Blood center goes on rant in defense of its 'racist' request

If a blood donation organization asks for more donations from black people, does that make them racist?

GIF from "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air."

No, no it does not. But it's an argument the folks at NHS' Give Blood in the U.K. have heard one too many times.


In a hilarious, GIF-ridden, informative tweet thread that's since gone viral, Give Blood addressed the often-asked question.

"Do black people have 'special' blood? Are we being racist?" the center asked. "Let's break it down."

First things first: While blood basically operates the same in every body, that doesn't mean it is the same in every body.

"Everyone's blood IS NOT the same," they tweeted. "So you can stop calling us racist."

In fact, there are more than 30 different types of blood.

Blood can also be positive or negative.

And O-negative blood is super special because anyone can use it.

Second, depending on a person's race or ethnicity, they're more or less likely to have certain types of blood.

Here's where all of that starts coming together.

There's a "rare subgroup" of blood that is 10 times more likely to be found in black donors than white donors.

Sickle cell anemia, a genetic condition far more common in black people, is really serious stuff.

Red blood cells are supposed to be round and flexible. But in sickle cell patients, those cells become rigid and sticky. This can block or slow the flow of oxygen to various parts of the body, as the Mayo Clinic explained.

Many people with the condition rely on blood transfusions to stay healthy. But if their blood transfusions aren't good matches, the body can build up a resistance to those transfusions, Give Blood noted in its thread.

Thus, many blood centers aren't being racist when they ask for more black blood donors — they're really just in need of more Ro blood donors.

"Why, you may ask, don't we just say we need Ro blood then?"

Most people don't know they have Ro blood until they come in to donate.

Most potential donors have no idea if they have Ro blood. But they likely do know what race or ethnicity they are.

Yes, blood centers need more donors of all races and ethnicities. But it makes perfect sense that some centers — particularly in the U.K., where just 1% of donors are black — would try to solicit certain donors.

So, what are you waiting for?

It's ridiculously easy to find a blood donation center near you. (Psst, it'll usually come with a free snack too.)

Help save a life and get some free food? A total win/win.

This article was originally published on November 9, 2017.

popular

Anyone who has spent a day in a classroom knows that teachers—especially teachers of young kids—are superhuman superheroes. And any parent who has spent a day outside of a classroom trying to wrangle a group of young kids through a field trip would describe teachers in even stronger language than that.

That's what dad blogger Clint Edwards of No Idea What I'm Doing: A Daddy Blog discovered on a recent trip to a pumpkin patch with his daughter's kindergarten class. The father of three and author of a new book, "Silence is a Scary Sound: And Other Stories on Living Through the Terrible Twos and Threes," penned a tribute to teachers everywhere that has gone viral for the hilariously real truth it describes.

Keep Reading Show less
popular

Healthcare dominated much of the Democratic debates this week, and for good reason. Multiple polls show that healthcare remains Americans' top concern.

My teenage daughter recently had some blood work done, and the total cost was more than $1000. After insurance, we have the honor of paying $200. For blood work. For nothing to be wrong.

Was the lab testing her blood with gold and platinum? Were they sending it to space and back? I mean seriously, how on earth could blood tests cost $1000?

Meanwhile, in other countries, we have people giving birth, having surgeries, fixing broken bones, as well as basic blood work, for no out of pocket cost whatsoever.

Keep Reading Show less
popular
Photo by Nick Karvounis on Unsplash

A tiger who was injured in a poacher's trap will be given a prosthetic paw in the first operation of its kind.

The seven-year-old cat named Sahebrao was rescued in the Chandrapur district of India in 2012 and was relocated to the Wildlife Rescue Center at the Gorewada Zoo in Nagpur. He later developed gangrene and had to have part of his left leg amputated, according to The Indian Express.

For last six years, Sahebrao has been living with increasing pain. Determined to help the animal, Sushrut Babhulkar, a Nagpur-based orthopedic surgeon, adopted the cat and has been working with experts, including Dr. Peter Giannoudis from the University of Leeds in the U.K., to explore the possibility of creating an artificial limb.

Keep Reading Show less
popular
Pixabay

In today's episode of WTH, professional accounting services firm Ernst & Young has taken gender dynamics in the workplace to a whole new level. And by whole new level, I mean totally batsh*t backwards.

An anonymous former employee sent a 55-page Power-Presence-Purpose (PPP) presentation to HuffPost, detailing a self-improvement training offered to employees last year. According to "Jane," who has since left the company, the presentation was demeaning to women and left her feeling like a piece of meat.

Keep Reading Show less
popular