On Tuesday, June 20th, a video of a woman at the walk-in clinic in Mississauga made its way online. In the video, an unidentified woman walked in with her young son and began to insult the employee at the front desk about the ethnicity of the doctors currently on shift. The woman can be heard saying that she demands a “white doctor” who “speaks English” treat her son.
When the employee informed her that there was not a white doctor on shift, the woman grows visibly angry and says: “So you’re saying, in the whole entire building there isn’t one white doctor? You’re telling me that my kid has chest pains and he’s going to have to sit here until four o’clock? Can I see a doctor that’s white, that doesn’t have brown teeth and speaks English?”
As the woman grows increasingly agitated at the front counter, you can see other patients in the waiting room trying to improve the situation and suggest that she take her son to a hospital instead. The woman appears to repeat her request: “He’s sick and his chest is hurting. I don’t want to see a doctor who’s not white. I would like to see a white doctor and there’s no white doctor in this whole entire building.” The woman continued, adding “God, what type of horrible country do I live in? So I want to see somebody else who doesn’t have brown teeth and speaks English.”
As the video progresses, several of the other patients in the waiting room begin to argue with the woman. A female patient tells her “Your child has more issues with you being his mother than him needing to see a doctor. You are extremely rude and racist. You want to talk about ‘Paki’ people being in a hospital? Maybe you should check yourself in.”
Despite this attack, the woman held firm in her stance, telling the patient “You’re brown and you’re attacking me because I’m white. It’s because I’m white. Being white in this country… I should just shoot myself. My kid is part non-white, so we can get somebody to see him that at least speaks English We want someone that’s Canadian to see him.”
According to CTV News, the police were called shortly after, and escorted the woman and her son out of the walk-in clinic around 12:30 p.m. Hitesh Bhardwaj, who was sitting in the waiting room during the ordeal, was the one who recorded the incident and posted the footage on YouTube. “Seeing it [racism] so openly without any fear and in front of so many people,” Bhardwaj later told CTV, “Without even fearing that someone can report her, it was really shocking. It was a mixed feeling of being angry and being frustrated. I was disturbed for the rest of the day.”
The case was closed with no charges being brought against the woman, as she made no threats or assaults during the incident. In a statement reported by CBC, Rapid Access to Medical Specialists said it “is proud of the quality of medical care provided at this clinic,” but that “no one in the clinic has any comments for the media.”