A black woman in Tennessee is outraged after her white doctor repeatedly mocked and referred to her as “Aunt Jemima” the scarf-wearing, plump brand character on a box of pancakes, reports the Daily Mail.
Lexie Carter has filed a complaint with the state medical board and plans to sue her Memphis dermatologist Dr. James Turner, after he made the racist “Hi Aunt Jemima” remark during her July 11 visit and repeatedly called her the insensitive name.
“I was just sitting there waiting to be seen and he walked in,” Carter said to WMCA.
“He had a young girl, physician’s assistant trainee, a student with him, and he looks at me and goes “Hi Aunt Jemima.’”
Carter is well aware of the historical roots of the Aunt Jemima fictional character as the face of Quaker Oats breakfast foods, which originated from a minstrel show with the stereotypical Black “mammy” characters.
So, Carter was appalled when her dermatologist keep calling her Aunt Jemima. She took to her Facebook page to complain about the derogatory remark and the hurt she harbors after the incident.
“I haven’t slept. I haven’t really been able to deal with this,” Carter explained. ‘It’s just the most horrible feeling really and I try to understand it and I don’t understand it.’”
“It was an insult, racial ethnic insult, a joke. It’s putting me on a level of someone who is subservient with a smile. Kind of step and fetch it,” Carter explained to the news station.
Carter said the comment was especially insulting. “for someone who prides myself in being none of that.”
Dr. Turner has since issued a statement apologizing for the insensitive comment.
“Ms. Carter is one of our very dear patients and has been for years. She is one of many African American patients and I count it a privilege to be their doctor,” Dr Turner said in the statement.
“Anything that I said that tarnishes that image and my respect for her was a misspoken blunder on my part and was not intended to show disrespect for Ms Carter. I am very sorry for that misunderstanding,” he continued.
Carter said the apology is late and should have come while she was being serviced.