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Is racism traumatizing like bullying? Looks like yes.

Think about it. There are a lot of parallels.

Is racism traumatizing like bullying? Looks like yes.

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 Even though overtly discriminatory laws have been repealed, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders (ATSI) still experience day-to-day racism from their fellow Australians.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.

Photo by Louis Hansel on Unsplash
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This story was originally shared on Capital One.

Inside the walls of her kitchen at her childhood home in Guatemala, Evelyn Klohr, the founder of a Washington, D.C.-area bakery called Kakeshionista, was taught a lesson that remains central to her business operations today.

"Baking cakes gave me the confidence to believe in my own brand and now I put my heart into giving my customers something they'll enjoy eating," Klohr said.

While driven to launch her own baking business, pursuing a dream in the culinary arts was economically challenging for Klohr. In the United States, culinary schools can open doors to future careers, but the cost of entry can be upwards of $36,000 a year.

Through a friend, Klohr learned about La Cocina VA, a nonprofit dedicated to providing job training and entrepreneurship development services at a training facility in the Washington, D.C-area.

La Cocina VA's, which translates to "the kitchen" in Spanish, offers its Bilingual Culinary Training program to prepare low-and moderate-income individuals from diverse backgrounds to launch careers in the food industry.

That program gave Klohr the ability to fully immerse herself in the baking industry within a professional kitchen facility and receive training in an array of subjects including culinary skills, food safety, career development and English language classes.

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Officer Stagg meeting Sherry Smith on WISH-TV.

Indianapolis Police Officer Jeff Stagg selflessly maintained the roadside memorial of Shelby Smith, who had been killed by a drunk driver. He picked up trash and placed little plastic flowers, figurines and rocks around it to keep it presentable. Though Shelby died nearly 22 years ago, Officer Stagg didn't want her to be forgotten. And now, his act of kindness won't be forgotten either.

Passerby Kaleb Hall (@kalebhall00 on TikTok) noticed the officer cleaning up the site and asked him what he was doing here. Kaleb had already thought the behavior a little uncharacteristic, "a cop cleaning up trash in the hood," so he went over to inquire.

After explaining that Shelby's memorial was in his patrol area and that he guessed her family had moved away, Officer Stagg told Kaleb, "no one's keeping it up anymore, so I just wanna make sure it stays kept up."

Stagg had noticed the memorial had become surrounded by overgrown grass, weeds and trash. After driving past it every day, Officer Stagg thought enough was enough.


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When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."