The United Kingdom’s National Health Service recently made an appeal for more black people to donate blood – while preemptively, and hilariously, hitting back at anyone who might accuse them of being racist.
Tweeting from @GiveBloodNHS, the blood donation center explained why their call for more black donors has nothing to do with racism.
“So, people keep asking – why do we need more black donors? Isn’t everyone’s blood the same? You’re racist! ISSA THREAD:” GiveBloodNHS wrote in the first tweet of a highly entertaining (and informational) thread, complete with GIFs of Bill Nye, Sinbad and Chris Tucker in “Rush Hour.”
“Do black people have ‘special’ blood? Are we being racist? Is race a social construct? Let’s break it down,” the service tweeted.
Do black people have ‘special’ blood? Are we being racist? Is race a social construct? 🙄 Let’s break it down. pic.twitter.com/D6RFTj87rl
— GiveBlood NHS 💉 (@GiveBloodNHS) November 7, 2017
First, they explained that while blood “does the same thing” for everyone’s body, everyone’s blood “IS NOT” the same. There are more than 30 different types or groups of blood such as “A negative,” “AB positive” or “O negative.” The thread gave a special shoutout to the “O negative crew” since their blood can be given to anyone.
Continuing, the center wrote that black people are ten times more likely than a white person to have a rare subgroup of blood called Ro. And this already rare blood type is common among those suffering from sickle cell disease – a genetic, life-threatening condition – which is also more common among black people. In June, 42-year-old Prodigy of rap duo Mobb Deep died while in the hospital from complications of sickle cell anemia.
Managing the disease requires patients to get regular blood transfusions and the better their blood type is matched, the quicker their recovery. So the NHS needs more people with Ro blood types in order to help more people with sickle cell disease. Only one percent of blood donors in the UK are black, according to the NHS Blood and Transplant.
The NHS then addressed anyone who might ask why they don’t just say they need donors with Ro blood.
“Well, most people don’t know they have Ro blood, unless they donate and we tell them,” they tweeted with a GIF of Neil Degrasse Tyson. “However people generally know if they are white, Asian or black.”
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SOURCE: New York Post – Lauren Tousignant