The Georgetown Coven convened once again to give us some insight into my mother’s lingering life altering health issue. We heeded their summons, received their powerful collective wisdom, and are proceeding thusly, tout suite! It must be so, as we met directly across from the French Embassy. Être au taquet *fingers crossed*
The procedure in the Georgetown Wound Care Center include a nurse escorting you to an exam room, taking vitals, and preparing you for the Doctor’s consultation. On this day, a young(ish) man in hospital scrubs escorted my mother to the exam room, introduced himself (L-loyd, shout out Lego Ninjago fans), accompanied by another young(ish) man in business attire. The businessy man did not immediately introduce himself.
Once the door to my mother’ exam room was closed, I immediately felt a general sense of unease. Two men. One silent. Door shut. Once Lloyd removed my mother’s bandage and took her vitals, the business man introduced himself as the manager of the wound care unit, explaining that he was conducting employee observations. He reached to shake my hand, and as I was shaking his hand I heard this bizarre-o giggle burble out of myself, and I said, “yeah, you weren’t creepy at all,” before I could stop myself. Except he was creepy until that moment. We both smiled. Then both men left while we waited for our trusted Dr Ladies to arrive.
In those quiet moments (my mother was engaged with solitaire on her phone, attempting to control her own anxiety about her medical experiences), I was having an internal discussion about what was it that was making me so uneasy with those two men.
Was is because one of them was super silent?
Georgetown is a teaching hospital, so we have many silent residents and medical students coming in and out of various appointments and treatments. I do not recall being uneasy with their presence.
Oh, did I forget to mention that both men have darker skin than mine? No? Why does that matter anyway? Am I some kind of racist or something? The underbelly of racism is fear. I felt an unwarranted fear in the closed presence of these men that I was not feeling in the closed presence of others (including men). I am pretty sure that I had a moment of ingrained racism there.
I deeply apologize, gentlemen.
On the recommendation of a friend, I began following a hilFREAKINarious mommy poster @HonestToddler on Twitter (and @LozFelizDaycare!). As our societal/political leadership climate changed in the good ol’ USofA, @HonestToddler changed her tweeting focus up to include societal issues broader than wacky child/family/mommy dynamics (still locally sourced, sustainably harvested and organic, though, like, seriously). @HonestToddler introduced me to @rgay, who in turn introduced me to @IjemaOluo (and others in this 7 degrees of fascinating).
Don’t get too excited about my tweet game, I still follow @carrieffisher… *sigh* and saddnesses. May the Force be with you and also with you. Lift up your hearts, we lift them up to the … anywho, you see what I mean.
Consequently, I have been immersed into a whole new lot of things that otherwise would not have hit my reading radar.
Which brings me right back ‘round, baby, right ‘round like a record, baby, right ‘round ‘round ‘round to our incident with the Georgetown Coven. Obvs I’m a middle class light-skinned lady person of a certain age.
I am reading this: So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
I want to know more and different things so that I can do more and different things. One take-away so far is that I am not in a position of defining what is and what is not racist for someone experiencing racism.
How about you?
Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo
ps. Liam Neeson left *sigh* and *heartbreak*