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Why I Fear for my Future Black Son

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Why I Fear for my Future Black Son

Have you ever experienced this? You’re at a party, viagra 100mg and you and your best friends are all having a great time. Maybe you’re a little tipsy, troche maybe you’ve been dancing like crazy for an hour and half, or maybe it’s 2:30 AM and your friends are ready to turn in. But just like always, someone said they were hungry, and all 14 of you end up crammed in two booths at a McDonald’s in downtown San Francisco. While your friends are ordering 20+ McNuggets, you’re trying not to cringe thinking about all the calories a small fry.

1-1

Maybe you’re the first person to sit down at the booth, telling everyone to go ahead and order because “you’ll save the spot for them” (because you definitely don’t want to wait in line and buy food). Or maybe your drunk friend roped you into ordering and now you’re trying to explain to the staff that you need your order of “just water!” to come in the drink cup and not from a bottle (so you can tell your friend’s it’s just Sprite). If your friends are anything like my friends, they’ve noticed that you haven’t bought any food and are trying to offer you their nuggets and burgers–you might eat one to appease them but deep down you feel so guilty, and maybe even…

angry.

That’s the way I felt whenever my friends would force me to eat. I resented them. I hated going out to parties, and I hated going to the club, because I knew that no matter what, someone would get the munchies and the whole embarrassing process would begin all over again. There would be questions, there would be frowny faces pretending to care, and worst of all, I’d have to eat some shitty food to get them to shut up. I even hated going home for the holidays–I spent as much of Thanksgiving and Christmas as possible away from the carby-fatty-sugary line of food that dominated our potluck.

1-2

Disordered eating runs on a spectrum. There was no point in my life where I said to myself, “I must be bulimic now”, but I knew I had disordered eating habits for quite some time. So many people experience disordered eating, but many don’t even realise that their habits are problematic. Add this to the fact that in communities of color, eating disorders aren’t recognized or accepted and you have a recipe for disaster. Add this to the fact that people of color, queer people, and transgender and genderqueer folk are at a higher risk for eating disorders, and you have the disaster itself.

This article is part 1 of a three part series I wish someone had given to me when I was struggling. What qualifies as disordered eating? Do black people get eating disorders? How do I talk to my family and friends about this? Do I even have a problem? Why do celebrities get magazine features for extreme diets, but I get criticized by my friends and family–even hospitalized? What is even going on? Below are some symptoms, warning signs, and side effects of disordered eating. You may have some, or you may have all–maybe you have none, but you know a friend who does. Part 1 is just about recognizing the problem. Email me at jespicer@stanford.edu or tweet me @jessicaellenn –and stay tuned for part 2, where we consider eating disorders and minority America. #StopGlamorizingED

Symptoms, Signs, and Side Effects

  • Constant adherence to increasingly strict diets, regardless of weight
  • Habitual trips to the bathroom immediately after eating
  • Secretly bingeing on large amounts of food
  • Hoarding large amounts of food
  • Increase in consumption of laxatives, diuretics or diet pills
  • Exercising compulsively, often several hours per day
  • Using prescription stimulant medications (like Adderall) and/or illicit stimulant drugs (like cocaine) to suppress appetite
  • Withdrawal from friends and family, particularly following questions about her disease or visible physical/medical side effects
  • Avoidance of meals or situations where food may be present
  • Preoccupation with weight, body size and shape, or specific aspects of one’s appearance
  • Obsessing over calorie intake and calories burned via exercise, even as one may be losing significant amounts of weight

 

Source: http://www.timberlineknolls.com/eating-disorder/signs-effects/

Written by Jess
Have you ever experienced this? You’re at a party, what is ed and you and your best friends are all having a great time. Maybe you’re a little tipsy, sickness maybe you’ve been dancing like crazy for an hour and half, or maybe it’s 2:30 AM and your friends are ready to turn in. But just like always, someone said they were hungry, and all 14 of you end up crammed in two booths at a McDonald’s in downtown San Francisco. While your friends are ordering 20+ McNuggets, you’re trying not to cringe thinking about all the calories a small fry.

1-1

Maybe you’re the first person to sit down at the booth, telling everyone to go ahead and order because “you’ll save the spot for them” (because you definitely don’t want to wait in line and buy food). Or maybe your drunk friend roped you into ordering and now you’re trying to explain to the staff that you need your order of “just water!” to come in the drink cup and not from a bottle (so you can tell your friend’s it’s just Sprite). If your friends are anything like my friends, they’ve noticed that you haven’t bought any food and are trying to offer you their nuggets and burgers–you might eat one to appease them but deep down you feel so guilty, and maybe even…

angry.

That’s the way I felt whenever my friends would force me to eat. I resented them. I hated going out to parties, and I hated going to the club, because I knew that no matter what, someone would get the munchies and the whole embarrassing process would begin all over again. There would be questions, there would be frowny faces pretending to care, and worst of all, I’d have to eat some shitty food to get them to shut up. I even hated going home for the holidays–I spent as much of Thanksgiving and Christmas as possible away from the carby-fatty-sugary line of food that dominated our potluck.

1-2

Disordered eating runs on a spectrum. There was no point in my life where I said to myself, “I must be bulimic now”, but I knew I had disordered eating habits for quite some time. So many people experience disordered eating, but many don’t even realise that their habits are problematic. Add this to the fact that in communities of color, eating disorders aren’t recognized or accepted and you have a recipe for disaster. Add this to the fact that people of color, queer people, and transgender and genderqueer folk are at a higher risk for eating disorders, and you have the disaster itself.

This article is part 1 of a three part series I wish someone had given to me when I was struggling. What qualifies as disordered eating? Do black people get eating disorders? How do I talk to my family and friends about this? Do I even have a problem? Why do celebrities get magazine features for extreme diets, but I get criticized by my friends and family–even hospitalized? What is even going on? Below are some symptoms, warning signs, and side effects of disordered eating. You may have some, or you may have all–maybe you have none, but you know a friend who does. Part 1 is just about recognizing the problem. Email me at jespicer@stanford.edu or tweet me @jessicaellenn –and stay tuned for part 2, where we consider eating disorders and minority America. #StopGlamorizingED

Symptoms, Signs, and Side Effects

  • Constant adherence to increasingly strict diets, regardless of weight
  • Habitual trips to the bathroom immediately after eating
  • Secretly bingeing on large amounts of food
  • Hoarding large amounts of food
  • Increase in consumption of laxatives, diuretics or diet pills
  • Exercising compulsively, often several hours per day
  • Using prescription stimulant medications (like Adderall) and/or illicit stimulant drugs (like cocaine) to suppress appetite
  • Withdrawal from friends and family, particularly following questions about her disease or visible physical/medical side effects
  • Avoidance of meals or situations where food may be present
  • Preoccupation with weight, body size and shape, or specific aspects of one’s appearance
  • Obsessing over calorie intake and calories burned via exercise, even as one may be losing significant amounts of weight

 

Source: http://www.timberlineknolls.com/eating-disorder/signs-effects/

Written by Jess E.S
At 24 years of age, more about I’m nowhere near ready to have a child yet. But if you ask me what plays on my mind a lot, order I guess it’s fear for my future black son.  You’re probably reading this and thinking of all the things a 24 year old female could be thinking about, why this? I’d be lying if everything that is going on in the US right now, with police brutality against the black community wasn’t playing a factor. Additionally, in the UK we are seeing a record numbers of stabbings, with 1749 young people under the age of 25 stabbed in London alone in 2016, many of the victim’s young black boys (bbc.co.uk 2016). Society does not like our black boys.  In the UK:

  • Black boys are roughly 4.2 times as  likely as white people to be stopped and searched
  • Black men are more likely to be arrested (in 2014, they more nearly 3 times more likely to be arrested than white individuals
  • Black boys are the least likely of any group to leave school with five or more GCSEs at A*- C or have a degree
  • Black boys are more likely to die in police custody

***** Source for the above: Criminal Justice System Statistics, www.irr.org.uk ********

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Damilola Taylor’s mother, Gloria Taylor

I think one of the hardest things for me to get my head around is the fact that I can teach my son to be kind and respectful, to not harm others, to focus on his studies and be ambitious. I can grow up my son to have a clean, good heart, and he can leave home alive on a Monday morning, and I could be identifying my son’s body on a Monday night, through no fault of his own. Maybe he came into contact with some police officers and in the midst of protesting his innocence, an altercation occurred. Maybe he went to see a friend in a different area and he unintentionally got caught up in “Postcode beef.” Maybe, he just happened to be a black boy passing through a racist area.  There is a million and one reasons why my son may not return home, but many are linked to the realities of being a black boy in our society.  A society he did not create, but just happened to be born into.

Some may be reading this and think but every parent must feel this way regardless of what skin colour their child is. But with us, it’s different because society does not like our black boys. Our society does not foster an environment where black boys can achieve. Our society lays black boys to rest and watch mothers grieve.

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Mark Duggan’s mother, Pamela Duggan

As the future mother of a black son, I’ve come to realise I won’t be able to raise my son to be care free or to just “live for the moment.”  I’ll have to police the way my son dresses, talks, his general mannerisms. This was very evident in the case of Trayvon Martin, the 17 years old black boy murdered in cold blood by George Zimmerman because it was argued he looked intimidating and gangster like in a hoodie.

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Fox News star Geraldo Rivera in March 2012

I’ll have to advise him against going to certain areas and to avoid contact with the Police, the people that are actually meant to protect you. If he does end up coming into contact with them, I’ll explain that he should cooperate and be polite. Why?? Because if they take him into custody those four walls may be the last thing he ever sees (Since 1990, the British Charity INQUEST found that 1,500 people have died in police custody in the UK, 500 of them BAME background).  How do I tell my son that because he is a black boy, society doesn’t give him a second chance? How do I tell my son, that because he is a black boy, his main goal should be to survive and make it home alive?

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I pray for a son that is not even here, for a son that I may never have, because I refuse to be the mother of another black boy, slain.  I refuse to live a life time, mourning my loss in the depths of pain. I’m not trying to outlive my son.

Written by Rene Germain

 

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