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A Black Father Pushes Congress to Save the Lives of Black Mothers

Charles Johnson lost his wife post childbirth and he's fighting to make sure no more Black women die from poor post-natal care.

Screenshot from YOUTUBE

Charles Johnson IV posted on Instagram Thursday morning that the final deadline in getting Congress to pass the Preventing Maternal Deaths Act is next week.

Johnson, a Los Angeles resident, has been fighting for Black mothers like his wife, Kira. She died in 2016 in a hospital that left her bleeding internally for 10 hours without a CT scan after giving birth to their second child. Medical professionals had told Johnson, who was pleading for help for his wife, that she "wasn't a priority" for them.

Johnson and his mother, TV judge Glenda Hatchett, are advocating for Black women, as they are three to four times as likely to die from pregnancy-related causes as their white counterparts, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Johnson and his two sons are also plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the hospital and several doctors alleging wrongful death and negligent infliction of emotional distress.

Kira Johnson died of "hemorrhagic shock due to acute hemoperitoneum," which the lawsuit said doctors failed to properly diagnose and treat.

Black women including, Serena Williams, have put the alarming statistics into perspective. Williams demanded a CT scan after giving birth to her daughter, Olympia, when she felt short of breath. A nurse had told her she was confused because of her pain medication, but Williams was persistent and it ended up saving her life.

Johnson formed 4Kira4Moms, a nonprofit dedicated to honor Kira's life and to prevent other families from experiencing unnecessary birth-related deaths.

Johnson and Hatchett, recently participated in a congressional briefing on maternal mortality hosted by the Reproductive Justice Initiative.

"They did nothing to correct it in a timely manner," Hatchett said.

"This is a woman who would be alive today had it not been for, what we say in the complaint, medical negligence. One minute we're at the hospital celebrating [the couple's] second son's birth, just a very joyous time and then hours later, she's gone…"

His testimony to Congress in September was followed by Rep. Joe Kennedy (D-MA) who read of the jarring statistics that Black women are 243% more likely to die from pregnancy or childbirth-related complications than white women.

The hospital's statement released TWO YEARS AFTER Kira's death:

"Kira Johnson's death was a tragedy. Her husband, Charles S. Johnson IV, and his mother, Judge Glenda Hatchett, are demonstrating important leadership in raising awareness of preventable maternal deaths. Cedars-Sinai strongly agrees with Judge Hatchett and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists that no mother should die giving birth."

"Based on our findings, we make any changes that are needed so that we can continue to provide the highest quality care to our patients. This includes reviewing hospital procedures as well as the competency of healthcare providers. Among other changes, we have updated processes for post-anesthesia care and have increased simulation training for physicians, nurses and other healthcare professionals related to care of hospitalized obstetric patients."


Charles Johnson shares the tragic story of his wife Kira's death hours after giving birth. www.youtube.com

Reader Question: Do you know any women who have experienced discrimination in medical care post child birth?

The Conversation (4)
votetocorrect30 Nov, 2018

How, in 2017 or 2018 do we still have any woman die from a C-section? Jail time will stop the malpractice!

29 Nov, 2018

In 1971 it was me at the University of Pennsylvania Hospital. I watched a physician flick his cigarette ashes into my open C-Section wound after delivery of my son. My husband who observed the delivery had left for the nursery. He thought I was still under the epidural. When I told the administration they looked at me like I had lost my mind. On one of the days following the surgery I went to get up and my incision broke open. Fortunately, for me my husband was walking through the door at the same time and ran to my aid. He yelled out for assistance. They said they had forgotten to provide me with the binder they provide to women after C-Sections. I did not return to the University of PA for my other two sons. Instead I went to Einstein Hospital. My second C-Section went smoothly. However, my third not so. The doctor doing the epidural had inserted the needle three times to find my spine. I complained because the other two times there was only one needle insertion. I was concerned because he was poking around my spine. Women who have C-Sections already have twinges around their spine several years after surgery. So, I requested another doctor. A nurse came in to be with me till another doctor was available and she said to me, "He's been messing up all night." After that ordeal we decided not to have any more children.

Cassie29 Nov, 2018

This is a horrible consequence of neglect, made worse across race, clearly. This bill HR 1318 needs to be passed immediately. thank you for calling attention to the timeliness needed to get this done!

Miami Beach Police Officer Adriel Dominguez sucker-punched a Black man identified as Lowell Poitier Jr., a 35-year-old homeless man, at a hotel in Miami.

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FACEBOOK

Jasmine Headley, age 23, was carrying her child into a city agency building in Brooklyn where SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) is located, and sat on the floor to wait as there were no more chairs. A bystander, Nyashia Ferguson, who goes by the name Monae Sinclair on Facebook, reported she saw a security guard confront Headley and the two got into an argument. Security called the police, and when they arrived, Headley tried to explain, but they cut her off. That's when things got ugly.

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Sodexo's Rohini Anand: We Want to Have Diverse Leadership Styles that Women Bring to the Table

Anand, the Senior Vice President of Corporate Responsibility and Chief Diversity Officer at Sodexo discusses the importance of companies having an inclusive culture where women can ask for prmotions and not get penalized.

Using Undocumented Immigrants for ​Labor is the Norm at Trump's Golf Club

"We are tired of the abuse, the insults, the way he talks about us when he knows that we are here helping him make money," said a woman working at Trump National Golf Club.

As President Trump sends troops to the U.S.-Mexico border to "defend" (white) America against the caravans of Brown people and bar some from asylum in the U.S., the history of hiring undocumented workers at his properties in New Jersey and Florida continues to come to light.

Trump has a problem with undocumented immigrants seeking asylum, but not when they are hired to wash his clothes or make his bed.

Victorina Morales, an undocumented immigrant from Guatemala, reportedly crossed the border in 1999 and has worked at the at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J, since 2013, The New York Times reported Thursday.

According to a spokesperson for his business organization, she would be one of tens of thousands of people to be employed by Trump, and would be terminated if she was undocumented. Sandra Diaz, 46, from Costa Rica was another.

Both Morales and Diaz, during their stints, washed the Trump family's clothes in a special detergent, made beds and dusted.

"There are many people without papers," said Ms. Diaz, who said she witnessed several people being hired whom she knew to be undocumented.

Morales was initially pleased with her job because she was paid and tipped well, often times by Trump. But her sentiments changed when he ran for president.

"I'm tired of being humiliated and treated like a stupid person," she said in Spanish during a brief interview. "We're just immigrants who don't have papers."

During his campaign in 2016, when he referred to Mexicans as rapists and criminals, he promised to mandate E-Verify, a federal tool to verify employment eligibility, and requested $23 million in his 2019 budget proposal to expand the program for nationwide use. He also bragged when a new Trump hotel opened in Washington, "We didn't have one illegal immigrant on the job."

"The president has been half-serious about stopping illegal immigration by not taking away the jobs magnet," said Roy Beck, president of NumbersUSA, a group pushing to reduce immigration. Beck said Trump has "let us down in his promise to help American workers" because he hasn't "put his shoulder behind a mandatory E-Verify bill."

Trump signed a "Buy American, Hire American" executive order in 2017 restricting visas, but his Mar-a-Lago golf club also has a history of applying for H-2B visas for hundreds of immigrant workers. The H-2B visa is for "temporary non-agricultural workers."

Morales reports being driven to work by staff to hide the fact that she couldn't legally drive, and that after she presented fake papers for work, she was given another set of fake papers by the Trump Organization to keep her employed there.

Morales had a front row seat on the job to Trump meetings as she was cleaning his villa, even when potential cabinet members were interviewed and when he met with the White House chief of staff.

But that didn't come without experiencing verbal abuse from Trump's staff.

Her attorney Anibal Romero said in a statement Thursday that his clients were called racial epithets and threatened with deportation by a supervisor that ironically, "had employed them despite knowing their undocumented status and even provided them with forged documents."

"We are tired of the abuse, the insults, the way he talks about us when he knows that we are here helping him make money," she told the NY Times. "We sweat it out to attend to his every need and have to put up with his humiliation."

Reader Question: Do we need any more proof that he's a liar about everything?

REUTERS

Republicans in Florida are trying to obstruct official government business by attempting to undermine the implementations of restoring voting rights to 1.4 million former felons. This would be the largest expansion of voting rights in decades.

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Boeing Forecasts Continued Health and Growth for Aircraft Financing in 2019

Funding continues to be balanced, diversified and global.

Originally Published by The Boeing Company.

Boeing anticipates stable growth and broad, diversified funding will continue to support efficient aircraft financing in the next year.

The company's annual Current Aircraft Finance Market Outlook (CAFMO), released today, evaluates and forecasts financing sources for new commercial airplane deliveries in the coming year and the industry's overall delivery financing requirements for the next five years. The CAFMO also explores trends within major funding sources and their potential impact on the broader market.

"The aircraft financing market remains healthy, with adequate commercial liquidity, providing a wide range of efficient options available for our customers," said Tim Myers, president of Boeing Capital Corporation. "We expect another year of balanced funding for commercial airplane deliveries in 2019, mirroring the broader industry, primarily split between bank debt, capital markets and cash."

Boeing forecasts continued strong demand for new commercial airplanes in 2019, resulting in about $143 billion in deliveries by major manufacturers, with potential to grow to more than $180 billion by 2023.

"Driven by a growing understanding of aviation's strong growth potential and the industry's attractive returns, we continue to see innovations and first-time entrants into the market, providing increased capacity for funding new deliveries as well as pre-delivery payments, mezzanine debt financing and the secondary aircraft market," Myers said.

New to this year's report is the addition of the secondary aircraft financing market outlook, as well as expanded analysis of other funding sources, including the leasing community, tax equity and the insurance market.

Highlights of the 2019 CAFMO include:

- Funding for deliveries is expected to be balanced between commercial bank debt and capital markets and cash.

- Airlines and lessors are expected to have some of their lowest historical costs of financing.

- Capital markets continue to grow, bolstered by unsecured borrowing.

- Aircraft leasing has grown to represent more than 40 percent of in-service commercial aircraft ownership.

- Export credit agencies remain a small but critical funding source, particularly in the United States.

- Strong industry fundamentals are attracting more participants and investment in new deliveries and the used aircraft market.

The full 2019 CAFMO, as well as additional data on regional-specific financing trends and global financing markets, is available at www.boeing.com/CAFMO.

Kevin Hart Steps Down from Hosting Oscars

The Academy gave Hart the ultimatum to apologize or step down over past homophobic tweets. But the Academy has its own issues it needs to face.

REUTERS

Comedian Kevin Hart tweeted on Tuesday that being selected to host the 2019 Oscars was the "opportunity of a lifetime." On Friday, Hart said that he was stepping down over past anti-gay tweets.

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Viral Video Sparks Debate on Racial Disparities in How Police Use Force

A video of a white man yelling at a white cop, without physical consequences, has more than 1 million views.

Botham Jean, Jemel Roberson and Emantic Bradford Jr. were all minding their own business, not mouthing off, and they were shot dead by police. Sandra Bland questioned an officer and wound up dead in a jail cell.

So when a video of an unidentified white man spewing expletives at an officer, throwing his license at the officer, and threatening to kill the officer, without any physical consequences, started circulating on Twitter, it went viral with more than 1 million views this week.

People of color on Twitter commented that had it been them in the video, they would've had bullets in the chest by the time the truck passed:

There are studies that well document how Blacks have been treated differently by police. In the case traffic stops, whites were 57 percent more likely to be spoken to with respectful language, whereas Black drivers were 61 percent more likely to experience an exchange that was the least respectful. Officers language with the least respect included calling people, "dude, bro, boss, man, brotha, sista or chief".

FBI data found that U.S. police kill Black people at disproportionate rates: Black people accounted for 31 percent of police killing victims in 2012, even though they made up just 13 percent of the U.S. population. And 62.7 percent of unarmed people killed by police are Black.

Yet racists, and some conservatives believe the treatment is deserved because Blacks did something wrong.

For example, in Orlando's International Airport in August, a white male Trump supporter tackled to the ground by police for being a disruptive passenger knew his privilege, when he said, "You're being rough with me. You're f***ing treating me like a Black person."

Reader Question: How does the video of the white man berating the white officer make you feel?