Janet Colm's blog

The health risks of being black and a woman

Serena Williams’ childbirth story was a true medical ordeal – one shared by far too many Black women – an emergency C-section. If that wasn’t enough, blood clots caused a pulmonary embolism which was initially pooh-poohed by nurses and her doctor. The embolism made her cough so bad that her C-section wound opened. And to top it off, the medicine she was given to prevent more blood clots caused a large hematoma in her abdomen.

Black Women Lead

If you caught Oprah’s amazing speech at the Golden Globes, you might be one of those jumping on the Oprah For President bandwagon. Regardless of how you feel about that, one thing is clear: when black women run for office, they win!

Across the country, turnout among black women is higher than for any other demographic group. In 2016, turnout for black women in NC was 70% - nearly matching the registration rate for white women of 72%.

Letter to my younger self

To My Younger Self
JANET COLM on December 11, 2017 at 9:10 am
You were right to be mad when that creepy man from across the street felt under your shirt.

You were right to be even madder when your mom told you, “Well what do you expect, leaning over like that in front of him?”

You were right to be scared when that other creepy man exposed himself to you in the alley behind your house.

Springsteen May be a Great Performer, but ...

It’s settled. Bruce Springsteen may be a great performer and a progressive thinker. But he is not a community organizer.

One of the first tenets of community organizing is that identification of the problem and solutions must be developed by the people who are impacted - by the community. I dare say that Bruce Springsteen neglected to consult with North Carolina’s LGBT community, much less the wider progressive community, when he decided to boycott our state in protest of HB 2.

HB 2 and the oldest trick in the book

All the debate about HB2, North Carolina’s notorious “bathroom bill” has reminded me of something that happened years ago. You won’t be surprised to hear this memory takes place in a public restroom.

The mall public bathrooms were located down a long, deserted hallway. When I realized a man was following me, I thought, “He’s probably just going to the bathroom, too. Don’t overreact… Listen to your gut. Better safe than sorry.” So, I stopped, turned around to look at him and let him pass me. As he went by, he said in an annoyed voice, “Don’t worry, I’m not going to attack you.”

This is Our Selma: Why I March for Voting Rights

Two years ago, I became one of more than 1,000 people arrested for civil disobedience as part of the Moral Monday Movement.

I was protesting the extremist conservative majority in the NC General Assembly that was attacking everything that I love about North Carolina. They restricted access to abortion and contraception, attacked public education and the environment, raised taxes on low income people to give tax cuts to the wealthy, refused to expand Medicaid, reduced unemployment benefits, and passed the country’s worst-ever voter suppression bill (HB 589).

This month the legal case against the voter suppression bill finally went to court. And when the call went out to join the Mass Moral March for Voting Rights in Winston-Salem on July 13th to support the challenge to the bill, I knew I would go. Here’s why.

NC women dying younger

Many women in North Carolina are dying younger than their mothers did. That’s a shocker considering that life expectancy in the U.S. is at an all time high. Americans live, on average, to almost 79. And a girl born today can expect to live to 81.

But that’s not the full story. For many women the story is bad and getting worse.

Comments on Charleston

I attended the prayer vigil for Charleston at St. Paul's AME Church on Friday. The highlight for me was Wanda Hunter's comments, especially since I have been thinking about the value/lack of value of "protest" - excerpt below:

We have only to look at the history of Emanuel AME Church that was founded in 1822 by Denmark Vesey who was known for planning a slave revolt, for rebelling against the ruling white class of his state and his nation that supported and condoned the kidnapping and enslavement of African people. For this he was convicted and he was hanged and the church was burned down. With a resilient spirit, even in the face of white terror, the people of Mother Emanuel rebuilt their church.

Where is Roy on abortion?

Just exactly where does Roy Cooper stand on abortion?

I was hopeful when I saw in the N&O that he sent out a fundraising letter about Gov McCrory’s decision to sign the 72 hour waiting period into law. But this is what the letter says: “Last Friday evening, Gov McCrory signed another bill restricting access to healthcare for NC women - breaking a campaign promise, again ... I’m not going to stay silent while he misleads NC women and hurts teachers and …”

The NYT's 1 percent problem

I've tried to read the Sunday Times, but I can't get past the full page ads for watches. This explains why - from Salon.

"The media is biased, but not in the way most commentators think. By focusing on whether the media is harder on Republicans or Democrats, we’ve missed a more important bias: toward things that matter to the rich. This bias, by linking the state of the economy to how the rich are performing, ends up benefiting Republican candidates....

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