Because I Look Like I Look

It’s painful when they
see me as the enemy
without knowing me

Notes from the interview that inspired this poem:

This medical school administrator had spent the past thirty years bringing arts and humanities into medical education. “I’ve been thinking a lot about how we’re relating to each other, in the realm of race and social justice,” he said. “I’ve always been an advocate for social justice and the arts. And I’m a white guy. Neither has garnered much trust in the past. It’s frustrating when people assume the worst, lump me in with Trump, and treat me as the enemy.” He wanted the poem to convey the commitment that was in his heart to continue to learn and strive to do better.

Interviewee: Anonymous, Medical Education Administrator
Listener Poet: Jenny Hegland

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