Lexi Carter, of Memphis, Tennessee, is upset with her doctor after he called her “Aunt Jemima” during an examination.
According to Lexi, she was in the middle of her appointment with Dr. James Turner when he entered with a trainee and greeted her by the name.
“I was just sitting there waiting to be seen and he walked in,” Carter told local NBC affiliate WMC. “He had a young girl, physician’s assistant trainee, a student with him and he looked at me and he goes ‘Hi Aunt Jemima.’”
Carter, who is black, said Turner, who’s white, referred to her that way several times and didn’t apologize at the time.
The Aunt Jemima brand of breakfast foods has been a point of criticism for parent Quaker Oats Company.
Descendents of another inspiration for the character sued Quaker Oats in August 2014, seeking $2 billion in revenue for the likeness. The case was dismissed the following February.
But the racial undertones have stuck regardless, something Carter said she was affected by when her physician used the term.
“I haven’t slept,” she told WMC. “I haven’t really been able to deal with this.”
“It’s just the most horrible feeling really and I try to understand it and I don’t understand it.”
Turner confirmed to WMC he used the term, but said he apologized immediately to Carter, whom he called a longtime “dear patient.”
“She is one of many African-American patients and I count it a privilege to be their doctor,” he told the news channel in a statement. “Anything I said that tarnishes that image and my respect for her was a misspoken blunder on my part and was not intended to show disrespect for Ms. Carter.”
Lexi says she plans to file a complaint with Tennessee’s medical board — as she should.