Nurse Samantha Clarke, who wasn't in a mood to take any nonsense from the patient, immediately gave a fitting reply to the patient.
In a recent TikTok video that's going viral on social media, a Black nurse revealed how she was the target of racism at the hospital she worked in. Nurse Samantha Clarke, who goes by @samanthaclarke29 on TikTok, where she often shares the daily challenges that the field of nursing presents with her more than 102,000 followers, took to the video-sharing platform to recount an encounter she had with a patient that left fellow TikTok users appalled. In the video that's been viewed more than 1.8 million times, Clarke revealed that she was approached by a patient in the hospital's parking lot only to be on the receiving end of a snide comment about her hair.
Clarke explained that the patient came up to her while she was leaving the doctor's office to get lunch and told her that her braids were "inappropriate" for work. "Yesterday it was just me and my doctor here," Clarke says in the video. "He decides he's going to buy me lunch, but the key was, I had to go get it. Not a problem. While I'm walking to my car, I ran into a patient of ours in the parking lot. At first, she didn't recognize me."
Black hair belongs in the classroom. In court. At the podium. In the workplace. Wherever it grows.— Legal Defense Fund (@NAACP_LDF) July 2, 2021
We won’t let race-baed hair discrimination be a conduit for systemic racism. It’s time to #PassTheCROWN. Join us: https://t.co/LEKSPyiP9I. pic.twitter.com/J7az4B2CQT
"As she's passing me, she's staring at me, and when she passed me, she turned around and she goes, 'Samantha, is that you?' I said yes, I said, 'You can go ahead, the doctor is waiting for you.' She looks at me and she goes, 'You know, I never liked braids. I think they're inappropriate for the workplace. They give off Medusa,'" Clarke shared. While the patient clearly meant it as a jibe when comparing the nurse's hair to that of Medusa—a Greek mythological figure—they seem to have forgotten the fact that Medusa is actually a very cool character whose hair was transformed into venomous snakes with the power to turn people into stone after being assaulted by Poseidon.
Clarke, who wasn't in a mood to take any nonsense from the patient, immediately gave a fitting reply to the patient. "So, knowing that my Black ass was off the clock, I looked at her and said, 'Huh. Well, you know what else is inappropriate?'" she says in the video. "Coming to the doctor and smelling like you just ran a 10K, because it gives off stinky a**. Have a good day.'" Thousands of fellow TikTok users left comments under the nurse's post, remarking on how the comment was completely uncalled for. "I was told that my braids were unprofessional 12+yrs ago. My reply was ok and I not only continued wearing them but I added color. Na what," wrote on TikTok user.
She tried to shoot and got her shot knocked TF down!!! Funky ass♬ original sound - Samantha Clarke
"I had twist and burgundy highlights. Coworker said, twist cute I don't like the color. My response, didn't get them for YOU!" chimed in another. "Lol! Your come back was great. My heart specialist's office has a sign stating: Take a bath before entering... I thought that was funny, but true!" wrote a third. "Where do people get the audacity?? Like, it would never occur to me to just randomly insult anyone," yet another person commented. "No no nope no. Not only wrong in general but way outta line," wrote another. "What is wrong with people! LOVE what you said back!" While what Clarke faced at work is in no way acceptable, the sad fact is that such experiences are not uncommon. In fact, research shows that Black women are 1.5 times more likely to be sent home from the workplace because of their hair. Black hairstyles are also 3.4 times more likely to be perceived as unprofessional in the workplace.