White Men Are the Last Best Hope for Herschel Walker in Georgia Senate Runoff

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Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) at a campaign rally featuring former President Barack Obama on Dec. 1, 2022 in Atlanta. Warnock continues to campaign throughout Georgia for the runoff election on Dec. 6 against his Republican challenger Herschel Walker. (Win McNamee / Getty Images)

What happens in Georgia Dec. 6 doesn’t stay in Georgia. If Democratic U.S. Senator Raphael Warnock can hold off Republican challenger Herschel Walker and win reelection, the Democrats will gain a 51-49 advantage in the Senate, giving them slim but clear majorities in key committees. Vice President Kamala Harris will no longer need to cast tie-breaking votes to pass legislation, confirm federal judges, and otherwise advance liberal and progressive priorities.

Despite Walker’s widely reported manifest deficits as a candidate, including a long record of misogynous abuse and coercive behavior toward women, and blatant hypocrisy on the issue of abortion, the race is still too close to call.

Many pundits have scratched their heads and wondered how a race between two African American men, one a thoughtful and respected Christian minister who occupies the same pulpit as Martin Luther King, Jr., and the other a personable but deeply flawed former football star, is even close. But their analysis often lacks more than a superficial understanding of the intersecting gender, racial and party politics at play.

Much of the hope for a Democratic victory hinges on the possibility of a huge turnout among voters of color, and young voters. Since record-breaking numbers have already voted, which most observers say benefits the Democrats, it appears as if this groundswell is already underway. 

Much of the hope for a Republican victory rests similarly on big turnout. But in the case of the GOP, the turnout they need is of white voters, especially white men, who are by far the party’s most important constituency in Georgia and every other state. 

The GOP has made gains in recent cycles among voters of color, especially men. According to NBC News exit polls from the Nov. 8 election, while only 5 percent of Black women voted for Walker, 12 percent of Black men did. There was a similar gender gap among Latino voters. 

White women also supported Walker by a wide margin that was even more pronounced along class lines. Fifty-four percent of white college-educated women went for Walker—a number that was 25 percentage points lower than women with no college (79), who, notably, supported the alleged abuser of women at rates similar to their male counterparts.

But Walker utterly trounced Warnock among white men by 71-27 percent. This was nearly identical to the margin that Donald Trump had over Joe Biden among these Georgia voters in the 2020 presidential race. Walker’s advantage among white men without a college degree was an astounding 80-19 percent.

Yet despite these dramatic numbers, few mainstream political analysts have even mentioned—much less thoughtfully discussed—the white male vote in Georgia, and what it says about the current state of our politics as the GOP prepares to take back narrow control of the House of Representatives.     

Walker’s advantage among white men without a college degree was an astounding 80-19 percent. Yet despite these dramatic numbers, few mainstream political analysts have even mentioned—much less thoughtfully discussed.

This lack of attention is entirely understandable from the perspective of Democratic political operatives on the ground in Georgia, as the most realistic strategy for winning elections like this one is to motivate your base and get them to the polls. Once elections are underway, it makes little sense to expend precious campaign resources on trying to persuade white men to vote Democratic. That is longer-term work. Alas, the very reason why Democratic victories so often require a massive turnout among people of color, young people, and single women is in order to counteract the voting power of those very same white men.

This Senate runoff election is in some ways a microcosm of the electoral challenges national Democrats face in coming years, and the tensions involved in cobbling together electoral majorities in a country in which 74 million people voted for Donald Trump in 2020, despite living through four years of his chaotic and deeply divisive presidency and his disastrous mismanagement of the coronavirus pandemic, not to mention the Big Lie he has spread since the election.  

Racism is part of the reason why a significant chunk of the white working-class deserted the Democratic Party.

One of the central conundrums the party faces is how to appeal to what Stacey Abrams calls the “New American Majority” while simultaneously winning back the support of at least a viable segment of white working-class voters, many of whom deserted the Democratic Party decades ago—in the South and elsewhere—but who still comprise crucial percentages of the electorate in voting districts nationwide.

This tension in the Democratic coalition has persisted in one form or another since the early ’70s, when the aftermath of the civil rights movement, antagonisms sparked by the Vietnam War, and the rise of the women’s and LGBTQ movements, in concert with increased corporate attacks on organized labor, opened fissures in the Democratic party that remain to this day.

With the possible exception of the preternaturally charismatic Barack Obama’s election and re-election in 2008/2012, and Joe Biden’s win in a pandemic-ravaged nation in 2020, the party has not been able to successfully stitch together a stable electoral majority ever since. This is in large because they have lost the support of so many white working-class voters all over the country—not only in the South. Racism is part of the reason why a significant chunk of the white working-class deserted the Democratic Party.

But there are many other reasons, including the perception by many working-class whites that in recent decades the historic party of the blue-collar worker forgot about them in its rush to serve the interests of an unlikely alliance of global capital, college-educated professionals, feminist women and “metrosexual” men, racial minorities, and ethnic immigrants.

As I explore in my documentary The Man Card: White Male Identity Politics from Nixon to Trump, this perception is fed daily on Fox News and right-wing talk radio, where hosts and guests declare repeatedly that Democrats and liberals “hate white men,” and mock the manhood of any man who supports liberal and progressive policies.

In his surprise victory over Hillary Clinton in 2016, Donald Trump successfully convinced millions of working-class and lower middle-class whites—especially but not exclusively men—that unlike the Democratic coastal elites who supposedly look down on working people, he truly cared about their plight and would tirelessly fight for them.

Of course, once elected, Trump governed—in substance if not style—like a traditional conservative Republican, passing a huge tax cut that benefitted the wealthy, trying to roll back gains on access to health care for millions of Americans, gutting regulations that benefit workers and consumers, and appointing corporatist judges to the federal bench, including the Supreme Court, that rule overwhelmingly against the rights of workers and “the common man and woman” when their rights come into conflict with corporate profits. 

But conservative media rarely allows any airtime for these sorts of inconvenient facts, or anything that might complicate the narrative that “real men” should vote Republican. Every day in the right-wing universe of political angertainment, (white) men hear the twin messages of impending apocalypse (our civilization is under existential threat) and inspirational calls to them as its saviors (we need you to save it).

A farewell speech in Congress delivered recently by far-right North Carolina Republican Representative Madison Cawthorne, who lost his reelection bid in a primary, sums up the gendered appeal of the MAGA right:  

“Our young men are taught that weakness is strength, that delicacy is desirable, and that being a soft metrosexual is more valuable than training the mind, body, and soul. Social media has weakened us, siphoning our men of their will to fight, to rise in a noble manner, square their jaws and charge once more into the breach of life and defend what they love.

“So on this precipice of disaster I ask the young men of this nation a question: Will you sit behind a screen while the story tales of your forefathers become myth? Or will you stand resolute against the dying light of America’s Golden Age? Will you reclaim your masculinity? Will you become a man to be feared, to be respected, to be looked up to? Or will you let this nation’s next generation be its final generation?”

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Republican U.S. Senate candidate Herschel Walker at a campaign rally on Nov. 7, 2022 in Kennesaw, Ga. (Alex Wong / Getty Images)

This conservative appeal to “masculinity” helps to explain why—despite Walker’s numerous gaffes and bizarre statements on the campaign trail—he has kept this election within the margin of error. It has simply become unthinkable for millions of white men to vote for a party they see—in crudely stereotypical and misogynous terms—as soft, weak and effeminate. 

The gender politics of this contest are even starker due to Walker’s hero status as a football star in “Dawg Nation,” where football is king. Stephen Lawson, who organized a political committee for Walker, had this explanation. 

“The fact of the matter is,” he said, “there are 40-, 50-year-old men across the state who sleep in their No. 34 jerseys at night. He’s an icon. He’s a hero in this state, and the despicable attacks that come against him will 100 percent backfire.”

Walker himself regularly references his sports past as a positive rationale for his candidacy. “God prepared me for this moment because he didn’t want a politician. I’m not a politician. I can run that football.  I can run track. And I do all those other things. I’m that warrior that God was looking for.”

There will be many to things to watch for in the Georgia runoff. One of them will be how many white men turn out to vote for a disastrously unqualified candidate merely because he has an “R” next to his name and the “blue-collar billionaire” endorsed him. And if despite all his baggage an overwhelming number of white men nonetheless vote for Herschel Walker, what will it take in future elections for them to support candidates who not only don’t abuse women but instead treat them with respect—personally and politically—and who champion policies that actually help working people and their families?

Up next:

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Warhol Foundation Announces Recipients of 2022 Arts Writer Grants

The New York-based Andy Warhol Foundation, which distributes grants in the creative sector, has announced the 2022 recipients of its lauded Arts Writers prize.

The non-profit organization will distribute a total of $695,000 that will go to support twenty writers producing project across three literary categories: articles, books, and short-form writing. Each recipient will receive funding between $15,000 and $50,000. The annual grant is focused on supporting arts criticism.

In a statement announcing the awardees, Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant director, Pradeep Dalal described this year’s honored writers as “immensely rich.” Topics represented in the projects address issues related to race, eco-activism, and labor.

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A white man with his arms crossed before two paintings of a smiling white woman.

Dalal went on to describe the need to fund art criticism as “urgent,” amid “publication venues folding, national newspapers reducing their arts coverage and staff, and university presses relying on authors to find additional support for the publication of their books.”

The full list of grantees follows below.

Articles
Sarah Cooper “From Person A to Personality: Programs of Performance, Language, and Image, 1974-1980”
Pepper Stetler “Bringing the Outside In: The Creative Growth Art Center”
Xueli Wang “Poetics of Interiority in Asian American Photography”

Books
Simone Browne Black Artists and the Disruption of Surveillance
Derrais Carter The Sugar Shack: A Cultural Life
Youngmin Choe Craft Media: Materiality, Mediation, and the Decompression of Compressed Modernity
Terri Francis Make that Art!: Kevin Jerome Everson’s Body of Work
Joshua Javier Guzmán Brown Exposures: Queer Photography and the Literary Aperture
Pablo Larios Remote Working
Claudia Costa Pederson Mexican Art and Technology Ecologies, the Posthuman, New Worlds, and Politics

Short-Form Writing
Emily Christensen
Janyce Denise Glasper
Alex A. Jones
Natasha Marie Llore
JoanneMcNeil
Minh Nguyen
Tausif Noor
Stacy Elaine Pratt
Seph Rodney
Tina Rivers Ryan

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Vic Mensa And Chance the Rapper Present ‘Black Star Line Festival’ In Ghana

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Vic Mensa & Chance the Rapper Black Star Line Fest

Source: Courtesy of Black Star Line Festival / Black Star Line Festival

Vic Mensa and Chance the Rapper announced the first annual Black Star Line Festival in Ghana. The festival will feature the two rappers as well as Erykah Badu, T-Pain, Tobe Nwigwe and more. Read more about the mission and how they plan to unite artists throughout the Diaspora.

The two Chicago rappers are co-organizing the first ever Black Star Line Festival, which will take place on Jan. 6, 2023, in Accra’s historic Black Star Square to celebrate Pan-Africanism, building bridges between Black people and artists of the Diaspora with The Continent.

Vic Mensa is releasing his second studio album early next year on Roc Nation ahead of the festival. The rapper’s upcoming album features production from Grammy award-winning Nigerian producer Bongo ByTheWay.  He is also set to star in the African/American drama, which films in South Africa early next year and will be produced by legendary costume designer Ruth E. Carter (Black Panther, Coming 2 America). The film follows the rise of South Africa’s hip-hop scene, which takes place during the post-apartheid renaissance period.

Vic discusses the origins of his and Chance’s Black Star Line Festival in Ghana.

“I just started mentally formulating an idea for an event to bring Black artists to perform and tie it in with some educational experiences for them to understand the culture and just put it on ice in my mind,” Vic said. “Then, when we got to Ghana last year, I started chopping it up with some of the guys about it and thinking about how Chance would be perfect to help make this a reality, but I had no clue he was going to come to Ghana.”

He goes on to discuss what an enormous feat it is that these two Chicago natives came together to make something like this happen.

“It’s like, we’re not C3 or Live Nation,” Vic adds.  “We’re two kids from Chicago with a dream to make some amazing shit happen.”

They announced the official Black Star Line Festival lineup. The free concert will feature performances from Chance the Rapper, Vic Mensa, Erykah Badu, T-Pain, Jeremih, Sarkodie, Tobe Nwigwe, Asakaa Boys and M.anifest.

In the days leading up to the concert, Black Star Line Festival will also host a week-long series of events and panels at cultural centers throughout Accra, starting the first week of January. The free gatherings will provide opportunities for education, enrichment and cultural diffusion.

The former Chi-town classmates, Vic Mensa and Chance the Rapper, reunited musically on the quiet but quick “Wraith” as well as the clever and funny “A Bar About a Bar” and can be heard on Ghanaian artist King Promise’s latest single “Run To You.”

A bit of history about where the festival will take place:

The historic Black Star Square is a monument to the political freedom that was fought for and won by Ghanaians in 1957. Ghana was the first Sub-Saharan African country to free itself from colonialism under the leadership of its first president, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah –– many nations on the continent soon followed.  Dr. Nkrumah was inspired by Jamaican-Born revolutionary Marcus Garvey, who believed in a free Africa and a global connection between the people of the continent and Black people globally. When Dr. Nkrumah developed Ghana’s flag and principles, he insisted that these principles were key to the forward mobility of its people.

Where’d they get the name Black Star Line Festival:

The Black Star Line Festival title’s origins were inspired by civil rights leader Marcus Garvey’s iconic Black Star Line. Founded in 1919 and operated by Black people, the line would link America, the Caribbean, and Africa, to global shipping and tourism opportunities. The Black Star Line was a symbol of pride, not only for Africans but also for Black people in all ports of call. After nearly 40 years, the Ghanaian government launched their fleet with the same name, in homage to Garvey, and even added a black star to the country’s new flag.

Visit the website for more information on Black Star Line Festival, debuting in Accra, Ghana Jan. 6, 2023.\

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35 photos

Vic Mensa And Chance the Rapper Present ‘Black Star Line Festival’ In Ghana  was originally published on globalgrind.com

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Drug-related deaths spike for older Americans

Deaths due to substance abuse, particularly of alcohol and opioids, rose sharply among older Americans in 2020, the first year of the coronavirus pandemic, as lockdowns disrupted routines and isolation and fear spread, federal health researchers reported Wednesday.

Alcohol and opioid deaths remained far less common among older people than among those middle-aged and younger, and rates had been rising in all groups for years. But the pronounced uptick — another data point in the long list of pandemic miseries — surprised government researchers.

Deaths from opioids increased among Americans age 65 and older by 53% in 2020 over the previous year, the National Center for Health Statistics found. Alcohol-related deaths, which had already been rising for a decade in this age group, rose by 18%.

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“The rate of alcohol deaths in older people is much lower than for younger adults, but the change caught our eye,” said Ellen Kramarow, a health statistician at the center and the lead author of the report, which analyzed death certificate data.

Overdose deaths from synthetic opioids account for fewer than 1% of deaths in people over 65, Kramarow noted. “But the shape of the curve jumped out at us,” she said.

Physiological changes that occur with aging leave older adults more vulnerable to the ill effects of alcohol and drugs, as metabolism and excretion of substances slow down, increasing the risk of toxicity. Smaller amounts have bigger effects, researchers have found.

Alcohol and opioids can interact poorly with prescription medications that many older adults take for common conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes and mood disorders. Misuse can lead to falls and injuries, exacerbate underlying medical conditions and worsen declines in cognition.

Substance abuse by older adults is often missed by health care providers, who rarely refer these patients for treatment. Many facilities that offer rehab services tailor their programs to younger populations. Older patients have different needs and may be uncomfortable receiving treatment with people who are only as old as their children or grandchildren.

Many baby boomers have struggled with addiction since they were young adults. Some fell off the wagon after retirement or during the pandemic, when they suddenly had more free time and little structure and lost access to treatment because of shutdowns and fear of infection.

The death rates indicate a widespread problem with substance abuse among the elderly. Although alcohol and drug use typically subside with age, nearly 1 million adults age 65 and older have a substance use disorder, according to government data. Some 3% use marijuana, and 1 in 10 binge-drink, which is defined for men as having five or more drinks on a single occasion, and for women as having four or more.

“This is a hidden population that is often ignored,” said Dr. Frederic Blow, a professor of psychiatry and director of the University of Michigan Addiction Center.

Blow said that comparatively few older Americans go into treatment. Families and spouses are embarrassed, and health care providers tend to be less aggressive about referring older patients to rehab, he added.

“Younger people go to get care because their family gives them an ultimatum or their employer has identified the problem, whereas the No. 1 way older individuals get to treatment is through the criminal justice system,” often after an arrest for drunken driving, he said.

Lochiel P., a 72-year-old man in Albany, New York, who asked that his last name be withheld, started drinking when he was 18 (which was then the legal age) and began smoking marijuana and using psychedelic drugs in college.

He had been in and out of treatment his entire life. But he had been sober for eight years when his retirement triggered a relapse.

“I never smoked marijuana before I went to work or during the workday — only when I went home,” he said. But after retiring, he said, “I smoked marijuana all day long and drank a pint of vodka every day, starting with one half-pint at noon and the second in the evening.”

He was miserable, and his wife was about to leave him, he said, when he was finally ordered into treatment after being stopped for driving under the influence.

He has now been sober for four years and has become a recovery peer advocate at Senior Hope, an outpatient clinic in Albany that caters to people age 50 and older who are struggling with substance abuse.

The program is the only one of its kind in New York to offer non-intensive treatment outside a hospital to people in that age group, according to Nicole MacFarland, Senior Hope’s CEO.

Treatment groups are smaller, which is preferred by older patients, and facilitators make sure to speak loudly and slowly to accommodate those with hearing and cognitive deficits, she said.

The new federal data offers granular insights into who is at highest risk. Men are more likely to suffer alcohol-induced deaths: In 2020, the rates for men age 65 to 74 were more than 3 times as high as those among women of the same ages.

Alcohol-related death rates for men age 75 and older were 4 times as high as among similarly aged women, according to the new report.

Native American and Alaska Native people age 65 and over experienced the biggest increase in age-adjusted alcohol-induced death rates in 2020, with the rate climbing almost 50% from 2019. The figure was more than twice as high as the rate among older Hispanic Americans.

White Americans had the next highest death rate, with lower figures for Black Americans and the lowest ones for Asian American seniors. Overall, 11,616 Americans age 65 and older died of alcohol-induced causes in 2020.

About 5,000 older adults died of drug overdoses. But that number represents a tripling of the drug death rate over the past two decades, with faster increases among men in recent years.

Drug overdose death rates for men age 65 and over are highest among Black men, compared with men from other racial and ethnic backgrounds. Among women, overdose death rates are highest for Black women age 65 to 74, while white women have the highest death rates among women age 75 and over.

Aging baby boomers — the Woodstock generation — had more exposure to alcohol and drugs than previous generations, who viewed the use of such substances as a moral weakness and were much less familiar with marijuana, Blow said.

The fraying of social networks and shutdowns during the first part of the pandemic exacerbated substance abuse, just as access to cannabis and alcohol increased — one could order drinks or cannabis over the phone and have them delivered to one’s home, Blow said.

“When you add that to feelings of loneliness and isolation, of feeling at the end of the world in some ways, it became an impetus for people to start using more than they ever had in the past,” he said.

© 2022 The New York Times Company

Introducing HFR & Co.

Last week, New York city agency, Harlem Fashion Row and nonprofit organization, ICON360, announced that they are collaborating with giant retail companies to create a more inclusive shopping directory.

HFR&CO will provide shoppers with a curated list on their website to show off the talent of Latino and Black creators. The goal is to continue to support companies that are owned by diverse entrepreneurs.

So far, Macy’s, Shopbob, and Bloomingdales are on board with the idea. Shoppers will be able to check out a variety of merchandise including apparel, shoes, children’s clothes and endless accessories through HFR&CO’s website.

Brandice Daniel, CEO of Harlem Fashion Row (HFR) and ICON 360 has spent many years trying to create a platform for Black artists and fashion designers. She created HFR in 2007 as a way to create a bridge between brands and designers of color in the fashion industry.

She explained that it is a dream come true to get the support from major retailers.

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“I want to build a community to increase awareness of emerging designers of color and to make it easier for consumers to find and support them,” she said. “I am very thankful for the support of Macy’s, Bloomingdales, and Shopbop in making this possible. As time progresses, I hope that other retailers will come on board.”

Shawn Outler, Chief Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer for Macy’s, is also hoping to break barriers and create a change with the new directory.

“As a company committed to tackling barriers to representation, we at Macy’s, Inc. are honored and proud to be a part of HFR & Co. This platform will not only increase consumer awareness of, and access to, Black and Hispanic/Latino-owned businesses and designers, it will also play a crucial role in creating an equitable and sustainable future for these creators, as well,” said Outler.

With the shopping season here in full effect, HFR&Co are hoping to add more big name retailers to its new directory.

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Break Out the Crutches—Here Come the Lame Ducks

… publicize police brutality and discuss racism by Deion Scott Hawkins Before … moments. Pew Research has found African Americans who use Twitter are twice … million users are African American. And about one in five African Americans are on … RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News

$569B in reparations owed to black California residents, says Newsom’s task force

After months of research, California’s Reparations Task Force recently reported that the state’s black residents whose ancestors were in America from 1933 to 1977 are owed a total of $569 billion in housing reparations, the New York Times reported.

The task force, which was formed by legislation signed by California Governor Gavin Newsom in 2020, includes nine members who have spent months traveling the state conducting interviews and collecting data to assess the long-term effects of slavery.

The nine-member panel plans to release a full report to Sacramento lawmakers next year detailing state-level reparation recommendations. The group hopes their efforts will minimize the wealth gap between black and white California residents.

The task force’s 2022 preliminary report analyzed five potential compensation areas, including housing discrimination, mass incarceration, unjust property seizures, devaluation of black businesses, and health care.

In March, the task force determined that those eligible to receive reparations include California residents who are descendants of enslaved African-Americans or a “free Black person living in the United States prior to the end of the 19th century.”

In the United States, black households have a median wealth of $24,100, whereas white households have a median wealth of $188,200, the preliminary paper noted, citing the most recent Federal Reserve Board Survey of Consumer Finances.

The task force blamed the wealth gap on redlining and racist housing covenants that segregated black California residents from the 1950s to the 1960s.

The panel concluded that black Californian residents are owed a total of $569 billion, or $223,200 each, for housing discrimination.

The Reparations Task Force is still determining how reparations would be best distributed to eligible individuals. Members are considering whether reparations should be provided in the form of tuition, housing grants, or direct cash payments.

Jovan Scott Lewis, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, and a member of the Reparations Task Force, told the Times, “We are looking at reparations on a scale that is the largest since Reconstruction.”

While the task force may be the nation’s most extensive reparations effort in recent history, the panel of nine can only make recommendations to state lawmakers. It will be up to the legislators to determine whether to act on the recommendations and identify funding options.

“That is why we must put forward a robust plan, with plenty of options,” Lewis stated.

UofL cardiologist now seeing patients in west Louisville

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — A cardiologist is now seeing patients in west Louisville.

Dr. Kim Williams is the first cardiologist at UofL Urgent Care Plus in the Parkland neighborhood.

Williams said he takes a different approach to heart health care by helping patients change their habits to prevent heart disease, such as diet and exercise.

He said African Americans are 30% more likely to die from heart disease, so it’s important to be proactive.

“What we can do is to try to get people screened early on, find out if they have plaque in their arteries, if their cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar are out of control,” Williams said. “Find out what the risk and the underlying disease is early on before something happens to the patient and then manage it ahead of time.”

Williams is at the urgent care center every other Friday. Appointments can be made with him through UofL’s Urgent Care Parkland website by clicking here. Appointments can also be made by calling 502-815-7040.

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