UNDERNEWS

Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who has covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

May 18, 2009

BORN IN MOZAMBIQUE, WHITE MEDICAL STUDENT HARASSED FOR CALLING HIMSELF AFRICAN-AMERICAN

ABC News - Can a white guy be African-American? Paulo Serodio says he is. Born and raised in Mozambique and now a naturalized U.S. citizen, Serodio, 45, has filed a lawsuit against a New Jersey medical school, claiming he was harassed and ultimately suspended for identifying himself during a class cultural exercise as a "white African-American."

"I wouldn't wish this to my worst enemy," he said. "I'm not exaggerating. This has destroyed my life, my career.". . .

Filed Monday in U.S. District Court in New Jersey, the lawsuit traces a series of events that Serodio maintains led to his 2007 suspension, starting with a March 2006 cultural exercise in a clinical skills course taught by Dr. Kathy Ann Duncan, where each student was asked to define themselves for a discussion on culture and medicine.

After Serodio labeled himself as a white African-American, another student said she was offended by his comments and that, because of his white skin, was not an African-American.

According to the lawsuit, Serodio was summoned to Duncan's office where he was instructed "never to define himself as an African-American because it was offensive to others and to people of color for him to do so."

"It's crazy," Serodio's attorney Gregg Zeff told ABCNews.com. "Because that's what he is."

Serodio, who lives in Newark, said he never meant to offend anyone and calling himself African-American doesn't detract from another person's heritage.

Serodio said he is a third-generation African of Portuguese ethnicity whose great-grandfather emigrated to Mozambique. He came to the U.S. in 1984 after being accepted at New York University. . .

His plan, he said, was to become a doctor and join Doctors Without Borders where he could travel back to Africa to do charity work like his parents, either as an internist or possibly a neurologist. . .

His own children, he said, are of mixed ethnicity - European and Chinese.

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

<< Home