:: to the teeth ::    thoughts on social justice, medicine, race, hope and beats

"Another world is not only possible, she is on her way.
On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." :: Arundhati Roy ::

"The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don't have any." :: Alice Walker ::
Friday, April 02, 2004  

follow up from yesterday's post. it worked.

we 'won' two of our goals today. i represented the coalition to a board meeting of the hospital. my first time there. i had the task of apologizing to the board for missing last week's meeting. i was sincere. forgiven. and then i had the platform and threw a one-two punch to the chest and gut. :> i shared our interpreter proposal which was well received and will likely get the budgetary support it needs to be fulfilled, that was expected. Then I called the CEO out in public on his sliver of legal logic endorsing discriminatory pricing against undocumented immigrants. That D word from a white doctor to a public hospital board shook the room up and woke the room up. CEO actually backtracked and admitted we have a "very valid observation" on the reality of his ignorance. Vice President stood up, spoke up, seeking to be included in the loop of communication. he was nervous cause he is the one who has to face the legislators. division of labor. we fractured them, broke their solidarity along lines of individuation. institution is so weak, so easy to tweak, so vulnerable to the truth spoken from a position of simple human strength. especially when you have a lawyer on your side. Once broken, it just needs a broom to sweep up the mess. still alot of work but fairly routine. man there were so many beautiful details.

so that was just the surface. here's the part that matters. it wasn't me speaking. it was an expression of the combined intention of my entire team to care. it was our solidarity. i got individual credit for standing there, and i did stand there, accepting the risks and growth and beautiful details. but the grace that flowed forth were the prayers and sweat and gentleness of my team and our loved ones channeled thru the shallow end of my stereotyped existance ("white male young idealisitic but serious doctor") interfacing with racist, classist, institutional minds that only respond to like images of power. we changed policies, but i can hope that we also liberated each other from the wieght of oppression to slow the flow of dysfunctionality and give us some time to breath.

posted by andru | 4/02/2004 11:09:00 PM | |


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