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Snared by Skin


Of all the hues of prejudice that the disparities in skin tone might paint upon the psyche, the one that strikes as the most glaring is often the one that gets smudged and then smeared over; a recent glaze upon a remnant stain, as seemingly seamless their strokes may merge. 

Mr. B’s diabetes flouted conventional therapy with a flourish, or so it seemed until I crosschecked with his pharmacist. He had refilled not one of his medications since the day they were prescribed. In his defense was a reason, way more appalling than the familiar ones, or at least the ones I was accustomed to; often conjured with the intent to appeal.

“My previous doc put me on some medication that messed with my kidneys. Have you heard of the Tuskegee syphilis experiment, doc? That’s what the American government did to the black people. Now, how do I know if I am not in another one here?”

Before me was a man of color, a man of vigor, a man whose future I wished to see as healthy and colorful as it could be, a man who now merely exists, as though to be swaddled by suspicion were to survive; marred by the colors of a checkered past.

Remya Ravindran
Mansfield, Massachusetts


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