Fact or Feeling
I have been hearing the most abhorrent rhetoric around the past year about the African relationship to sickle cell and even further the black diaspora’s “learned” relationship to how best ‘combat‘ the pain. None of it has been relevant to the conversation. People have been speaking about Marriage and relationships and a bunch of Eugenics that give me the Heebie jeebies.
Eugenics is a big part of the black community because when we were treated like cattle that’s how they reared us. A big strong male would procreate with a strong female and they’d make “physically superior genetics”. In doing this generations have passed and we have the American Black — and I feel it’s engrained into our psyche to treat each other like animals trying to up our stock in a genetic pool — Epigenetic’s.
What does this have to do with Sickle Cell ?
People have been treating the mutation like it can be avoided by simply not starting families with people who may have the compatibility to make another child with Sickle Cell. Doesn’t matter how much you could love this person, you believe “in good conscious” you cannot start a family with this person.
This turns me off a whole bunch, these things are not so easy to “avoid” or amend. Haemoglobin S was a mutation to combat malaria millennia ago. Considering that when we look at the numbers half the black population in the UK carry the gene or can carry on the gene. In America there are about 100,000 people who deal with the Mutation, when we think about propagation and distribution this number can double, some things aren’t as easy as people make out.
I want to use an example of our people that’s incredibly more sensitive to say. I would not hear someone say out loud ‘Don’t Marry someone with albinism if you don’t want pale Ebony children’ you would never hear that because it’s ludicrous. Albinism is a natural rare occurrence that happens to black people and they should be respected as human and just as black as the next person. I wouldn’t hear the same with diabetes or High blood pressure or Heart disease, these are real things we have to deal with right now.
The Stigma for Sickle Cell is worlds apart it seem, people have a certain way of coping with diabetes or High Blood Pressure maybe because it happens later in life and in that it’s put off – or maybe you don’t think it could happen to you. – I just see this strange play on the community made out like it’s possible to be rid of something with 5000 years of lineage in a couple of generations.
If you get into the science of it there’s something off about you disguising something selfish and painting it as something altruistic. There’s so much dark psychology buried in here that it would be very hard for me to unpack in a singular Essay, I want to keep this novel and hope the point gets across.
But there’s no science in if you avoid dating someone with compatible genetic make-up you will “defeat the scourge of sickle cell”, no
What can we do as a people?
I want to just say, if you decide you want a relationship with someone and they happen to have Sickle Cell there are just some thing’s you’ll have to deal with and there are points in your time together you’re going to need a strong constitution and not everyone has that and there’s nothin wrong with admitting that. However if you do keep it together because often times people with HaemS stay strong for their partners but we definitely need support at times like any other relationship that happens to go on and as thanks we give support when we’re healthy. On God there are times it won’t be easy so if you say ‘I don’t want the stress’ or you don’t think you could deal with someone you love in pain (at certain times) then yes obviously have the right to do so.
May the spirit of Allah be on the healthiness of your offspring, however if your child was born will an inalienable condition like Cerebral-Palsy, Multiple Sclerosis, fibrosis, Scoliosis you would not say, people who have such conditions which run in their family shouldn’t marry your child as to not make more children with that condition. I feel like this line of thinking is a very slippery slope and if you want a kid and they are born with a condition I hope that you have the wherewithal to bring from within yourself the right substance to raise that child like a true parent.
Another problem I have is the abortion of kids where you discover prenatally they have a condition — the presupposition being you want a kid — and you choose to abort that child. This is such a moralistic debate that I cannot with my whole spirit bring myself to have such conversations about humanity in text. That is between you your God and your Consciousness.
I don’t say this for me, I say this for all the stories I’ve heard about people who loved each other and were going to get married and beautiful black men and women who so terrible want to be in relationships with a great person well suited for them and they make such a cold and callous decision because of genetic marker.
Whatever Moves Your Dial
Damilare. Not Your Typical
Thank You For Reading… Please read my other Feature blogs:
A Dose of Optimism
A Portion of Humanity
Global Invisible Disease
Living Through Crisis
What Is A Crisis
And visit Sickle Cell Companion for all my other literature on Sickle Cell
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