Biracial Harvard-educated doctor claims hospital DEMOTED her for opposing plans to have only black staff treat black patients in wake of George Floyd murder
A Harvard-educated, biracial physician was removed as head of the OB/GYN department of a Minneapolis hospital after she opposed offering patients ‘segregated care based on race’, she claims.
Dr. Tara Gustilo filed a discrimination complaint against Hennepin Healthcare System in June saying she was demoted for criticizing the Black Lives Matter movement on her social media page.
The complaint says that she was removed from her position despite rave job performance reviews during her six-year stint as head of a 32-person team.
‘Under my leadership, my department improved my patient satisfaction scores and connected our hospital’s diverse population with the care that they needed,’ Gustilo says in the complaint.
She received ‘one of the highest patient satisfaction ratings of all the doctors at Hennepin Healthcare and in the nation.’
But in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis last year, Gustilo criticized ‘anti-racist’ training, claiming that it was ‘actually teaching racism.’
‘Why are we not teaching that judging by immutable qualities is ridiculous,’ she wrote in one Facebook post dated September 25, 2020.
‘Instead, the approach being promoted is to teach that because a person is white, they are necessarily racist and privileged.’
‘Isn’t this the type of thinking we are trying to eradicate?’
She claims that her bosses violated her constitutional rights after she opposed the hospital’s policy of affiliating with BLM.
Gustilo was removed as head of the OB/GYN department because ‘some of my colleagues saw my post and determined I was no longer “fit” to be chair,' she says.
‘They contended that my opposition to the growing, racial essentialist philosophy could potentially cause our patients to mistrust our department, create division among staff, and reflect negatively on the hospital.'
Gustilo also alleges that the department began to shift away in recent years from an emphasis on ‘multicultural care’ to one of ‘segregated care.’
She says that the new policy instituted by the department had ‘black caregivers assigned to black patients.’
‘Why would people who claim to fight racism want segregation?’ Gustilo says.
Her colleagues also grew disillusioned, she says, with her insistence that a letter of support in the wake of Floyd’s death not include the phrase: ‘We share your feelings of horror, grief, trauma, and unrest.’
The word ‘unrest’ implies support for the riots that erupted during the protests in cities nationwide, according to Gustilo.
She claims her department agreed to her request to remove the word ‘unrest,’ but ‘my colleagues resented my insistence that we all agree and feel comfortable with the wording of the letter.’
Gustilo claims that in response to her efforts to promote a culture of ‘equal treatment and individual respect as a solution to racism,’ her colleagues accused her of being ‘racist’ and of ‘having a mental breakdown.’
She also claims that despite her stellar record as head of the department, she was told she was unfit to lead.
The department moved to demote her by using her perceived incompetence as a pretext, she says, knowing that removing her from her position because of her political positions was illegal.
‘They lied about my performance to burn my professional reputation and get rid of me that way,’ she claims.
Gustilo says she was told she was ‘late to meetings’ and ‘had poor communication skills.’ ‘I oversaw the OB/GYN department for six years without any of these complaints ever being made before.'
When she ‘pushed back’ against her demotion, a human resources manager admitted that she was being punished for her political views, she says.
The allegations were made in a formal complaint filed with the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. A charge of discrimination filed with the EEOC is a requirement for anyone wishing to file a federal discrimination lawsuit.
DailyMail.com has sought comment from HHS.
Gustilo’s case was taken up by an attorney representing the Foundation Against Intolerance and Racism (FAIR), which calls itself a ‘nonpartisan organization dedicated to advancing civil rights and liberties for all Americans, and promoting a common culture based on fairness, understanding, and humanity.’
FAIR’s board of advisors includes several prominent media personalities and academics who have been critical of CRT and BLM ideology, including Megyn Kelly, Bari Weiss, Thomas Chatterton Williams, Andrew Sullivan, Zaid Jilani, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Glenn Loury, John McWhorter, Abigail Shrier, and others.
Gustilo graduated from Harvard-Radcliffe College with a bachelor of arts.
She then got a doctorate from the Mayo Clinic Medical School.
After a residency at Duke University Medical Center, she spent several years working at a clinic in Ohio, and also spent time working on a Native American reservation in Chinle, Arizona.
She joined HHS in January 2008 and was promoted two years later to clinic medical director.
She was a member of the HCMC Medical Executive Committee.
The EEOC charge comes around the same time as two other lawsuits in Minnesota over the issue of CRT.
The Minnesota Department of Human Services was named in a discrimination complaint filed by Aaron Norgren, an employee who claims he was disciplined for refusing to take part in ‘anti-racist’ training that promoted the notion that ‘if your skin is not a certain color, you’re a racist.’
A resident of the Twin Cities suburb of Lakeville, Minnesota told the Twin Cities Pioneer Press that he is planning to sue the town’s school district for posting ‘Black Lives Matter’ signs in its buildings while not allowing ‘All Lives Matter’ and ‘Blue Lives Matter’ signs.
Bob Cajune is planning to sue, alleging that the district is engaging in discrimination by prohibiting the expression of other political views.
Critical race theory: From obscure academic concept to the front lines of America's 'culture wars'
Critical race theory (CRT) exploded to prominence in the spring as it started to appear in classrooms from kindergarten to Grade 12, leading to several bans including in Florida and Texas, however it has been taught in higher education for decades.
It is an offshoot of the Marxist ideology Critical Theory, of Herbert Marcuse and Erich Fromm, which argued that there are power structures which 'enslave' the minds of the oppressed in society.
CRT teaches that racism is not the result of nature or biology but that it is a social construct, an idea invented to exploit and control minorities.
It argues racism is a structural problem in the United States, particularly towards black people, embedded in its institutions, legal system and even the Constitution.
The theory has sparked a fierce nationwide debate in the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests around the country over the last year and the introduction of the 1619 Project.
The 1619 Project, which was published by the New York Times in 2019 to mark 400 years since the first enslaved Africans arrived on American shores, reframes American history by 'placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the center of the US narrative'.
The debate surrounding critical race theory regards concerns that some children are being indoctrinated into thinking that white people are inherently racist or sexist.
Those against critical race theory have argued it reduces people to the categories of 'privileged' or 'oppressed' based on their skin color.
Supporters, however, say the theory is vital to eliminating racism because it examines the ways in which race influence American politics, culture and the law.