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Theressa McCormick : Theressa McCormick is the director of “5 Seeds of Hope for Humanity”. 5 seeds of Hope for Humanity is a community based residential “safe haven”, located in the heart of South West Philadelphia . The organization opened on March 3, 2014. This residential house serves women, and women with children. 5 Seeds of Hope for Humanity provide services to help empower individuals who desire a “second chance” to become productive citizens in our society. And to improve the quality of “Life” for the people they serve.
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Corporations Boycotted North Carolina over the Bathroom Bill, When Will They Stand Against Racial Injustice?By Elliot Booker — 4 years ago
As the events unfold in Charlotte in the aftermath of the murder of Keith Scott — another Black man by police — questions arise as to what it will take to bring about real change in the realm of racial justice in North Carolina, and the role that corporate America will take.
As part of the so-called “new” South, with a large corporate presence and urban professional transplants from the North, the state wants to have it both ways. President Obama won North Carolina in the 2008 election, and a city such as Charlotte represents growth, progress and diversity, as The Washington Post reported, with “buttoned-up business (a banking center, an airline and retail hub), a multicultural melting pot and a farm-to-table haven.”
And yet, the state has elected a Republican-led, white supremacist state government, with a governor and a legislature that has sought the wholesale deprivation of Black voting rights, leading to the NAACP-led Moral Mondays movement.
Then there is the so-called “bathroom bill” known as HB2, which challenges a Charlotte city ordinance regarding gender-neutral bathrooms. And while the legislation has been known as an anti-LGBT law, it also eviscerated local ordinances, making it illegal for localities to expand the protections of state laws governing minimum wage standards, job discrimination and public accommodations, as the Charlotte Observer noted.
So while North Carolina had positioned itself as more cosmopolitan, progressive and tolerant than its neighbor bordering to its South — South Carolina, which had been embroiled in a Confederate flag debate of late — the state has paid a price with HB2.
According to Facing South, while state officials wish to downplay its impact, a corporate boycott of North Carolina has led to losses in the tens of millions of dollars. Over 200 companies and organizations have expressed their opposition to HB2, and they are taking their business out of the Tar Heel state. For example, PayPal canceled its planned $3.5 million complex, Deutsche Bank placed a corporate expansion on hold, and the NBA will take its All-Star Game elsewhere. The purpose of this and other boycotts, Facing South noted, is “to raise the economic and political costs of doing business as usual, to the point that decision-makers — whether lawmakers or corporate CEOs — are forced to change course.”
But what will it take for corporate America to respond to the calls for racial justice, in the midst of police violence against Black people? If they can take a stand against HB2, certainly these companies can demand that local and state governments do more and enact reforms if they want the dollars to continue flowing.
With a high-profile police killing and a continued effort at Black voter suppression — despite a Supreme Court decision rejecting North Carolina’s voter ID law and other voter restrictions — the time seems perfect for corporations to use their political muscle to benefit Black folks. White reactionary lawmakers believe they can get away with disrespecting African-Americans. For example, U.S. Rep. Robert Pittenger, who represents parts of Charlotte and its suburbs, said Blacks are protesting in Charlotte because “they hate white people because white people are successful and they’re not,” as NBC News reported.
And in some cases, with blood on their hands through their role in profiting from slavery, these North Carolina-based companies have a debt to pay Black people. For example, Bank of America admitted its ties to slavery, as two of its predecessor banks had dealings with the slave trade, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
Further, a third predecessor accepted slaves as collateral on loans, as Your Black World Today reported. Two companies that were incorporated into Wachovia — now owned by Wells Fargo — owned slaves and accepted them as collateral on loans or mortgages. And the founder of R.J. Reynolds, Richard Joshua Reynolds, came from a large slave-owning family of tobacco farmers. These companies can, at a minimum, support a boycott in North Carolina and a movement around racial justice, and provide support to the descendants of enslaved people in the form of employment, scholarships and community programs.
Writing an editorial in NBC News, Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II — president of the North Carolina NAACP and founder of the Moral Mondays movement — summed it up best when he called the riots in Charlotte “the predictable response of human beings who are drowning in systemic injustice.” It is not about Black people hating the police, he noted, but rather people of all races “rising up against systems of injustice that shield officers who kill but leave millions defenseless.”
Declaring that “it’s the ballot or the riot,” Rev. Barber wrote that as hopeless as things may seem, we know what needs to be done to change the conditions that led to Keith Scott’s death.
“Right here in North Carolina, we have seen how people impacted by unjust policies can come together in coalitions across color and lift up a moral agenda that embraces the good of the whole,” he said. “This kind of coalition movement building is not easy, and we cannot win the change we need in a single election. But every step forward in this nation’s history has come from movements like this one.”Post Views: 496
Johnson & Johnson Reportedly Pushed Talcum Powder on Black Women After White Women Cease Use Due to Cancer RiskBy Elliot Booker — 4 years ago
For most women, it’s a normal part of their hygienic routine to sprinkle a little baby powder on themselves or in their underwear. The self-care practice is a normal one, specifically for women in the African-American community.
A St. Louis woman named Jacqueline Fox did so for over 40 years, dusting the lining of her panties with talcum powder each morning. It wasn’t until 2013 that she was diagnosed with advanced stage ovarian cancer and learned that the baby powder she had been using for so long might be to blame, CNN.com reports. Fox lost her battle with the disease in October 2015.
Now, the New Jersey-based company Johnson & Johnson is embroiled in a number of lawsuits claiming their baby powder products, made with talcum powder, cause cancer. According to Rolling Out, about 20 recent medical studies have found a connection between the use of talcum powder and ovarian cancer.
The company lost its second lawsuit on May 2, 2016 for the death of another Black woman named Gloria Ristesund. In that case, the jury awarded $5 million in damages and $50 million in punitive damages, Rolling Out reports. Fox was the first plaintiff to be compensated for damages however, according to CNN.com. Following her death, a St. Louis jury ordered Johnson & Johnson to award her family $72 million.
The company plans to appeal the latest ruling.
“Unfortunately, the jury’s decision goes against 30 years of studies by medical experts around the world that continue to support the safety of cosmetic talc,” Johnson & Johnson spokeswoman Carol Goodrich said in a statement.
Thousands of other women have followed suit, suing the company for selling a product that would ultimately cause them to develop cancer. The Washington Post reports that Johnson & Johnson currently faces at least 1,200 pending talcum powder lawsuits, which includes around 1,000 in St. Louis and another 200 in New Jersey.
Goodrich disputes the claims and says that Johnson & Johnson has provided consumers with “a safe choice for cosmetic powder products” for the last 100 years.
Jim Onder, the attorney who represented Ristesund in her lawsuit, disagrees, however. Onder says that researchers first linked talcum powder and ovarian cancer in the 1970s and cites internal documents from Johnson & Johnson that show the company was familiar with those studies.
“The evidence is real clear that Johnson & Johnson has known about the dangers associated with talcum powder for over 30 years,” Onder said. “Instead of giving a warning, what they did was target the groups most at risk for developing ovarian cancer.”
On top of knowingly selling a carcinogenic product, the company is accused of marketing the powder to African-American women, encouraging them to purchase the product after use by their white counterparts dropped due to the risk of developing cancer.
In her article written for Time, Omise’eke Natasha Tinsley suggests that Johnson & Johnson, along with other cosmetic companies, are guilty of profiting from the “myths of the excessive black vagina.”
“They’re willing to capitalize on our internalized misogynoir even if we die in the process,” Tinsley wrote.
Her article also states that African-American women douche and deodorize their genitals twice as much as white women, according to research conducted by Francesca Branch, Tracey J. Woodruff, Susanna D. Mitro and Ami R. Zota. Many of those products also contain human carcinogen and are linked to other health risks not visibly listed on labels.
An Atlanta lawyer is now making efforts to stop the unfortunate trend of Black women dying from cancer caused by the use of baby powder. Mawuli Mel Davis and his firm, Davis-Bozeman, are spearheading the initiative to inform African-American women in Georgia about the risks of using talcum powder and the possible legal action they could take against companies like Johnson & Johnson, Rolling Out reports. Davis calls the company’s plan to target Black women a “Corporate Tuskegee Experiment.”
Davis also revealed that his firm has recently taken up the case of a 34-year-old Georgia woman who died from ovarian cancer in 2015. While his team investigates the case, Davis says he wants to continue making women aware of the dangers of talcum powder.
“We say, ‘Don’t Wait! Stop Now!,’ ” he said. “We are calling on sororities, women’s health organizations and all activists to take part in this health movement. We must get the word out: remove this product from your home!”Post Views: 465