Friday, September 2, 2016

Black Lives

I am studying with a midwife.

One thing we spend time talking about is health inequity, and how reproductive health outcomes are solid indicators of greater scale health outcomes.

My teacher shared that black folks who grow up in here in the US experience greater rates of negative health outcomes (and reproductive health outcomes) than poor immigrants or poor white folks. Like even black families who are well educated and middle-to-high-income. Part of the distinction she made was compared to folks who grow up in a context where their skin color is well represented.

My teacher chalks this all up to the effect of stress on the body and it all comes back to microagression, macroaggression, and safety. If you are black and you grow up poor in Jamaica, for example, you might have a context you feel like you belong. If you are black and you grow up in the US, even not-poor or middle class then you are still existing in a context where you're constantly being Othered and questioned. Each day is an uncertainty in a context where police brutality, for example, is an ever-present reality.

All that means the body is constantly processing stress, and that is getting in the way of things like carrying oxygen in the blood to all the tissue. Making enzymes to break down and absorb nutrients in food. Filling the lungs. This makes health outcomes an uphill climb.

Fuck that.

We all deserve a fair shot at fucking perfusion.

So lets remember, while we work on black lives matter. This is about more than the priceless lives of the citizens slaughtered by their own regime. That, an unending debt.

But this too, is about the health of those still present, and the unborn, those who long to live.

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