A Tennesee doctor is being sued after allegedly calling one of his patients, a Black woman, “Aunt Jemima.”
Lexi Carter claims she went to see her dermatologist, Dr. James Turner, last year when he referred to her by the derogatory name while she waited to see him.
“I was just sitting there waiting to be seen,” Carter said, according to EURWeb. “He had a young assistant trainee, a student with him. And he looked at me and he goes, ‘Hi Aunt Jemima.’ You know it took me back a little.”
She also claims he called her “Aunt Jemima” more than once.
Carter’s attorney, Van Turner, elaborated, saying, “This was a very devastating thing to her and part of the issue is that it was taken so lightly by the doctor and when given the opportunity to sort of make it better, at least in the beginning, he didn’t do so.”
The offended party isn’t seeking an astronomical amount, asking for just under $2,500 in damages to recoup the cost of counseling she sought out after the incident. For Carter, the principle is more important.
She’s asking for an apology, a formal apology,” Turner said. “She’s asking for a measure of relief which would prevent him from doing this in the future and which would you know make him understand.”
Carter added, “It was an insult, racial, ethnic insult, a joke. It’s putting me on a level of someone subservient with a smile. Kind of Step n’ Fetch It.”
Driving her point home even further, Carter filed a complaint with the state medical board and a civil action for intentional infliction of emotional distress.
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Born and raised in Compton, California, Jessica Bennett began her career as an intern at The Oakland Post, and later, The Source Magazine. She went on to write for respected hip hop publications such as DJ Booth and Hip Hop DX before becoming the Urban Editor of pop culture website, Wetpaint.com. She joined Ebony as the Entertainment Editor August 2017. Bennett has interviewed such names as Vanessa Williams, Spike Lee, Tyra Banks, Forest Whitaker, Magic & Cookie Johnson and several others.