Transcript for Doctor says he wears scrubs in public to ‘mitigate deadly prejudice’
Turning point continues with Byron Pitts. Driving while black you have to think about kind of how the things you do will be perceived. How perception can lead to deadly consequences. There are times when folks will assume that you are in an area or doing things with mal intent. These are my scrubs. I wear them everywhere. I just want to be safe. So guesstimate how many times you think you've been pulled over by police. I can't count. More than five? Yeah. More than ten? I don't know. I don't know. So you've been pulled over so many times by police you can't even give it a number? Yeah. Quite a few. It is so exhausting. It really wears you down. I'm a urologist. I love urology. Yet, for all the success, Arturo Holmes a black man in America, where too often he says skin color trumps character. At some point I just realized my interactions in scrubs were different. Amid the covid-19 pandemic our doctors and nurses have been lauded as heroes, scrubs signifying courage and selflessness, but for Dr. Holmes they've also become an armor of sorts. You made the decision to only wear your scrubs in public. Why? I feel like sometimes out in the world when people interact, you know, with me, they may be more guarded, more cautious. You know, there's so much going on in the word, especially after we've seen kind of interactions with people of color, or even just every day citizens and how situations can escalate and become deadly. Dr. Holmes says while on his way home from work late one evening last year he was pulled over by four NYPD officers in an unmarked car. He believes his scrubs eased their suspicions about a young man driving while black. I just remember feeling so nervous, ultimately shared that they were looking for gang-related activity in the area. After they noticed my scrubs. I remember thinking, I just don't want to become another hash tag. In July, amid national protests following the killing of George Floyd, Dr. Holmes penned an op Ed in the "Washington post" about his decision to wear his scrubs everywhere he goes. That's why I wear my professional uniform, like armor, hoping this fabric might mitigate deadly prejudice. For some, its pale blue hue signals a degree of humanity that my skin color sadly does not. For black soldiers returning from every war, for emt breonna Taylor, the hope that the uniform may help has not. Blacks have been making the decision you've made for generations and it still wasn't enough. The hope that it would help me mitigate deadly prejudices. Outside of work the scrubs are for protection. But in suny downstate, they are also aspirational. In America, a lot of black patients never have black physicians. So just being a black physician, you know, gives them hope. In your world, your scrubs are both armor and inspiration. Yes, they are. Inspiration and hope that one day his scrubs could be thrown in the wash after a long day's work, and he could make it home free of fear. So doc, how long do you think you'll have to wear scrubs in order for the world to see your humanity? That's a great question. I don't have an answer to that, will that be in my lifetime? I don't know. Will very to wear scrubs forever? I don't know. Drop the taco, get in the car.
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