Part A: Education
Being the only African black male student in our classroom, I face discrimination from both my classmates and the lecturers. I hear stereotypes in the lecture contents and from other materials of the course. The lecturer ignores and dismisses me before or after class. Many times I have heard them make comments that are inappropriate before or after class. I have been severally called on in the classroom to give the perspective of student of color.' I have received hostile reactions to participating in the discussions of the classroom. I also overhear racist conversations among students in the classroom.
When I get into classrooms, I get stares and the classmates do not talk to me. Sometimes I have been in classes where the classmates completely avoided sitting around me especially when it was time to get in groups. Of late it happened to be there a lot of assaults on our campus. The students filled the other seats in the classroom, but the ones around me remained empty. It happened so often to me. The administration alert text messages and emails with the descriptions of assault suspects propagate Black men as criminals. That is the possible reason they avoid sitting around me.
While studying in the library, I heard white students discussing student of color admissions and giggling about how the only way foolish Africans can get into this institution is as result of Affirmative Action. It was so offensive to invalidate intelligence and hard work of students just because of their race. It also saddened me that all the people in the group accepted that view, showing that racism is so much rooted.
There are many examples in the lecture content of racial microaggressions. Specifically, lecturer's content has inappropriate and inaccurate statements about a particular ethnic or racial group, offensive comments, and outdated terminology. The entire experience leaves me marginalized, upset, hurt and wondering how a professor goes up the ranks while holding so many sexist and racist beliefs.
In class participation, I am invalidated, ignored, or not expected to perform. I would like to be treated as intellectual equals, but my contributions are only welcomed only to conversations related to ethnic and racial perspectives. For instance, when I raise my hand, I am never called upon to speak and I always find myself refraining from asking questions.
I was discouraged not to enroll for challenging classes or any majors. I went to see the academic advisor to assist me to schedule the classes for the next semester. When I entered her office, her expression immediately changed. Throughout the meeting, she questioned me whether I should stay in the major. It appeared like that after realizing I was an African, in her mind, I was not able to complete successfully the major. I felt disrespected and insulted by the meeting and subsequent meetings with her.
Part B: Healthcare
I am a firm believer that every system is perfectly intended to get the required results. This is through continuous improvement and innovation of the designed system that will make the desired difference in the quality of the healthcare in our country. I am Black American where the experience with health care has not been satisfactory especially with service delivery. For example, I have been experiencing unnecessary long waits to be given laboratory results whenever I attended that service. This norm sometimes is cruel and disrespectful because we are being judged by our race and color to be given proper attention by medics.
My experience to access proper healthcare remains a fundamental problem within our institution. This is because our healthcare depends on who you are and also who you know. Race, social class, and gender continue to influence our chances of receiving specific treatments and interventions in our healthcare institutions. This has resulted in us to continue accessing poor service and low-quality care compared to white Americans. Our social status has also played a significant role in majority of African Americans are economically disadvantaged, unlike white Americans.
My experience with health care has been challenging to get the adequate treatment. For example, I visited emergency room last year where I had a painful medical condition that I needed to be attended. The emergency staff treated me like I was faking my pain and they thought I was just playing with them. They never attempt to make any diagnosis or assist me. This was a disappointing experience I encounter, but eventually, I received proper care and received a diagnosis somewhere else. This experience convinced me I was mistreated at the emergency room because of my color.
Although, doctors take an oath to treat all patients without discrimination; this is not the case I received last year. I have been illustrating a negative association and assumptions that majority of people who come from minority group can describe racism. However, most doctors and nurses are not explicit to racist, and they usually treat all patients without favor or discriminations.
Through Affordable Care Act, I have been able to secure an insurance policy that covers my health expenses. Besides covering my health expenses, it has a positive impact because I can access preventative and primary care at low cost. Even though I may struggle to pay premiums the budget for a health plan is worth over the long run.
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