A time to shed blood

In the latest edition of Sky Magazine (Sept. 2012 pg. 28), by Delta Airlines there is an interview with the cofounder and Executive Vice President of General Blood, LLC, David Mitchell. General Blood takes blood donations from areas that have an excess, mainly the Midwest, and redistributes them to areas where not enough blood is donated, mainly coastal areas. Among the questions addressed is “Why the excess of donated blood in Middle America?”

On a per capita basis, people in the Midwest tend to give more blood than people on the coasts. There are a lot of reasons for that. There are higher immigrant populations on the coasts, and many immigrants are deferred from donating – not because they are immigrants – but because of where they’re from. If you were born in an African country, forget about it. If you’ve lived abroad for many years, forget about it. But if you’re giving blood in Des Moines, chances are you grew up near Des Moines. Land and labor are much cheaper in the Midwest than on the coasts. And when the pastor says during church that there’s going to be a blood drive, most people in the congregation sign up.

Mitchell blames the low rates of blood donations on the coasts to African immigrants. But the numbers, even according to black sources, don’t add up. According to The Root:

Only 3 million African Americans are immigrants. Of that number, nearly two-thirds were born in Latin America, the other one-third of the immigrants were born in Africa.

Needless to say, it doesn’t make much sense to blame the dearth of coastal blood donors on 1 million people. It would make more sense to blame it on the unwillingness of blacks, in general, to be donors. According to Blood Centers.org:

To meet the needs of patients, Blood Centers of the Pacific must collect more than 150,000 pints of blood each year. Yet, of those eligible to donate blood, less than 4 percent do. And of those who give, just 3 percent are African-Americans.

Blacks make up over 12% of the U.S. population – but less than 4% of blood donors. I suppose it would have been unacceptable for David Mitchell to have simply pointed that out – and surely he is aware of it. As for being disqualified from donating blood because of having lived abroad (outside Africa), this does not appear to be the case at all. According to the Red Cross

Those who are at increased risk for becoming infected with HIV are not eligible to donate blood. According to the Food and Drug Administration, you are at increased risk if:

  • you are a male who has had sex with another male since 1977, even once;
  • you have ever used a needle, even once, to take drugs or steroids that were not prescribed by a physician;
  • you have taken clotting factor concentrates for a bleeding disorder such as hemophilia;
  • you were born in or lived in Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Niger, or Nigeria since 1977 (This requirement is related to concerns about HIV Group O.
  • you have taken drugs or money in exchange for sex since 1977;
  • you have ever had a positive test for HIV virus;
  • you have symptoms of HIV infection including unexplained weight loss, night sweats, blue or purple spots on or under the skin, long-lasting white spots or unusual sores in your mouth, lumps in your neck, armpits, or groin that last more than a month, fever higher than 99 degrees that lasts more than 10 days, diarrhea lasting over a month, or persistent cough and shortness of breath;

Funny how political correctness takes a back seat to safety when it comes to blood donations – except that certain African countries, that have very high HIV infection rates (such as South Africa) are conspicuously absent from the above list. But that’s for another post.
I also found Mitchell’s insinuation that church-goers are more likely to be blood donors than others interesting. If so, then the highest concentration of donors should be in the South. I think it’s more accurate to say that conservatives are more likely to be donors than liberals. Conservatives are more generous than liberals and whites are more conservative than non-whites. Hence, whites are more likely to be generous than non-whites. That’s the answer that David Mitchell would have given – if it were permitted to speak the naked truth, about race, in publications such as Sky Magazine.

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12 Responses to A time to shed blood

  1. Doug says:

    We must never speak the truth!

  2. Doug says:

    It is interesting that in our society, PC is more important than public health.
    One example that I observed first hand was the AIDS epedemic in the late 1970’s. By that time it was clear that nearly all AIDs was occuring in male homosexuals and that promiscuous sex among gays was spreding the disease.
    At that moment we could have completly stopped the epidemic by testing all male homosexuals and quarantining those who were infected. But . . . that would have been homophobic! Instead, we allowed the disease to spread, eventually infecting millions.
    The vast majority of Americans who have contracted AIDS since 1981, got it because of PC — i.e., They died needlessly, We could have contained it, back in 1979, when it was small, but we would rather have millions of AIDs infected Americans than hurt the feelings of gays.
    Now, you say, “But forcing gays to get tested and quarantining the infected would be a “HATE CRIME.” Not true, during the last 200 years it was common practice (and sensible) to quarantine anyone with dangerous contagious diseases.

    • Janon says:

      There was no test for the HIV virus in the late 1970’s. The virus itself wasn’t even discovered until 1983. Only the likely existence of a specific immune deficiency-causing disease affecting homosexuals and IV drug users had been inferred by 1979.

  3. destructure says:

    I have a couple of quibbles. First, blood donation rates in the south are probably as high or higher than the coastal areas, But I doubt they’re as high as the midwest because the south is 40% black. Blacks don’t donate.
    I donated blood once in college but I’d never do it again. I’m not going to a blood drive so that some angry black woman can stick a needle in my arm and give my blood to some bastard who hates whites. But thanks to this article I have another reason not to donate — my blood could end up in someone from california or new england who also hates me. Things like this are why diversity is bad for community. People are less willing to sacrifice if they think it will help someone who hates them.
    I also think you’re right about white conservatives being more generous than white liberals. But surveys show blacks are as conservative or more so than whites on many issues. Don’t make the mistake of thinking blacks are liberal just because they vote Democrat. They just vote Democrat because of race.

  4. I recently commented on Amren to the effect that one way in which to shame and make pro-immigrant lefties squirm is to inform (or remind) them that blacks and muslims are far less likely to do volunteer or charitable work AND far less likely to donate blood or body organs. Should this be added or subtracted from the (very short) list of the supposed “benefits” of diversity?

    • Stealth says:

      None of that would confuse white liberals. They have an answer for just about anything you can throw at them. For them, it’s all just academic because they’re not exposed to diversity (large numbers of black people) on a daily basis. Their arguments are well-reasoned, but have no basis in fact. They haven’t learned yet that something can make sense and yet not be true.
      Libertarians (no offense to anyone here who identifies as such) operate this way, as well.
      To be specific, any leftist you confronted about this issue would tell you that black people, being oppressed, have more to worry about than giving blood. And you DEFINITELY should not question that.

  5. Slightly OT but related to my comment above…..
    “Muslims were also found to have the highest disability rates – with 24 per cent of men and 21 per cent of women claiming a disability – while the cable also cited statistics claiming Muslims were also the most likely group to be unavailable for work or not actively seeking employment due to illness, their studies or family commitments.”
    And yet, due to high procreation rates, their average age is surely much less than that of the declining white Britons. Shouldnt they therefore be healthier on average? So what precisely are the benefits of diversity? Hummus?

  6. JI says:

    The bloods don’t give blood.

  7. Gay State Girl says:

    I wouldn’t blame American blacks or non white immigrants, as they are typically less knowledgeable and up to date on such matters. It may have something to do with the fact that middle americans are less likely to travel outside the US than SWPLs from both coasts, especially the do gooders who have done humanitarian aid in third world countries. I was not allowed to donate blood in 2004 because I had travelled to South Africa within the past 15 years.

  8. Annoyed says:

    The white population in the US is the only population which has demonstrated large scale altruism.

  9. In Belgium the local head mullah issued a fatwah which stated that Muslims cannot donate blood but can accept blood transfusions when required. Just as well for them that there are non-Muslims in Belgium, isn’t it?

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