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GNBCC   NEWSLETTER

Latin America is Black America, too! 

By: Harry C. Alford, NBCC President & CEO

Slavery in the United States indeed taught us to hate ourselves.  A lingering effect of that self hatred has been the denial of recognizing our own relatives in the Western Hemisphere.  We sit here in the United States and call Cuba "Hispanic" when it is predominantly black.  Brazil has a black population that is twice ours (76 million!) and we say they have a Portuguese heritage.  

The fact is that South America and the Caribbean holds over 100 million black folks whose blood, legacy and heritage is exactly the same as ours.  We come from the same villages, took the same despicable voyages and endured the same vile slavery that was conjured up by European royalty and the Vatican hundreds of years ago.  

We are the same!  So let's start acting like it.  

Until we solidify our relationships at home with our "cousins" we will not be adequately prepared to re-associate ourselves with the motherland of Africa. The 15% of the Black Diaspora that is located in the Americas must form to become one. Thus, there is a need to build a viable infrastructure and that must be through economical interaction. International Trade from the United States and from a black perspective must begin with South America and the Caribbean. The recent Brazil trade mission conducted by the NBCC clearly shows the vast opportunity that awaits us throughout Latin America. 

No longer will we look at our cousins down South and view them as some other race, i.e. Hispanic. Hispanic is a culture, not a race. People with African blood and various shades of brown, black and bronze are Black people, and that's a race. 

It's time for all people of African descent to start working together and merging our economic forces.  From Canada to Argentina, let's find each other and pool our precious resources.  The beat of the tap dancing in "Bring in the Noise," the drummers in Nassau and the Samba band in Rio de Janeiro: the three were absolutely identical. That beat from the motherland, developed a thousand years ago is still in our "bones" here across the Atlantic Ocean. That is just one of thousands of similarities in mannerisms, clichés, swagger, etc. that demonstrates that we are truly the same people. 

We will begin to put chambers in each and every country in the Western Hemisphere. Trade missions and trade offices will be a major component to each.  To our cousins in Mexico, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Panama, Peru, and every other island, nation and territory in so called Latin America:  We have to awaken and get ready - family will be visiting. 

I want to thank Goodyear Tire Co., Procter & Gamble, Shell Oil and a few other companies for drawing our attention to South America.  Two years ago, we were alerted to black stereotyping in television commercials sponsored by these companies.  In our fight, we first thought they were targeting us here in the United States but we soon learned that it was our cousins down there they were mocking with racist venom.  From that experience, we learned what the news media and others had kept from us - 100 million black folks waiting to be recognized.


KNOW YOUR CIVIL RIGHTS

DISCRIMINATION IS AGAINST THE LAW! 

YOU CANNOT BE DENIED BENEFITS AND SERVICES IN PROGRAMS AND ACTIVITIES FUNDED BY THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES (DHHS) BECAUSE OF:

o RACE

o NATIONAL ORIGIN

o AGE

o RELIGION

o COLOR

o SEX

o HANDICAP

Some of the institutions, programs and service providers that may receive funds from DHHS are:

  • extended care facilities;
  • nursing homes;
  • hospitals;
  • State agencies that are responsible for administering health care;
  • Medicaid;
  • community mental health centers;
  • alcohol and drug treatment centers;
  • family health centers and clinics;
  • physicians and other health care professionals in private practice with patients assisted by Medicaid;
  • State and local public assistance agencies;
  • adoption agencies;
  • foster care homes;
  • day care centers;
  • senior citizen centers; and
  • nutrition programs.

HOW TO FILE A COMPLAINT OF DISCRIMINATION

If you believe you have been discriminated against because of your race, color, national origin, age, sex, handicap or religion, by an entity receiving financial assistance from DHHS, you or your representative may file a complaint with OCR. Complaints usually must be filed within 180 days from the date of the alleged discriminatory act. (OCR may extend the 180-day period if good cause is shown.)

Include the following information in your written complaint, or request a Discrimination Complaint Form from OCR:

o Your name, address and telephone number.  You must sign your name.  (If you file a complaint on someone's behalf, include your name, address, telephone number, and statement of your relationship to that person - e.g., spouse, attorney, friend, etc.)

o Name and address of the institution or agency you believe discriminated against you.

o How, why and when you believe you were discriminated against.

o Any other relevant information.

Send the complaint to the appropriate OCR regional office or OCR headquarters. For further information, contact the OCR regional office for your State or Territory, or the OCR headquarters office.

HEADQUARTERS
Director
Office for Civil Rights
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
330 Independence Avenue, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20201
Hotlines: 863-0100 (voice, Metro area)
863-0101 (TDD, Metro area)
1-800-368-1019 (voice, outside Washington area)
1-800-863-0101 (TDD, outside Washington area)

African-Americans Need To Vote!
By Rosetta Miller-Perry
GNBCC President

No one should have to beg African-Americans to exercise their rights as citizens and vote. We, as a people, have paid a heavy price for the right to vote; numerous black folk gave their blood, sweat, tears, and sometimes lives to make certain future generations would be able to participate in selecting leaders and framing issues.

Sadly, there remains in our midst cynics and idiots running around trying to persuade African-Americans there's no reason to vote.

African-Americans who think their vote doesn't matter evidently don't mind visiting their children in federal prisons, and enjoy seeing folk arrested and convicted by prosecutors using planted evidence and highly suspect witnesses.

We must also understand the Presidency isn't the only thing at issue; there are many local elections whose results could have a major impact on our community. Without representatives in place who care about the allocation of resources, quality of public education, or conduct of police in our neighborhoods, African-Americans will find themselves ignored and shut out.

Whether we like it or not, politicians pay attention to those who support them. It's the duty of African-Americans to turn out in bulk at the polls, then hold our representatives' feet to the fire once they're elected.

It's easy to shrug your shoulders and say what's the use. But if we're not involved in the daily struggle for empowerment and opportunity, we shouldn't be surprised or complain when we get the short end of the stick. There's absolutely no justifiable excuse for any eligible African-American not to vote. There are countries all over the world where armies prevent people from voting, or squads of armed thugs who patrol neighborhoods and bully citizens into selecting dictators and tyrants.

Anyone who hasn't voted re should immediately check and make sure they're eligible to participate in the upcoming election. If you aren't registered, there will be many places where you can quickly and easily get on the rolls in time.

We're not saying that voting will mean an immediate end to discrimination and inequality. It's only one step in the process. But if you don't vote, your complaints are empty and meaningless.

MAKE YOUR
VOICE HEARD!


Exercise your right to vote in
local and national elections!


YOUR RIGHTS UNDER TITLE VI OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS ACT OF 1964

 (in Health and Human Service Programs)

 THE OFFICE FOR CIVIL RIGHTS

The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) enforces Federal laws that prohibit discrimination by health care and human service providers that receive funds from DHHS. One such law is Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

 WHAT IS TITLE VI?

Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is a national law that protects persons from discrimination based on their race, color, or national origin in programs and activities that receive Federal financial assistance.

If you are eligible for health care, public assistance, or other social services, you cannot be denied these benefits because of your race, color or national origin. That's the law. This Fact Sheet explains your rights under Title VI.

Regardless of your race, color or national origin, if you meet the program eligibility requirements, you have the right to participate in:

‑ Health Care Services, such as prenatal care, hospital inpatient care and long-term care;

‑ Social Services, such as senior citizen activities and youth services; and

‑ Any other program services or benefits that receive Federal financial assistance.  

Some of the institutions or programs that may be covered by Title VI are:

 • extended care facilities

• nursing homes

• hospitals

• mental health centers

• Medicaid

• alcohol and drug treatment centers

• public assistance programs

• adoption agencies

• day care centers

• senior citizen centers

• family health centers and clinics

WHAT IS DISCRIMINATION?

There are many forms of illegal discrimination based on race, color or national origin which frequently limit the opportunity of minorities to gain equal access to services. Common discriminatory practices are identified in the DHHS Title VI regulation found at 45 CFR Part 80. These include:

Denying service, financial aid or other benefit provided as a part of health or social service programs;

Providing a different service, financial aid or other benefit, or providing these in a different manner from those provided to others under the program; and

Segregating or separately treating individuals in any matter related to the receipt of any service, financial aid or other benefit..

HOW TO FILE A COMPLAINT WITH OCR

If you believe you have been discriminated against because of your race, color or national origin, you may file a complaint with OCR within 180 days from the date of the alleged discriminatory act. (OCR may extend the 180‑day period if good cause is shown.) Include the following information in your written complaint, or request a Discrimination Complaint Form from OCR:

 • Your name, address and telephone number. You must sign your name. (if you file a complaint on someone's behalf, include your name, address, telephone number, and statement of your relationship to that person‑e.g., spouse, attorney, friend, etc.)

• Name and address of the institution or agency you believe discriminated against you.

• How, why and when you believe you were discriminated against.

• Any other relevant information.

Send the complaint to the OCR regional office below or to the Washington, D.C. headquarters address on the front of this Fact Sheet.

Once a complaint is filed with OCR, the law prohibits the alleged discriminating party from taking any retaliatory actions against a complainant or any person who provides information to OCR regarding a complaint. OCR should be notified immediately in the event of retaliatory action.

Upon receipt of your complaint, OCR staff will review the issues to determine coverage by Title VI. If your complaint raises covered issues, an investigation will be initiated. If discrimination is found, OCR will negotiate with the institution or organization to voluntarily correct the discriminatory action. If negotiations are unsuccessful, enforcement proceedings may be instituted to suspend or terminate Federal funding.

If we determine your complaint is not within our jurisdiction, OCR may forward it to an appropriate agency that may be able to help you.

 Additional information about the rights of persons under Title VI, as well as information on other laws enforced by OCR, may be obtained by contacting an OCR office. For circumstances where you require a quick answer regarding a civil rights problem, you may call us at the following Hotlines:

 Washington, D.C. Area

Voice: 863-0100

 TDD : 863-0101

 Outside Washington, D.C. Area

Voice: 1-800-368-1019

 TDD :1-800-863-0101 

Office for Civil Rights employees will make every effort to provide prompt service.



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