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August 19, 1974

Sickle Cell Trait

JAMA. 1974;229(8):1105-1106. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03230460055028

THE assertion of black pride and aspiration has produced painful as well as happy readjustments: bloody civil strife together with burgeoning civil rights; abject mea culpa from some, abuse of the mea culpists by others; imposition of quotas welcomed today, to become cursed tomorrow.

Sickle cell disease is a problem of blacks that has become a political weapon. Whitey can be clouted with both ends of the stick. If sickle cell was a white disease, it would have been conquered years ago—vs—genetic counseling to breed out sickle cell is cryptogenocide. In coping with this sickle cell crisis, biracial committees strive to avoid the racist epithet. Funds are awarded in excess of requirement, and projects are approved that no one wants. Even more funds are sought by fraudulent television solicitation: "While sickle cell anemia cannot be cured, early detection can prevent its spread.... Send contributions...." College children are encouraged to organize