What you’ll learn in this episode:
• some of my experiences with race and being half Mexican
• why I chose to speak about this
• the links between systemic racism and higher rates of disease
• the links between trauma and higher rates of disease
• the ways that structural racism impact Black and Latino communities
• how I started to learn about these things
• the impacts of Mexican people trapped at the border in traumatic conditions
• my commitment to being more actively anti-racist
• the health impacts of many Latinos being second-responders to traumatic events
- voter suppression
- lack of access to medicine and healthcare
- sexual harassment
- sexual discrimination
- gender discrimination
- pay equity
- financial freedom
- domestic violence
- food justice
- food deserts
- and MORE.
These are the kinds of things that were completely off my radar until I had more Black friends than white friends starting in my early 20s and became very comfortable talking about race and these types of things with them…just listening mainly to how these things affected them, and if it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t know about these things. And I never asked anyone to teach me, I learned because of the conversations about these things that are normal for Black people in America and once I started to realize how all of these things affected them, I did take it upon myself to learn more years and years ago because I WAS embarrassed that these things were not even on my radar for the first half of my life.
And in a way similar to how I’ve learned about health for myself, it was like the more I knew, the more I felt a need to keep learning. And the more I knew, the more I realized there was so much that I DIDN’T know. And while Black people are out here fighting for their lives and are at risk being brutally traumatized by police over something that might start off as a traffic stop then they end up fighting for their lives and if they live, they’re expected to keep going as if the painfully inflicted trauma never even happened, the least the rest of us can do is to raise our awareness, open our ears, and look for opportunities to fix it and understand the level of trauma they might be born into simply because of systemic racism.
And since the education and healthcare systems are severely stacked against them it’s highly unlikely that even if they gain financially stability 20-30 years down the line, they are still fighting such a hard battle that getting any sort of trauma therapy to heal from trauma that will be passed on via their DNA to the next generation, getting access to healing trauma or even knowing it exists is such a slim chance. And that’s why it’s so important for me to reach as many people as I can with these episodes because even it doesn’t apply directly to you, I hope it will raise your awareness for seeing people’s hardships in a new light.
I heard this next point on a podcast that I like called Code Switch, by NPR, on an episode about Undocumented Americans. They pointed out that second-responders are often undocumented workers and exposed to the most dangerous situations with little thanks. We’ve all heard of first-responders — police, firemen, EMTs — but then the second-responders are the people who come in after injured victims of disasters are taken away and these responders essentially pick up the pieces from disasters — cleaning up explosions, toxins, glass, blood, wreckage — so they are not only exposed to the traumatic energy of these events, but they basically get no thanks as the first-responders do, they get paid little, and they have extremely high rates of illness and disease due to exposures from their jobs. So there’s a high prevalence for them to be suffering from like insomnia, depression, PTSD, anxiety, autoimmune diseases, digestive issues, and a very high rate of cancer….all of these things are trauma….stacking up with each incidence.
Then it’s also important to remember that even though I formatted today’s talk about trauma in a way that it relates to systemic racism, take some time to reflect on other types of trauma that you have been through in your life or that your loved ones have been through. Refer back to the last episode again if you need some examples of Big T trauma, and little T trauma. I bet it won’t take long to identify those who have been through trauma and related health issues they might have. I’m not saying that everyone who has been through trauma will end up with health issues, but even take a look at food sensitivities. Because remember, that’s where it starts and if it’s not healed, it escalates into more serious, more complicated health issues. Take a look at when food sensitivities started…it was likely soon after a traumatic event.
If this is bringing up any light bulb moments for you, I’d love to hear about it. Connect with me on social media by searching for @fitfizz. Send me an email firstname.lastname@example.org if what you’ve learned so far has helped you to reflect and helped you realize anything new. I would love to hear about it and maybe even read it on the show if you give me permission.
Questions, thoughts or comments?
You can contact me about this episode in two ways. Messages might be played or read on the show but will be kept anonymous.
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The information shared is for educational and informational purposes only. It should not be interpreted as an intent to diagnose, treat, cure, heal or prescribe.