Taiyesha Baker’s Twitter Issue
An Indiana University nurse who went by the Twitter handle, Night Nurse, reported by USA Today to be a newly licensed nurse named Taiyesha Baker posted a tweet suggesting that white women should sacrifice their male babies to wolves. She really said that. She has been relieved of her duties which were limited to attending orientation so patient safety wasn’t threatened.
Indiana University is taking this seriously as you would expect but maybe they should also send her a Thank You note along with her final check.
Living in the South, there is no shortage of racism. Racist who are reasonably intelligent or at least not dumb as dirt know what to say to hide their racism in certain circles. This leads to promotions to positions of authority and people who fit a certain racial profile are favored over those who are too dark or too light. The reasons they offer are good but maybe not so true.
A Director I worked with for an agency once found fault with every note a particular nurse of another race submitted. The amazing thing is that every nurse who worked for the sizable agency appeared to be functionally illiterate judging by their clinical documentation. It took a while but eventually I figured out why only one nurse had documentation problems. I am admittedly slow on the uptake at times. Slap me or something. As likely intended, the targeted nurse found a new place of employment and was replaced with another nurse who ‘blended in’ with the racial tone of the agency. If only the DON had tweeted earlier about her racism, notes would have been in timely and the target could have started her job search earlier.
So, this Tweet saved the hospital and countless others the pain of finding out that someone in authority had been making decisions with racial motivations for years before someone figured this out and could prove the pattern. I am quite certain that racially biased decisions are made every day that cannot be proven.
On rare occasions, every nurse has had to care for patients that were not likable for whatever reason. It is difficult, to say the least. We try to look past the reasons a patient is hard to like and find a way to empathize with the patient. We remember that it means everything to us to deliver exceptional care and sometimes, we even beg our fellow nurses for help. We don’t celebrate our hatred for a patient and announce it to the world. We do not terrorize patients by letting them know that we find them despicable.
The next time a friend of yours has a baby boy, try telling her that her son is a detriment to society. It doesn’t matter what race they are. The exercise here is to discover for yourself, up close and personal, what a horrible thing this (hopefully temporary) nurse said to white Moms. Then go on to say that their child has the highest propensity to be a terrorist, rapist, racist, killer, and domestic violence all-star. Finish your tirade with a suggestion that she throw her new-born to the wolves.
Here’s the hard part. Try to notice the pain in her eyes as she is ripping your hair out of your head. Hear the heartbreak just beneath the stream of venomous profanity.
Can’t do it? Good. Don’t even try because to do so is to abandon your humanity and nurses need humanity to work. We spend a ton of money on other implements to help us do our job, but humanity and compassion cannot be purchased.
This happened a few days ago and I have been waiting for an explanation – maybe someone hacked her Twitter account? So far, there has been no word from the nurse but the hospital made statements distancing itself from Taiyesha and referencing more than one social media post. If this tweet is authentic and there is no reason to believe otherwise, Taiyesha Baker needs to lose her license and go work at Taco Bell. We do not need her in our ranks.
The truth is white charity has only ever had one child, and his name is brown resentment.
It is rare that I do not understand a comment and its relevance. But, allow me to reiterate my point.
The truth, even when I don’t like it, is that people are free to think and feel however they want. They are also free to spew venom on the internet; racial or otherwise as the Supreme Court has ruled that there is no hate speech exemption to the right to free speech.
BUT, in order to be an effective nurse, patients have to trust you. Once you announce to the Twitterverse that you think white men are beyond deplorable and that white women should feed their infants to the wolves, it might be hard to build the rapport needed for excellent patient care.
Late to the table here, but racism comes in all shapes, sizes and colors. So does sexism. So does abuse, harassment and hate.
Years ago, I had a t-shirt that said “Hate is not a Family Value”. This was in the height of that movement about family values.
And hard as it is to say, hate, like harassment, like racism, sexism, etc. is as much in the eye of the beholder as it is on the other person.
I’m white, not a follower of any judeo-christian faith, and on most issues as far to the left as you can go without falling off a cliff. I don’t hate easily. I don’t have a bigoted bone in my body, but I have been accused of it, including by someone I respected. I cried myself to sleep that night.
Everyone has a right to FEEL what they feel. Someone out there feels I am prejudiced against them for their race – I’m not.
Put yourself in the shoes of the other side, something Julianne tried to do. It’s rarely pretty.