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By The Race Card
April 30, 2018

America’s “City of Brotherly Love,” Philadelphia, is in the news. Two black men were handcuffed, detained and arrested for sitting in a Starbucks coffee shop without ordering anything as they waited for a friend. One day later in a Torrance, Calif. Starbucks a black man was denied the access code to use the bathroom while a white man who also had not ordered anything was given the code. When the black man confronted the Starbucks manager about this she refused to answer his question and told him to stop recording the encounter.

Slave Market in Charleston

Charleston and New Orleans share a unique past. These two cities can serve as a cautionary tale in the long history of racism that still is felt by black Americans, even in cities with large vibrant black populations.

Slave block in Frederickburg

Both cities demonstrate the turmoil that takes place when a white minority tries to hold control over a black majority by intimidation and racism. Charlestown and New Orleans were home to two of the largest populations of free people of color before the Civil War.

These two cities were essential to the economic development of the South. Both were important ports before and during the Civil War. Cotton and rice, the lifeblood of southern wealth, flowed through these two cities and helped make them prosperous. Commerce turned Charleston and New Orleans into two of the largest slave trading centers in the South and also made their free people of color prosperous.

Both cities share historic, social and psychic connections to Europe and the Caribbean. Both were places where white, gens de couleur (free people of color) and slave refugees ended up after the Haitian Revolution. Both were sites of major slave uprisings (in Charleston the Stono Rebellion of 1739 and Vesey Conspiracy of 1822, in New Orleans the Slave Uprising of 1811).

It is no surprise that emotions have run high in these cities. Before the Civil War, when you combined the free people of color population with the slave population, whites were the minority throughout South Carolina—43%, and a small majority in New Orleans—just 53%. After the Civil War there were pitched battles over who would be in control: A black majority or a white minority.

During Reconstruction Louisiana and South Carolina had active black communities that elected the first black congressmen, John Menard from Louisiana in 1868 and South Carolina’s Robert Smalls America’s longest-serving black congressman until Harlem’s Adam Clayton Powell. Louisiana elected America’s first black lieutenant governor Oscar James Dunn.

St.Louis Motel slave market

But laws in both states guaranteeing equality enacted during the Reconstruction era were quickly overturned during the Jim Crow era. Most of the Confederate monuments in Charleston and New Orleans were erected at this time. These symbols of the Confederacy were on constant display to intimidate people of color and reinforce white domination.

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Cardinal Arinze: ‘The Holy Eucharist is not our private possession’ (CNS)

Cardinal Arinze weighs in on the Communion debate – and recalls the saint who inspired his vocation

Cardinal Francis Arinze was baptised into the Catholic Church on November 1, 1941, his ninth birthday. He was a child eager to convert to Christianity from a traditional African religion, not because of the wishes of adults or others around him, but of his own volition and by the grace of God.

The man who received him into the faith was Blessed Cyprian Tansi, at the time a parish priest whose example of great holiness left an impression on the boy that has endured for a lifetime. This was the priest who, perhaps most significantly, helped to teach Arinze to recognise and love Our Lord present in the Eucharist.

“He was the first priest I ever knew,” recalls Cardinal Arinze, now 85. “He gave me the first sacraments – baptism, then penance and Holy Communion. He prepared me for Confirmation and I was his Mass-server in 1945.

“He was what you would like to see in a parish priest – zealous, sincere. When he celebrated Mass you saw that he believed what he was celebrating, so his life was attractive in itself. It was no surprise that wherever he worked there were many seminarians and women going into religious life.”

Among them was Arinze himself. He entered the All Hallows seminary of the Archdiocese of Onitsha at 15 and proved to be an outstanding student. He passed the Cambridge School Certificate in 1950, the year that Blessed Cyprian left Nigeria to join the Cistercians at Mount St Bernard in Leicestershire. In 1955 Arinze moved to Rome where he attained a doctorate in Sacred Theology summa cum laude from the Pontifical Urban University. He was ordained in 1958.

He attended the funeral of Blessed Cyprian in England in 1964, and has actively promoted his Cause for canonisation ever since, admitting that he fought to control his enthusiasm when it was first opened.

It was a year after Blessed Cyprian’s death that Fr Arinze became the youngest bishop in the world, when at the age of 32 he was consecrated as coadjutor of Onitsha. Within two years he succeeded as archbishop, becoming the first native African to lead the archdiocese, and in 1979 he became President of the Nigerian bishops’ conference.

Pope John Paul II elevated Arinze to the College of Cardinals in 1985 and in 2002 he was made Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.

His tenure as Prefect was a productive one, corresponding with the publication of Ecclesia de Eucharistia , John Paul II’s 2003 encyclical on the relationship of the Church to the Holy Eucharist, and with Sacramentum Caritatis , Benedict XVI’s 2007 exhortation on the Eucharist as the source and summit of the Church’s life and mission.

The medical information of the eligible CPP women was queried down from the CHS computerized data warehouse by using their unique personal identification numbers. The control group was randomly selected from among the CHS-insured females listed in the computerized database, matched for age, year of birth, and community clinic. According to the size of the cohort, the control group comprised 413 women: 283 for the GnRHa-treated group, and 130 for the untreated group.

The CHS database is a comprehensive state-of-the-art computerized data warehouse that stores demographic and medical data. Data are aggregated by continuous real-time input from physicians and health service providers and include anthropometric measurements, vital signs, laboratory data, and pharmaceutical information. Data can be queried to the level of an individual member. The diagnoses of chronic diseases—hyperlipidemia, diabetes, hypertension, and malignancy—in the CHS database are validated by systematic methodology based on the diagnosis of the primary care physician, chronic medication use, laboratory results, hospitalization diagnosis, and malignancy registry ( 12 ).

The CHS performs logistic checks by comparing diagnoses from various sources and by direct validation of the diagnoses by the treating physicians of each patient.

For the purpose of our study, we queried current demographic data (age), anthropometric measures (height, weight), blood pressure, and diagnosis of chronic diseases (ie, diabetes, hypertension, and malignancy).

Extracted from the medical files of all the CPP girls (treated and untreated) were age, height, and weight at onset of puberty, at menarche, and at last visit; the data obtained from the files of the treated girls included these data at initiation and cessation of therapy with GnRHa.

The data of the former CPP group (treated and untreated) was located within the CHS database via the subjects' unique personal identification numbers.

In all participants (former CPP and their controls) BMI (weight in kilograms/square of height in meters) was calculated using the most recent anthropometric measurements documented in the CHS database. BMI was used as the index of body weight according to the World Health Organization criteria: underweight, <18.5 kg/m 2 ; normal weight, 18.5–24.9 kg/m 2 ; overweight, 25.0–29.9 kg/m 2 ; and obese, ≥30 kg/m 2 ( 13 ).

In childhood and adolescence, the BMI of all the CPP girls was calculated at diagnosis and at the last clinic visit, and BMI of the treated girls was also calculated at the discontinuation of GnRHa treatment. The evolution of BMI of the former CPP cohort from childhood through adolescence to adulthood was assessed by using BMI percentiles. In childhood and adolescence, BMI values were converted to age- and gender-specific percentiles according to the CDC 2000 ( 14 ); in adulthood, BMI values were converted according to the anthropometric reference data for all ages of the US population in 2003–2006 found in the latest National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey and National Center for Health Statistics ( 15 ). BMI percentiles were used as the index of body weight through childhood and adolescence: underweight, < fifth percentile; normal weight, fifth to 84th percentiles; overweight, 85th to 94th percentiles; and obese, ≥95th percentile ( 16 ).

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