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Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Racial Profiling at the Doctor's Office Last Week

Last Thursday last week, my day started with a shouting match between myself and the receptionist/Secretary Clerk who answered my call when I confirmed my wife appointment for the afternoon. The clerk responder complained that she could barely hear me and If possible spell my wife's name. I did as follows: M as in Mother Macrine, A as in Appalachian Mountains, C as in California, R as in Robert, I as in Ignoramus, N as in Nothing or Nada and E as in Edward.
For our surname ( that most people mispronounced) here's what I told her: K as in Kentucky, A as in Apple, T as in Tom or Tomboy, A as in Apple, G as in Georgia, U as in Uncle and E as in Election. (Cat tag gay, not cat tag or cataque)

In the afternoon at the orthopedic surgeon's office, Macrine and I heard our second racial profiling comment. The first one happened in Gladstone Missouri way back in the late 1960 (http://davidbkatague.blogspot.com/2011/12/chapter-7-life-in-chicago-illinois-and.html).

I was shocked by the question ask by a stranger( that is if I speak English) and so my answer was brief. I regretted that I did not answer the question truthfully.

At this second post-operation visit, Macrine's hip operation need to be X'ray to insure that everything is healing well and the metal replacement is in order. Attached are 2 copies of the X'ray of Macrine's Hip showing the Chromium ball joint and Titanium steel support that I requested for my personal file.



Our appointment at the orthopedic surgeon's office was at 3:20PM. Macrine and I were there 5 minutes early. At 3:30PM an assistant clerk escorted us to small office and ask questions about Macrine's health status and ask her if she is feeling any pain. He later informed us that an X'ray will have to be taken and after that a Physician Assistant will see us. In this Office( Summit) there are six MD and 3 PA's. Two of the MD are Japanese-Americans. It is one of the biggest orthopedic office in the Sacramento area.

At about 4PM, a Caucasian man possibly in his late 50's came to the office where we are waiting and informed us he has to take an X'ray of Macrine's hip in the next room. Out of nowhere he asked us if we speak English. I was so shocked by the question, that I could only whimper the phrase, A little! He did not say anything, but I believe he really believe that Macrine and I speak only a little English!

Macrine and I looked at each other. I did not say anything but I was upset, so that when the Physician Assistant came in to check Macrine, I told her that the X'ray technician is a racist and told her exactly what happened. She apologized and I did not acknowledge her apology. She gave me the phone number of their Office Administrator if I wanted to discuss the incident in more detail.

I guess to the eyes of the X'ray technician, Macrine and I looked like first generation Asians who immigrated to the US in the 1930's so our English knowledge must be limited. Macrine is using a walker and I limped a little bit because of my arthritis, so we really look our age as members of the octogenarian generation. In retrospect, I feel sorry for this X'ray technician for his narrow-mindedness and pre-judgement of us because of how we look.

Or I am just over reacting to the question? What would your reaction be if some stranger ask you the same question?

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