Racism in the south?

  1. 0
    Hi there, I'm quite far from graduating, but that hasn't stopped me from daydreaming about my future and where I would like to work!

    I am very interested in working in the rural south - Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi Georgia. I am single with no dependents so it would be easy for me to move anywhere. My only concern is the level of racism apparent in rural areas. I'm of mixed heritage and have an ambiguously ethnic look. No one would mistake me for black nor white, but possibly Hispanic or mulatto, although its a reach in either case. I am originally from Canada and am quite oblivious to overt racism - I find it more curious than offensive. I'm not really worried about being offended or called names or anything like that - my concerns are mainly safety, and the ability to get a job in a rural area. I would appreciate any thoughts! Thanks!

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  2. 13 Comments...

  3. 2
    I don't believe racism in the south is anything like depicted on tv. I'm fact in Atlanta the population has more black people than white by a small percentage.

    But to answer your question, I'd say visit the area you want to work in first and see how you feel. That should help you make a decision. Why do you want to work in a rural southern area? That's an oddly specific choice.
    SoldierNurse22 and Isabelle49 like this.
  4. 0
    I live in SC and have had more issues of AA pts not wanting me a "white girl" taking care of them etc than AA nurses caring for white pts.. Does it happen the other way around, Im sure it does but many of my nursing friends are AA had have a few cases like you fear. All in all, its not a major issue from what I've seen on the floor.
  5. 0
    Quote from Robinelli
    I don't believe racism in the south is anything like depicted on tv. I'm fact in Atlanta the population has more black people than white by a small percentage.

    But to answer your question, I'd say visit the area you want to work in first and see how you feel. That should help you make a decision. Why do you want to work in a rural southern area? That's an oddly specific choice.
    Haha yes I guess it is quite oddly specific

    I have always had a fascination with the southern states, it's just an atmosphere that I presume would be completely alien to me. I grew up in a major city in Canada, where multiculturalism and "pc-ness" was the norm. I've always found the divides in America between races/classes to be quite interesting, and my ambiguous ethnicity coupled with my excellent diction and lack of accent (thanks canada!) have so far enabled me to meet people on all sides of those divides, which is what i really enjoy. I also am really interested in working with marginalized populations. My ideal job would be in a hospital in Central America or Africa somewhere, but since I am completing my studies in the states, I feel that I should explore this great country and do what good i can do here first, before venturing abroad.
  6. 0
    I think a visit would definitely be in order. Sure, you are going to find a rural area anywhere in the US to be very different from a metropolitan area but I think if you go there with the attitude to help, there wont be any problems.
  7. 0
    Thanks for your input all! I agree, roads tip is definitely in order.
  8. 2
    I live in louisiana, I'm from New Orleans but I currently live about 2 hours west of New Orleans. My experience with racism varies New Orleans is a racist place, but it's not overt racism usually, just whites giving good paying jobs and advancements to other whites in general. Where I live now I notice that there are successfull people of color with new homes and nice cars and children doing well in school. However an hour away in Walker, LA it is very racist with very few people of color and a KKK presence; they have no problem using racial slurs. As long as you are aware of you not being white, you should be fine.
    mzkede and Isabelle49 like this.
  9. 0
    Im in the Northern part of Louisiana and while racism is out there, it's not usually in your face...more of a thing a person might be thinking. I've heard the KKK is still in full force, just a bit more hidden and not really what it was a long time ago. Also, you will see a lot of what I call "reverse racism" where AA are racist against whites...to be honest, I've seen a lot of it be a "you held me as a slave so long ago, so I hold you all responsible". It's a bit ridiculous I think but it is what it is.In the hospitals, I've never had a problem having black/white patients with a nurse of the opposite color.
  10. 0
    I can certainly understand your reluctance. I moved to Baton Rouge, LA from the Midwest over 10 years ago and I had the same concerns based on historical facts and television. The people here are very kind and courteous and as a RN in the city I encounter all cultures. As a floor nurse, I have never experienced overt racism from patients. On the otherhand, you may need establish yourself as a knowledgeable RN to physicians and colleagues but I've never experienced issues from patients. As you progress in your career I will warn you that Louisiana is a VERY political place. It is often not what you know that propels you, but who. And often times you will see favoritism and the good old buddy system at work as advances are made. If you plan to live, work and play in the dirty south you have gotta learn the rules and definitely play by them!!!! Good Luck
  11. 0
    Quote from AQEELSMOM

    Haha yes I guess it is quite oddly specific

    I have always had a fascination with the southern states, it's just an atmosphere that I presume would be completely alien to me. I grew up in a major city in Canada, where multiculturalism and "pc-ness" was the norm. I've always found the divides in America between races/classes to be quite interesting, and my ambiguous ethnicity coupled with my excellent diction and lack of accent (thanks canada!) have so far enabled me to meet people on all sides of those divides, which is what i really enjoy. I also am really interested in working with marginalized populations. My ideal job would be in a hospital in Central America or Africa somewhere, but since I am completing my studies in the states, I feel that I should explore this great country and do what good i can do here first, before venturing abroad.
    You might really enjoy a trip to the Appalachian mountains. It's a beautiful area, with a rich southern and Native American history. There are also some very poor areas that are in desperate need. Good luck in you journey.
    I'm from the panhandle of Florida, less than an hour away from Alabama. Sometimes it can have a bit of a closed minded feel, but overall the communities are working hard to bridge the gap.


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