ABC NEWS REPORTED...
All Paulo Serodio did was answer a question about his cultural heritage honestly.
The Mozambique native told classmates at a New Jersey medical school he was a white African-American.
Now Serodio is suing, saying the harassment and suspension he suffered cost him two years of his life and has all but destroyed his dreams of a medical career.
The lawsuit filed Monday calls for Serodio's reinstatement at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, plus monetary damages from the Newark-based school.
The controversial question came during a March 2006 clinical skills course.
Another student was offended by Serodio's answer and he was summoned to the professor's office.
There, he was told to never define himself as African-American, despite being a third-generation African. The lawsuit says he began to be harassed by other students, who sought disciplinary action against him.
"I wouldn't wish this to my worst enemy," he said. "I'm not exaggerating. This has destroyed my life, my career."
Serodio eventually found himself suspended from the school just before pivotal second-year exams and couldn't even transfer to another medical school.
The lawsuit asks Serodio also be allowed to take his board exams and for an acknowledgement that the school discriminated.
Serodio said “This has destroyed my life “and all he did was SAY he was an African American, imagine how hard it is being an African American!
I think the label “African American” is totally ridiculous anyway. To say that a black person born in America is an African American is tantamount to a slap in the face!
What do you call a white person born in America? An American right? White people came to this country as well, so how 2 babies born in the same American hospital on America soil can be classified as 2 different things? If this is the case the real Americans are Indians.
It is insulting to call black people born in America “African Americans”, it implies that every one in and from Africa is black and guess what…THERE ARE WHITE PEOPLE IN AFRICA TOO!!!
A person (white or black) born in Africa who decided they wanted to live in America and become a citizen, once they are a citizen, they are called an African American. So why a black child born in America would be called the same thing is beyond me!
What is your opinion?