Unfortunately, the great state of Texas either lost, or failed to read and follow the memo. For whatever reason, on this day the remainder of America’s slaves, were finally released from a lifetime of bondage and over 150yrs later the U.S. government has declared it a national holiday. Which we celebrated for the first time yesterday.
I think its befitting that World Sickle Cell Day and Juneteenth, share the same day. As both commemorate and remind the world of two groups of people, that have not been given the recognition, respect or acknowledgement that they deserve. As a country, we are just barely scratching the surface to understanding how the legacy of slavery continues to guide the everyday lives of our citizens. Mainly, through the legacy government policies of red lining, disproportionate jail sentences for people of color, and a policing system that can't seem to teach its officers to have the same patience and "out of the box" thinking, when it comes to peacefully disarming a white person. Yet, allows and seemingly insists, that in similar situations where black and brown people are involved, the only option is to pull the trigger. After all, they only have a "few" seconds to make a "lifesaving" decision but, that life in question rarely seems to be that, of the armed officers.
In the same spirit...Sickle Cell Disease was discovered 125yrs ago and was Immediately classified, as a "Black" disease. It seems those same "legacy" government policies, guidance systems and thoughts of Black's as being "Lesser", were simply rolled over and applied to an entire illness. Leaving generations of its carriers and families to care for and educate themselves, on an illness that continues to cause just as, if not more, mental and emotional pain than, it does physical harm.
Yes, it is befitting that the two share the same day because, as a society we still don't want to fully recognize and accept the legacy of systemic racism and personal bias that slavery as cursed us with. While at the same time we praise the advancements, science has brought to Sickle Cell but, still allow its patients to be dismissed, disrespected, discriminated against and disenfranchised, when seeking medical care in ED's across the country. Just as our officers find ways to peacefully disarm and deescalate white perpetrators daily, without firing one bullet. However, in the same breath claim, that killing the black or brown perpetrator, was the "only choice". Sickle Cell patients are denied treatment everyday, based on the doctor and/or nurses’ "belief", that we are "Addicts" who are "Drug Seeking", for a cheap high. Rather than, just accepting the "FACT" that we are "Legitimate Patients”, suffering from a "Hereditary Illness " that is KNOWN....actually SCIENTIFICALLY PROVEN to cause pain like no other, not even that of child birth.