This is the third and final part of my exploration into the Retail Pharmacy. I have spoken with doctors, pharmacist, technicians, managers and other professionals and what I discovered about the retail Pharmacy business is shocking.  This information was gathered from workers at the big chain pharmacies Rite Aide, Walgreens and CVS/Pharmacy.

Racism

There have been many articles, case studies and other ways to define or identify what racism is.  This is a tricky and touchy subject to gauge, so I have provided a few real stories. These are actual stories taken this year from your local pharmacy.

First here is the standard:

A Caucasian pharmacist, who routinely and inappropriately touched his female minority technicians was written up and the complaining technician was moved.

Another Caucasian pharmacist would openly pass gas in the pharmacy. He did this so much that he would at times soil himself. He would then go into the break room wash his undergarments and hang them up to dry, in plain view no less. He was written up and the complaining party was moved to another pharmacy. It sounds funny, but it is not, from what I was told the pharmacist was quite rank and that this went on for several month.

Minority Leadership Programs

Retail pharmacy corporations trumpet their diversity, as well as their programs initiated for minorities. What they don’t say is that the Federal Government gives them write-offs for such programs, nor do they mention that they get another tax write-off for hiring a minority.

Each of these corporations have minority leadership programs.  Recently, one company sent out an email inviting employees to the African-American Leadership Group. The email said that topics would be “Low Productivity, High Turn-Over and Absenteeism“.

The email for the Asian Leadership Group said the only topic would be “Communication”.

Books that are changing everything

Human Resources

A Regional pharmacy supervisor, who is Middle Eastern, told me that he has heard his bosses make racist comments toward him. Although he tells his workers to call Human Resources if they encounter this kind of problem, he acknowledges that he will never go to Human Resources with the issue. Everyone knows that Human Resources is there to save the company money and the minute you complain about something like this the clock is ticking on your employment.

Obvious Racism

*Pharmacy Corporate Executives always travel with managers and other executives*

An executive visited a store in Compton. When he saw that the prescription numbers were down, he said “If I get on the loudspeaker and started beat boxing I bet the prescription numbers will go up.

An executive entered a pharmacy in a neighborhood where the median income is $55,000 and median home price is $600,000. Upon seeing two African-American pharmacy technicians he promptly picked up his cellphone, called his friend on the east coast and said with a smile “Guess where I am? I’m deep in the hood now.”

Another executive remarked to a crowd of managers on the possible cause for a slight dip in the pharmacy’s customers service score, he said to the pharmacist “I know it is not you, it’s Those.” The only other people who worked in the pharmacy were African-American.

Here is a common case

A pharmacy executive toured a retail pharmacy and all of the comment she made were glowing, all except one, she said “We need to change the color scheme.”

Including the front store portion this pharmacy was 45% African-American, 30% Latino, 20% Asian and 5% white. Two weeks after this executive made her comment. The African-American General Manger was removed, The Asian supervisor was transferred. A Caucasian was brought into replace the General Manager while the other minorities hours were summarily cut. Every two weeks a minority was moved, fired or replaced. It goes without saying that minority workers are harassed, threaten with being fired, or have their hours cut as a matter or routine.

An African-American supervisor who was very tough on giving refunds was told to be more lenient on giving out refund to customers. Two weeks later they arrested this supervisor and brought them up on charges of fraud. Loss Preventions said that she was giving out too many refunds. Meanwhile at another location a General Manager had stolen $40,000 this person was merely fired.

6 months after this executive make the “Color Scheme” comment the store is 70% white, 15% African American, 10% Latino and 15% Asian. I assume they feel that the color scheme is now more manageable.

The National Perspective

With unemployment of minorities much higher than the national unemployment rate on 9.5,  you can see that this scenario is typical of what is and has been occurring all over America. The politicians will say that Americans need jobs, so the government sets out a jobs creation bill, enter the HIRE Act. It sounds reasonable, right?  Wrong. In most companies the executives, who are by-in-large Caucasians and who generally  occupy positions of authority, from executives down to supervisors, have a tendency to hire people who have “similar backgrounds to their own“.  As the economy grows more jobs will be created, but this squeezing out of minorities allows the overall unemployment numbers to stay high. This is what happens when you let the “Market Correct Itself“. This is what happens when you place your emphasis on “Hope”. This is what happens when we no longer pay attention. This is what happens when our elected officials stop working for the people and begin working for themselves. Ultimately, this is what happens when the wrong people are in charge.

President Barack Obama talks a lot about the 17 Billion in tax cuts to big business, he talks a lot about spurring on small businesses, but he never talks about race. He talks about incentives, and growth, but where are our incentives to grow as a nation? The real victims are more than voiceless masses and campaign slogans. These people vote, these people are hard working, law-abiding U.S. citizens and now they are victims of not only the recession, but racism as well. Surely this can’t be happening… maybe my examples can be explained in another way? Perhaps we just don’t want to confront the issue or maybe we no longer have the stomach for it. With regard to racism there are those of us that believe that this issue will just go away and there are those of us that know that this issue wont just go away.

These scenarios that I detailed have nothing to do with skill level or education, upon further examination you realize that many of these pharmacy  executives have little to no experience in the positions they are hired for and it goes without saying that minorities are promoted slower than Caucasians. Most pharmaceutical workers are intelligent,  nice and completely under appreciated not only by the corporations which employ them, but also by the customers they serve.

MG’s Health Word:

Long term use of (Proton Pump Inhibitors) PPIs can substantially increase your risk of fractures.
Today death caused by prescription drugs now out number traffic fatalities, yet law enforcement spends tax dollars on marijuana and alcohol.

(Generally speaking Heartburn means don’t eat that)

For Reference (White unemployment rate 8%, Latino 14%, Black 17%)

Ethics Sexism

For those that don’t know there have been many great Black movies. Many of these movies have enriched to many lives. So, I have created this list to showcase some of these films. Many of these films you may not know and some you might, but they are all worth a look.  Feel free to comment on the list, but most of all enjoy. These movies will enrich any movie collection. This is part 3 and final part of my list.

10. Love & Basketball (2000)

A romantic drama this film spans a thirteen years of friendship between childhood sweethearts Monica Wright and Quincy McCall. Monica and Quincy’s love of basketball is only matched by their love for other. This is movie shows not only how love grows, but how people grow as well.  This is one of the few movies that blended sports and love together in a compelling story. This movie will make a few eyes tear up.

9. Selma (2014)

selma

A chronicle of Martin Luther King’s campaign to secure equal voting rights via an epic march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama in 1965. This film presents a unique perspective of the Civil Rights Movement and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. A movement that is fragile, ego driven and a leader who is all too human.

8. Coming to America (1988)

It is the 21st birthday of African Prince Akeem of Zamunda and he is to marry a woman he has never seen before. The prince breaks with tradition and travels to America to look for the love of his life. This film stars Eddie Murphy, but boasts an all star black cast of actors, including James Earl Jones. This comedy is the story is of a young man’s journey to find real love.

7. Get On Up (2014)

get on up

Born in South Carolina and survived abandonment, abuse and jail James Brown become one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century. He joined a gospel group as a teenager, but the jazz and blues along the “chitlin’ circuit” became his springboard to fame. Brown’s ability to ability to mesmerize audiences with his music, signature moves and sexual energy is captured in this film. This film has an excellent performance by Chadwick Boseman and presents another side of the enigmatic James Brown.

6. 12 Years A Slave (2013)

12 Years A Slave

In the years before the Civil War, Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor), a free black man from upstate New York, is kidnapped and sold into slavery in the South. Subjected to the cruelty of one malevolent owner, he also finds unexpected kindness from another, as he struggles continually to survive and maintain some of his dignity. It takes a lot of courage to tell a story like this, it takes even more courage to watch it.

It's going to take guts to walk around with this novel.

It’s going to take guts to walk around with this novel.

5. A Raisin in the Sun (1961)

 

This film is actually an adaptation of the Broadway play. Walter Lee Younger is a young man struggling with his station in life. Sharing a tiny apartment with his wife, son, sister and mother, he seems like an imprisoned man. Until, that is, the family gets an unexpected financial windfall. The film itself is a look into the life of an African American family in the Mid-1900s. This film shows how Blacks were at a crossroad between longing for as past and a future that may be unattainable.

4. Do the Right Thing (1989)

This movie sparked a national dialogue on race in America. The film scene is Brooklyn as this film pushes just about every racial hot button there is. This film is also noted for its style and look.

3. The Color Purple (1985)

This movie follows the life of Celie Johnson as she struggles through life in the early 1900s. This movie has some very classic  performances. This movie raised the consciousness of the United States to domestic violence.

2. The Matrix (1999)

Neo has always questioned his reality, but the truth is far beyond his imagination. Neo is contacted by Morpheus, a legendary computer hacker branded a terrorist by the government. Morpheus awakens Neo to the real world. A world that is a ravaged wasteland where humanity has been enslaved by a race of machines which live off of their body and imprison their minds within an artificial reality known as the Matrix. If you think movie is not a black movie, then you need to Free Your Mind.

1. Roots (1977)

This was movie that was broken up into a mini-series, but nevertheless it shook the moral consciousness of our American nation. This movie detailed the struggles and horrors of  slaves. There hasn’t been a movie  made like it since.

Honorable Mentions:  Lillies of the Field, The Great Debaters, Lady Sings the Blues, Hollywood Shuffle, When the Levees Broke, Hotel Rwanda, cornbread, earl and me

All of the movies on this list are movies of note. Movies should not be judged on things that can be manipulated such as box offices, internet popularity, etc. Movies are art as art it should be viewed on its content, merit, style, direction as well as impact. As you have probably guessed by now I have listed more than 30 films. In truth, I could have compiled a list of over 100 movies, but I feel that after viewing these movies anyone will have a greater understanding of African American culture as a whole. Pick a few movies from the list and see for yourself.

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Part 1 Part 2

For those that don’t know there have been many great Black movies. Many of these movies have enriched many lives. So, I have created this list to showcase some of these films. Many of these films you may not know and some you might, but they are all worth a look.  Feel free to comment on the list, but most of all enjoy. These movies will enrich any movie collection. This is part 2 of my list.

20. Fruitvale Station (2013)

Fruitvale Station

 

22-year-old black man Oscar Grant (Michael B. Jordan) is now trying hard to live a clean life and support his girlfriend and young daughter. The film uses flashbacks to reveal the last day in Oscar’s life, in which he accompanied his family and friends to San Francisco to watch fireworks on New Year’s Eve. On the way back home, he became swept up in an altercation with police that ended in tragedy. This story is powerful because it is sadly an everyday story.

19. Malcolm X (1992)

 

This is a biopic of the life, philosophies and transitions of Malcolm X, an influential American figure and Nation of Islam minister. Malcolm X is portrayed by Denzel Washington. This film is based on the book, The Autobiography of Malcolm X . For those who don’t know of Malcolm X this film, with the book, is a great teaching tool, to learn about the man and his life.

18. Antwone Fisher (2002)

 

A sailor prone to violent outbursts is sent to a naval psychiatrist for help. Refusing at first to open up, the young man eventually breaks down and reveals a horrific childhood. Through his therapy, he confronts his painful past and begins a journey to find the family he never knew. This movie is moving and heartwarming. This entire film is a journey of self-discovery, through the eyes of Antwone Fisher. This story is about the need to be loved and the need to forgive.

17. Boyz ‘n the Hood (1991)

 

This movie is a gripping tale of a group of childhood friends growing up in the ultra violent South Central Los Angeles. As far as modern urban dramas go this one has it all. This film makes important points regarding the struggles facing black boys in the inner cities. It is Simply Powerful.

16. Amistad (1997)

 

 

This film takes a little known chapter in African American history as gives it weight. This is the story of a bloody revolt of African captives on a Spanish slave ship off the coast of America in 1839, and the subsequent trials that followed. This story is as compelling as it is real.


 

15. Ray (2004)

 

This the true life story of legendary blues singer Ray Charles. The movie follows Ray Charles from the losing his eyesight in early childhood, to his rising career during the 1950s and 1960s, and his problems with racism, drug abuse, failed relationships and his revolutionary idea to change the pace music by combining soul and gospel music. This movie provides incredibly insight into a brilliant man.

14. Cooley High (1975)

 

This film follows a group of high school friends, who live on the North Side of Chicago, in the mid-1960. Life changes for two of the characters when they meet a pair of career criminals and get falsely arrested in connection with stealing a Cadillac. This is a coming of age film for young black men, as high schoolers deal with their triumphs as well as their struggles.

13. Soul Food (1997)

Mama Joe has held her family together for over 40 years around a traditional Sunday dinner of soul food. When diabetes hospitalizes her, the dinners stop and tensions among her three daughters start to break the family apart. This movie epitomized life in present-day America for many African-American families. Soul Food deals with multiple family issues, the struggles, the triumph, but most of all it portrayed African American family’s a real familial unit, with real problems.

12. Love Jones (1997)

The story revolves around a young poet in Chicago who starts dating a beautiful and talented photographer. This movie deftly deals with the differences between just kickin’ it, or are we really in love. This movie plays equally to men and women. This movie is similar in fashion to Brown Sugar, but this movie introduced Spoken Word to the world and that sets it apart. Love Jones is a real slice of African Americana.

11. Purple Rain (1984)

“The Kid” with a gift for music meets an aspiring singer and finds that talent alone isn’t all that he needs. This is a complicated loved tale with “The Kid” not wanting to repeat his father’s self destructive behavior. “The Kid” comes to grips with life, love and loss. This movie is usually overlooked as a glorified music video and it is music set on fire. Glorified or not this film positively burns long after you are finished watching it. After all, this movie made it possible for similar movies such as, ‘8 mile’ to be made.

Honorable Mentions: Hollywood Shuffle, Hoop Dreams, Within Our Gates, Eddie Murphy Raw, Lackawanna Blues, Boomerang, Precious, The Best Man, The Wood, Dream Girls,The Inkwell, Sparkle, I’m Gonna Get You Sucka, and New Jack City.

Part 1

Part 3

For those that don’t know there have been many great Black movies. Many of these great movies have enriched many lives. So, decided to created a list showcasing some of these films. Many of these films you may not know and some you might, but they all are worth a look.  Feel free to comment on the list, but most of all enjoy. These movies will enrich any movie collection.

30. House Party (1990)

The parents are gone and the Kids will Play. This film introduces people not only to Kid N’ Play, but also the new feel good Hip-Hop lifestyle.  This is a cheesy hip hop flick that was well cast, with endearing characters.

29. City of GOD (2002)

The images, sound and style are the most unique features of this film about Brazil. Honestly what you come away with is that the greatest violence of all, is poverty.

28. Fear of a Black Hat (1990)

This is a side-splittingly funny mockumentary about the imaginary hard-core rap group NWH (Niggaz With Hats). The documentary tracks NWH’s rise and fall from stardom. Be careful this movie is filled with parody and satire.

27. Hustle & Flow (2005)

A tale of a pimp in the middle of a mid-life crisis who decides he wants to be a rapper. Just when you think the film can’t get any better, it surprises you.  Just when you thought that it was safe to go into the hood they make a film like this one. This is an in your face unique portrayal of a hood film.

26. Hip-Hop: Beyond Beats & Rhymes (2006)

This documentary provides a riveting examination of manhood, sexism, and homophobia in hip-hop culture. This movie is a hip-hop tribute while challenging the rap music industry to take responsibility for glamorizing destructive, deeply conservative stereotypes of manhood.

25. Menace II Society (1993)

A young street hustler attempts to escape the rigors and temptations of the ghetto in a quest for a better life. This is another Urban Film, but much more hardcore than ‘Boyz N the Hood’. This movie is about drugs, gangs, and violence. It is as real a movies get with this subject matter.

The Butler

24. The Butler (2013)

After leaving the South as a young man and finding employment at an elite hotel in Washington, D.C., Cecil Gaines (Forest Whitaker) gets the opportunity of a lifetime when he is hired as a butler at the White House. Over the course of three decades, Cecil has a front-row seat to history and the inner workings of the Oval Office. However, this is a turbulent time for the black community and his role in the White House leads to tension at home, alienating his wife (Oprah Winfrey) and causing conflict with his anti-establishment son.

23. Krush Grove (1985)

This movie is based on the early days of Def Jam Recordings, up-and-coming manager Russell Walker has all the hottest acts on the record label Krush Groove records, including Run-D.M.C., Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, and Kurtis Blow, while Rick (Rubin) produces their records. When Run-D.M.C. has a hit record and Russell doesn’t have the money to press records, he borrows money from a street hustler, and the Hip Hop industry is born. The movie outpaces other good movies such Beatstreet, and Breakin’ because it shows that music is a business.

22. This Is It (2009)

This film is a compilation of interviews, rehearsals and backstage footage of Michael Jackson as he prepared for his “This is it”. A tour he never began because of his unfortunate death. This film reveals the music, the talent, and the man that was Michael Jackson. This well-rounded look at the man who changed the entertainment industry forever, is definitely a must see, if for the music alone.

21. Friday (1995)

I would have loved to put this movie up higher on my list it one of my personal favorites. Friday lets the audience into the lives of two friends who sit around smoking weed on a Friday. Sounds simple enough, but then we are greeted to crazies, moral dilemmas, life lessons and gun battles. This movie is often real and always hilarious.

I would have liked to put stand up offerings in the listing, Kevin Hart, Chris Rock, Dave Chapple, Richard Pryor, Eddie Griffin, Tyler Perry…there are just too many comedies to include and still get a well-rounded list. i will say that Eddie Murphy’s “Delirious.” is probably the best stand up ever. If you look at a film like Boomerang you can see the early diversity of Mr. Murphy Boomerang is one of the first films to portray blacks in non-traditional urban roles.

Honorable Mention: Carmen Jones, Baby Boy, Poetic Justice, Jason Lyric, and the best of those type of movies was Set it Off


MG Hardie (join the fan page)

Part 2 Part 3