The Comfort We Had Is Not Here III of III: You Can’t Give Yourself a Pass
after Anand Swaminathan, MD [ June 16, 2020 ]
Looking back, I think I missed opportunities
to protect people, times I was passively racist
if such a thing exists. I heard other people say things,
and I didn’t correct what I knew was wrong, whether
it was about race or gender identity or homosexuality.
I don’t think I ever said anything to a patient,
but did I treat a patient differently, subconsciously?
Of course, I did. I don’t want to dwell on it. I want to do
better, but at the same time, you have to dwell on it.
You can’t give yourself a pass. I have to take into account
the situation in front of me and the system that created
that situation, because although I can’t change the situation
in front of me in the moment, there are things that I can do
outside of my clinical time that can help to change that.
There is hope. My eleven-year old knows more
than I would have at his age. If anything, my friends
are becoming more progressive, that’s hopeful.
If you’d asked me a year ago, I’d say I was progressive,
but now I feel like I was living in a bubble.
The comfort that we had three months ago is not here
about anything. And this one is much deeper
because its’s not a disease that will disappear
in six months or a year, it’s something that’s been here
forever that will take a lot of work to move past.
It’s very likely that I will see the end of COVID,
very unlikely, if not impossible, that I will see
the end of structural racism. I can live
another 40 or 50 years and not see the end of it.
I think that is difficult for all of us.
JULIA SPICHER KASDORF