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A Woman with Mental Health Problems crossed paths with MLK

This is not on the radar and not talked about in Washington.

From CNN:

In the wake of the Arizona shooting, the co-founders of the Congressional Mental Health Caucus want to make sure those who suffer from mental illnesses are able to receive the help they want or need.

Democratic Rep. Grace Napolitano of California and Republican Pennsylvania Rep. Tim Murphy, who founded the caucus in 2003, both acknowledged Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union” that more education and action is needed to improve the response to mental illness in the United States.

Did you know that Martin Luther King was stabbed in 1958? He was stabbed by a woman who was suffering from paranoid schizophrenia.

From Stanford’s great MLK site:

On 20 September 1958, Izola Ware Curry, a forty-two year old mentally disturbed woman, stabbed Martin Luther King, Jr. while he signed copies of his book Stride Toward Freedom at Blumstein’s Department Store in Harlem, New York. Curry approached King with a seven-inch steel letter opener and drove the blade into the upper left side of his chest. King was rushed to Harlem Hospital where he underwent two-and-a-quarter hours of surgery to repair the wound. Doctors operating on the twenty-nine year old leader said, “Had Dr. King sneezed or coughed the weapon would have penetrated the aorta. . . . He was just a sneeze away from death” (Papers 4:499n).

Born in Adrian, Georgia, Curry moved to New York at the age of 20 to begin work as a cook and housekeeper. Shortly after her relocation, Curry developed paranoid delusions about the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Martin Luther King, Jr. and other civil rights leaders. After stabbing King, Curry was arrested at the scene and found carrying a loaded gun. When questioned by police at New York’s 28th precinct, she accused civil rights leaders of “boycotting” and “torturing” her as well as causing her to lose jobs and forcing her to change her religion (Curry, Statement to Howard Jones, 21 September 1958). Curry also suggested that dangerous connections were being forged between the civil rights movement and the Communist Party. After authorities informed her that she was being charged with felonious assault and possession of firearms, she reportedly replied, “I’m charging him [King] as well as he’s charging me…I’m charging him with being mixed up with the Communists” (“Dr. King’s Knifer,” 22 September 1962).

When King received word of his attacker’s mental state, he expressed his sympathy and issued a statement upon returning home to Montgomery, Alabama: “I am deeply sorry that a deranged woman should have injured herself in seeking to injure me. I can say, in all sincerity, that I bear no bitterness toward her and I have felt no resentment from the sad moment that the experience occurred. I know that we want her to receive the necessary treatment so that she may become a constructive citizen in an integrated society where a disorganized personality need not become a menace to any man” (Papers 4:513).

Following the stabbing, Curry was placed in Bellevue Hospital for observation and was found not competent to stand trial. On 20 October she was diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic and committed to Matteawan State Hospital for the criminally insane.

By |2011-01-17T11:19:55-04:00January 17th, 2011|Civil Rights, Healthcare|Comments Off on A Woman with Mental Health Problems crossed paths with MLK

The Errington Thompson Show 7-18-09

In preparing for the show, every now and then there are curveballs that are thrown your way like the great broadcaster Walter Cronkite dying on Friday night. That completely changes your Saturday morning show. Therefore, I started to show off with a trip in the “way back machine” and I tried to explain the importance of Walter Cronkite. In the 1960s and 1970s, there were only three major networks. There was no satellite and no cable TV. Most major metropolitan areas had a couple of independent stations and public broadcasting. At 5:30 or six o’clock, the national news was served up on one of the three major networks. Walter Cronkite was by far the most popular with over 25 million viewers at the peak of his popularity. Americans trusted Walter Cronkite. If he said we landed on the moon — we landed on the moon. If he said we lost Vietnam — we lost Vietnam. He had a type of integrity that is not seen in today’s world. I play several clips that made Walter Cronkite very famous.

Special thanks for Miccheckradio who has been great help with my prep!

Conservatives advising the state of Texas on curriculm standards say that civil rights leaders César Chávez and Thurgood Marshall are given too much attention in Texas social studies classes. That’s right— unlike most criticisms finding that minorities get too little coverage in history textbooks, these conservatives think that civil rights leaders get too much attention. To quote one adviser, “”To have César Chávez listed next to Ben Franklin is ludicrous.”

Scientists have given a name to the new element added to the Periodic Table. It’s time to recognize…copernicum! The element, named after astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus, will hereby be known by the symbol Cp. It was actually discovered in 1996 through fusion experiments led by Prof. Sigurd Hofmann of the Centre for Heavy Ion Research in Germany. Office.

Dare to be Stupid
Meghan McCain continues her mission to shake up the GOP with this new line in an interview with ““Joe the Plumber — you can quote me — is a dumbass. He should stick to plumbing.”

My special guest this week is constitutional scholar, friend of the show Linda Monk. We spent a good deal of time discussing the Sonia Sotomayor confirmation hearings. Senator Al Franken had an outstanding moment when he asked Judge Sotomayor about the only case on Perry Mason that Berger won, since both for fans of Perry Mason when they were growing up. We have a wide ranging discussion which includes the fraud on Wall Street which seems to have caused a significant portion of our economic downturn. One of her major points is that prosecutions should start from the top down and not from the bottom up. This is a great discussion. Enjoy!

By |2012-05-07T14:59:00-04:00July 27th, 2009|Legal, Media, Obama administration, Podcasts|Comments Off on The Errington Thompson Show 7-18-09

Obama at the NAACP

100 years of the NAACP. President Barack Obama at NAACP. This is a great speech. Just when you think Obama has lost his way, he throws a speech like this in your face. I just have to step back and say, “Damn!”

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From AP:

President Barack Obama on Thursday traced his historic rise to power to the vigor and valor of black civil-rights leaders, telling the NAACP that the sacrifice of others “began the journey that has led me here.” The nation’s first black president bluntly warned, though, that racial barriers persist.

“Make no mistake: The pain of discrimination is still felt in America,” the president said in honoring the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People’s 100th convention.

Painting himself as the beneficiary of the NAACP’s work, Obama cited historical figures from W.E.B. DuBois to Thurgood Marshall to explain how the path to the presidency was cleared by visionaries. (more…)

By |2009-07-17T10:06:42-04:00July 17th, 2009|Civil Rights, Obama administration|Comments Off on Obama at the NAACP
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