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.

via Jody Danielle Fisher / Facebook

Breast milk is an incredibly magical food. The wonderful thing is that it's produced by a collaboration between mother and baby.

British mother Jody Danielle Fisher shared the miracle of this collaboration on Facebook recently after having her 13-month-old child vaccinated.

In the post, she compared the color of her breast milk before and after the vaccination, to show how a baby's reaction to the vaccine has a direct effect on her mother's milk production.

Keep Reading Show less
Photo by Picsea on Unsplash
True

It is said that once you've seen something, you can't unsee it. This is exactly what is happening in America right now. We have collectively watched the pot of racial tension boil over after years of looking the other way, insisting that hot water doesn't exist, pretending not to notice the smoke billowing out from every direction.

Ignoring a problem doesn't make it go away—it prolongs resolution. There's a whole lot of harm to be remedied and damage to be repaired as a result of racial injustice, and it's up to all of us to figure out how to do that. Parents, in particular, are recognizing the importance of raising anti-racist children; if we are unable to completely eradicate racism, maybe the next generation will.

How can parents ensure that the next generation will actively refuse to perpetuate systems and behaviors embedded in racism? The most obvious answer is to model it. Take for example, professional tennis player Serena Williams and her husband, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian.

Keep Reading Show less
Photo by Mahir Uysal on Unsplash

Two years ago, I got off the phone after an interview and cried my eyes out. I'd just spent an hour talking to Tim Ballard, the founder of Operation Underground Railroad, an organization that helps fight child sex trafficking, and I just couldn't take it.

Ballard told me about how the training to go undercover as a child predator nearly broke him. He told me an eerie story of a trafficker who could totally compartmentalize, showing Ballard photos of kids he had for sale, then switching gears to proudly show him a photo of his own daughter on her bicycle, just as any parent would. He told me about how lucrative child trafficking is—how a child can bring in three or four times as much as a female prostitute—and how Americans are the industry's biggest consumers.

Keep Reading Show less

Believe it or not, there has been a lot of controversy lately about how people cook rice. According to CNN, the "outrage" was a reaction to a clip Malaysian comedian Nigel Ng posted as one of his personas known as Uncle Roger.

It was a hilarious (and harmless) satire about the method chef Hersha Patel used to cook rice on the show BBC Food.


Keep Reading Show less