“Few tactics of colonization or genocidal control are better established and understood than police brutality. Another tactic increasingly established, but far less understood, is that of ‘health brutality.'” — Samuel Yette
Kkkapitalism is a system of kolonial nationalism, imperialism, founded on the subjugation and exploitation of non-european nations for the purpose of accumulating wealth at the expense of the captive citizens health. From the hulls of slave ships, and debilitating life on slave plantations, to the Tuskegee syphilis experiments, kkkolonialism & neo-kkkolonialism has meant the health brutalization of New Afrikans in Amerikkka.
The stress of oppression, exploitation, and violence has resulted in a kkkolonial pathology amongst New Afrikans; this disease known as hypertension is a silent kkkiller of millions of New Afrikans. Hypertension is the internalization of kkkolonial pressure which causes an overload on the cardiovascular system that leads to consistently high blood pressure. We must expose to oppose this silent kkkiller.
*Hypertension and The New Afrikan Community*
“As We approach the 21st century, the sickness and human devastation associated with cardiovascular disease in general, and hypertension in particular, for New Afrikans is clearly unacceptable.” — Ronald Marshall
Hypertension is a major health problem among New Afrikans in Amerikkka. Hypertension affects nearly 40 percent of New Afrikan adults compared to 20 percent of new european, white adults. New Afrikans are at a much higher risk of serious complications from hypertension, such as stroke, heart attacks, kidney disease and kidney failure, and it accelerates diabetes complications.
The New Afrikan adult hypertension prevalence is reflected in the following statistics:
One out of every four Amerikans has hypertension, while hypertension strikes one out of every three New Afrikans.
Of an estimated 60 million Amerikans with hypertension, about seven million are New Afrikan.
Mild to moderate hypertension is up to two times more prevalent in the New Afrikan population than in non-New Afrikans.
Severe hypertension is five to seven times more prevalent in New Afrikans than in non-New Afrikans.
Twenty-five percent of the New Afrikan population has uncontrolled hypertension. For New Afrikan men, the figure is even higher. Uncontrolled hypertension affects about 16 percent of the non-New Afrikan population.
Hypertension appears at an earlier age in New Afrikans than in non-New Afrikans. In the 35 to 45 year old age group, high blood pressure is almost twice as common among New Afrikans as among non-New Afrikans.
Serious complications from hypertension are more frequent in New Afrikans. New Afrikan hypertension patients have a 66 percent greater incidence of stroke than those who are not New Afrikan; hypertension renal disease is 17.7 times greater in New Afrikans, and the risk of end-stage kidney disease is 4.2 times more prevalent in New Afrikan than in white hypertensive patients.
In Amerikkka millions of dollars are spent annually on medical research and technology, while many New Afrikans die from hypertension related deaths. A range of studies and statistics shows that New Afrikans are more likely to require health care but are less likely to receive health care services. About one-third of the deaths that occur in New Afrikans would not occur if they had similar health access as whites.
*Kkkolonialism, the Hype, the Hyper and Self-Health Prevention*
“Health care is really prevention. And prevention has to do with a persons willingness to change their behavior and situation. The message that the New Afrikan community has to get is that We have to become responsible to ourselves for looking at our own behavior. That’s where the focus has to be, and that message isn’t getting into the New Afrikan community.” — Dr. James Thomas
To reduce hypertension among New Afrikans, increasing their awareness must become an organizing priority for those of Us who are involved in the politics of rebuilding. Not adequately delivering this awareness to the New Afrikans community is one of the primary failures of neo-kkkolonial public health. When information on hypertension is provided, it is partial, the focus of the message is that hypertension rates can be reduced by New Afrikans changing their dietary habits, decreasing sodium intake, and maintaining one’s recommended weight. Information is not provided that highlights the stressfulness of kkkolonialism and impaired social ties due to poverty which contributes to the higher prevalence of hypertension among New Afrikans.
Although kkkolonialism is not mentioned in hypertension health campaigns, a study on hypertension published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (Feb 1991), adds weight to the argument that the ill effects of kkkolonialism is more important in accounting for New Afrikans’ alarming rates of high blood pressure. Because of kkkolonialism, large numbers of New Afrikan youth are predisposed, individually and collectively, by their lifestyle experiences (for example, lower educational opportunities, restricted occupational advancement, economic deprivation, exposure to violence, inadequate medical care, etc.) to realize, over time, chronic levels of stress. They are also vulnerable to subsequent cardiac and other physiological arousals, which, in time, have the real potential of contributing to sustained elevations in blood pressure.
Not only does kkkolonialism contribute to high rates of hypertension among New Afrikans, kkkolonialism results in New Afrikans not having health insurance and access to receive health care services. The New Afrikan death rate from moderate hypertension could be reduced by 50%, and the major resulting complications (heart failure, stroke, and kidney failure) could be reduced by 67% with effective drug therapy.
What partial hypertension awareness information that’s received by the New Afrikan community is minimized by poverty and kkkolonialism. The masses of New Afrikans main priority is trying to acquire their day-to-day survival needs, New Afrikans preoccupied in survival culture are less likely to be concerned with reading information on hypertension control. As far as communication diffusion, New Afrikans primarily receive information in congregated settings (e.g., barber shops, beauty salons, churches, mosques, bars, clubs, gyms). Moreover the hypertension messages that are culturally relevant to the New Afrikan community are inadequate.
Most New Afrikans who have uncontrolled hypertension are typically poor and cannot obtain regular medical examinations to detect their high blood pressure due to having no health insurance. Since kkkolonialism and poverty contributes to high rates of hypertension among New Afrikans, and prevents its detection, New Afrikans must accept ownership in reducing the prevalence of hypertension. By accepting responsibility for reducing hypertension New Afrikans empower themselves by gaining self-confidence through participating in their own health care prevention.
Chairman Mao teaches Us ‘strategically We should despise all Our enemies, but tactically We should take them all seriously’. This also means that We must despise the enemy with respect to the whole, but We must take him seriously with respect to each and every concrete question. Our attitude towards health brutality, particularly hypertension, should be the same as Our attitude towards kkkolonialism: first We despise him; second, We take him seriously.
We despise hypertension by exposing this enemy to the New Afrikan masses; We take hypertension seriously by developing a prevention program to reduce its threat. Because New Afrikans are primarily an oral community and not a reading community, the ‘Stop The Hype Campaign’ must be coordinated by a task force of health activists. Through the activities of the hypertension reduction campaign the New Afrikan community will learn by observation and participation: behavioral skills can be acquired through social modeling and guided practice. The health campaign should consist of organized community service, speakers bureau, special events, community slogan, brochure and slide-shows (also video presentations), and community displays
1. Organized Community Service – Establishment of a health task force of political, religious, community leaders, youth, and others who are committed to the propositions that hypertension in the New Afrikan community is unacceptable and preventable. The task force would meet regularly to exchange ideas and information, and with help from physicians, would organize and train volunteers to measure blood pressure. The volunteers would set-up hypertension screening, referral, counseling, and follow-up at barber shops, beauty salons, churches, mosques, clubs, bars, community centers, gyms, etc.
2. Speakers Bureau – The information of a speakers bureau can contribute much to a hypertension awareness campaign. Task force members as well as those whose reputations go beyond local New Afrikan boundaries may be invited to address block clubs, fraternal organizations, church meetings, and other social gatherings
3. Special Events – Another good way to create hypertension awareness is through a special event such as a block club party, neighborhood fair, or community picnic. Fellowship is an excellent, and most people are receptive to a good short message after a satisfying meal. The message would emphasize the role of good nutritional habits in reducing high blood pressure among New Afrikans.
4. Community Slogan – A thought-provoking slogan such as ‘Detect The Silent ##### Of New Afrikans, Get Your Blood Pressure Checked’, can contribute to hypertension awareness campaign. The slogan can be put on posters, signs, lapel buttons, bar napkins, calendars, t-shirts, bumper stickers, etc.
5. Brochure and Slide Show – A community brochure that is engaging and relevant in describing the New Afrikan health campaign is a good promotional technique. Also slide-shows and video presentations are good sources for hypertension awareness.
6. Community Display – A community informational display set-up in locations where New Afrikans gather is a good way to highlight hypertension awareness.
The simultaneous message of the Hypertension Self-Health Campaign that the New Afrikan community must receive, is that We have to be responsible for changing Our lifestyles that are pathology producing. In addition, the New Afrikan community must struggle for empowerment to offset the stress producing impact of kkkolonialism and poverty; as Dr. Clyde Oden, the president of the Watts Health Foundation states: “Empowerment would do things to the psychological well-being of the individual, as well as the physical well-being. If you can’t look forward to any improvements, to talk about prevention has no real meaning.”
The Stop The Hype Campaign is an example of both self-reliance and the democratic struggle of New Afrikans to have full access to health care. As We rebuild We must reconnect ourselves to the issues that affect the New Afrikan masses; Comrad Yaki informs Us that: “Our responsibility is to use all the elements of the principle of self-determination and build bases of power upon them, i.e., We become self-determining by struggling for democratic rights, human rights.
CROSSROAD, Vol 6 #2 (Sept-Oct 1995)