Page 21: Black & White

Dr. Spitzack came into the room to say goodbye to Joe and to give Christa some last instructions on Joe’s care.  “Now Joe will need to still come in for therapy three times a week,” Dr. Spitzack instructed.  “He needs to continue his speech therapy, and we do have a tutor who will continue working with him to help him with his general knowledge–kind of a high school refresher course. If you have any questions once you get Joe home, please don’t hesitate to call me.”

“OK,” Christa said. “And you are sure that Joe will regain his memory?”

“Absolutely!” Dr. Spitzack said with confidence.  “Remember, we have found no reason for his memory loss.  Joe will remember as soon as he wants to.”

Meanwhile Joe had been looking outside his door into the hallway and concentrating on something he had never seen before.  Just like everything Joe had never seen before, it scared him.

“Hey, doctor,” Joe called.

Dr. Spitzack turned his attention away from Christa.  “Yes?”

“What’s wrong with him–by the door?”

Dr. Spitzack and Christa both looked into the hallway.  They saw one of the other psychiatrists on staff talking with a nurse.

“Wrong? That’s Dr. Hunt.  There’s nothing wrong with him.” Dr. Spitzack said quizzingly.

“His skin…not like you and me.”  

Dr. Spitzack seemed irritated.  “Joe, Dr. Hunt is African American.  He’s black.  You and I are white.  He just has a different skin color.”

“I’ve never seen that.” Joe said.

“Joe, you’ve never seen a black person before?”  Mr. Spitzack asked.
“Don’t know.  Don’t think so,” Joe said innocently.  “Scares me, though.”  

Joe made a mental note, refilling another page, “Black and white.  I’m white.  He’s black.  Nothing to be scared of.”

FACT:  The first time Joe saw a black person, he was afraid of that person.

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