Racism is Trauma

Liberals believe the world is bad. Conservatives believe it is getting worse.

They believe it is because we are getting away from the morality of the fifties and of God. Of course I am drawing too broad of strokes. But my concern is the idea that people in poverty and engaged in poor choices must be forced to improve.

Taking control of your own life is the best way to make life better. However, I worry that people want to take this easy answer and be done thinking about it.  One in four adults have faced trauma. Trauma causes unhealthy behaviors. The answer is help, not judgement.

Yes, you may be someone who has experienced trauma and is successful. You can’t expect everyone to do that. And chances are you had protective factors- a caring adult, resources, and other support.

Which brings me to my actual point. Many people have trauma.  However, one adverse childhood experience is to have faced racism.  Racism is not eradicated. Is it no wonder that more people of color experience poverty and engage in maladaptive behaviors when they are subjected to this additional traumatic experience? People that experience this trauma, then are further traumatized by engaging in self-medication. Alcohol and drugs can lead to crime and poverty.

Let’s keep our desire for people to overcome their own obstacles.

But let’s also focus on reducing trauma and giving people the tools to protect themselves. And yes it may be a free meal and a free roof over their head so they can focus on healing.


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