Special Report to BlacksinHollywood
(www.BlacksinHollywood.com) – Over the years, so many celebrities have confided in me about their mental state it became a challenge to keep up.
During a private lunch organized by Black Erotica author, Zane, I sat at a table in Prince George’s County, Maryland and listened – half in awe and half in horror – to author BeBe Moore Campbell pour her heart out to me. I wasn’t a mother so there wasn’t any real way for me to relate to her pain but as a writer I knew what she was saying and doing was incredibly risky and oustandingly brave.
“My daughter suffers from a mental illness. That’s why I wrote the book, “72 Hour Hold,” because that was all the hospital would give me. I knew my baby was sick and I was trying to get help for her but 72 hours is as long as the law allows a person to be held involuntarily. It’s called a 5150,” said Moore Campbell, whose daughter starred on a TV sitcom with LL Cool J before turning to sex and drugs.
“Mental illness is a kind of slavery. The day is coming when people with brain diseases won’t be written off or warehoused,” Moore Campbell told me, which I confessed made me feel a kind of pressure I’d not felt before. If mental illness is a brain disease like alcoholism, why is it treated so differently? I didn’t want to question on of my editorial sheros but it didn’t make much sense. She was kind of enough to keep talking to me until it did.
As an author whose books I personally devoured, I was honored to be in the presence of BeBe Moore Campbell but I was also freaked out. There were so many other reporters who could have been contacted. Why me? The answer was simple: I’d managed to create the first online Black newspaper and eventually launched the first online Black radio station. My podcasts were groundbreaking and everyone wanted me to help them get their stories out through my podcasts. Just as popular as they were, no one really understood them either. I’d spend half my time explaining what a podcast was, why it mattered and the other half interviewing a person or covering the event.
I promised Moore Campbell, I’d do more on mental illness but it was not a promise I kept until after she passed away. I attended her funeral and even podcast it then put it on YouTube. Now once or twice a year, I do a special on Black people and mental illness to try to keep my promise to her. Maybe that’s why I’ve done so many articles, podcasts and reports on mental illness. It’s certainly why I fight NYC First Lady Chirlane McCray on what I call her $850 Million Mental Health Heist of a program which she calls, #ThriveNYC. While it sounds good, McCray and her husband Bill de Blasio are pimping the system. They’re teaming with BIG PHARMA to get every drop of the blood money that the companies are doling out to manufacture mental illness.
The City of New York has been sued by NAMI (National Allicance for the Mentally Ill) for #MentalHealthFraud because NYC unlawfully manufactures mental illness in parents they are harassing, in citizens who complain about city corruption. In doing, the laswsuit said, patients who actually need the services cannot get them because NYC is abusing its possible over who gets the service nen ” and now they are setting their target on preschool and elementary school children, most of which are Black and Latino. Now McCray is giving 200,000 non-medically training medical access to an epi-pen like injectable device that will pump pyschothropic drugs into someone who the non-doctor deems needs it.
Recently, Maia Campbell went on Iylanla Vanzant’s show, “Fix My Life” and addressed her issues in order to health her head and her heart. It was an especially touching moment for me to watch, knowing the history and pain her mom endured.
For much of the last three years, America has been watching as rapper/singer/poet Kanye West began to melt down. Kanye’s mental illness – there from earlier in his life – grew worse after the passing of his mother Dr. Donda West. Ironically, I had a deep conversation with Dr. West for about an hour prior to her death. We talked a lot about Kanye, her regrets and her proudest moments. When the interview ended, we spoke for about 30 more minutes and I walked away feeling like I was part of her family. She asked me to help her work on a project and I agreed. When I called about a week later, she was dead. She never got to do the project that her heart felt was so important for her. “My legacy not just as Kanye’s mom, but my story. The book was about Kanye but this project is about me.”
Over the years, as I witnessed like everyone else, Dr. West’s son spiraling I’d think on the things she confided in me wishing I could share them with him. I didn’t think it was really my place but then again anyone who has lost their mother knows, you would give anything for a nugget, a moment in time with your mom. I hope Kanye listens to the interview. She left him a legacy of love in that recording. It’s amazing like she was speaking to him for the future, not for today.
As he fights for his mental health – and possibly his life because the results of mental illness when it’s private is devastating but the results when you’re a private person but living in the public’s eye can lead to disasterous results – I hope he finds healing in fatherhood. I hope he walks away from fame and steps into the light of parenthood. I hope he gets a second chance to fix his life and focus on North and Saint and Kim because I’ve watched how they’ve changed him. When his mother came to him in the dream that led to the song, “ONE DAY,” she again pointed him to the answer to his problems: FAMILY.
It’s time to retire Pablo. It’s time to bury Yeezus. It’s time to ressurect Kanye Omari West and focus on the only title that matters: Daddy.