Dr. Sweo Keeps It Simple
Tennessean Terry Ragland, ravaged with pain, visited Sports Orthopedics & Spine in Jackson seeking relief. In this age of enlightened medicine, her physician, Orthopedist Dr. Timothy Sweo, leavened his diagnosis with a healthy dose of his apparent special understanding of race and intellect.
Her condition, identified by Dr. Sweo as lumbar lordosis, became “ghetto booty” as he spoke to the 55-year-old black woman.
Does this make Dr. Sweo a “homey” in disguise, perhaps rapping the diagnosis in hoody lyrics to his swarthy, young, black athletes? (All really good athletes are black.)
I prefer to give Dr. Sweo the benefit of the doubt and to assume that he is at least a “homey in his heart” a sort of “Watermelon Man in a lab coat” spreading his own brand of racially informed medicine.
In my world, Dr. Sweo, quite apart from being an ignorant cracker, delivers his ghetto booty/back pain diagnosis to all such afflicted patients.
Imagine him gliding in to the exam room, chart in hand, as the very flower of Jackson’s genteel, white-gloved society awaits her fate. White as a china doll and easily able to recall a time when doctors still made house calls, she is the patient patient, a still regal, if aging southern belle, dressed for the next cotillion.
Dr. Sweo, model of compassion, sits across from her, gently cradling her delicate hand. He looks kindly into those rheumy eyes and leans in to deliver his words of comfort:
“You have ghetto booty.”