In Depth: Black History Month, medical distrust and civil rights

Segment One: Health obstacles 

Hal is joined by Dr. Victor Waters, the Chief Medical Officer of St. Bernardine’s Medical Center in San Bernardino.

Dr. Waters explains the historic mistrust of the medical profession that the Black community has carried for generations.

He discusses the betrayal that was engendered by the Tuskegee Syphilis Study, which went on for decades, taking advantage of poor Black sharecroppers who thought they were being treated for their syphilis, but were actually being subjected to experiments and not receiving any treatment.

Waters says that the distrust lingers to this day. He also says that medical professionals train in lower-income communities, but once they are trained, they move on to other areas.mHe says there are two problems with getting members of the Black communities vaccinated for COVID-19: first is the historic distrust and second is the misinformation being put out on social media.

Dr. Waters says that African American doctors have to reach out to educate and set an example for their patients in order to get them to accept the vaccine.

Segment Two: History of Civil Rights

Hal speaks to USC Law Professor Jody Armour and Urban Policy Roundtable President Earl Ofari Hutchinson.

Armour says Black History Month reflects the best and the worst of Black culture, with wealth and poverty rubbing elbow in Los Angeles just blocks apart.

Hutchinson says that Black History should be celebrated every day, and thinks of it as a fighting history, from the past into the future.

He says that over the last half-century with the demise of official segregation, there has been a lot of progress, but there are still a massive number of Black people warehoused in jails, suffering from homelessness, and still facing many obstacles.

Armour says there is too much discussion of the "burdens of Blackness" but there is not enough celebration of the "joys of Blackness."

He says that the misery index is actually worse these days than in the early days of the Civil Rights Movement, even though many believe there has been so much progress.
 Segment Three: Civil Rights Moving Forward

Jody Armour returns along with Black Lives Matter Los Angeles founder Melina Abdullah to talk about the Black Lives Matter movement and civil rights moving forward.

Abdullah says Black History Month is an illustration that in order to move forward we have to look back at history and be powered by those who have moved all of us forward.

She says the BLM movement began in Los Angeles the day that George Zimmerman was acquitted of the murder of Trayvon Martin, and protests erupted with demonstrators demanding an end to the targeting of Black people at the hands of police and of white supremacists. 

She says for the past seven years they’ve been building the largest racial justice organization in history.  They are now up for a Nobel Peace Prize and they honor the past by moving Black freedom struggle forward.
Segment Four: Black muralists and their creations 
Hal promotes his podcast and we close with a video of Black muralists and their creations. During the early civil rights era, murals were considered the people’s art, as people of color were still not represented in galleries and museums.