Dr. Hood’s Rejection Letter

In 1959, Marion Gerald Hood was denied admittance to Emory University School of Medicine due to his race. He is African American.

Jim Crow Laws, enacted by white Democrats in the South during the Reconstructionist period in the late 19th century, mandated legal separation of races. These laws remained in effect until the mid-1960s. They were the basis for Dr. Hood’s (yes, doctor!!) rejection from Emory.

Dr. Hood went on to attend Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. He was a practicing OBGYN and now is semi-retired working part-time at a clinic that treats patients regardless of their ability to pay.

Dr. Hood

His rejection letter is making the rounds on the Internet on this, the 59th anniversary, and it caused me to think. Lots of stuff causes me to think, but this got me thinking deeper.

“It’s a shame it took 60 years, but it’s moving in the right direction there are still barriers,” says Dr. Hood. “I don’t hold them personally responsible for what happened to me. They were just following the rule of the good ol’ South in those days.”

If you want to see Dr. Hood’s talk about why he got into medicine, click here: Georgia Man Reflects on Medical School Racial Denial on 59th Anniversary

I’m so, so grateful that race doesn’t matter to me, or most people, these days—despite what the news media and the loud voices on social media want us to believe. Are there racial and socio-economic barriers? Yes. Are things dire and bleak? I see progress.

I’m happy to receive the expertise of my healthcare providers regardless of what they look like. I’m much more interested in the makeup of their brains than the makeup of their skin tone. Only one of those body parts will save my life.

I got a jones to look up some facts and numbers about minorities and medical schools.

The first African American doctor graduated from a US medical school in 1847, also the year the American Medical Association formed. Two years later, in 1849, the first female graduated from a US medical school. Sadly, it wasn’t until 15 years later, in 1864, the first African American woman graduated. Her name was Rebecca Lee Crumpler.

Dr. Crumpler

Interestingly, today, African Americans still make up a smaller percentage of admissions into medical schools. White admissions have dropped in the last 35 years, but the only significant minority gain has been by Asians. Latinos have fared only a little better, but African Americans and Native Americans/Alaska Natives have not seen a significant increase in admissions.

I was always taught NEVER to bring a problem WITHOUT a solution.

These statistics say to me that we need more STEM/STEAM programs most in our African American, Native American and Latino communities.

We need to build up these students to believe they can achieve and excel in the sciences. We need people to volunteer in these schools, after school programs, and camps to tutor and mentor these kids.

Forget the broad-sweeping, bureaucratic, red-tape choking government “program,” where most of the money will go to administration and not to implementation. No, we can’t just sit at home and binge watch Netflix and demand “our government” do something. Change is never affected in Washington.

Real change always starts with one person. A person who steps up and says, “I will.” A person who doesn’t sit at their computer and complain. A person who goes out and does.

Let’s BE that person!

Volunteer today.

NFL Protests: Year 3

I think what they don’t realize is that we, the audience/fans, are paying the bill. It’s our dollars driving this sport.

They may take their million-dollar paychecks from individual teams, but where does that money come from? We, the fans. We pay to watch and enjoy a game, we don’t pay to watch people protest, even if we agree with them. It’s about respecting the fans who pay the bills. We keep the lights on and the checks coming in.

I’m very happy they’re taking it seriously on their own time, in their lives outside of the arena, in their social media reach, et. al. That’s wonderful, and that’s what makes this country so great!

However, I liken it to going out to eat. Say I’m in a restaurant paying for a steak, and I want to enjoy a steak with my friends, not be forced to listen to a lecture from the chef before my steak is served. I’m out enjoying a night with my peeps, and we’re having fun. The chef’s political and social commentary is irrelevant to my dinner.

I’m there to eat, not be a captive audience.

There is a time and place for lectures from the chef, but it’s not at my table preceding my meal for which I’m paying.

I’m not going to eat at a restaurant where the chef insists on my attention to his viewpoint along with, and not solely, his culinary skills.

Home Ownership Follows Economic Growth; It Doesn’t Cause It

“A rising tide (in the economy) lifts all boats.” — John F. Kennedy

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a democratic socialist US Congressional candidate, recently proclaimed, “Our economy needs to work for us. And we need to measure ourselves not just by GDP, but how many people have homes in the United States.”

Rhetoric like this caused the housing crisis of ‘08. Home ownership in and of itself is not a path to financial success, but rather a measure of it.

Home ownership is a result of a healthy economy.

The goal should be to ensure the pathway, not provide the outcome. The outcome should be a result of the journey. If more people own homes, then that’s good, but the process to get there cannot be averted. Just having more people in homes doesn’t qualify as success. It can spell disaster, as we found out when all those people who were given ridiculously easy loans for homes—that they could not afford—suddenly found themselves in foreclosure.

According to Justin Pritchard, on thebalance.com, in his article, The Mortgage Crisis Explained: “Borrowers were able to borrow more than ever before, and individuals with low credit scores increasingly qualified as subprime borrowers. Lenders approved ‘no documentation’ and ‘low documentation’ loans, which did not require verification of a borrower’s income and assets (or verification standards were relaxed).”

Much of these high-risk loans ended up in default and banks foreclosed on homes. People went back to their rentals in bleaker financial condition than before. The false propping up inflicted real damage. Families suffered. And, for what? So, the dream of home ownership could be realized.

Only it wasn’t.

The best way to ensure a strong economy is to lower taxes and get people working. More people in the workforce means more money for households and therefore more money in the economy. Families can buy houses, send their kids to camp, take vacations. To pin hopes on the government to solve all problems gums up the works and stalls economic growth. Average people don’t get wealthy through government programs, they accumulate wealth with good jobs and lower taxes.

“Either immediately or ultimately every dollar of government spending must be raised through a dollar of taxation. Once we look at the matter. In this way, the supposed miracles of government spending will appear in another light.” — Henry Hazlitt

Going back to the basics of high employment and low taxation leads us to better economic health. Propping up people leads to their ruin.  Home ownership is great and noble, but it’s better for people to get there on their own rather than have government do it for them.