Maybe I’m the angry, paranoid Black man. Maybe not. Please chime in.
I’m a mid 30’s black male with a 13yr old son. Raised in NYC and am a blue collar worker who values a dollar and a good education. I live in the Pacific Northwest where the racial divide is obvious. The public school system just implemented their re-districting (re-segregation) plan to save money on transportation.
I took my son to see an Orthodontist downtown that he was referred to by our family dentist. We live in an upper middle class neighborhood (Tech workers, professors, etc.) along with about 4 other black/multiracial families. Most of the parents of my children’s friends are old enough to be my parents.
-We paid a little under $300 via check for the consultation since my dental plan doesn’t cover any percentage of a specialist’s visit.
-The doctor asked if we lived in the neighborhood of the dentist to which we replied yes.
-He asked my son where he went to school, to which he replied the local Middle school in that neighborhood.
-He asked if he was headed to the local High School zoned for students in that neighborhood. My son replied, “No, I’ll be enrolling at the prep school across town in the Fall”. Prep=not cheap.
After the exam was all done the doctor explained what his findings were. As I shook his hand to leave he asked me what I did for a living. I told him that I was a civil servant, to which he had no reply other than, “Oh, OK”. It looked as if he was trying to look inside of me as I gave him a deep stare after that question. I really wanted to ask him how that question was relevant to my son’s consultation, but didn’t want to show my son that this guy’s inquiries were significant.
Was it because we were a Black family that lived in this particular neighborhood? Because we paid in cash?
Because my son is headed to Prep School instead of the local High School.
My dress (jeans, sneakers, Yankee cap)?
What do you think? What would you have done?