Last week, the NYT published “Who is the Bad Art Friend?,” a story that caused quite a bit of controversy. I wrote a piece for @Slate about one aspect of the debate: whether living kidney donors should share their stories. The answer is YES.…
Now, I want to be clear: Bad Art Friend is a complicated story. I'm not taking a side, here. What I care about is this small sliver of the story, combined with the tone of some of the responses. I care about kidneys. I care about kidney patients. That’s what I want to talk about.
~100,000 Americans languish on the kidney waitlist, many dying every month. What makes this shortage so tragic is that it doesn’t NEED to be a shortage. Kidneys aren’t like other organs. You can donate, save a life, & live a long & happy life yourself…
35,000 people get added to the waitlist every year. That means we just need 35,000 kidney donors per year to meet that demand. But we don't have that many donors--even deceased ones! So kidney patients have to beg for these life-saving organs on their cars…
Kidney donation isn’t for everyone. People have to be financially secure, healthy, & psychologically predisposed. It’s ok to not want to be cut open & give up an organ. But the fact of the matter is there ARE people who would be inclined to donate if they knew more about it.
This is why we need donors to tell their stories. They can reassure others about the process. They can also inspire others about the satisfaction of using a piece of yourself to save another life. If donors are silent, the kidney shortage will get worse.…
Donations from strangers—non-directed donors—serve many important purposes. They not only save lives, but they also relieve pressure from kidney patients' family members who may not be not as financially secure or healthy, but feel compelled to donate to save their loved one.
Some other facts:
-Women are more likely to give to a family member than men are. More non-directed donor kidneys could help resolve this inequity
- Black Americans suffer more than anyone else from the kidney crisis, which I wrote about more here:…
The kidney crisis is so tragic b/c it is fixable. Again, donation isn’t for everyone. But certainly there are enough Americans who would be willing to give if they were reassured & inspired. This is why kidney foundations WANT donors to tell their stories.…
Again, “Bad Art Friend” raised a lot of different questions. The only one I am addressing here is whether kidney donors should be silent martyrs. They should not be. In fact, their stories and even their *pride* could help save many more lives.…
1 other thing: Many donors are already hesitant to share their stories. I remembered, as I was writing this story, that the 1st time I met a living kidney donor, I wondered (to my shame) "Is he a weirdo? Why would he do that?" I feel quite differently now…

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with Mangy Jay

Mangy Jay Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @magi_jay

12 Oct
Democrats won the 2020 popular vote by 7 million votes, flipped 2 red states, & are proposing popular legislation. Meanwhile, the GOP attempted to stage a coup & has so thoroughly politicized a **virus** that death & disease now correlates w/ partisanship. Who needs saving?
The whole column reads like it was written by the ghost of George Wallace's campaign manager. In actuality, Joe Biden is *right over there* signing anti-discrimination EOs, talking about racism, & proposing some of the most pro-woman legislation in U.S. history. Which is popular!
Further, it's ahistorical to say Biden wasn't progressive on race in 2020. He talked about it all the time! I know a lot of people really, really wanted him to throw Black people under the bus, but he didn't do it. And he won.
Read 5 tweets
12 Oct
Believe it or not, there were folks in 1500 who thought it was wrong to cut out people's tongues, chop off their other body parts, & otherwise torture them. I'm not full of praise for the Spanish Monarchs, but even they were embarrassed by Columbus' barbarism
That said, I also reject the premise of this argument. If we accepted it, we couldn't make judgements about Soviet leaders, either. "Who are WE--with all our modern mores--to judge Joseph Stalin? He was a product of his time!"

Further, the issue is not really that we are abusing history by documenting Columbus' barbarism. "Antihistorical political control" actually comes in when historical figures become national symbols that we elevate in heroic statues, myths, & celebrations
Read 4 tweets
12 Oct
Democrats get a lot of criticism for their messaging. Some justified. Some not. This is *great* messaging about climate change and I wish these arguments were reflected in headlines and coverage. The press doesn't have to endorse. But they should report the arguments themselves.
When I looked back at coverage of LBJ & the Great Society, one thing I noticed was that LBJ's quotes were contained in headlines. The headlines featured his arguments. Imagine headlines that said: "Biden: 'Fighting Climate Change Will Support Millions of Good-Paying, Union Jobs'
I wrote more about press coverage of Biden's legislation in this piece for @AlterNet. The comparisons with headlines from the 1960's are, I think, illustrative of how the press is currently doing a poor job of informing the public about Biden's vision.…
Read 4 tweets
11 Oct
Extreme vaccine resistance--such that one would quit one's job--is not a working class phenomenon. Individuals who state they will "Definitely Not" be vaccinated are equally spread across income brackets:
-32% make less than 40k
-30% make between 40-89.9K
-29% make 90k+
Note, too, that the income distribution within the "Definitely Not" group mirrors the income distribution within the group of vaccinated Americans. Similar proportions within each group make less than 40k, between 40-89.9K, and over 90k.
Insofar as there is any effect of income on *who* is unvaccinated, it's likely limited to communities who have been poorly reached by public health, such as some immigrant communities. These individuals are not anti-vax extremists who are quitting their jobs.
Read 5 tweets
7 Oct
Talking about birth rates can be tricky, b/c conservatives use the topic for either misogynistic or racist ends. That said, as a society, people who *want* to have children should be able to do so. At this moment, many face disincentives. Seems like we should work on fixing those
Many people who want to have children put it off bc they simply can't afford to. Parents-primarily women-have to make wrenching decisions about their careers vs children bc childcare is so exorbitantly expensive. That's upper/middle class folks. Much worse for lower income folks
I fail to see how, "The government will support childcare for this woman as she works 40 hours a week & makes 40,000 or less a year" is an "entitlement mentality."
Read 6 tweets
6 Oct
I just read Bad Art Friend & I don't have any desire to comment on the specifics of the story or to defend/criticize either woman. However, I have seen some comments arguing kidney donors shouldn't brag about their donations & PLEASE don't let that be the message you take away
Again, I don't really care about this story. I care about KIDNEYS. Our country uses diseased donors & living donors, the latter being moved by altruism. We need MORE people to give their kidneys. A major way to get more people to give is for them to talk about their donation.
Sometimes we might find this irritating! "They only gave a kidney so they could feel good about themselves." Well, "kidney donation will make you feel good about yourself" is one way to get people to donate.

The National Kidney Donation Organization: "Be Someone's Gift of Life"
Read 9 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!