Allon Friedman warns of a “cult of victimization” in his March 2 letter, and the Kool-Aid is still fresh on his lips in his April 20 follow-up as he accuses the “DEI movement” of suppressing him. He laments being “disparaged as ‘white,’ ‘male’ and ‘privileged.’” One wonders if Friedman, who is a doctor (and, in actual fact, a white male), feels the medical profession is victimizing his patients by noting them as “white” and “male” on medical forms, thus “categorizing people in identity groups only it gets to define,” like he complains the DEI profession does.
Talk about an institution in need of equity. The LA Times reports that “as of last year, only about 2.6 percent of the nation’s physicians and 7.3 percent of students in medical school this year were Black.” And the medical world has a long history of victimizing Black Americans: Indiana passed the nation’s first forced sterilization law in 1907 and carried out roughly 2,500 forced sterilizations (disproportionately on people of color) before the law’s 1974 repeal. In 1932, the Tuskegee Syphilis Study promised to treat 600 Black men over six months and instead gave them placebos for four straight decades.
Friedman attempts to brandish MLK’s dream that “people be judged by the content of their character,” as though Dr. King would have objected to diversity education. Rather, Dr. King said that “we must devote as much to our children’s education and the health of the poor as we do to […] the building of beautiful, impressive hotels.”
Friedman would do well to read Current’s Oct. 13, 2020, cover story in which local Black parents discussed how their children were overlooked and unevenly disciplined by Carmel Clay schools. Parent Adam Bray eloquently summarized the problem as “white parents being so much in the majority they don’t feel the need to have conversations with their children about race, and educators who only teach from the white perspective.” By that time, Hamilton Southeastern Schools had already hired a chief equity officer and created an anti-racist policy. Carmel’s finally caught up, and our beloved DEI officer isn’t going anywhere, despite Friedman’s attempts to “cancel” Ms. Terri Roberts-Leonard’s profession.
Reid Libby, Carmel