The Black Lives Matter protests that erupted around the world in the wake of Minneapolis police killing of George Floyd have been exposing the deeply ingrained prejudices and biases in society, which Black people have to deal with on a regular basis. To this point, Dr. Emeka Okorocha, a 27-year-old Black doctor from London, recently went viral by highlighting the way he’s treated differently when wearing a hoodie as opposed to his hospital scrubs.
Dr. Okorocha shared the following video to his nearly 119,000 TikTok followers on June 4, set to Childish Gambino’s 2018 Grammy-winning song “This Is America.”
“If you celebrate me in my scrubs, don’t hate me in my hoodie,” reads a caption over the video, in which Okorocha smiles while wearing scrubs. His disposition then changes to a nervous one as the video pivots to him wearing a hoodie. “No to racism. No to discrimination.”
“Everyone seems to love me in my scrubs and everyone is clapping for the NHS, but if I wear a hoodie, as a six-foot and six-inches black man in an affluent neighborhood, they’ll be scared,” Okorocha later told the Daily Mail. “It can change a lot of views [on] how people react subconsciously when [they] see a Black man.”
‘I’m celebrated and respected when I’m online for being a doctor, and people need to do that when I wear a hoodie. People need to not judge them [to] give everyone a fair chance.
Okorocha’s video was the inspiration for two other Black doctors to post a similar TikTok collaboration—Dr. Kojo Sarfo and a Black anesthesiologist who goes by @docjp3 on social media. “Another chain to stand up to racism,” Sarfo writes in the post.
After his original video went viral, Okorocha posted a message on Instagram to thank people for their support.
“This is the message. Don’t love is just when it’s trendy or convenient,” he wrote. “Love us when it’s hard, when you may be criticized when you may be scared or embarrassed. That’s when we really will feel you stand with us.”
“I don’t want to be clapped for and celebrated when I have my Scrubs and PPE on only to see myself and others who look just like me racially profiled for wearing a simple hoody,” he added.