Statement of African American Physician, Dr. X
April 24, 2017
For fear of reprisal by the government, I have asked Rev. Ronald V. Myers, Sr., M.D., Founder of Black Doctors Matter
(www.BlackDoctorsMatter.com), to withhold my identity. Until I can have assures that the Federal Government will not seek retribution against me, or
my family, for speaking out against the current modus operandi currently being employed against black physicians on a national scale.
Tyrannical institutional racism prods governmental overreach into the practice of medicine,
particularly black physicians. While drug abuse has destroyed primarily the disenfranchised in the past, the abuse has now become an equal, opportunity killer.
In the past, the abuse of opioids killed a greater number black people, per population, through
drug overdose, crime, murder, AIDS, herpes, syphilis, gonorrhea, prostitution, sexual and physical abuse. Nowadays, the current opioid epidemic is killing a higher percentage of white Americans per population, who are experiencing in greater numbers the same adverse social and economic ills that African Americans suffered in the past.
In contrast, while the overwhelming majority of physicians in America are white, the majority of physicians indicted, arrested and convicted on criminal charges for violations of the Controlled Substance Act, are black and other physicians of color.
Just like in times of old, the black man can always consistently and reliably serve as the scapegoat for the ills that plague white America. It has frequently been said that when America get a cold, Black America gets the flu. The portrayal of the black “drug dealer” in America has been both blatant, explicit and implicit, with subliminal undertones.
However, now the “drug dealer” that the government contends exist, are black and other physicians of color, without a criminal history. Those physicians are, in many cases, upstanding contributing members of their respective communities. In order to achieve their academic success, black physicians have thoroughly delayed many of the joys of life to achieve academic success.
I aspired to achieve the American dream and sacrificed my youth to the altar of academic hard work, forsaking the typical gratification of young males, fighting off the destructive drug peer pressure of the ghetto, avoided being a murder victim, avoided being picked up by cops, studied hard, graduated from high school, graduated from college, delayed my gratification, graduated from medical school, received acceptance to a medical residency program, completed the postgraduate residency program, achieved medical board certification status from the American Board of Pain Medicine (ABPM), developed a medical practice, providing great medical care for my patients. My medical practice grew from nothing to a financially success.
I wanted to become a beacon of hope for other poor black and youth of color. I wanted to show black youth that achieving the American dream was possible for them as well with a beautiful home, a wonderful marriage and a thriving medical practice.
Despite my intellectual, academic and personal success, I could not shake off the stereotype of being just a “drug dealing Nigger” by law enforcement and the criminal justice system. The American dream was my reality until I was persecuted and unjustly indicted as a “drug dealer” My board certification by the American Board of Pain Medicine (ABPM), a governing body that is comprised of 2% black physicians, held no value to the federal government.
When the feds are on a misguided mission, the truth becomes an irrelevant smokescreen and justice is rarely sought. They sought to convict me, place me into the modern slave plantation under the guise of mass incarceration The win at all cost mantra is frequently cited in legal circles and it is not a well kept secret that this is the mission of the Department of Justice (DOJ).
My American dream quickly turned into a nightmare. I lost everything and spent ten months in a federal penitentiary. I still don't understand how this happened. I discovered that I was not the only physician wrongly convicted of writing illegal prescriptions for painkillers. In the U.S., black physicians account for less than 5% of the medical professionals. However, we constitute 37-42% of those prosecuted by the DOJ and or our respective state medical boards for advancing the illegal drug market trade.
A black physician’s educational pedigree and formal training is irrelevant to an entity bent on overreach into medicine, and in particular, the arrest and over prosecution of black physicians under the guise of “the new war on drugs.” It was not so long ago that street level drug offenders were sentenced
disproportionately for drug offenses. I am writing to inform the readers of this letter that NOTHING has changed.
I can recall the names of hoards of black and other physicians of color, without a prior criminal history, that are currently serving between 20 years to life in state and federal prisons, when their only crime ever in their lives is being accused of being a “drug dealer” with ambiguous and embellished charges. Virtually every charge follows the exact same pattern and the indictments are essentially a template with the only variable being the name of the Black Physician.
Not only are black physicians targeted disproportionately to their numbers, but just as in the age of crack, the sentencing disparities are reminiscent of the Clinton era. There is a reason that the United States of America constitutes 5% of the world's population and yet incarcerates 25% of all prisoners. The advent of the “drug dealing physician” tears apart families, ruins the transfer of black wealth for future generations and contributes to one third of Black men being under the tutelage of the penal system.
When one third of black men are under the persecution of the criminal justice system, statistical probability would state that there would be zero chance that a said population would engage in criminal conduct after graduating from medical school, residency training, fellowship training and dual Board Certifications. Yet I am writing you today to expose that the over prosecutions of black physicians is occurring at an alarming rate.
The best and brightest minds in black America are methodically and systematically being persecuted by law enforcement and the criminal justice system, arrested and incarcerated for decades, as if he or she had been a lifelong drug offender and not an experienced physician. These physicians have been railroaded by a system of white supremacy that has come to rely on the vilifying of black men for the ills of mainstream society. Conversely the White privilege, that undoubtedly exist in America, is magnified in the medical world.
When a white physician is alleged to have been a “drug dealer”, it will almost always involve an overdose death, the physician trading pills for sex, or the physician literally engaging in drug trafficking by physically possessing the said narcotic medications for illegal purposes . Black physicians seldom engage in those types of blatant behaviors. Yet we are persecuted under a statue that was literally enacted to combat “drug cartels” in America and abroad.
The Controlled Substance Act (CSA) was not intended for medical professionals. Specifically, this act was to combat the heroin producers, cocaine operatives, crystal meth manufacturers and all the people that are involved in the production and distribution of these substances that have no known medical value. Instead, under the misguided “ war on drugs,” the government has decided to practice medicine and determine when and how a licensed and board certified physicians should write prescriptions based on having no background in clinical medicine. The fact that black people are targeted is as American as apple pie. However, I thought that medicine was the one area that we could never be demonized in
The war on streets drugs has traditionally been a war on black men. The war on prescription drugs is no different. Despite our collective academic and professional accolades nothing has stopped this metastasis of institutional racism in America. My colleagues and I are without questions leaders in the field of Pain Medicine whom the Government has saw fit to brand with the all too familiar moniker of being a “drug dealer.”
Some of the leading institutions higher medical education and training of black physicians are affiliated with Duke, Harvard, Stanford, Baylor, Yale, and
the Cleveland Clinic. I implore these prestigious institutions to help shed light on this travesty.
Many physicians are afraid that the government will retaliate for speaking truth to power. As a black man, we have suffered enough in America. It time is now to expose the hypocrisy and myth of law enforcement and the criminal justice system. All too frequently we hear career politicians exclaim that “we need criminal justice reform.” However, no one will address what exactly are the issues to be reformed.
When the government is essentially permitted to create criminals out of upstanding and outstanding men and women, whose achievements are unassailable, it only speaks to the hollow mockery of “Truth, Justice and the American Way.”