what South Korea did, which is to identify the positive tests, do contact tracing, and screen everybody. We should have a nationally coordinated response because viruses don’t respect orders,” he said.

Dr. Hildreth continued:

“You might have one state controlling the virus, but if the neighboring states don’t do that, we’ll find ourselves right back where we started. Data is critical. Many are saying that African Americans are more susceptible to the virus, and that’s absolutely not right.

“We may be more susceptible to severe diseases and death, but the evidence doesn’t support that Black people are more susceptible to the virus. The only way to prove that is to have an equal number of African Americans and white exposed to the virus at the same time and determine who got infected at a higher rate. Without data to support this, those statements drive me crazy. We have to have more tests.”

Updated information on the coronavirus came be found at www.aarp.org/coronavirus and at the NNPA’s www.BlackPressUSA.com COVID-19 tab.

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#5.19.2022 HEADLINES

Buffalo’s Masten Park is one of the many Black neighborhoods across the country that has limited access to grocery stores selling …
The post #5.19.2022 HEADLINES first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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Buffalo’s Masten Park is one of the many Black neighborhoods across the country that has limited access to grocery stores selling …

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IBYMI Encore of .5.10.22 Conversations With Al McFarlane

Co-Host – Artist Charles Caldwell Topics: Juneteenth 2022 Youth Recreation Bill for North Minneapolis Artist check in. – Roy Lewis …
The post IBYMI Encore of .5.10.22 Conversations With Al McFarlane first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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Co-Host – Artist Charles Caldwell Topics: Juneteenth 2022 Youth Recreation Bill for North Minneapolis Artist check in. – Roy Lewis

The post IBYMI Encore of .5.10.22 Conversations With Al McFarlane first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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The Stigma Around Male Domestic Violence

NNPA NEWSWIRE — In an article done by the World Economic Forum, Vanita Sundaram stated that among the young people she spoke to about whether or not violence was unacceptable provided a variety of responses, with them stating that men are innately violent. Women hitting men was seen as “unproblematic,” with people arguing that women are physically weaker and frail (thus, their use of violence was less significant).
The post The Stigma Around Male Domestic Violence first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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How do we discuss this issue and what can we ultimately do to help?

By Brianna Patt

How Male Abuse is Minimized

In an op-ed by Neffer Kerr titled, “Strong & Silent: Breaking the Stigma of Abuse Because Black Men Are Victims, Too,” by Ebony Magazine, Kerr recalls learning that her male friend, who was over six feet tall and gave off a facade of confidence, was being abused. All of these issues entered the forefront of her mind when Yasmine Elder killed Darius Ellis in 2017, forcing him to drink bleach. Kerr went on to express the dichotomy that male victims face due to how we view Black men, as well as calling for the creation of safe spaces for them to seek the help they need.

“We need to make sure we are open to what someone is saying and not negating their experience by telling them they are allowing it to happen or laughing at them because of their gender. The most detrimental thing you can do to someone who is attempting to share their pain is to minimize, ridicule, or call them a names. We always claim we want the men in our lives to be honest with us, but that cannot happen in an emotionally hostile or dismissive environment. Abuse knows no color, race, age, ethnicity, socio-economic status, or gender,” Kerr said.

According to Analysis of Family Violence Fatalities in 2020 found that of the 228 Texans killed by their intimate partners, 40 women killed their male partners, a 28% increase from 2018 and 2019, with 30% being Black.

The downplaying and ridicule male abuse victims face is something, according to Ryan Thomas, Community Education Program Manager at Hope’s Door New Beginning Center, linked to how children are socialized.

“From a young age, girls are taught to disregard their boundaries, or you have to let boys cross if it’s because of love or affection, and boys were told, “stiff upper lip, don’t cry, you play like a girl.” So, we’re taught from a young age to devalue women. Society wants us to be in the “man box.” So, men are supposed to be dominant and aggressive and all this stuff. That sets up a hierarchy already where one gender has power and control over the other. Essentially one’s dominant, one’s submissive and that’s the exact power and control dynamics of an abusive relationship. Society tells us that men should be dominant and women submissive. So, this doesn’t line up with reality, that oftentimes men are abused. So, those gender stereotypes- we know that the more than someone adheres to them more strictly, the more likely they are to be accepting, abuse or violence in a relationship both as the abuser and as the victim as well,” Thomas said.

In an article done by the World Economic Forum, Vanita Sundaram stated that among the young people she spoke to about whether or not violence was unacceptable provided a variety of responses, with them stating that men are innately violent. Women hitting men was seen as “unproblematic,” with people arguing that women are physically weaker and frail (thus, their use of violence was less significant).

“This distinction between different forms of violence makes wholesale prevention difficult. Given that gender appears to be a primary influence on young people’s views on violence, schools should prioritize teaching about equality between the genders in order to effectively challenge the acceptance and justification of some forms of violent behavior,” Sundaram said.

The Effects of Domestic Violence On Men

Thomas points out that while the physical scars of the abuse men face will inevitably dissipate the deeper wounds are emotional.

“The pain is temporary but being made to feel stupid, ugly, worthless, lazy. That lasts a whole lifetime. And so that’s also minimized as men are not allowed to show emotions. So being made to feel stupid or to wear this and lazy, doesn’t just show on the outside,” Thomas said.

In a paper titled, “Black Men’s Intimate Partner Violence Victimization, HelpSeeking, and Barriers to Help-Seeking,” Meagan A. Stewart explains that for Black men, there’s pressure to maintain “hegemonic masculinity” (the masculine ideal that society tells men to aspire to and the standards against which men are compared). However, due to white supremacy, they can’t get these masculine ideals and are instead stereotyped. Stewart argues that this leads to an environment where Black men are less likely to be believed about their abuse.

“Men of Color are often unable to reach hegemonic masculine ideals due to white supremacy embedded within these ideals (Connell & Messerschmidt, 2005; Romero, 2017). Black men specifically have been stereotyped to be aggressive, hypersexual, routinely labeled as criminals (Collins, 2009; Roth, 2004), and have a history of police, legal system, and medical maltreatment (Griffith et al., 2011; Jaiswal & Halkitis, 2019). These contexts create an environment where Black men may not seek IPV-related help when needed, and if they do, they might experience disbelief by professionals and systems, and encounter police brutality as assumed perpetrators (Fugate et al., 2005; Graham et al., 2020; Jaiswal & Halkitis, 2019),” Stewart said.

According to Thomas, the effects of intimate partner violence on men range from physical issues like a shortened life expectancy to mental health issues.

“Devastating losses to life expectancy and health, all sorts of physical ailments like Alzheimer’s, and of course, cortisol and adrenaline, pumping through a system that can have not only those physical effects which could be stomach issues. It could be complex PTSD, anxiety, depression and self-destructive behaviors. I think the emotional toll that it takes, often, the deepest and then the things that we can you know when we’re young filter, you know, forever retained a kind of, you know, how we are going to react in future situations and so, the real tragedy of the year and so, that gets passed down generations,” Thomas said.

As for what we can do both systemically and individually to help work against intimate partner violence, Thomas states we should work to stop using gendered reasons for how we treat others. He also states that when helping victims, we should focus on offering concern and validation.

“The goal for anybody should be to show concern and validate. Hey, I see you, and I’m concerned, I’m worried about your safety. Then how can I help you explore options and resources? How can I support you in that endeavor, rather than saying, “you need to get out.” Because what makes somebody a victim of abuse is that somebody is constantly telling them what to do with that power and control. So even if we’re trying to be helpful to a loved one, and say, “You need to get out, we’re disempowering them.” So really, it’s about understanding that anybody can be a victim of abuse, it doesn’t discriminate- grandson’s abuse grandmother, males abuse males. We don’t have to be experts in it. We just have to be compassionate human beings,” he said.

The Mend Project refers to this as harmful, and backs Thomas’ statement, arguing that it can be beneficial to the well being of the victim.

“On the other hand, providing much-needed emotional validation is easy to do and will go a long way in helping the victim. Emotional validation is the process of learning about, understanding and expressing acceptance of another person’s emotional experience. You do not need to understand their emotional experience, agree with it, or know the facts behind it in order to validate it,”

Thomas also states that women are not the main assailants, which leaves a gap in the abuse that women perpetuate against men, which goes unnoticed.

“It’s more likely that for the women who do perpetrate violence against men, they’re not the primary aggressors. That does leave, of course, this gaping hole of women who do use and are violent towards men, right. They’ll oftentimes that’s not noticed, or it’s overshadowed because of you know, the stigma. But I always just like to say, women do suffer disproportionately more,” he said.

Hope for Change & Understanding

While Thomas hopes the recent Depp vs Heard defamation trial can shine a light on this issue, he still does not see much change on the horizon.

“I think if any positive that could happen is that the recognition that this- whether it did or not happen to whomever-it could happen to men, right? It can have just the same social, psychological, emotional and social consequences. For the children, we cannot forget about the kids who are witnessing this are going to be much more likely to grow up to be abusive or victims themselves. But the short answer is no, I haven’t seen that stigma change much yet,” he said.

Thomas states that we can better understand intimate partner violence than men are afflicted with, we must better understand abuse as a whole.

“I think understanding that domestic abuse is about power and control and that it’s not about why you stay or reasons to stay. It’s what are the barriers to leaving, right? Because only when we can understand the whole power control dynamic, can we then understand the barriers? And then can we find a pathway out of that forest,” he said.

Resources for Black Men Facing Domestic Violence:

Hotline Resource: thehotline.org/what-to-expect-when-you-contact-us

Shelters for Male Victims: FamilyPlace.org

The post The Stigma Around Male Domestic Violence first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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