Congratulations to H2O Member, Jordan Brooks, for his amazing Manifesto on Cell Reproduction & Oppression.
Read his work below:
History is made up of ironic, contradictory, scientific advancements that primarily promote white supremacy. Louis Agassiz is one of many examples of how historically, science has promoted white supremacy. Through research, much like the eugenics movement later to come, Agassiz tried to prove black inferiority. In his dehumanizing attempt to prove that blacks were not only inferior, but a whole different species from white people, he took pictures of enslaved Africans. These pictures portrayed them as savages, objects, and beast rather than human beings. Ironically, over 200 years later the cells of a black woman named Henrietta Lacks would change the field of science forever. Henrietta Lacks was born in the 1920’s and at the age of 14 had her first of five children. Later, at the age of 23, she would go to John Hopkins Hospital, the only hospital in her proximity that treated black patients, with the feeling of a knot in her stomach. They assumed correctly that she was pregnant, but after she had just finished giving birth she started bleeding abnormally and profusely. She was tested for syphilis and when her results came back negative she was sent to John Hopkins hospital. Her cervix was examined by Howard Jones. They soon came to the conclusion that she had cervical cancer. Without her permission, during radiation treatment, two samples of her cervix were taken and given to Dr. George Otto Gey. These cells would soon become the immortal HeLa cell, one of the most commonly used cells in biomedical research today. Currently the HeLa cell has made billions of dollars, yet until recently her family, who has lived in poverty almost all their lives, had no idea about HeLa cells and still, to this day have not received any compensation.
Every belief originates from an idea, and depending on the time and place society may or may not agree with someone’s ideology. Looking back on the U.S.’s tattered history we understand why white supremacy is no longer an idea but a belief. A belief that has slowly over time embedded itself within society, it has become one of the most prominent beliefs in America. These beliefs become prominent through reproduction in the same format as mitosis. Mitosis has many stages, in the first stage of mitosis, prophase, the nuclear membrane dissolves and DNA thickens, the spindle fibers are present just not yet visible. Then in the next stage the spindle fibers attach to the chromosomes & align them in the middle of the cell. During next stage of mitosis, anaphase, the chromosomes are pulled apart by spindle ﬁbers to opposite sides of the cell preparing the cells to divide. Finally in telophase the cell divides in two and two new nuclei are now formed to continue the continuous cycle of cell reproduction. White supremacy spreads the same way. The ideas are slowly developed and supported throughout time, urged by the spindle fibers of society to keep manifesting this continuous cycle of white supremacy.
Beliefs are periodically shaped over time by societal norms. This is one of the many reasons why white supremacy still exists to this day, because whatever society has deemed right or ok is just that. Then this unjust social construct is immediately the air that we breathe, no matter how toxic or detrimental, we are forced to inhale this air, therefore internalizing our oppression. While out of fear, Researchers or “scientist” don’t challenge these facts, instead they try to add to these unproven facts that have been developed completely by society. This is why people of color have been neglected throughout the “birth of this nation” because if you can develop theories off of society based norms during a time where you are enslaving someone because of their skin color, there is no way possible it could be accurate.
People of color are looked at as the cancerous cells of society, but in actuality the true cancer cell of society is the mere belief of white supremacy. We have been playing right into this strategic plan to keep us stagnant and unaware. The cancerous cell in the body of this nation is white supremacy itself. Yet, early on this cancer wasn’t acknowledged, and we were promised the small tumor would go away, eventually. Told that we would be in the best care, and given the best medicine, forty acres and compensation, but instead were given placebos in the form of false hope, and self-defeat. Today this cancer has spread, our nation is breathing through a tube. Though, while the nation is struggling, there are people working to revive this nation, these are the HeLa cells of society. These are the people that spread the word, the people that properly educate our youth. People that look for a solution, or people that can picture a future where we are truly free, those are the HeLa cells of society. I am, a HeLa cell of society.