by Robert Earl Houston
Today I am launching an initiative that I hope will spread like wildfire. Today I am announcing the formation of “OPERATION NBA” which is an initiative to encourage, cajole, and beg African American men to celebration one of this nation’s greatest sporting events – the NBA Playoffs – and to do some pro-active during the playoffs: To pick up the telephone, call your local physician’s office and schedule a complete physical examination.
I recently had a brush with skin cancer – a melanoma that was largely not visible, and had I not been proactive of my own health care, I would have ignored what looked like nothing than a mole on the arch of my foot, and after weeks of study, two biopsies, and surgery – I am proud to say that my personal physician, by the help of the Lord, were able to remove the entire cancer from my body. However, I know that I was one of the blessed ones. There are many who are not quite as fortunate.
This fear of going to doctors is unfortunately a reality in the African Diaspora. However, it is literally a life and death matter. The statistics are staggering and even our corporate life-expectancy in this nation is eye-raising when you consider that most of us who have jobs pay into a Social Security Retirement system that only a small portion will live long enough to receive benefits from.
I call upon the Presidents of the National Baptist Conventions, Presiding prelates of every Christian denomination and of all religions to place this before the men of your congregation and encourage them to seek medical attention. We cannot continue to lose significant portions of our population needlessly. Our wives, our spouses, our significant others, our children, our parents, our siblings, our neighbors, our families, our houses of worship, can no longer simply watch us continue on without seeking some type of professional attention.