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In America, no gay blood allowed.

“Cultural reasoning provides a powerful institutional mechanism for racializing social forms and relations that had previously not been imbued with racial meaning.” As much as we move a step forward in scientific explanations of causes, humans are still and will always be social beings. Whether in the fact that we continuously interact,  or that critical events can be connected to social opinions in addition to factual causes.  Reading about the cholera situation in South America and its effective blame to the indigenous cultures is not a surprising blame.  It is a historical fact that the “modern,” world blames and racializes the marginalized or indigenous groups with health disparities that have origins connected with filth and unsanitary conditions.  Great powers seek explanations to events with drastic effects on their “modern citizens,” that it is essentially to their best interest to quell the greater mass by embarking on the “Blame Game.”   While the responsibility of a country to take care of ALL its citizens, public health institutions are out in the indigenous communities trying to figure out the “problem,” yet at the same time taking part in racialization.  One common example was the explanation of cholera as a joke stating “weak biological constitutions and intractable ignorance and stupidity causes of death by cholera in indigena culture.”  While trying to find a cause, the “institutions,” who are out trying to “help” the people, automatically bring with them the notions of superiority and the need to source the answer to a lack of intellect problem. This notion of lack of intellect comes from government institutions seeking to impose “modern,” Westernized notions for community and social organization, deeming it as the way to stop “disease. ”  There lies ignorance in groups who seek to help, because they help to change when in reality they should help to provide an alternative option.

We speak about medical justice, about not limiting the access of health to people, and de-racializing medicine. However, we do not have to go south of the border to the racialization of health disparity’s occur. Today, I found out that gay men are prohibited from donating blood to the American Red Cross . The reasoning was through the “assumption,” that gay men are likelier to have HIV and not practice safe sex. Once a male has sex with a male, they are banned forever.  Current lobbyist and the American Red Cross, support a one year deferral period for blood donations by men who have had sex with another man, yet the ban is scientifically unwarranted. If the one-year deferral period were to exist, the American Red Cross would receive 89,000 additional pints annually. While many claim we are a more open society, it is humiliating and a disgrace that American ignorant assumptions of gay men is taken into consideration as a scientific cause for prohibiting men to donate. Mind you that there is critical shortage of blood in America. Ignorance is prohibiting the good intentions of INDIVIDUALS, and that is traumatic in itself.

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One response to “In America, no gay blood allowed.

  1. Nicole ⋅

    Like you, I had not been aware that gay men are prohibited from donating blood to the Red Cross. Homosexuality and HIV/AIDS both carry a stigma that have led to discrimination worldwide, even though attitudes vary between individuals, groups, and even countries. It is unfortunate that the stigma of both makes life more difficult for these individuals on a personal level which leads to consequences.

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