When I walk into a patient’s room and see the look of pride on a Black family’s face after they realize I’m their child’s doctor, I’m reminded how much my skin and ethnicity matters. I think the same happens for other minority physicians with their patients of the same ethnicity. Some ask why this matters and I frequently hear, “Isn’t this racist?” A recent post on social media celebrating this black-owned and operated urgent care center on the Southside of Chicago triggered the same response from mostly White physicians who are conservative. I find it frustrating to have to explain why color and ethnicity mean something to American descendants of slaves (ADOS), but as a conservative I also get the defensive reflex having so many leftists call us racist just for being conservative. But is it racist for Blacks to want Black doctors and nurses and is it the same as Whites wanting only White doctors or nurses? And, is celebrating a Black owned and run business really necessary
Considering the history of the treatment of Black Americans in medical research like the men in Tuskegee and Henrietta Lacks as well as existing evidence of disparities in medical treatment, it’s no wonder many Blacks feel more comfortable in the care of another Black person. Also, there is no comparable example in history of White Americans being mistreated by Black nurses and physicians and I’d also be hard pressed to learn that a White physician has ever been told by a patient that they didn’t want them as their doctor because they aren’t Black. On the other hand, I have heard Blacks being told a patient/family member prefers a White physician or nurse. So no, being more comfortable with medical care by someone of the same ethnicity is not racist and it isn’t racist for Black Americans to prefer Black American physicians and nurses.
Next, let’s consider the celebration of this particular urgent care center. It is among the first of its kind in a city riddled with poverty, crime, and poor health. The partners chose to open in this location to give this community access to affordable medical care. Given that Blacks are told to “leave the plantation” and pull up our own people and take responsibility for our own families and communities. Well, isn’t this black-owned and operated urgent care center an example of doing exactly that? Not only is this medical center a necessity, it is also proof that Blacks can and do invest in our own communities. In a country so divided where Blacks/ADOS feel unheard and thrown aside by both political parties, we need to be encouraged and convinced that we don’t need saving by Democrats or Republicans. We are more than capable of educating ourselves, caring for ourselves, and building our communities. Why shouldn’t we show others the achievements we have made and are making in order to inspire and encourage one another to become educated, build wealth, and engage in and build our own communities? There is nothing racist about this.Tweet