While everyone is applauding the scientists who figured out how to trick our immune systems into murdering coronaviruses, one of the biggest medical breakthroughs in history has gone undetected by many.
We finally figured out how to cure racism.
Apparently, the Journal of American Medical Association, an independent arm of the American Medical Association, the largest association of physicians in the United States, has been conducting secret clinical trials on its members and eliminated the scourge of racism! Although the group has kept the process under wraps, it announced the medical miracle on the Journal of American Racism’s now-deleted podcast, “Structural Racism for Doctors: What Is It?”
Dr. Ed Livingston, JAMA’s deputy editor for clinical reviews and education kicked off the whitesplainery by asking a question that I hope was hypothetical: “Given that racism is illegal, how can it be so embedded in society that it’s considered structural? As a child of the ’60s, I didn’t get it.”
“Structural racism is an unfortunate term,” added Dr. Livingston, I presume. “Personally, I think taking racism out of the conversation will help. Many of us are offended by the concept that we are racist.”
Joining Dr. Livingston for this display of medical caucasity was Mitchell Katz, MD, an editor at JAMA Internal Medicine and CEO of NYC Health + Hospitals in New York City who was also tested positive for bigot antibodies. Although the two seemed more offended by the word “racism” than actual racism, the discussion outraged a number of Black physicians who were understandably upset about being kept in the dark about the racism vaccine.
“Comments made in the podcast were inaccurate, offensive, hurtful, and inconsistent with the standards of JAMA,” said Dr. Howard Bauchner, editor-in-chief of JAMA and the JAMA Network, following the controversy. “Racism and structural racism exist in the U.S. and in healthcare. After careful consideration, I determined that the harms caused by the podcast outweighed any reason for the podcast to remain available on the JAMA Network.”
But instead of sparking outrage, The Root wanted to foster understanding. So we decided to find out if it was true. Fortunately, we found a medical expert who put the controversy to rest. The following is a transcript of our interview with the Dr. who caused the controversy, Dr. Nicole O’wemghee:
The Root: Hello, it’s nice to meet you, Dr. O’wemghee. Thanks for taking time out of your busy day!
Nicole O’wemghee, physician: Oh, it’s no problem. This was all a big misunderstanding. I’m happy to clear things up!
TR: So, do you agree with the statement that “No doctor is racist?”
N.O. physician: Of course not! That would be a stupid thing to say. In fact, I’m in charge of Stop the Heal, the medical community’s effort to keep racism in medicine.
TR: Excuse me? Are you saying that you’re racist?
N.O. physician: Well, we like to refer to ourselves as Caucasian medical specialists. It’s one of the oldest specialties in the country. Basically, instead of all that “curing illnesses” mumbo jumbo, we believe we can make white people feel better by making Black people feel worse. So JAMA’s tweet wasn’t necessarily wrong; it was just grammatically incorrect. What they meant to tweet was “N.O. physician is racist.” Then he asked me to suggest some ways to further structural racism in healthcare. See, it was all about punctuation. I apologize for the error.
TR: So are you admitting that structural racism exists in medicine?
N.O. physician: Let me ask you this: Do you believe that there are people who are racist?
N.O. physician: And do you believe that these people create the structure of institutions?
TR: Of course!
N.O. physician: So what kind of idiot would believe that teachers, lawyers, politicians, plumbers and presidents could be racist, but not physicians? We’re people. And just like any other profession, we have racists. That’s why I’m here. We’re tired of being ignored and erased after we’ve contributed so much!
T.R.: What do you mean by “contributed”?
N.O. physician: What I mean is, a lot of doctors are out here on the front lines of white supremacy, fighting for evil, and we are ignored by the mainstream media. Did you see that CNN report that Black newborns are three times more likely to die if they have a white doctor? Do you think that’s an accident?
Now, I think CNN could have worded it differently. I like to look at it as a medical wonder. We’ve managed to triple the infant mortality rate of white babies when compared to Black babies. I can’t believe we didn’t get a Nobel Prize nomination for that alone. Medical racism is real and we will not be erased.
T.R.: That’s awful!
N.O. physician: Not if you’re white. White people are the majority! And we are working every day to improve outcomes for white people. Why look at what we’ve done in the last year with COVID-19 alone! I don’t like to brag, but why do you think the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says African Americans are nearly three times more likely to be hospitalized for COVID-19 and twice as likely to die? That’s our handiwork!
We demand our recognition for racial disparities in maternal mortality, too. Black women die from pregnancy-related illnesses at 2.5 times the rate of white women. We did that. White women have higher rates of Breast cancer but Black women die from breast cancer at higher rates. Do you know how hard it was to manipulate those health outcomes?
Prostate cancer kills Black men at 2.5 times the rate of white men. When the JAMA Network (the same people who produced the podcast) acknowledged that “Black men don’t appear to intrinsically and biologically harbor more aggressive disease” but noted that “the greatest disparity to Black men with prostate cancer is access to quality healthcare and guideline concordant care,” that was just a fancy way of saying Black men don’t get good healthcare.
Come on, man, give us our credit!
TR: So why do you hate Black people so much?
N.O. physician: Hate? I thought we were talking about structural racism. Who said anything about hate? We don’t hate anyone. That would be against the Hypocritical Oath.
TR: I think you mean Hippocratic Oath.
N.O. physician: No I don’t. That one’s for physicians. But white people have a sworn duty to protect whiteness at all costs, even if it means being a hypocrite. But it has nothing to do with hating other races. It’s about protecting a system that favors whiteness. We don’t want Black and Hispanic people to die. Those health disparities I just mentioned are simply side effects of actively upholding the institution of white supremacy. You know how every medicine comes with a warning label? Well, I don’t quite know what an MAOI inhibitor is, but white doctors may cause ulcers, bleeding, temporary blindness, nausea, indigestion, permanent blindness, and death to anyone with melanin. You gotta read the fine print!
If we wanted to dismantle systemic racism in healthcare, we’d have to start with the education system that makes 40 percent of first and second-year medical students believe that Black patients are more pain tolerant. We’d have to tackle the insurance industry and healthcare costs. We’d have to address wealth inequality because rich people are healthier and live longer. We’d have to confront systemic racism in employment because most people are insured through employers. We’d also have to address food deserts, environmental racism, poverty and even where doctors’ offices are located.
TR: That’s a lot.
N.O. physician: Exactly! Ain’t nobody got time for that! Plus, there is regular, schmegular original recipe racism. Some of our Hall of Fame doctors like J. Marion Sims, the father of modern gynecology, were just plain old racist. No one has figured out how to eradicate that.
TR: Wait, you have a Hall of Fame?
N.O. physician: Of course. Some of our more recent inductees include Dr. Deborah Birx, for her groundbreaking work in doing nothing while the president told people to drink bleach. Dr. Seuss was just made an honorary member for his medical illustrations. The Medical Racism Hall of Fame also includes the Tuskegee Syphilis Study, the North Carolina eugenics program and that time we sprayed a Black St. Louis neighborhood with poison radiation to test a chemical weapon.
We do a lot of work in the Black community.
TR: So how do you propose we end medical racism?
N.O. physician: Fuck if I know. What do I look like? A doctor?
Oh, yeah...never mind.
TR: This sounds like you’re the opposite of a doctor!
N.O. physician: Me? How is this my fault? Every single thing I’ve just told you is absolutely true. Who’s worse, me, or someone who is willing to go on a medical program and deny the existence of something that is probably true?
Plus, everyone knows the AMA is racist. Black doctors had to start their own organization, the National Medical Association because “membership in America’s professional organizations, including the American Medical Association (AMA), was restricted to whites only.” Luckily, they apologized waaaay back in 2008.
TR: So what can the American Medical Association do to clear this controversy up?
N.O. physician: Again, it was just a simple misunderstanding about a grammatical error. If they want to ensure this never happens again, there’s only one thing they can do:
@ me next time.