I will never forget the time I went to a doctor out of state and complained that my legs kept on falling asleep whenever I crossed them. He shrugged and said that that just happens with black people. I pressed him on ways to fix it. No response. Laziest shit I've ever heard. Same thing happened with a white specialist who I told that I had a weird bump on my arm. He did everything in the world to avoid examining it.

Meanwhile my PCP (who looks exactly like Nev from "Catfish" and has been told that 3x by 3 different people, so I'm assuming he's Russian/Romanian descent) stared at it, asked me a zillion questions, encouraged me to get it looked at and is FOREVER attentively paying attention to anything I say is wrong. I can't even say it's just a "white doctor" thing because my own doctor would make the cut.

But there's a connection (and empathy) with white folks who look like an "other" too, who won't overlook what you're saying. I've been holding onto this "Catfish" doctor for years for that reason alone. No matter where ACA takes me, I bring my way back to him and my dentist, who is Bosnian or Croatian. (I can't remember which. I know she speaks both languages.)

Check out her five Medium publications: Doggone World, Homegrown, I Do See Color, Tickled and We Need to Talk. Visit Shamontiel.com to read about her.

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