Sarcoidosis Knows No Color

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I recently posted an entry called “Winter Is Tearing Me Apart“, in which I talked about my skin tearing due to the cold dry weather, and in that post I had a photo of my red, torn knuckles.

Unbelievably, I received an email from a reader that said ” … saw your photo on the blog post. I am very surprised that you are not a black man! You are from the Caribbean and have sarcoidosis, and you are not black?”

Really? What difference does it make if I not a black man. I posted some time ago about this same issue on a post titled “May Every Creed And Place Find An Equal Place “, and now I here we go again.

I am always astonished in general how much emphasis race plays in people’s lives. I have never seen race, only people, so it astonishes me. Growing up I had friends of all races, all religions and thought nothing of it. But the world is so transfixed with race. When you go to medical web sites with information on sarcoidosis, the statistics must always break down the occurrence by race, then by gender, then by geography. Why? Does it matter? Is that to give the white man from London a sense of security that he is less likely to get Sarcoidosis than the white man from Norway, or the black man from the Caribbean?

I hate statistics and statistics such as those only help to exacerbate the already huge problem of racism we have in the world. Racism does not mean only discrimination against another race. A comment like the one I received also is racist. Any comment where race is the governing factor of the sentence is in itself a racist comment to me.

Sarcoidosis doesn’t know race or color. All we need to be concerned about is the fact that we are a community of people with a rare, incurable, devastating disease that attacks everyone completely different, in varying degrees of disability. Putting a color to it accomplishes nothing. Knowing my race changes nothing. So to the person that sent me that email, I never answered you because I thought your email ridiculous. And to answer your question, “What is your race?”- it’s human. Just human.

11 Comments Add yours

  1. This is my first opportunity to view your blog, and I am also incensed with that persons statement. They apparently haven’t read enough to see that sarcoidosis really isn’t particular on who it chooses to attack. Thank you for your response.

    Now on to a different subject, in your original message about your skin tearing, I have the same problem, but my doctors have blamed it on the steroids I take. Are you taking steroids too? It is said that they make the skin very fragile too, and on top of that, I am on Baby Aspirin daily, which allows me to bleed easier, so when I do get a skin tear, I bleed “like a stuck pig!”

    Thank you for your blog. I intend on following you now.

    Like

    1. Basil Rene says:

      Hi Verna

      Thanks for dropping by. Yes, I am on prednisone for seven years in April, non stop, and I am also on plavix. Also, some of the other medications I am on also cause thinning skin and slow clotting. It’s not fun, but I manage

      Like

  2. Ram says:

    Hello Basil,

    The fact of the matter is certain conditions are actually related to skin color. For example people with lighter skin actually have a higher risk of skin cancer. Reason being, they have less melanin than people with darker skin. However, it has nothing to do with race and more to do with the genetics behind skin color.

    Ram
    Social Security Disability Help

    Like

    1. Basil Rene says:

      The article was not about skin cancer. It was about sarcoidosis. Two completely different conditions so I am at a loss to see the reference

      Like

  3. Ram says:

    I was using that as an analogy to say that some diseases are more common in people of a certain race than others. If somebody points out, that doesn’t make them a racist.

    Ram
    Social Security Disability Help

    Like

    1. Basil Rene says:

      Ram, I never implicated that anyone was a racist because they mentioned the fact that a certain race was more susceptible to a disease. The article was about the fact the race is always a factor in statistics, a fact that this country (USA) is obsessed with, which I find unfortunate. Although genetics do predispose you to certain diseases, I think that life style and conditions of life play a major factor. You refer to the statistics of a certain race being more susceptible to cancer. That is not the only mitigating factor, and I think it is the least of the factors. A person’s diet, exposure to toxins etc is more factor than race, but society focuses on race more than anything. I recently read a study about mesothelioma and the lead statistic was race, saying that mostly white Polish men got it. They then went on to mention that the persons were mostly men who worked with asbestos. It just so happens that the majority of the persons in the study were Polish immigrants that were the main force of workers at the asbestos factory. This is a misleading statistic. It does not mean that white Polish men are more susceptible to getting mesothelioma. It means that ANYONE that worked at the asbestos factory, white, black, Indian, Asian, whatever, was pretty much open to get mesothelioma. I just wish that the medical establishment would focus away from race and focus on lifestyle and environmental factors.

      Like

  4. Ram says:

    Basil, I absolutely understand where you are coming from. I agree that there are some people who will always point to race for certain diseases, even though race is not the cause for the disease. A perfect example of this is HIV.

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  5. Basil – This is a great post! Thank you for writing it. It touches on a lot of important issues that often go without discussion because the subject of race is a touchy one. But when people see things only through that lens what they see is bound to get distorted. I happen to be a white Italian American and I’ve actually been told by more than one doctor that it is rare to see someone of Italian decent with this disease. I had an eye appointment not that long ago with a new doctor and he walked in the room and said…”Oh you’re not black. I thought you would be black because of your last name (my married name) and because you have sarcoidosis”. Now how ignorant is that! People should not make assumptions. It leads to them looking like an ass!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Basil Rene says:

      I just read an excerpt from an interview with Morgan Freeman about race and he ends it by saying that the only to stop racism is to stop talking about it.

      Like

      1. Smart man!

        Liked by 1 person

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