CBS Sitcom Portrays 1980s Michigan as Jim Crow South

Why does Hollywood want to rewrite history and pretend that the last 50-60 years of Civil Rights progress in the United States never occurred? In the latest iteration, CBS sitcom Bob Hearts Abishola acts as if 1980s Michigan was like the Jim Crow South of the 1950s.

In the episode, “TLC: Tunde’s Loving Care,” on April 26, black head nurse Gloria (Vernee Watson) tells Abishola (Folake Olowofoyeku) her story of how racism in 1980s Michigan prevented her from becoming a doctor.

Gloria: I wanted to be a doctor since I was four years old. My parents thought I was crazy. Nobody in our family had gone to college, let alone medical school. Hmm. But I wasn’t gonna let that stop me. I graduated at the top of my class. You couldn’t tell me nothing. (Laughs) 

Abishola: Where did you go to medical school? 

Gloria: Well, Meharry and Howard were really the only two places taking Black folks, but my family needed me close by. 

Abishola: So you stopped. 

Gloria: Nope. I kicked so much butt in a post-graduate program, even the white schools couldn’t ignore me anymore. My parents started calling me Dr. Gloria. I was on my way. In med school, I was the only Black woman in my class. They just assumed I got in to fill a quota. Didn’t matter I was one of the smartest people there. Huh.

Abishola: And what happened? 

Gloria: Well, I wanted to be a surgeon, but back then they didn’t take too kindly to black folks cutting on people

Abishola: Oh. Oh, so then you stopped? 

Gloria: Nope. I pivoted. Family medicine. And I was starting a family of my own. I was ready to be the breadwinner. All I needed was a place to do my residency. 

Abishola: I’m guessing there weren’t a lot of places that took black residents

Gloria: Oh. You’re catching on. But I tried again. And again. And in 1987, I matched. Detroit Memorial Hospital. 

Abishola: That’s wonderful. 

Gloria: It would have been. But people were leaving Detroit in droves. And before I could start, the hospital closed. Had a family and needed a job. I became a nurse.

Gloria’s story would be news to Dr. Ben Carson, a surgeon who grew up in Detroit, went to University of Michigan Medical School in 1973, then interned and was chief resident in 1983 at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

The first black person to graduate from Detroit Medical College did so in 1869. In fact, that college, now Wayne State University, started a program back in 1969 “to address the dearth of Black students entering medical schools.” The post-Civil Rights period included a desire to increase the number of black people entering the medical profession.

Did the writers of Bob Hearts Abishola not know any of this? Have they never heard of any of the Civil Rights legislation and progress that took place in the decades before Gloria’s tale of woe begins?

Perhaps Bob Hearts Abishola’s producer, Chuck Lorre, is trying to redeem himself with the left because they are angry that he has been insufficiently woke with some of his new shows. Or maybe the Marxist BLM influence over Hollywood, which is using race instead of class to tear down our country’s institutions, must deny the progress in race relations that is an integral part of our history. 

Whatever the reason, the writers created a ridiculous script with an obviously false and easily disproven story. Those who are too young or do not know our country’s history will likely eat it up.

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