White nurse. Inner city hospital. Disaster

Liz Kelly,
Cleveland, OH.

The big insight happened when I couldn’t understand the language no matter how hard I tried, although it was English. Knowing it was deliberate. Realizing “This is what marginalized people feel all the time– knowing they are hated without anyone knowing their thoughts or feelings or who they are.”

Later I saw a nurse I knew who had quit. She asked how I could stay since it was “so horribly racial.” I was so dumb it didn’t occur to me to call it that. I kept thinking it was a fault in me and if I tried harder I could overcome it. I left and went back to school– a privilege of the middle class to get out of horrible situations.

 

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