Thursday, June 2, 2011
racism in a conversation with a patient.
Entering a patient's room (not that this is of any significance, but she is from Holland, and not American, and maybe I state that only to show that racism is present everywhere in this world). She was half way through a blood transfusion and a visitor was saying good-bye.
Patient: "I was just talking with my friend about this blood, she was asking me if it came all the way from China! You know, if this was Chinese blood."
Me: (utterly baffled): "I'm sorry? If this was blood donated from China?"
Patient: "Yes. Well, you know, I don't want to turn into a monkey."
Me: (utterly shocked and horrified, hiding these emotions): "Are you implying in some way that Chinese people are monkeys?"
Patient: "Well you know what I mean"
Me: "No I don't know what you mean. I can tell you that your blood was donated locally and I can assure you that Chinese people are not monkeys. My daughter is Chinese."
Patient: (not missing a beat and not even remotely remorseful for her prior remarks): "Oh she is! Do you eat a lot of Chinese food?"
Me: (leaving the room): "I'm not sure what that has to do with my daughter being Chinese. I'll be back to check on you in 30 minutes, if you need anything before then, please call".
What I should have said: "No, we like to eat monkey brains".
god help me.
Posted by kitchu at 9:19 AM