Lets get it out of the way right now. I love Colin Kaepernick.
The quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers has won my heart.
Not just because he had the courage to risk his livelihood by speaking out against police violence against African Americans by taking a knee during the playing of the National Anthem. That’s cool, but that’s not it.
And I love that he is donating the proceeds from the sale of his jersey (which, by the way, have gone through the roof) to underserved communities.
Colin’s “Know Your Rights” camp is a wonderful idea--a free camp for kids in Oakland focusing on self-empowerment, education and interactions with the police.
I could go on, but the bottom line is I love Colin Kaepernick because he is woke.
I know that my well-read readers will ask “You mean awake, right.?”.
No. I mean “woke”.
Generation Z uses the term to reference someone who is thinking for themselves, who sees the ways in which racism, sexism and classism affect how we lives our lives on a daily basis. #StayWoke often accompanied social media posts in the Black Lives Matter movement about police brutality, systematic racism and the industrial prison complex. #StayWoke reminds readers to look past the provided narrative, to examine their own privilege (or lack thereof). #StayWoke reminds readers that there is more than one reality to life in the United States.
The term resonates with me during this Diabetes Awareness Month.
How it is possible to manage Type 2 diabetes effectively is one of those topics we need to #GetWoke about.
So many people with Type 2 or prediabetes have been told over and over by medical professionals and other “experts” that it is a “lifestyle” disease. In other words, change your lifestyle and the disease will go away. But for so many of us who have changed our lifestyle, with a better diet and exercise and by taking our medicines, know that there is more to it.
Which is why I am calling for us black people to get “woke” about diabetes. To see clearly how racism, sexism and classism impact our disease. For example, there has been research on how people of color are not always offered the latest and greatest treatment to help us manage our disease. These racial disparities in health care result in negative outcomes for us. A great info sheet on the topic can be found at:https://www.merck.com/corporate-responsibility/docs/access/DisparitiesFACTSHEET.pdf.
Access to fresh and healthy food is a consideration as well. Many people of color live in “food deserts”. The US government defines a food desert as a census tract with a substantial share of residents who live in low-income areas that have low levels of access to a grocery store or healthy, affordable food retail outlet. Read http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/the-socio-economic-significance-of-food-deserts/ for more information.
There is so much more to learn about how our socio economic status, the color of our skin and our gender. Your life may depend on learning about how these statuses impact the quality of care received. By reading majority websites like www.diabetessisters.org and www.DPAC.org, you can learn about new treatments, diabetes technology and when to call your state representative or member of Congress about policies or legislation to help people with diabetes.
Its your life. I don’t need to say that with the new administration coming into the White House it is imperative to be informed, engaged and energized around issues of importance to you and your family. Its time to spend some quality time with Google and search out information about diabetes.