The COVID-19 pandemic and heightened awareness of racial injustice and discrimination in the United States have a negative impact on mental health. This is concerning, given the already alarming prevalence rates of trauma exposure and adverse childhood experiences in the U.S. general population prior to the current pandemic, their immediate and long-lasting effects on human development across the life span, and their documented effects on adult chronic health conditions (Yoon & Sperandio, 2022).
The daunting and irreversible effects of racial injustice come from definitions. They require a massive great awakening into education, training, and human character. For me, it requires biblical teachings and principles training at the earliest levels of education and up.
According to the conclusion of Soken-Huberty (2022, April 5). Biologically speaking, race is not real. Racism is. That is because while race lacks an inherent physical or biological meaning, it is a social and political construct with real effects. Those effects often manifest as racial injustice. How is racial injustice defined? What does it look like?
Unfortunately, no two people can come to a definite conclusion of meaning, yet alone how to tackle this issue, which is divisive, deadly, and looming daily in media coverage, politics, schools, communities, and homes.
In the Soken-Huberty article, she asserts in 2003, researchers completed the Human Genome Project and announced that humans share 99.9% of their DNA. Does that tiny percentage point to race? Most likely not. In fact, there is more genetic diversity within populations than between different “races.”
If race is not real, how can racial injustice exist? Science shows the reality about race, but society remains structured around outdated and inaccurate beliefs about race. People still believe it is an inherent trait dividing humans into distinct groups.
Institutions like the government, healthcare systems, media, schools, the criminal justice system, and others treat race as if it were real. This societal embrace of race leads to negative and unequal outcomes, or in other words, racial injustice.
What I am excited about learning is how ethics, values, and morality in entry-level counseling programs can provide comprehensive trauma training and education. My mission is to write publicly (books, blogs, articles) to bring awareness to similarities amongst people and how to create a mind that respects diversity in people and ideas. To elevate competencies in trauma prevention and treatment through relevant research and policy.
In humility, we need to respect the beliefs and customs of our clients, people we come into contact (family, co-workers, strangers) and identify ways to collaborate with them without engaging in a dispute about who is right or wrong. As Dr Carl Jung stated, “the pendulum of the mind oscillates between sense and nonsense, not between right and wrong.”
RedFrost Motivation. (2018). Carl Jung: Life changing quotes. You Tube . https://youtu.be/f9KnSsrSNa8
Soken-Huberty, E. (2022, April 5). What is racial injustice-A definition. Human Right Careers. https://www.humanrightscareers.com/issues/what-is-racial-injustice-a-definition/
Yoon Suh Moh, & Sperandio, K. R. (2022). The need to consider requiring trauma training in entry-level academic training programs in clinical mental health counseling. Journal of Mental Health Counseling. 44(1). (pp. 18–31). https://doi.org/10.17744/mehc.44.1.03