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ALS Ice Bucket vs. Ferguson

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has become the new phenomenon appearing on every social media platform. From actors to politicians to the average Joe, nearly everyone is participating in the activity. However, how many of you know the details to ALS?

The Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. It is commonly referred to the Lou Gehrig’s disease. Gehrig was a prominent Yankee’s player who set the record for the most homeruns made by any first baseman and suffered from the disease. The ice bucket challenge was not only created to raise awareness for the disease, but also encourage donations to research.

As this activity continues to make headway there are many who believe it is distracting the country from the racial issues at hand. One individual posted:

Image Credit: Instagram

Image Credit: Instagram

“Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis aka Lou Gehrig’s disease. This affects most white males over the age of 40. That’s y’all on my timeline? What effects the majority of the ppl on my timeline is the assassinations of our black boys the over sexualizing of our black girls and the complete miseducation of our ppl to remain oppressed. I challenge you to make a significant change in your households & communities. No ice bucket needed, just some self-respect, love, and pride. “

Yes, 60 percent of individuals living with ALS are men and 93 percent of patients in the ALS database are Caucasian. But, contrary to what many believe and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ALS does affect a small percentage of Black men.

In response to the comment posted above another individual spoke out stating his/her grandfather, a Black man, suffered from ALS. This person continued by saying:

“I don’t understand why people feel our community can only focus on one issue at a time? We can’t donate to the ALS Association and speak out against racism and police violence? We can’t support more than one cause at a time?”

While communities across America mourn the Black and brown souls who have fallen victim to racism and police brutality, is the ALS ice bucket challenge sidetracking the media’s attention?

The ice bucket challenge for ALS is the equivalent to wearing pink for Breast Cancer Awareness. Promoting awareness for a disease is just as important as raising awareness of police brutality and the innocent children who are heinously shot down like animals. One issue is not a distraction from another. What are your thoughts?

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