Dear All,

    I am looking forward to seeing you on Wednesday where we can
continue to discuss important topics of the day.

    Below are a few thoughts to start the discussion.

        I trained to be a surgeon in the 1960’s at Charity Hospital
in New Orleans. Racial segregation was coming to an end.
    On July first, 1965 Charity Hospital was desegregated. There were no
longer Black and White wards. There were very few incidences.
    The number of patients and their problems changed very little. Life
went on.
    Like most large cities at the time personnel violent was a part of
everyday life. It still is.
    We saw an average of a stab wound a day. There were 2 gunshot wounds
a week from small caliber guns. About half of the violence was domestic
violence where the joke was that someone came home too early or too late.
    The other half originated in bars. They would get liquored up and
then a fight would break out.
    Almost all the incidents were black on black and white on white. In
most of the cases, the perpetrator and the person injured knew each other. 
    As desegregation proceed both communities grew fearful. The news
outlets published incidents of violence involving guns. Any incidence
involving both a black and a white was headline news. The violence we had
been seeing for years was rarely mentioned.
    The result was not an increase in the number of incidences but the
level of the violence. Instead of kitchen knives, we began to see more gun
wounds. It went from small caliber pistols to rifles and before I left we
began to see shotguns wounds.
    It was still black on black and white on white but fear had
increased the feeling that one needed to protect themselves. When an
incident arose they acted as before only now they had a more powerful
    That was 50 years ago. Can we say anything has improved? I hope to
see you on Wednesday when we can discuss the topic.

    AL Persson, Discussion Leader