Monday, November 19, 2012

How Workers Cooperatives Work

This is important to understand. If we want democracy in our society we need to support it everywhere. Work is one of those important places where we need democracy to flourish.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Healthism and Neoliberalism

Why has LRU decided to focus on healthy politics? Because of the pain, suffering, and death placed upon our families and communities from colonization, neocolonialism, genocide, and neoliberalism continues to fuel our passion for a healthy world.

Unfortunately many of our allies don't see that the "healthism" of today which makes our health a commodity by aligning our health goals with market goals like "take your medicine," "lose weight," "buy exercise equipment," etc. it makes us even more governable. This healthism comes from an unaccountable neoliberalism running our national and local governments.

The point of neoliberalism is to make us subjects to the market. Looking at the agenda of US major parties that is what both of them are presenting to us. The point of neoliberalism is to privatize our lives. Neoliberalism, the kind supported by the recently applauded former President Clinton, is what has destroyed the economy, environment, and lives of millions of people across the planet. The promises of neoliberals is prosperity for all and we have seen the terrible results.

This is why La Raza Unida is setting priorities for a healthy world. We are taking on our commitment to invest in the future of our communities and planet. Join with us in future conversations to come up with a plan of action. We will continue to write and promote a healthy world.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Follow up to first "How Oppression Makes You Sick" conversation

Thanks for those who were able to attend the "How Oppression Makes You Sick: Towards a Healthy Politics" event. It was great having some healers in the room. One of the things we talked about was Chronic Adrenal Fatigue. Here is a quote about it from a book called Oppression: A Social Determinant of Health.

This is from the chapter "People Under Threat" and was posted on the Facebook “event” page. And sparked a discussion.
“These worries, along with the stresses of everyday racism, sexism, homophobia and the impacts of colonialism have a profound impact on the body’s stress managing systems – the sympathetic adrenal medulla (SAM) and the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal cortex (HYPAC), both located near the brain.”
“The SAM-HYPAC system is structured to deal with everyday stresses in addition to more acute stresses. The system regulates our bodies through short-term stressful times and helps us maintain overall wellness. The problem arises when long-term, chronic stresses, such as those described above, eventually overtax the SAM-HYPAC system. The adrenal system becomes overwhelmed and is unable to maintain physiological balance. The result is adrenal fatigue. Chronic adrenal fatigue causes depression, obesity, hypertension, diabetes, cancer, ulcers, chronic stomach problems, allergies and eczema, autoimmune diseases, headaches, kidney and liver disease, and overall reduced immunity (Varcarolis, 2008). These physical and mental health outcomes of adrenal fatigue are embodied in oppressed peoples. They combine with social and material deprivation and discrimination to create consistently unjust health outcomes and an everyday kind of physical and spiritual suffering that has gone unacknowledged for far too long.”

“The health care system is ill-equipped to engage in the anti-oppression practice necessary to honour the impact of chronic stress on the minds and bodies of oppressed individuals and families.”

Part of the discussion…

Question - Is there any herb or practice that can support our adrenal system? Is acupuncture helpful for this?

Answer 1 - Acupuncture is EXTREMELY helpful for this. One of the best, especially when combined with kineisiology to diagnose herbal and vitamin therapy. These modalities treat the underlying cause of illness, not just symptoms.

Answer 2 - That's an excellent question! We'll try to explain so someone who didn't attend gets some of the background we discussed.

When we take a step back and look at it - depression, diabetes, cancer, etc. are diseases in themselves and symptoms of Chronic Adrenal Fatigue, which can be a result of living under oppression. So we can treat the diseases mentioned with lots of medicines both Traditional and Western practices. We can treat the body systems, which become exhausted through living with oppression, with many of these medicines as well.

What we cannot treat with these medicines is the foundational cause of the ill health or dis-ease, oppression - in its various forms. That is why it is important for all healers to also  work on the system and policy changes needed to eliminate (or at least reduce) oppression. Even small amounts of advocacy will help.

It is like giving asthma medicine to a child who lives in a home with mold. The medicine will deal with some or almost all of the symptomatic issues, maybe to the point of someone saying it is "under control." Until the underlying environmental issue - mold  - is dealt with that's not completely true. If it is an issue that landlords are not held accountable to keep healthy living conditions then a policy change is also needed.

So there are lots of things we can do starting with ourselves, our families, our neighborhoods, and finally our society which will help alleviate the stresses on our adrenal systems.

Additional Comment:
It would be great to have some of our healers talk about the individual, community, and policy ways to create health.

If it is done correctly even politics can create health!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Oppression and Health (1)

There is new literature on Oppression as a social determinant of health. This reinforces what many of us know - living in an oppressive society is harmful to our health.

Social injustice kills and it is important to keep that in mind. There are people who profit from these situations and systems that support oppression.

We met on August 29th to discuss health as a human right. We discussed the reality that health as a human right involves two separate components. One is access to healing services - spiritual, emotional, physical, and relational. The other is health protection, such as society working to ensure clean air and water, education, housing, jobs, and as good a quality of life as possible.

With this in mind we will continue to move forward in the development of an LRU platform with the goal of promoting Healthy Politics.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

ABQ Minimum Wage Campaign - 2 Days to go!

Less than 1,000 signatures to go!

Call today to see how you can get involved! 505-796-6544

Or if you’d rather speak to someone in person, go by their office: 411 Bellamah Ave. NW

Just try to come in from the hours of 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. to make sure you can reach someone.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Healthy Societies (7/7/12)

La Raza Unida is currently sharing items explicitly mentioned in constitutions from around the world that mention health as important to society on our Facebook page. For some countries this is just talk and for others it is serious business. We will continue to publish here information on healthy societies. Health is more than a responsibility, it is a right.

The source for the information is available at