A surgeon — someone who, literally, saves lives for a living — is receiving death threats for showing solidarity with the ongoing NFL national anthem protests.
According to Raw Story, Dr. Eugene Gu of Tennessee posted a photo of himself taking a knee back in September and shared it on his personal Twitter account. Since then, the post has been widely shared and has garnered an abundance of hate.
Gu has reportedly received racially-charged messages, and some of the trolls publicized that he works at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, which prompted people to threaten to beat him up. One person even allegedly threatened to shoot the doctor “into the carpet.”
Gu recounted a personal incident he endured that initially inspired him to show support for the professional athletes protesting racial injustice and police brutality. He said two men approached him in a campus parking lot back in January 2016. They allegedly hurled anti-Asian slurs at him and physically assaulted him.
“My own place of work, my own hospital,” Gu said. “I wasn’t at Vanderbilt hospital to have fun or party, I’m here to do my work, take care of patients. I’m racially attacked. After that experience, it opened my eyes to the type of discrimination that minorities can experience.”
Since sharing the photo, Gu has even been rejected from serving his own patients who disagree with his stance on the matter. A patient’s mother confronted him about his post and proceeded to toss him out.
“She kicked me out of the room because she had seen that photo circulate around,” Gu said.
Rather than discouraging Gu from being expressive about his views, the negative reaction he’s received has only further reinforced his perspective.
“It makes me feel like, how can I ever be a doctor if people view me as this other,” Gu said. “They don’t even want to be associated with me, and they even feel the need to attack me.”
“It does put me at increased risk, but if everyone stays silent, then everyone is at increased risk,” he added.
What people fail to realize is that they are proving the need for these demonstrations to continue. The very hate and vitriol they're attacking Gu with is exactly what he's protesting against, not the American flag and, most certainly, not the military.
Banner/Thumbnail Photo Credit: Pixabay, marionbrun