Thursday, July 18, 2013

Oh No They Didn't!: Tennessee Woman Outraged by "ghetto booty" Diagnosis

"Terry Ragland, a woman in Tennessee, was incensed after her doctor, Timothy Sweo, diagnosed the source of her severe lower back pain as "ghetto booty." "
 According to the Huffington Post article (click here) "Dr. Sweo later sent Ragland a letter apologizing for his use of the term, explaining it was an attempt to translate the diagnosis into something "less technical." Reached for comment by WREG, Sweo clarified: “What I was trying to explain to that patient is that she has lumbar lordosis, which is a fancy name for the curve of the lower spine that makes the buttocks protrude more. In trying to explain that I said that she had ghetto booty." He added that he understood why her feelings had been hurt."

Oh no he didn't!

Deconstruction: this is a three part failure. 1. The verbal insult 2. The non-apology letter 3. His ridiculous statement that he understood why her feelings were hurt.  The shocking scope of the racist nature of this incident is compounded by the doctor assuming the patient was too uneducated or incompetent to understand a diagnosis of lumbar lordosis, or swayback. Dr. Sweo, who is white, then doubles down on that insult by generalizing the concept that women of a particular socioeconomic demographic and race would have an overly large protruding derriere of such proportions that its weight would cause a medical condition. He certainly could not understand Ms. Ragland's feelings because he employed the standard tactic of someone who does not want to apologize for doing something terribly wrong. He tries to justify what he did and write an apology that is not an apology at al. The non-apology is a defense mechanism of the academic racist, a person who appears highly educated and professional until they begin vomiting racist remarks to clients or patients.  This doctor also needs some sensitivity training for sexual harassment. The whole diagnosis conversation could have taken place without the patient's butt being brought into it by simply encouraging the patient to   implement a weight loss plan in order to reduce the strain on her lower back. Instead the term "booty" was used by a white medical professional to describe a Black woman's medical diagnosis. How proud the American Medical Association must be.

Hey, white doctor. You Are Racist.

Just. STOP
Angry Emoticon with upraised hand
and  thought bubble above his head
 with the words "STOP! This mean YOU. " written in it 

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