Here’s an appalling story out of my home state of Michigan. The father of a hospitalized baby in Flint demanded that no black nurses or doctors care for his child — and the hospital complied with that request and made sure only white nurses and doctors cared for the kid.
Tonya Battle is a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) nurse at the Hurley Medical Center in Flint, Michigan. Last year on Halloween, she was caring for a baby in the NICU unit. The baby’s father, approached her, and asked to see her supervisor. What happened next is right out of the early part of the 20th Century racist south.
The man demanded that no African American nurses care for his baby. Not only that, the hospital complied. They are now being sued by Tonya Battle.
According to the complaint, which you can read HERE (pdf), the man rolled up his sleeve when he spoke to Battle’s supervisor, showing a tattoo that is believed to be a swastika. Battle, who is African American, and all other African American nurses where then prohibited from treating this racist’s sick baby. The assignment clipboard, according to the complaint, had a note prominently displayed reading, “NO AFRICAN AMERICAN NURSE TO TAKE CARE OF BABY”.
I wonder what the religious right would say about this case. Or about a case where a patient demanded that no gay nurses or doctors cared for them. Would it be a violation of their religious freedom not to comply with such demands, in their view?