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was it racism?

11 September 07
tags: ,

i’m sitting in the doctor’s office waiting to get my blood drawn.  there’s a handsome, well-dressed african american man waiting as well.  a nurse comes out and calls “jerome?”  he looks up, says “jermaine?” and she kind of says yes but does not apologize.  i looked at the other african american woman but she was staying out of it and reading her book.

i’m sitting in the blood-drawing center.  my nurse is joking around with me.

to my right in comes the african american woman, the one who was reading her book.  she sits down and her nurse says, (without any cordialities to begin with), “you’ve been fasting?”  the woman, confused, says no and that all her other tests she wasn’t required to fast.  the nurse dismisses her, tells her she has to fast for these tests and that we won’t be able to do it today.

i sit there, watching, wondering why they got my name right but not the black man’s; why they first asked if the black woman had fasted, but didn’t even bother to ask little white-dressed-for-the-office me.  was it racism?

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. 23 September 07 5:58 am

    I recently had someone refer to incidents like this as “invisible racism”.

    If you have your eyes open for this type of thing, you will become more and more aware of them, to the point that you will wish you could turn off your “anti-racist eyes”.

    I hate that I can’t ever see things the same again, but at the same time, I am grateful that my eyes have been opened. It’s a weight I’m willing to carry.

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