Medical Tuesday Blog
My Negro Experience
I was born in Oklahoma where the Negroes had to be out of town by sundown. There were no Negro students in our schools, whether private, parochial or public. When the family moved to Kansas where I went to High School, we had one Negro girl in the entire school, and she was in my class of 52 students. She was well dressed, cordial and the students accepted her as an equal.
When I went to college, my best friend was a Negro. He was a Pre-theology student and I was a Pre-medical student. At that time Black could not be used and he referred to himself as an American Negro. He was from Detroit, which was well integrated. He could freely go to movies and any function he desired. He was well versed in the Classics and had extensive cultural experiences. He introduced me to the theater in Wichita, Kansas. We had to take a bus or train to go on the 50 mile trip from St John’s College. If we got there early, he invited me to have a drink before the theater.
That’s when I first experienced the full force of segregation. We would go into a lounge and order a drink, and every establishment we tried just shook their heads and said they couldn’t serve us. He stopped a colored (that was the common name to refer to the Negro race at that time) man on the street and asked where there was a place we could have a drink. The colored man understood the situation and referred us to a colored lounge close by. I was welcomed by all in the colored lounge. In fact, they seemed happy to see me and some even came up to shake my hand and thanked me for coming in.
I visited him in San Bernardino after he became a minister and he visited me in Sacramento. When I visited him, his neighbors were all so friendly. I noted when he visited me and we took a walk; none of the neighbors came out of their homes. When we walked to my church from the car, the friends that normally would join us were nowhere to be seen. But this was a necessary step in the integration process. Now we have Black members in our congregation and they are treated as equal members of the Family of Faith and we drink from the same communion cup.
Many of us also hoped that when we had a Black man in the White House that would be a great step to full harmonious integration for our country. We overlooked his Muslim upbringing, wearing Muslim robes as a youth, and joining a church which was vitriolic anti-American. Our black president has ignited more racial hatred than any I’ve experienced.
My Muslim and Arab Colleagues freely tell me that Blacks are not welcomed in their home countries. My Jewish colleagues tell me that Blacks are welcomed in their home state of Israel. Obama’s foreign policies are hard to understand, favoring the countries that hate him vs the country that accepts him.
Now we have reverse discrimination. The other evening on the O’Reilly show, a black lady was complaining when they showed a picture of a black man carrying a white lady; this, she stated, continued the sub-servient status of the black race—a servant carrying a white person. Perhaps this was her husband who carried her. But to see prejudice in every situation is a new experience. On a TV program a black woman had an unfavorable verdict, and a white attorney said that the defense team was well funded and he would be willing to help her balance the scales pro-bono. She refused saying no white person helps out a black person and walked away. These occurrences make me very sad that such situations are still present 150 years after Lincoln set the slaves free. I think of my Negro friend who always just moved on and never uttered a bitter thought. Perhaps that sort of attitude for these 150 years would more likely than not have helped our racial problem.
When I did some work at the State on a Medical Service, a comment on a practice issue which I thought was scientifically correct or neutral was frequently looked upon suspiciously. I heard, “I know where you’re coming from.” It took several of these occurrences for me to understand the undertones. When I finally understood what they were really saying, I very forcefully remarked that my best friend in college was black and I spent time in his home and he in mine. When is the last time you had a white person over for dinner or a white person stay at your home or you stayed over at a white person’s home?
After a few moments of silence to allow him to show his discomfiture, I replied, “I think if anyone is prejudiced in this room it is you. You are discriminating against a white person who accepts a black person as equal. Now you’ve identified yourself as a “racist.” I always kept my eye on his eye until he turned around and left, never apologizing. But never again was I discriminated against by that person. This reverse discrimination seems to have gotten worse with a black president. What a shame that the race issue has gotten worse on his watch. What an appropriate time for the black race to join the Grand Ole Party that set them free and accepts them as equals. If Blacks stay in the Liberal party, it will use their vote to keep the racial issue alive and continue to enslave them. Why not look forward to equality rather than backwards to racial hatred. I believe November 8, 2016 will be your opportunity to reverse this.
Hippocrates and His Kin / Hippocrates Modern Colleagues
I wish my friend Algie was still alive so I could have this discussion with him.
In my observations, I believe the party of Lincoln and Reagan generally does so.