“I Ain’t Woke; I Just Can’t Sleep!”: Social Justice In Medicine [Op-Ed]

Dr. Kevin Ahmaad Jenkins

Dr. Kevin Ahmaad Jenkins

The claim of rising diabetes test strips that is floating around Facebook is actually one for the Australia, not America. However, we still have plenty of issues that require vigilance. The election of 45 means that we are now engulfed in another restless battle. Republicans sweepingly demonized the Black voting block through these odd Jim Crowsian conversations about “real Americans” and “Take Back Our Country” and even “Back to the Good Ole Days.” The narrative of “Making America Great Again” only works when you define our current America as inferior.

It was “great” when Black folks were not seen joyful, dancing with Usher in the White House. It was definitely great before Michelle Obama showed off those beautifully sculpted arms and showed us we’re worthy of being healthy. Or, when we were so deep into a recession that you needed a second mortgage to get gas. Yup, that was greatness, right? Black women being viciously pushed by grown White men…Black students escorted out of a rally for simply being there…Photographers tackled for documenting the White thugs…Seeing Nazi salutes…folks being encouraged by their “leader” to “get them outta here” is not only dangerous but certainly illegal. Far from great.

Now, we are watching the diminution of citizenship along both racial and religious lines and I refuse to be silent. I ain’t woke; I just can’t sleep!

See, there’s no joy in being “woke.” Your internal clock ticks through pain and despair that no one understands but fellow night drifters who still have to “work” in the morning. We can’t caffeinate our faith when our own brothers and sisters slept through the night. I’m tired.

I’m tired of trumpeting Black excellence when being average trumps an election. I’m not woke; I just can’t sleep. So, I can certainly speak to the many defenseless civil liberties within 45’s crosshairs, but I’d like to address the threats to healthcare under the new administration.

The rocky passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on March 21, 2010 brokered access to healthcare and quality enhancing metrics for all Americans. The ACA, not Obamacare because this politicizes the law for no reason, is a great start to the direction that ensures an equitable medical system.