Racism or not?

Here’s an interesting case. A violent psychiatric patient at Western State Hospital didn’t want non-whites to treat him, so administration complied, assigning only whites and light-skinned attendants to work in that ward. Now the hospital faces a lawsuit filed by nine employees. The employees include both whites and non-whites. The hospital’s policy, the lawsuit claims, discriminates against both whites and non-whites. Whites face more danger by being forced to work in the violent ward more frequently, and non-whites are being kept from performing their jobs by being excluded from working in the ward.

One of the plaintiffs, white nurse Patricia Blackburn, said she did not agree with the policy when she was told not to assign minority attendants to the ward. She was directed to send the “lightest skinned” of the three minority attendants who were scheduled to work in the ward. Employees allege that the patient had not had a problem with minority attendants in the past. The change in the patient’s feelings about minority attendants was supposedly a result of a white attendant telling him that white people are eaten in Africa.