By Tommy Airey
After a thirty-month delay, I finally went in for hernia surgery last week. Lindsay hauled me over to the hospital in Grosse Pointe, Michigan – Detroit’s eastern adjacent suburb. As soon as we crossed Alter Road, everything changed. The mourning turned into mansions. Dr. King gave a speech in the high school gym in Grosse Pointe three weeks before he was assassinated. He talked about the two Americas. Those who grow up in the sunlight of opportunity – and those barely surviving in the fatigue of despair. During the speech, he was shouted down – several times – by white people who did not appreciate some outsider telling them that racism was still a real thing.
The day before my surgery, I drove to the lab in Grosse Pointe to get my pre-surgery blood screening. A Black woman was working the front desk. While I was waiting, an unmasked white man in his seventies walked in asking where to sign in. She pointed to the table and told him he needed to put on a face covering. He looked at me and shook his head, muttering that he had one in his bag. I stared him down. He didn’t sign in. When he found his seat across the room, he looked at me again. I just stared back. We both grew up in the sunlight of opportunity, but I wanted him to know that I would not be signing off on his supremacy story.
Across Jefferson Boulevard from the hospital, the yards of the mansions are lined with election signs promoting the GOP candidate for Secretary of State who got her masters degree in Christian Apologetics from BIOLA and is adamant the 2020 election was stolen. Many signs say, “Vote No on Prop 3,” the reproductive justice measure that got more signatures than any initiative in Michigan history. When we arrived at the hospital on the morning of my surgery, everything was quick and convenient. Parking spaces were abundant and free-of-charge. It was a close walk to the lobby. The surgery wing was a well-oiled machine. I did not wait long to get in.Continue reading “The Recovery Room”