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Black Women & Depression: Stop Hurting and Start Healing

Depression is a painful mental condition in which a person becomes abnormally saddened and loses all hope in life. A bout of depression may come on after a traumatic event or for no apparent reason. Depending on the disorder, a depressive episode can last from one week to several years. Symptoms of depression include repetitive…

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Depression is a painful mental condition in which a person becomes abnormally saddened and loses all hope in life. A bout of depression may come on after a traumatic event or for no apparent reason. Depending on the disorder, a depressive episode can last from one week to several years. Symptoms of depression include repetitive crying, hopelessness, fatigue, negative thoughts, oversleeping and incapacitation. Medics have had varying views on the causes of the depression. Some believe in the chemical imbalance theory while others blame hormones and environmental circumstances.

 

Symptoms

Because of cultural backgrounds, depression may be displayed differently among African-Americans, according to the Mental Health Awareness website. If you experience five or more of the following symptoms for longer than two weeks, if you feel suicidal or if the symptoms get in the way of your daily life, visit your doctor.

 

  • A constant sad, anxious or “empty” mood or excessive crying
  • Reduced appetite and weight loss or increased appetite and weight gain
  • Persistent physical symptoms that don’t respond to treatment like headaches, digestive disorders and chronic pain
  • Irritability, restlessness
  • Decreased energy, fatigue, feeling “slowed down”
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, helplessness, hopelessness, pessimism
  • Sleeping too much or too little, early morning walking
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in activities, including sex
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering or making decisions
  • Thoughts of death or suicide or suicide attempts

Black Women and Depression

More than 19 million people in the United States suffer from depression. Out of those 19 million people, many of them are black women. Black women who have a genetic tendency to develop the condition are more likely to come down with it because of the everyday struggles such as single motherhood, job competition, financial problems, and other factors such as racism that may play a role in adding stress. Unfortunately, the culture of the black female is to always display strength. More than 50 percent of black women feel as though mental illness is a personal weakness. Many of these women suffer with it, damaging relationships and life opportunities in the process.

Depression is not a Mark

What black women in society need to realize is that depression is not a mark. Just because a person has a certain mental illness, does not mean that she will lose other people’s respect if she seeks treatment. Additionally, if someone does not respect a person who seeks treatment for this type of illness, then perhaps that person is a source of negative energy that aggravates the illness. Women who suffer from depression should only engage in relations with people who will bring a positive force of energy.

Stop Hurting and Start Healing

Any black female who believes that she may be suffering from depression should seek assessment and treatment as quickly as possible. Treatment is more effective the earlier the medical experts can diagnose the problem. Healing begins when that person reaches out to a person or organization that can help and takes forward steps to maintain a positive mental balance.

Some doctors will prescribe medications, which are excellent treatments for chemically induced depression. Other doctors may use behavioral, cognitive or talk therapy to treat a client. During therapy, a woman can learn coping mechanisms. She can learn how to use breathing and relaxation techniques that will take her mind to a more positive plateau. Additionally, a therapist can help to delve into her past and see if childhood trauma may have caused some of the depression.

Healing and improvement is definitely possible. It just takes effort on the part of the black female to be truly strong and turn toward the right source of help. With the proper medications and morale boosting strategies, a black woman can end up even stronger and more vibrant than she was before treatment.

As more voices join the chorus, may there be more dialogue in African-American communities about mental illness so that those inflicted with mood disorders have a chance to recover.

For more information about depression, visit http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/depression

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Atlanta News & Entertainment

Atlanta mayor to vandalizing protesters: ‘This is not a protest … this is chaos’

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Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms on Friday evening denounced vandalism in her city as “chaos” after demonstrations over the death of George Floyd while in in the custody of Minneapolis police turned violent.

“What I see happening on the streets of Atlanta is not Atlanta. This is not a protest. This is not in the spirit of Martin Luther King, Jr. This is chaos,” an impassioned Lance Bottoms said at a news conference.

“A protest has purpose. When Dr. King was assassinated, we didn’t do this to our city,” she said. “If you want change in America, go and register to vote. … That is the change we need in this country.”

The protests had started as peaceful Friday afternoon when crowds gathered in the city’s famed Centennial Park. But by 6 p.m. ET, protesters began moving toward the front of the CNN Center, where police had gathered. Over the next few hours, the demonstration swelled as SWAT officers were called in to help with crowd control.

Later, protesters could be seen damaging CNN Center in downtown Atlanta, which is sandwiched between Philips Arena and Centennial Park.

In response, Lance Bottoms, whose name has been floated as a possible vice presidential pick for presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden, referenced CNN correspondent Omar Jimenez, who earlier Friday had been arrested — and then released about an hour later — while covering protests over Floyd’s death in Minneapolis.

“There was a black reporter who was arrested on camera this morning, who works for CNN. They are telling our stories, and you are disgracing their building,” she said. “We are no longer talking about the murder of an innocent man. We’re talking about how you’re burning police cars on the streets of Atlanta, Georgia.”

Anger over the death of Floyd spilled over into multiple cities across the country after the former officer seen in a video with his knee on Floyd’s neck was arrested and charged with murder.

Demonstrators funneled their anguish in cities like New York and Washington into chants, signs, and outbreaks of violence, smashing windows and setting vehicles ablaze.

“I am a mother to four black children in America, one of who is 18 years old,” Lance Bottoms said. “Yesterday, when I heard there were rumors about violent protests in Atlanta, I did what a mother would do, I called my son and I said, ‘Where are you?’ I said, ‘I cannot protect you, and black boys shouldn’t be out today.’ “

“So you’re not going to out-concern me and out-care about where we are in America,” she added.

In Minneapolis, Minnesota, George Floyd, an unarmed black man, died after he was pinned down by police officer Derek Chauvin. The video of the handcuffed man dying while Chauvin knelt on his neck sparked a fresh furor in the US over police treatment of African Americans. The video shared online showed Floyd pleading that he couldn’t breathe. Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey fired four police officers following the death in custody of George Floyd. Chauvin has been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter. Demonstrations are being held across the US demanding justice for Floyd.

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CNN Reporter Omar Jimenez Released After Arrest Live On Air During Minneapolis Protest Broadcast; Governor Apologizes

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4TH UPDATE, 12 PM PT: CNN says that it accepts Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz’s apology after reporter Omar Jimenez and a network crew were arrested early Wednesday while covering the George Floyd protests. Watch the video of the arrest above.

A CNN spokesperson said, “We accept Governor Walz’s apology and appreciate the sincerity of his words about the arrest of our crew this morning.  As journalists, the First Amendment gives us not only the right but also the responsibility to shine light in darkness and hold those in power to account.  With that in mind, we will move forward and continue our work in Minneapolis and everywhere else stories need to be told.”

Jimenez and two members of the crew, producer Bill Kirkos and photojournalist Leonel Mendez, were arrested as they were doing a CNN live shot. They were released, but CNN worldwide president Jeff Zucker spoke with Walz to express his concern over what happened.

The Minnesota State Patrol issued a statement that said, “In the course of clearing the streets and restoring order at Lake Street and Snelling Avenue, four people were arrested by State Patrol troopers, including three members of a CNN crew. The three were released once they were confirmed to be members of the media.”

But CNN responded with a statement that said “This is not accurate — our CNN crew identified themselves, on live television, immediately as journalists. We thank Minnesota @GovTimWalz for his swift action this morning to aid in the release of our crew.”

3RD UPDATE, 9:37 AM PT: Minnesota Governor Tim Walz said that he takes “fully responsibility” for the arrest of Omar Jimenez and a CNN crew as they covered protests in Minneapolis over the death of George Floyd.

“I take full responsibility there is absolutely no reason something like this should happen calls were made immediately,” Walz said at a press conference. “This is a very public apology to that team.”

He added, “In a situation like this, even if you’re clearing an area, we have got to ensure that there is a safe spot for journalism to tell the story. The issue here is trust. The community that’s down there, that’s terrorized by this, if they see a reporter being arrested, their assumption is that something’s going to happen that they don’t want to be seen. And so that is that is unacceptable. We will continue to strive to make sure that accessibility is maintained, that not only that, the protection and security and safety of the journalists covering this is a top priority.”

He said that he spoke with CNN president Jeff Zucker soon after the arrests, and Zucker wanted to know what happened.

“I appreciate his understanding in a situation, that he was rightfully incredibly angry, and that falls squarely on me that apology has been issued, and I think going forward to make sure it doesn’t happen again,” Walz said.

Katie Townsend, legal director for the Reporters Committee for the Freedom of the Press, said that CNN may have a claim in this situation, as other journalists have sued government agencies and officials in the past for arrests during protest situations. In an email, she said that the First Amendment prohibits government officials, including police officers from interfering with news gathering or retaliating against journalists for protected speech.

“These claims can be difficult to establish, and there have been cases recently … that suggest that the bar for proving that an arrest violated and individual’s First Amendment rights is high.

“That said, having watched the video here, it doesn’t appear that the police had probable cause for an arrest; the CNN crew responded professionally, identified themselves as journalists, and repeatedly asked where they should stand; they were arrested anyway.”

According to the Reporters Committee, there were nine arrests of journalists in the U.S. in 2019, five of which took place at protests. That was compared to 11 in 2018 and 38 in 2017.

SAG-AFTRA, which represents broadcast journalists, issued this statement Friday afternoon: “As journalists it is our job to cover protests, demonstrations, marches and rallies — some peaceful, some not. We do this without interfering with protesters or law enforcement. The arrest of Omar Jimenez, who was clearly identified as a credentialed member of the news media, is unacceptable.”

One of Jimenez’s colleagues also covering the protests, Josh Campbell, said that he received the “opposite treatment” from police. He identified himself and his news outlet and was allowed to remain in a designated area, he told CNN’s John Berman.

“Let me just say something — it is a statement of fact. You Josh Campbell are white. Omar Jimenez is not. I do not know if that played into this,” Berman said.

“There was a lot different here than what Omar experienced,” Berman said.

2ND UPDATE, 4:44 AM: CNN reporter Omar Jimenez and his crew have now been released from policy custody after their arrest live on air this morning mid-broadcast from the Minneapolis protests. As per below, state Governor Tim Walz intervened directly in the incident after calling CNN president Jeff Zucker to apologize.

After being released, Jimenez immediately took to the air again to recount the story and update on his situation.

“Everyone was pretty cordial after that [my arrest] happened,” said Jimenez, who added that a police officer told him he was “just following orders”.

“They weren’t violent with me, we were having conversation about how crazy this week has been for every single part of the city. A lot of these people are on edge,” the reporter continued. “The one thing that gave me a little bit of comfort was that it happened on live TV. When you talk within the community about, let’s say what happened with George Floyd, there’s discussion that, what’s happening isn’t new, it’s being filmed. That speaks to the power of having something that happens on camera. You can have people speak up for you without you saying anything.

“You guys [CNN anchors] saw what was happening, I was living what was happening, and the country was seeing what was happening unfold in real time right before their eyes – you don’t have to doubt my story, it’s not filtered in any sort of way, that gave me a little bit of comfort,” said Jimenez.

Twitter has been flooded with condemnation for the incident and praise directed at Jimenez for his professionalism.

UPDATED, 4:28 AM: CNN is now reporting that Minnesota Governor Tim Walz has spoken directly to CNN president Jeff Zucker to take full responsibility for the incident, and is working to have Jimenez and his crew released immediately. “It was totally unacceptable and inadvertent what happened… they clearly had the right to be there, we want the media to cover this [the protests], it is never acceptable for this to happen,” Walz told Zucker, according to CNN’s John Berman.

PREVIOUSLY 3:30 AM: CNN correspondent Omar Jimenez and his camera crew have been arrested during a live broadcast from the Minneapolis protests.

Footage quickly emerged online, and many of Jimenez’s colleagues took to Twitter in outcry.

The incident took place shortly after 6AM EST (3AM PST) during the live filming of CNN’s weekday morning show New Day.

In the footage, Jimenez, sporting a virus protective mask, is being quizzed by his anchors Alisyn Camerota and John Berman in front of a group of riot police as they move to arrest a nearby person. State patrol then approach the presenter and his crew, and Jimenez can be heard telling the officers that the four-strong unit can move “where they would like” to get out of their way in a cooperative and non-confrontational manner. The officers surround the crew as Jimenez continues to report live on air, before he is told that he is under arrest and placed in handcuffs, displaying them to the camera as he is walked away. After a moment, the crew are also placed into handcuffs.

“That is an American television reporter being led away by police officers. He clearly identified himself as a reporter and was respectfully explaining to the police that the CNN team was there and moving away as they would request, and then for some reason he was taken into police custody live on television,” said anchor John Berman off screen.

“I have never seen anything like this,” Berman adds on several occasions. The camera continued to roll after the arrests, sitting on the floor at the feet of the officers.

Fellow CNN Josh Campell, who is white, was also in the area but was not arrested. “I identified myself… they said, ‘OK, you’re permitted to be in the area’… What happened to Omar (Jimenez) was clearly a lot different… I was treated much differently than he (Jimenez) was,” he told the network.

CNN has confirmed the incident and called for the immediate release of its employees. “A CNN reporter and his production team were arrested this morning in Minneapolis for doing their jobs, despite identifying themselves – a clear violation of their First Amendment rights. The authorities in Minnesota, including the Governor, must release the three CNN employees immediately,” a statement from the network read.

Fierce protests have been raging in Minneapolis since an unarmed black man, George Floyd, died in police custody on Monday. Overnight, protesters broke into a police precinct in the city and set it on fire as the violence escalated. Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz has activated the state National Guard in a bid to restore order. Four officers involved in the incident have been fired but have not yet faced charges, with prosecutors stating they are still gathering evidence.

President Donald Trump tweeted earlier on Friday that the military would “assume control” in the city if the disturbances continue, adding “when the looting starts, the shooting starts”. His remarks have provoked a huge blowback and were subsequently flagged by Twitter for violating its rules around “glorifying violence”.

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New video appears to show three police officers kneeling on George Floyd

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New video posted on social media appears to show three Minneapolis Police Department officers kneeling on George Floyd during his arrest.

Previous video from eyewitness Darnella Frazier showed Floyd, 46, being knelt on by one officer–Derek Chauvin.

The new video shows the other side of the Minneapolis police vehicle where the arrest occurred. The video appears to show Chauvin and two other officers kneeling on Floyd.

Chauvin was taken into custody on Friday afternoon, according to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety. He faces charges of third-degree murder and manslaughter, according to Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman.

Four officers were involved in the incident and all have since been fired from the Minneapolis Police Department.

Floyd was arrested after he allegedly used a counterfeit bill at a convenience store, police have said. Outrage grew after the first video surfaced showing a Minneapolis police officer kneeling on Floyd’s neck. The 46-year-old, who was unarmed and handcuffed, died after the arrest.

Minneapolis police said in a statement earlier this week that officers had been responding to an alleged forgery on Monday evening and that during the arrest, Floyd “physically resisted” them.

However, surveillance footage from the nearby Dragon Wok restaurant does not appear to support the claim that Floyd resisted arrest during the initial encounter. However, there are several minutes where Floyd’s and the officers interactions cannot be seen from the camera’s vantage point.

This new video appears to have been taken before the Frazier video, but after that surveillance video.

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