"While dictators rage and statesmen talk, all Europe dances — to The Lambeth Walk."

Saturday, 29 August 2009

Doctor to Be Sued for Using Term "Negro Skin"

From Get Reading:

A reference to “negro skin” in a letter from Royal Berkshire Hospital has left a Whitley mother and her daughter angry and upset.

Alice Chigumira, an assistant social worker, from Whitley Wood Road said her 17-year-old daughter “was really in distress” after reading the letter from consultant plastic surgeon Andy Pay.

In a letter to the chief executive of the hospital Mrs Chigumira said of the letter to her daughter Michelle Mzari: “I find this a racist, derogative statement and very offensive.

“I was so shocked, let alone perplexed that a learned person who is a consultant at this time and age can use such language.

“This is political (sic) incorrect and unprofessional.”

She has also sent copies to Reading Council for Racial Equality and the Equality and Human Rights Commission in London.

Mrs Chigumira, 44, comes from Zimbabwe and is on the management committee of Reading Refugee Support Group.

She continued in her letter of complaint: “My daughter is 17 years old and quite aware of how negro was a word used to subject black people to derogative, racist statements.

“When the world is trying by all means to live in harmony, it is unfortunate that there is still a society of a highly qualified doctor who is not sensitive to such things.

“No amount of apology can be enough to my daughter and me. It has left us wondering how then she will be treated if she does manage to get the operation done.

“I work hard with the community to try and bridge a gap of such discrimination and to get good quality services for ethnic minorities only to have such statements opening the floodgates of racism in the NHS.

“As a civil servant myself, I do not subscribe to such language which leaves people feeling lesser.”

Professor Ann Sheen, chief executive of the hospital trust, said: “We have received the complaint from Ms Chigumira regarding correspondence following her daughter’s appointment with a consultant plastic surgeon who holds an honorary contract with our trust.

“A full response and explanation will be sent to the family.

“However, I would immediately wish to apologise for what was a wholly inappropriate phrase in the letter.

“I would emphasise that the trust is totally committed to equality and diversity and we are determined to strive to provide nothing less than excellent service for every patient in our care.”

I would say that these individuals are trying to get on the gravy train, but it sounds like they are already riding a good one - an immigrant from Zimbabwe who spends her working life aiding and abetting the further colonisation and decline of large parts of the country which was generous enough to take her in. An achievement in many respects, considering she can barely string a sentence together.

That's gratitude, eh?

I was never aware that the term 'Negro' was a form of racial abuse - I was under the impression it was a neutral, descriptive term, like 'Caucasian'.

I suppose there is the possibility that it can also be a medical term.

But no - the health trust has already apologised and stated its commitment to 'equality and diversity', which have become about the most sinister words in the English language.

That pretty much means that, right or wrong, this doctor is on borrowed time.

No apology can ever be enough for such slights, as Chigumira notes - until the cheque book comes out, that is.


eh said...

...how negro was a word used to subject black people to derogative, racist statements.

Huh? It's a perfectly acceptable word, and years ago it was the most common word used to refer to what today are most often called black people. It never really had a derogatory meaning that I know of, unlike nigger. Once black became the preferred term, some 'negroes' may have taken offense at the continued use of negro. That's the only thing I can think of.

A nutcase.

ZimbaZumba said...

When I was younger using the term 'black' was considered derogatory and the approproate term was 'negro'.

Negro is Spanish for black and comes from niger the Latin for black. M.L. King refered to himself as a member of the 'Negro People', and infact the US census still has a racial category 'Negro' as many older people do not like being refered to as black.

I just wish people would make their mind up, or stop taking offense for the sake of it.