I have dedicate this post to one of my favorite episodes of the Youtube series, the Unwritten Rules. This Youtube series follows Racey, a recent Brown University graduate, through her time at a predominantly white firm. During the second semester of the series, she is no longer the only black worker on her floor. Additionally, there is a new black CEO, Kaneesha, that replaces a racist white male that decided to unexpectedly quit the firm.
This episode (Season 2, Episode 12) follows the coworkers at Racey’s workplace through a Safety Workshop day. The series is known for nonchalantly depicting moments that are racist towards brown and black individuals or what people would call “racially tense,” in that there are unresolved issues and indirect references to race. During this episode Racey’s boss (whose name I have forgotten) has an issue with the Safety class and, more specifically, with the new CEO. We see throughout the safety class that the instructor presents scenarios using black coworkers acting out stereotypes of black Americans.
The episode is structured so that we see snippets of the class and snippets of commentary from Racey. From her commentaries, Racey is able to communicate to us what her sentiments throughout the class are even though the timeline of the episode is non-linear and we do not see many shots with her in the class. This post connects less to explicit examples of racial living laboratories in medicine. This episode speaks to several comments throughout class that we have posed considering representation of marginalized individuals in institutions that are making important decisions concerning our bodies, health, legal systems, etc. In a way, these institutions house a living laboratories themselves. Following Racey through The Unwritten Rules we see that she does not have much guidance of how to navigate race politics at her workplace until Kaneesha starts her position as CEO. This is also a message communicated through the title of the show and the end of each episode that displays a “rule” for black co-workers in predominantly white work spaces.
How do we go about changing the living laboratories we have discussed when their governing bodies are living laboratories themselves.