I think one of the nurses I work with could be a racist. She might definitely be one, I’m just loathe to come right out and say it because I’m kinda loving my job right now. I want an opportunity to learn more before assuming what a (maybe) 30-y-o jaded, burnt out nurse might mean by what I perceived as an insensitive, racist statement. And by “before assuming”, I mean knock that bitch out because she’s a dirty racist…
Hear me out –
A couple of days ago we were discussing the decline in behavior of one of our residents. Turns out my little friend from this post has been having quite a hard time lately. Shit got real and that’s about all I can say about what went down.
K was moved from his dorm to the care of rotating respite staff-members at our health center for 24/7 monitoring for almost a month. He wasn’t safe to be on his own or in program with other residents. The reports were a little disturbing…
I caught a peek since I’m the one that files these things in the charts. Trust me, you’d never believe that this kid (below) actually did and said what was written in that report. If you squint, you can almost see how angelic he looks. Singing voice to match.
I got to learn a lot about K in those 3-4 weeks. We got a tour of his hood via Google Maps. He told us about the old man who let him drive a truck and all about the gang of 20 kids with whom he smokes on the corner. He showed us the bodega where he gets free sandwiches sometimes and his favorite pizzeria. Brooklyn pizza – now THAT brings back memories! But I digress…
K also played the same 5 songs on a counselor’s iPod which included “Trap Queen” by Fetty Wap (one of my favorite bloggers touches on him briefly here). To mix it up a bit, my boss introduced him to the acoustic version of that song. So K says, “Oh, the COUNTRY version by that white boy? Nah – I don’t like country…”. At least I got to teach him that anything that involves The Roots is NOT country music and my boss got to turn him on to music that was a tad less misogynistic than what was on rotation for what felt like an ass-dragging eternity each day.
There were many good days and probably an equal amount of terrible, horrible, no good, very, very, very fucked-up days. He’s a sweet kid who hovers between trying his best to overcome numerous issues that have plagued him since conception and just giving up on himself and the bit of progress he’s made since arriving at the magical agency which employs me.
So last week this same magical agency decided after much deliberation to send K to a local psych ward to be stabilized before (maybe) returning him to us to start from scratch…
So why is this nurse a racist? She seriously thinks that the best place for K is jail. That’s right – because she sees him as unpredictably combustible he should just be locked away, no – thrown away like trash. At least that’s how I took it – that this beautifully brown-skinned baby thug isn’t worth the effort that our agency expends on him.
So a white-skinned, suburban, German-Irish quasi-socialite nurse thinks city kids are a waste of time and that at-risk kids like K will all just wind up living the “thug-life”. Kids like K who are born with issues brought upon them by a biological parents’ drug abuse or a foster home’s pathology are just a waste of her precious time.
It was offensive to me.
Maybe I’m just super-protective of the borough which spawned me and those who grew up a stone’s throw from my own hood. I got to meet K’s mother once and she could have been one of my own mother’s friends back in the day; she could have very well been a neighbor of ours from Glenwood Houses, which is on the same Brooklyn bus line as K’s regular haunts.
What she said pissed me off. But I didn’t tell her that. Could I be the one who’s kinda racist for assuming she thinks this way…? I’m not 100% sure.
Although I was quick to disagree with her and point out that jail doesn’t offer anything to rehabilitate youngsters who wind up there, to which she replied with a nonchalant shrug of her (fucking racist) shoulders, I took it no further. Why? Because I
like, no – LOVE my current job and want to stay there long enough to give her a huge IN YO FACE! when K gets his shit together. Maybe what K needs is for staff of our agency to have 100% faith in his growth and recovery. What else are we all there for?? Really, WHAT?
Either way, I have a lot of questions. And this nurse is at the very least full of a shit-ton of CRAP for saying something like that about an 11-year-old kid on medication.
Whatever it comes to, I hope I get to tell K that I missed seeing him around campus. If I see him again, I will make a point of telling him that. Maybe I’ll eventually get to tell him that the Ed Sheeran version of “Trap Queen” is not full of crap; at least not in my opinion…