Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Racist or Not?

I just got signed up for a new health/dental insurance and am starting to look for new doctors to become my primary physicians.  (The new medical insurance was the whole purpose behind the recent domestic partnership.)

So, I'm pretty much picking doctors based on a list of names only.

Honestly, I caught myself looking for the whitest names possible.  Or, I guess, most European names.  I was half ashamed when I realized what I was doing.  Here's what I found myself thinking as I came across each name:

Changlin Wang?  Not comfortable.
Lucy Kalanithi?  :|  Can't even place the origin of that last name.  Indian?
Nailah Thompson?  I'm liking Thompson, but what's this Nailah about?
Hai-tao Tang?  Fun to say.  Not comfortable.
Safa Magid?  :|
Nardine Riegels?  For some reason I picture a really old, Jewish lady.

Then, I decided to try googling their names, and now I can at least see their pictures and where they graduated from.  Aiming for Michigan grads!

What leads me to this method of picking doctors?  If you ever go in for your high blood pressure (Me) or high cholesterol (Me) or poison ivy penis (Me) or weird rash on your anus that you confuse with a hemorrhoid (Me) or acne all along your legs and ass when you work out (Me), you don't really want to have problems coming from misunderstandings or miscommunication.

That was exactly the problem I had with a doctor in L.A.  He's talking about heart complications, and all I get is slurs and mumbles.  Heck, I ended up getting an unnecessary Hepatitis test at one point.  I avoided him for the whole butthole rash incident.  I actually quit going to the doctor altogether.  So, I guess my subconscious was trying to control this scenario in the future, when the only factor I can influence is which name I pick.

Dentists, though, I guess I'm going more for breath?  I don't really need to understand what the dentist says.  I have amazing, natural teeth.  I found my last dentist the same way, and his name was something like Scott O'Malley.  Too bad it wasn't something solid like Joseph Smith.  (Heck, that name is white enough to base a religion off of.)  White people just don't typically have pungent lunches, I guess?  Maybe Italians...  No, I guess that one's a little bit racist.

♫ Everyone's a little bit racist ,


  1. We all know that there's no way of saying "but seriously, I'm not racist. I mean, Ihave an Asian friend."

    But I do feel like I need to say that. I really don't think that I'm racist. This is just to point that out, for those that are judging. (I'd be judging if it weren't me.) I'm very moral, regardless of what I type in this blog.

    I guess morality is in the eye of the beholder...

  2. Alright, I saw this at 20sb, and I HAD to respond. Why? Because I did the same exact thing a few months ago.

    I'm a white guy married to a biracial woman, with a quadracial (Hell, I don't know. She's 3/4 white (which includes German and Irish), then 1/4 black). Anywho...

    I was looking for a primary care physician (spelled right, or not), and I knew I wanted a woman. Of course, I stayed away from the Asian and Natural African names, because lets be honest, we want to understand the doctor, and you have less of a chance to when they're foreign born.

    And because I'm white, I figured a white woman would be more acclimated to me, so I picked the whitest name I could find: Allison Puckett.

    She was black. We had a good initial visit, but after she pissed me off the way she treated my wife, I never went back, and won't.

    So yeah, in a way, it is racist, but not in a terrible way. Races do it all the time. Black people (for the most part) want a black doctor, and so on.

    Nice post. Interesting there's someone that did exactly what I did.

  3. Glad to know I'm not the only one out there.

  4. Nothing wrong with wanting to understand your doctor. Understanding your health is important. I can't say that I've used this method picking a doctor, I still go to my Korean doctor in Monroe even after I moved to Auburn Hills.

    I have used this method picking professors for my undergrad degree. Only in a couple classes that I knew I was going to have a hard time with, other classes were no problem and it's good to get perspective from people with diverse background. However I did try to take what looked like to be a native English speaker for Statistics II, they split the class up and I ended up with non English speaker. I didn't understand him and he didn't understand the questions I asked... Didn't do so well in that class.

  5. I've never even thought to explore the class-choosing racism perspective. I've had the exact same experience, Megan.

  6. I just wanted to point out that you're probably thinking of Joseph Smith, who founded the Mormon Church. John Smith was the one who boned Pocahontas.

  7. You're absolutely correct, Prez.

  8. Oh MY!! lol I read this and I had to say I laughed, and well Me being Jewish I have had my share of only wanting to find a Jewish Doctor cause I know I can speak to him in my native tongue and he would understand! lol What i do know of my language, but as far as being racist I don't sense that in this post, until you said I do have an Asian friend! lol

    Ok, I dig your post! lol