Black doctor urges people to treat him the same whether he's wearing his scrubs or a hoodie
A black doctor has gone viral after creating a TikTok video asking people to treat him the same way whether he’s wearing his scrubs or a hoodie.
Dr Emeka Okorocha, 27, an A&E doctor from east London, created the TikTok video to acknowledge the different ways he is perceived amid ongoing protests against racism following the death of George Floyd in the US.
In the clip, which is set to Childish Gambino’s This is America, Dr Okorocha smiles as he poses in his scrubs, before changing into a black hoodie.
“If you celebrate me in my scrubs, don’t hate me in my hoodie,” Dr Okorocha wrote on the video. “No to racism. No to discrimination.”
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On Instagram, where Dr Okorocha also shared the video, the 27-year-old widened out his message in the accompanying caption.
“This is the message. Don’t love us just when it’s trendy or convenient. Love us when it’s hard, when you may be criticised, when you may be scared or embarrassed. That’s when we really will feel you stand with us.
“I don’t want to be clapped for and celebrated when I have my scrubs and PPE [personal protective equipment] on only to see myself and others who look just like me racially profiled for wearing a simple hoodie,” he continues.
“That’s the message and thanks for everybody who’s been supporting and sharing and speaking in a time like this.”
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The doctor said he first had the idea for the video clip after seeing something similar featuring a black lawyer imploring people to treat him the same whether he was wearing his suit or not.
“'It shows the contrast of how people see us in society,” he told the DailyMail.
He went on to add that he and a group of fellow doctors had discussed having similar experiences with discrimination when they are not wearing their hospital scrubs.
“I was in a group chat of doctors, and most of us are black. We were talking about it and all discussed how when people [see us] in scrubs they'll celebrate us, but when they see you in a hoodie they fear you,” he said.
“Everyone seems to love me in my scrubs and everyone is clapping for the NHS, but if I wear a hoodie, as a 6ft6 black man in an affluent neighbourhood - they'll be scared.”
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Since sharing the video to Instagram many have left comments applauding Dr Okorocha for the powerful message.
“This is a brilliant message. Time's up for stereotypes,” one user wrote.
“Scrubs, hoodie... It’s all the same. Clothes don’t make or change the man (or woman) wearing them,” another agreed.
“This is fantastic. Very powerful. Thank you for all that you do for us,” another user commented.