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African American Family harassed, demeaned, opened to police harassment and more in Harvard Square Cambridge, MA.

Wednesday, March 4th, 2020

by: Marceline Donaldson

That African American family is mine. The harassment, demeaning, threats and more happened on Tuesday March 3, 2020 in my home. Your home is supposed to be sacred, but was violated on that Tuesday morning in the most horrific ways.

On Tuesday morning, the door bell rang about 10:30am. When I went to open the door there were some 8 policemen (all male, all white) and six or more EMT’s also all white and all male. They were standing on the porch and said they had a “warrant” – a Section 12 order to take my husband out of the home and bring him to Mount Auburn Hospital because he was not safe in his home and they went into so much more.

It was unbelievable. 2020 in the United States with a Constitution and other protections, piled into my home were all of these white males in uniforms which traditionally destroy, harass, kill, maim African Americans.

The last time I felt so terrified was in New Orleans walking on Canal Street on my way to school as a high school student when a man grabbed my hair – which at the time was close to my waistline – and using a cutting instrument he had in his hands he cut it off quite short, nearly breaking my neck in the process. A policeman was standing nearby and instead of responding to my cries, he turned his back and walked away – having seen clearly what happened to me. And now, here I was in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 2020 experiencing something very similar only they were after my African American husband.

When I looked out the door there were police cars all over the street, an ambulance, policemen guarding the entry to the house, on the porch and in the house.

When I asked why he was being sent to Mount Auburn Hospital when he had been a patient at Mass General, no one had any answers.

What happened that they felt they had the right? My husband was discharged from Massachusetts General Hospital and sent to Sherrill House for rehab after surgery. When I went to visit him at Sherrill House on Sunday everything seemed fine and I was not unhappy that he was there because as an Episcopal Priest I thought Sherrill House would be a good place for his rehab. It was not my idea to send him to Sherrill House, it was one of the people at the hospital who made the suggestion. I was more interested in him going to Spaulding in Charlestown, but I was told the place which had a bed for him was Sherrill House. With his Episcopal background and my own, I was open to him going there. Once we arrived at Sherrill House I discovered why most of the hospitals I had seen and visited and the related medical places were all white with blacks providing the cleaning and other upkeep services. There is a black and a separate white apartheid system in the Cambridge/Boston area for those who need medical services. Sherrill House was mostly black – African Americans, Caribbeans, etc. The patients were also mostly minority. So that visit to Sherrill House cleared up what I did not understand. Separatism bordering on apartheid is what I was witnessing.

On Monday, when I returned to spend time with my husband I was not allowed to see him. Why? Sherrill House was being quarantined because there were three or four patients with the flu on the second floor where he was staying and that second floor was quarantined to keep the flu from moving further out into the society.

I was unhappy, upset, confused and didn’t understand any of what I was being told. My attention was on what would happen to my husband in a place with three or four people with the flu on the same floor with windows not open and lots of ways the flu could spread to those in the facility – the healthy and those there to become healthier. My husband was not there to come down with the flu, especially with all of the coronavirus possibilities going around. I asked what kind of flu – no one had an answer.

I spent time in the lobby talking to people and the receptionist about what this was about – discovered it was not a first for such to happen at Sherrill House, it had been under quarantine just months prior. My decision was, as my husband’s health proxy, to take him out of Sherrill House. I did not feel he should be exposed to the flu and have to deal with that as well as his recovery. People were going into Sherrill House if they were on the first floor or visiting someone on the first floor. They were going to visit family and/or friends on the third and fourth floors, but the second floor, where my husband was, it was quarantined – no one knew how long this would last nor the extent of what would happen to those on the second floor.

I checked my husband out of Sherrill House that Monday afternoon and we went home – away from an active flu spot exposing him 24 hours a day. I hope you would have done the same thing – if you loved and were concerned about your family. I had not read the reviews of Sherrill House on the internet before Robert went there. The Episcopal connection made me think it would be a great place for him to be. When I read those reviews I was appalled – most of the reviews were not only bad, but talked about the hurt that had unnecessarily happened to patients at Sherrill House, including a death under difficult and what was characterized as negligent circumstances.

Robert was very happy to be home. He was thriving. On Monday, we walked to the post office and enjoyed the rest of the day going places and doing things he enjoyed.

On Tuesday morning all hell broke loose. All of the white policemen and white EMT’s, some 12 to 14 people arrived to in affect, arrest him and take him to a place for people who were seriously alcoholic and had been sent against their will – sectioned because their alcoholism was a danger to them and the society; who had a drug habit on the same level; was a danger to themselves because they were ‘committed’ and sectioned’ because they were a suicide threat; and because they had other mental illnesses which caused them to be forcibly picked up and held in a large emergency room full of security people walking around to make sure the people in that room were ‘safe’. There were a couple ‘runners’ while we were there – people who were constrained and had somehow gotten loose and were chased and returned to an examining room in constraints. That is normaly what this sectioning “warrant” is used for – not the way it was used with Robert.

This ‘arrest’ of my husband was ordered by Cambridge/Somerville Elder Services by a woman who should not have been able to sign such a sectioning order and the Court should have been involved if this were really such a serious threat.. She is a psychologist and none of my husbands reasons for having been in the hospital had to do with psychiatric or psychological reasons. She filled out the forms necessary and noted that she had neither seen, nor examined the patient – she had not seen nor been in his home to see its condition to know whether or not it was ‘safe’ although she declared it unsafe. She was backed by two young women who lied to help her take out this section 12 order. They claimed prescriptions had been sent for Robert to CVS. She claimed that I had been notified by CVS but refused to pick up the prescriptions. When a friend of mine who accompanied us to the hospital and stayed most of the evening as a support checked with CVS all around Cambridge and/or reasonably close to where we live, there were no such prescriptions at CVS waiting for Robert.

We spent 14 hours under this sectioning order which were a strain on my husband and put him under unbelievable stress. No one with any real concern for him or his health would have done this. A call to me would have been in order to attempt to understand and clear up any concerns she may have had. That is what usually happens with people who use these Section 12’s, but she simply filled out the form and sent it to the police for their action. A cruel slam against an African American who racism says does not deserve such consideration.

I insisted that, if Robert had to go, it would be to Mass General instead of Mount Auburn Hospital because it was clear to me there could have been political friendships going on that could make this worse. I wanted to know why the police had been told to take him to Mount Auburn where he had no history and no prior visits.

After their examination, Mass General lifted the sectioning and discharged my husband.

It is time to change this ability of people clearly not qualified to do such to be able to use this sectioning to exercise their racism and other bigotry and possibly even personal vendettas. It was the meanest thing I have seen done to another human being in a very long time. What could have happened with all the white policemen and the circus environment created outside my house with neighbors and others stopping to see what was happening was clearly the possibility of physical harm, extreme emotional and mental stress and a display of racially based violence.

It is clear this would not have happened to a white family in the Harvard Square neighborhood and the police and all the others were able to do what they did because they were dealing with an African American family. In that Brattle Street neighborhood this does not happen. The whites who live there are given much more respect, privacy, and more.

I am talking to attorneys and encourage any attorneys who would like to be involved in this, please don’t hesitate to call and/or visit. This needs to be changed – there should be the necessity of a Court being involved when someone’s freedom is being taken away with what is characterized as a “warrant’; civil rights people need to be involved when this happens to an African American or any other minority family and so much more. Your feedback is requested.

Whether it has relevance or not I do not know, but we published a Bettina Network Blog on Tuesday morning at 5am entitled ‘Hospitals and Bigotry – Institutional Racism, alive and well!’. The police arrived at approximately 10:30am with their section 12

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IT COSTS MONEY TO PRODUCE THIS BLOG. WE HOPE YOU WILL CONTRIBUTE SO WE CAN EXPAND AND CONTINUE THE RESEARCH AND WRITINGS WHICH KEEP YOU KNOWLEDGEABLE ABOUT MANY THINGS THAT WOULD NOT REACH YOU OTHERWISE ALONG WITH THE OPINIONS AND WORK OF THOSE WHO ARE MEMBERS OF BETTINA NETWORK’s LIFESTYLE COMMUNITY.

What follows are some of the ways you can support our work:

Learn More About How We Use Your Donation!

Project 1 – Estate Sales after the Sale!*

*This contribution is to the Bettina Network Foundation, inc which is a 501(c)3 organization and tax deductible.

Project 2 – #WellsFargoBoycott*

This contribution is to the Bettina Network Foundation, inc. which is a 501(c)3 organization and tax deductible.

Project 3 – Growing Bettina Network’s Blog

into a major media outlet bringing to the public news, recipes, thoughts, reviews of businesses, etc. from the perspective of those who belong to Bettina Network’s Lifestyle Community.  This is not a tax deductible contribution. You can send a check to Bettina Network, inc. P. O. Box 380585 Cambridge, MA. 02238 to support this blog! Please make your check payable to “Bettina Network, inc.”

Project 4 – Boycott the Twenty Dollar ($20) bill

If you prefer your gift go to the Foundation, make your check payable to Bettina Network Foundation, inc. The money we receive for the Foundation will be used to support the many activities in which we engage to try to make this a better world. 

_________________________________________________________

Want to join us? Have a home that you want to open to become one of Bettina Network’s Hedge Schools? Call us and lets talk – or email us.

Ed. Note: Members of the Bettina Network Lifestyle Community can contribute to the Bettina Network Blog whenever they have anything they want to say and be heard by this fantastic group of people. Send your blog to bettinanetwork@comcast.net or mail it to us at P. O. Box 380585 Cambridge, MA. 02238 or call us on the telephone at 617-497-9166 to tell us what you want to say and we will write it for you.

Volunteer with Bettina Network Foundation, inc. to work estate sales; to help move items from one home to another; to contribute your ideas on how we can better use our resources in this effort to relieve and eliminate homelessness and poverty. We also need photographers; designers; and more. However much or little time you have, we are grateful.

Send your event information to be included in Bettina Network’s Menu of Events to: bettina-network@comcast.net

This is a curated blog so you cannot write your responses at the end of each entry. TO RESPOND TO THIS BLOG email bettina-network@comcast.net 




“Better Than” – The Power that built the United States!

Friday, January 24th, 2020

We have held off on our postings because we could not believe what we were seeing from those sending their comments to be published in Bettina Network’s Blog. It is time for us to put all of that together and lay out for you what many in our community are thinking.

This is an opportunity presented in these United States to citizens, immigrants, illegals, temporary residents, permanent residents, students and others to put your professional lives on the line. We haven’t done much, but have paid a high price for some of the things we have written about in this blog. We knew that was a possibility when we started this blog, but took an oath that we would write without letting the possibility of negative consequences mitigate our voice. It is the collective voice of those who use Bettina Network, inc. And yes, sometimes we can publish diametrically opposed ideas in the same week. That is who we are – not “better than” because we are “politically correct”, but “every person” expressing themselves for all to see and hear.

Member #1: Until this Trump conflagration came along I struggled to understand why my life was so oppressed; why many around me felt so free to step all over me without holding back; denying what they were doing; and blaming me for their sins so blatantly committed against me and those like me. I also could not understand why even many of those like me felt the need to commit the same sins against me. None of it made sense.

Along comes Donald Trump and his followers and promoters and his attempt at a movement. In the process, we have not joined his “movement” but he and his totally and completely answered the questions that have haunted my life. The downside of it all is that it comes at the end of my life. Hopefully, there are others on whom these messages and this morality play, being acted out in front of us daily, will have meaning and who will recoil from everything it lays bare. Take its message to heart – it is the difference between life and death for all of you. For some of us to deny, turn away, claim otherwise really does separate the sheep from the goats – the good from the bad – those wallowing in sin and those pulling themselves out of the muck and cleaning themselves of all that has gone before.

Member 2: When I take in the entire spread of history in these United States it doesn’t bode well for human beings. It casts us as evil;, as harboring a gene we pass on from one generation to the next to destroy others because we hold ourselves to be “better than” all life on earth even at times including our own families. Where does that come from? How did we get here? Why are we constantly moving in and out of times which can make Hitler’s Germany look like a relief from what we are living? Or is this that final wake-up cal!, which if not answered correctly moves into another period of human degradation of us killing each other and declaring those we kill as less than. Or is this the time during which we can repent all of the evil we and our ancestors have done and/or caused to have done!

Member #3: How could people who came to these shores looking for a better life – a freer life – a life full of goodness and not the “better than” we were struggling under and being oppressed by in another country – experiences which made us take the risk of crossing an unknown ocean seeking Nirvana. How have wound up with the history we read about even in the redacted history books we use to teach our children of our past?

We came and survived with the help of those who were already here and had been for generations. We were immediately grateful until that gratitude was blown away by the storm clouds gathering from the “better than” universe. As our beginnings in this country moved from struggling to just survive; learning from those already here how to plant what grew in these climates; build houses; have a life which began to grow to see us enjoy freedoms denied from whence we came – we moved to being “at home”. Just as that began to happen we didn’t thank those who were there for us when we were in need. We turned to fight them because we began to consider ourselves, once again, as better than. We let our “better than” genes come out and they won the day culminating in Andrew Jackson’s Trail of Tears.

Member #4: Andrew Jackson, who we claim to have been the founder of the Democratic Party, has seen his political group move from racist developers of the Ku Klux Klan to people doing their best to free us from the likes of Donald Trump and move us into a more equal place. As years later Abraham Lincoln, who we claim was the founder of the Republican Party has seen his political group move from defenders of liberty; as the group Africans looked to as we voted in a country which hung you if you tried such; which worked to defeat segregation has now moved to become the group which works to make sure segregation is maintained and never changes. The GOP today shows itself in its current administration of 99% white, northern European ancestry people with a president who is showing his potential to make even Adolph Hitler, who he studied during his young adult years, look good.

How could we come to these shores running away from persecution and set in place a government with leaders who clearly persecute others and claim our right to do such because we and our governmental structures and business structures are so much better than those others.

How could we not acknowledge our greed and laziness which moved us to traffic in human beings who we called slaves and set in place to do the work of making us great in this country and certainly “better than” the slaves who actually did the work of such while we strutted around like peacocks taking the credit.

How could we set our women up to look like peacocks and buy into a lifestyle which oppressed them from birth to death, to get the women in this society to be the pattern we used to enslave Africans and maintain ignorance as to their real position in this society? One of oppression and maintained in slavery of a different kind only with a different mythology keeping them in place? How did we convince women to continue in that space when we used the marriage laws, which enslaved women to be the basis upon which we passed laws to enslave Africans.

How could we massacre and slaughter in this country those who tried to move into a more equal place? And deny what we were doing even unto today?

How can we see the economic inequalities which cause some to be homeless, on the street with scraps to eat from the throw aways of those in control; with clothes thrown away by others as what they wear; as make shift tents or simply beds on the cement benches around the parks and other places or even worse on the sidewalk and in the doorways until our police force comes along to force them to move along.

How can we see the storms gathering as those with enormous greed develop businesses which take away from others to put largess into their own pockets and consider themselves “better than” because they have figured out how to move ahead at the cost of tens of thousands of peoples lives?

Member #5: As we look at what is happening with the Trump Administration; within the Trump family; with their friends and others we can see ourselves over the centuries. Different clothes, a different political system, different words to describe the same thing, and using denial, greed, murder, oppression, theft and more to maintain themselves to satisfy their need to be “better than” – in and among those people we see ourselves. Not clearly, because we have our own denial, greed, murder, oppression, theft and more having constructed a curtain we cannot see through which reflects us and our lives in the mirror behind that curtain we designed to be able to have complete denial of who we are and what we are about.

Today, we have the advantage of seeing this morality play over television and our other technology that we use to “keep up” with what is happening. Amazingly, in spite of watching this reality play in front of our eyes we can see “them”, but we can’t see how “they” are a reflection of “us” and are a part of “us”. We cannot see what we have done and are doing to others just as egregious as what they are doing that we are watching daily.

Instead, that morality play is making some of us even much “better than” they are and shoring up our next chapter in this life so that it continues and we do not have to deal with who we are in this life and the part we have and are playing.

Trump and his group are making it possible for us to continue as “better than” and to usher in another chapter with the next generation of those who are much, much better than in a society which has all white business owners, all white in polite society, all white and male in government, with those who are not taking secondary places and feeling blessed to be able to do so because that means they are “better than” those in their own group who didn’t make the cut. The fact that they are the ones in their group parroting and allowing “better than” to continue and those cut out have called out truth just can’t get through into the discussion to attempt to make total, real change.

Health Industry the new Oil Industry Scam

Friday, November 22nd, 2019

We have just been through the scariest time of life. An unexpected health emergency requiring hospitalization.

We have stayed away from medicine, hospitals, doctors for our adult lives and now clearly we know, without a doubt, that was a good/great decision.

What we encountered was a money pit which makes the oil barons of old look like good samaritans on the edge of poverty. The kind of money and resources being drawn from the society by the health industry with little to no results is endless and will become even more so. So, until something changes, we are not for “Medicare for All”. That will give full and total control over the universe to those in the health industry, but only to those at the top. The rest will be scrambling, working unbelievably hard for almost nothing and the maintenance of the racist, sexist system in which we were raised has a stronghold for generations. Civil Rights activists in other areas are simply a distraction giving the real continuation of White Supremacy a chance to develop to its full strength such as has never happened before.

The first thing we encountered was the entitlement and arrogance of those on the front line as you go in the door. You know clearly you are in a territory where – without some kind of uniform or connection to the health industry, you are second, third and fourth class citizens.

The second thing we encountered was the incredible racism – based on skin color – that is totally expected and has created a ghetto like none we have ever seen.

After having been escorted to an examining room, which was a small space with equipment and a sort of hospital bed with a curtain separating you from the outside you have a few hours to look around before you come to anyone’s attention. Once inside this room, where you get to wait for hours for nothing, and once settled (sort of) you look around and see you are one of the privileged. Outside this small space, lining the hallways and every available wall in the place are beds with patients waiting for treatment or for one of the rooms which you now inhabit. Every available space has a gurney with an ill patient in the hospital for emergency treatment. All just lying there out in the open, seemingly ignored with their pocket books or bags or whatever they came in with on top of them on the gurney. It is gruesome.

As you look past all of humanity waiting for emergency attention because of something which sent them immediately to the hospital you see what makes your stomach wrench. Out in the middle of the room – like the space once inhabited by stock brokers with their machines to call and follow their customers stocks – were the “medical professionals”. In that central space was a sea of white. We were there for several changes of shifts and at no time did the skin color in that middle group change.

Every once in a while a wheel chair passed with a patient being wheeled someplace. There the color changed because the person pushing the wheel chair’s skin color was very dark. Other times the sea of white was lifted as a gurney with a patient was pushed past the curtain and you saw the person doing the pushing of the gurney’s skin color was very dark.

When those small spaces became vacant, which held a patient, who was now moved on someplace else, then you also saw the skin color change in the room because the person now in that, space cleaning it, had a very dark skin color.

And so it goes – the institutionalization of bigotry in all of our corporations is alive and well and moving into the next generation without comment. We have searched the news for several years and found no push back against this extreme bigotry.

Ed. Note. This is the beginning of a series of articles on what we are finding in the health industry. We feel as though we are lancing a boil which has been throbbing with pus for decades hiding out under the pretext of saving lives.__

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IT COSTS MONEY TO PRODUCE THIS BLOG. WE HOPE YOU WILL CONTRIBUTE SO WE CAN EXPAND AND CONTINUE THE RESEARCH AND WRITINGS WHICH KEEP YOU KNOWLEDGEABLE ABOUT MANY THINGS THAT WOULD NOT REACH YOU OTHERWISE ALONG WITH THE OPINIONS AND WORK OF THOSE WHO ARE MEMBERS OF BETTINA NETWORK’s LIFESTYLE COMMUNITY.

What follows are some of the ways you can support our work:

Learn More About How We Use Your Donation!

Project 1 – Estate Sales after the Sale!*

*This contribution is to the Bettina Network Foundation, inc which is a 501(c)3 organization and tax deductible.

Project 2 – #WellsFargoBoycott*

This contribution is to the Bettina Network Foundation, inc. which is a 501(c)3 organization and tax deductible.

Project 3 – Growing Bettina Network’s Blog

into a major media outlet bringing to the public news, recipes, thoughts, reviews of businesses, etc. from the perspective of those who belong to Bettina Network’s Lifestyle Community. 

Project 4 – Boycott the Twenty Dollar ($20) bill

You can send a check to Bettina Network, inc. P. O. Box 380585 Cambridge, MA. 02238 to support this blog! Please make your check out to “Bettina Network, inc.” since the blog income is not the foundation income.

If you prefer your gift go to the Foundation, make your check payable to Bettina Network Foundation, inc. The money we receive for the Foundation currently is going to support the Wells Fargo Boycott. 

_________________________________________________________

Want to join us? Have a home that you want to open to become one of Bettina Network’s Hedge Schools? Call us and lets talk – or email us.

Ed. Note: Members of the Bettina Network Lifestyle Community can contribute to the Bettina Network Blog whenever they have anything they want to say and be heard by this fantastic group of people. Send your blog to bettinanetwork@comcast.net or mail it to us at P. O. Box 380585 Cambridge, MA. 02238 or call us on the telephone at 617-497-9166 to tell us what you want to say and we will write it for you.

Volunteer with Bettina Network Foundation, inc. to work estate sales; to help move items from one home to another; to contribute your ideas on how we can better use our resources in this effort to relieve and eliminate homelessness and poverty. We also need photographers; designers; and more. However much or little time you have, we are grateful.

Send your event information to be included in Bettina Network’s Menu of Events to: bettina-network@comcast.net

This is a curated blog so you cannot write your responses at the end of each entry. TO RESPOND TO THIS BLOG email bettina-network@comcast.net 



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