He was always given the benefit of the doubt, encouraged that training was hard sometimes but he'd get through it.
Support was always there for him.
And whispers, so soft that I would mistake them for voices in my own head:
'Lazy' 'Unprepared' 'Unfocused'
'Do you think he's hungover?'
'He was probably up all night getting lucky'
I felt it in the weight of the silence that would fall when I entered a room, or turned a corner.
I wanted to believe I was just imagining things, but when I saw my co-resident's experience I knew...
And always silently.
Just as I'd been treated multiple times over the years when I was at the mercy of white people who'd been tasked with helping me succeed.
We began reminiscing and I intimated that I'd always been made to feel like an outsider who was 'less than' during training.
He took a deep breath and said, "You're right. You were."
I knew it was racist.
But I didn't say anything because I was scared that they'd take it out on me.
So I didn't stand up to them.
And I'm so sorry."
I felt no relief, no vindication.
I felt a sense of duty.
So I told him:
So stand up. Use your voice. Be prepared to battle the fragility of your peers, but know that you, and your kids, will know that you were on the right side of this fight."
Teaching white people how to reckon with their culpability in inequality, has been a part of that.
I don't love it, but I know it's necessary for the ones who follow.
I hope you'll join me.
And that's my sermon.