An Internal Proof
Yesterday, I operated on a beautiful African-American lady. As I was opening up her abdominal area, I was reminded of a time almost 20 years ago. I will never forget it…
It was a busy night in Los Angeles, and I was the chief trauma resident at a level I trauma center. We had patients coming in with grave blunt and penetrating injuries. The scene, as it was every night, was that of something you would see in Bosnia or Syria. We all had to do our best to save lives. All of the residents and attending physicians treated patients and tried, heroically, to save some of those injured. There was one patient with a relatively “simple” gunshot wound to the abdomen. He was evaluated and taken to the operating room. I was in another operating room dealing with a catastrophic injury to the neck and chest. As the others closed up the patient, I learned of another patient. I switched rooms to help, but his abdomen had already been opened, and repairs were done. You have to understand that when the abdomen is open, all else is covered. You cannot see the patient. Even the skin is covered to protect against infection. So, all I could see was the internal organs. All went well, and I let the junior residents close up. I told them that I would dictate the operation. As I began saying, this was a “22-year-old Caucasian male….”. One of the residents interjected, and I shall never forget, said: “Boss, this guy is African-American”! I was looking in the confines of this patient’s internal structures and did not know the color of his skin.
So, during the surgery yesterday, I covered this patient’s skin and showed my nurses the insides of the wall structure of this patient. Beautiful anatomy. Clean and well preserved, and exactly the same as the next surgical patient who was caucasian. No difference whatsoever. The only difference was the color of the skin.
In a society burdened by the stupidity of racism and its unfathomable nonsense, I have had a very unique perspective; A view of the inner-workings of the human body. Regardless of skin color, they are all the same. Same blood, same fatty tissue, same muscle walls, same intestines, same liver, same pancreas, and the list goes on. Racism is an arbitrary and poorly designed exercise in negligent human ignorance. It has no basis.
This simple observation of the sameness of the human structures is so powerful to me that it overshadows all other arguments for the unity of races and the reality of our oneness as humans. If only we could convey this simple proof to all, who doubt that as humans, we have the same mind, soul, body, and existence. We should have equal rights and opportunities. We should never allow the color of skin, accent, national origin, or religious beliefs to get in the way of our just and unified co-existence.