Fight Racial Discrimination in Hospitals

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Target: Weston Phippen, Tampa Bay Times staff writer

Goal: Encourage hospital employees to stand up to racial discrimination and assert their rights.

Weston Phippen, a staff writer for the Tampa Bay Times, recently chronicled the often understated problem of racial discrimination in hospitals, giving the issue the attention it deserves. Racial discrimination in the medical world is often overlooked, but the issue demands our attention. The problem should be addressed in the press, and corrected in court if necessary. Sign this petition to bring racial discrimination in hospitals to the forefront of the fight for equality.

Weston Phippen recently covered a powerful story about Syrenthia Dysart, a nurse at the Palms of Pasadena Hospital. Dysart went to make an assessment of an admitted patient, but was turned away because of a flaw that would interfere with her bedside manner: she was black. The patient had been mugged by a black man, and for this reason the staff of the Palms of Pasadena Hospital did not want any black nurses attending to the patient (pursuant to the family’s requests). Rather than make an effort to educate the patient and the patient’s family as to the deleterious effects of such racist attitudes, the hospital indulged it. This type of behavior is not something that society should tolerate, under any circumstances. Dysart is now seeking legal action against the Palms of Pasadena Hospital.


Dear Mr. Phippen,

Thank you for writing about the discrimination that was carried out against Syrenthia Dysart at the Palms of Pasadena Hospital. Sadly, cases like this one are not uncommon. Several years ago, there was a similar case arising out of discrimination at the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Torrance, California. In this case, four black women stated, under oath, that while working at the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, they were discriminated against by their supervisor. Their supervisor would tell black employees that they were “uneducated” and “lazy.” These types of insults, directed specifically at the black employees, appeared to be rooted in racial biases.

Although the four women reported the incidents to administration, no action was taken. As a result, they had no other option but to seek out legal assistance, as Syenthia Dysart was compelled to do. In order to reduce this type of discrimination, it is essential that writers like you continue to advocate against this type of intolerance. Please continue to write about the important issue of racial discrimination in hospitals as you pursue your journalistic career.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Fotos GOVBA via Flickr

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