I would have liked to write more tonight, but I am absolutely knackered. Not only have I been working twelve hours (ending up with a car being cut open around me), but I then have to go to my brother's house in order to help him install the huge TV he's just bought. I expect a big birthday present in two months time brother…
Tomorrow I get to do it all again.
So I'm afraid I shall just have to tell you a little about the post yesterday. You see, there was a 'secret' question in there, one that only I knew about. It wasn't to trick you (because I really am interested in hearing people's views on the numbered questions), but it was to see the reaction of my readers.
A few of you picked up that I mentioned that my patient was a 'new European', and commented on it. The reason I mentioned the patient's race was to see what comments would be made. Those of you who have read my blog a lot know that I don't mention race a lot on this site – it's too easy to be misunderstood and be accused of racism. I only tend to mention race when it is important to the story.
The reason why I wanted to see what people might say when I mentioned his race was because, of late, it seems almost allowable to disparage Eastern Europeans.
It seems fine to say that they are the cause for a 17 fold increase in drink driving, and while I can't find the link for it, another police chief today has said that he has trouble dealing with the heavy drinkers from Eastern Europe. It would be unusual to hear a police chief bemoaning Bangladeshi killing each other for feuds that start in their home country. Or that South American's like beating their wives (see the comments…).
I've always been a believer in the 'substitution rule' (before you ask, yes I am a Guardian reader). This rule says that when talking about a group of people you should replace the description with the word 'Jew'. Then see how distasteful it sounds.
So go back and read the post as if I'd written that my patient was Jewish. See if it makes sense, or see if it sounds acceptable.
That is why I tend not to mention race in this blog. Despite what I might think, it's a thin line that I have to walk between reporting the truth and being seen as racist. My views on my being racist are pretty much unchanged from 2003. I hate everyone equally.
So is the stereotype of the hard drinking Eastern European correct? Maybe it's something that can be researched and perhaps I should make note of the country of origin of all the drunks I pick up?
Should we be 'race blind', or should we target certain parts of the population with education or behaviour changing publicity?
(See: Female circumcision, Belladonna in the eyes, black on black gun crime, honour killings)
Right – I'm off to bed before I fall asleep on my keyboard and wake up with a pretty keyboard pattern on my face and drool gumming up my laptop…
I shall leave you with a teaser for an upcoming blogpost – Rule #1 – When an EMT fights a 90 year old, it is the EMT who ends up bleeding…