Is racism traumatizing like bullying? Looks like yes.

Think about it. There are a lot of parallels.

Being bullied by your peers is traumatizing.

Bullied children are more likely to have depression, anxiety, substance use problems, or self-harm. It breaks down self-esteem and puts the child on constant alert because the acts of aggression repeatedly occur.

Bullying is more than just being thrown against the lockers or stuffed in a trash can.

Social isolation, name-calling, taunting, and online nastiness may not be as stark, but they're still damaging. Over time, it gets inside a person and tears them down. When bullying is a part of everyday life, it's hard to look in the mirror and feel good about what you see. You're bombarded with negative feedback about who you are. It's especially difficult when it's based on a fundamental part of yourself that you can't (and shouldn't) change.


Racism is similarly traumatizing and similarly complex.

Racism breaks down self-esteem the same way: by reinforcing the idea that there is something wrong with you. Sometimes the attacks are big. Sometimes they're small. But they're always damaging.

A child who is often picked on when riding the school bus may develop anxiety before those yellow doors open. Similarly, a person who is often followed in stores may develop anxiety before going shopping.

In Australia, indigenous peoples are often subject to racist treatment.

The British colonized Australia in the late-1700s and displaced the aboriginal people who lived in and around it. Ever since, they have fought for equality in a land that was once their own. Even though overtly discriminatory laws have been repealed, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders (ATSI) still experience day-to-day racism from their fellow Australians.

It hurts them.

In this video by beyondblue, five ATSI people talk about how racism affects their emotional well-being.

"I think later on, if it happens to you a few times, it has a massive effect on you." — Basil

It's not imaginary. Researchers are seeing that consistent discrimination — even consistent worry about discrimination — can cause harm.

The worry of encountering racism causes stress to build up. Sometimes that stress can manifest in diagnosable mental disorders like generalized anxiety disorder or PTSD.

Think about it: When soldiers spend extended time on the battlefield, stress can build up even if they never engage the enemy. Just the constant pressure of being in danger can cause lasting mental damage. Facing consistent discrimination can do the same thing.

We used to say that bullying was just kids being kids. We know better now.

We know that it's harmful. We know that everyone has a hand in stopping bullying behavior. We're coming together to make childhood healthier for all kids.

We used to say that discrimination was normal. We know better now. Let's do better too.

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I'm staring at my screen watching the President of the United States speak before a stadium full of people in North Carolina. He launches into a lie-laced attack on Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, and the crowd boos. Soon they start chanting, "Send her back! Send her back! Send her back!"

The President does nothing. Says nothing. He just stands there and waits for the crowd to finish their outburst.

WATCH: Trump rally crowd chants 'send her back' after he criticizes Rep. Ilhan Omar www.youtube.com

My mind flashes to another President of the United States speaking to a stadium full of people in North Carolina in 2016. A heckler in the crowd—an old man in uniform holding up a TRUMP sign—starts shouting, disrupting the speech. The crowd boos. Soon they start chanting, "Hillary! Hillary! Hillary!"

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via EarthFix / Flickr

What will future generations never believe that we tolerated in 2019?

Dolphin and orca captivity, for sure. They'll probably shake their heads at how people died because they couldn't afford healthcare. And, they'll be completely mystified at the amount of food some people waste while others go starving.

According to Biological Diversity, "An estimated 40 percent of the food produced in the United States is wasted every year, costing households, businesses and farms about $218 billion annually."

There are so many things wrong with this.

First of all it's a waste of money for the households who throw out good food. Second, it's a waste of all of the resources that went into growing the food, including the animals who gave their lives for the meal. Third, there's something very wrong with throwing out food when one in eight Americans struggle with hunger.

Supermarkets are just as guilty of this unnecessary waste as consumers. About 10% of all food waste are supermarket products thrown out before they've reached their expiration date.

Three years ago, France took big steps to combat food waste by making a law that bans grocery stores from throwing away edible food.According to the new ordinance, stores can be fined for up to $4,500 for each infraction.

Previously, the French threw out 7.1 million tons of food. Sixty-seven percent of which was tossed by consumers, 15% by restaurants, and 11% by grocery stores.

This has created a network of over 5,000 charities that accept the food from supermarkets and donate them to charity. The law also struck down agreements between supermarkets and manufacturers that prohibited the stores from donating food to charities.

"There was one food manufacturer that was not authorized to donate the sandwiches it made for a particular supermarket brand. But now, we get 30,000 sandwiches a month from them — sandwiches that used to be thrown away," Jacques Bailet, head of the French network of food banks known as Banques Alimentaires, told NPR.

It's expected that similar laws may spread through Europe, but people are a lot less confident at it happening in the United States. The USDA believes that the biggest barrier to such a program would be cost to the charities and or supermarkets.

"The logistics of getting safe, wholesome, edible food from anywhere to people that can use it is really difficult," the organization said according to Gizmodo. "If you're having to set up a really expensive system to recover marginal amounts of food, that's not good for anybody."

Plus, the idea may seem a little too "socialist" for the average American's appetite.

"The French version is quite socialist, but I would say in a great way because you're providing a way where they [supermarkets] have to do the beneficial things not only for the environment, but from an ethical standpoint of getting healthy food to those who need it and minimizing some of the harmful greenhouse gas emissions that come when food ends up in a landfill," Jonathan Bloom, the author of American Wasteland, told NPR.

However, just because something may be socialist doesn't mean it's wrong. The greater wrong is the insane waste of money, damage to the environment, and devastation caused by hunger that can easily be avoided.

Planet

Policing women's bodies — and by consequence their clothes — is nothing new to women across the globe. But this mother's "legging problem" is particularly ridiculous.

What someone wears, regardless of gender, is a personal choice. Sadly, many folks like Maryann White, mother of four sons, think women's attire — particularly women's leggings are a threat to men.

While sitting in mass at the University of Notre Dame, White was aghast by the spandex attire the young women in front of her were sporting.

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Men are sharing examples of how they step up and step in when they see problematic behaviors in their peers, and people are here for it.

Twitter user "feminist next door" posed an inquiry to her followers, asking "good guys" to share times they saw misogyny or predatory behavior and did something about it. "What did you say," she asked. "What are your suggestions for the other other men in this situation?" She added a perfectly fitting hashtag: #NotCoolMan.

Not only did the good guys show up for the thread, but their stories show how men can interrupt situations when they see women being mistreated and help put a stop to it.

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