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Dr. Britten Cole Explains How Her Childhood Prepared Her to Fight Racism at Work

"I'll get into an argument. I don't care," said the Married to Medicine Los Angeles anesthesiologist. 

Dr Britton Cole Facing Racism

When it comes to fighting against injustice, Dr. Britten Cole is always one to speak her mind. The Married to Medicine Los Angeles anesthesiologist says she is in a “unique” position to address racism in the medical field, and explained how her upbringing prepared her to combat ignorant comments in the workplace. 

“Growing up, I pretty much grew up in an all-Black neighborhood. My mom is Black, my dad is white. Not only is he white, he’s retired Chicago PD, right? So that’s a whole other thing,” Dr. Britten said in an interview with “My parents divorced when I was a very young age. I have no memory of them being together. I’ve only lived in a Black environment, you know? My mom, her family, the neighborhood we lived in, the schools I went to, pretty much all Black. So growing up, I was the person who stood out the most.” 

Britten explained that she developed her straightforward nature as a coping mechanism as a child. 

“I’m a big mouth. I curse a lot. I talk a lot of sh-t, and that’s because that was part of my survival. I had to have one of the biggest mouths around. I had to know how to talk sh-t and make people feel bad about themselves, because that’s what they would try to do to me. I had to fight a lot. So, I’ll get into an argument, I don’t care,” she said. “Even to this day, maybe that’s why I argue with people at work so much and I don’t care.” 

Britten also noted that she is often able to respond to racist comments in a way that some of her Black colleagues could not.

“I’ve gotten into some serious arguments with my white counterparts over total racist comments,” she continued. “A lot of my Black colleagues, they couldn’t even get away with the sh-t I got away with. They couldn’t get upset even if they should have been upset, because that would’ve seemed aggressive or out of line or inappropriate or unprofessional. But because I don’t look Black, people think I’m just a white woman who cares about Black people.” 

Additional reporting by Peyton Weiss. 

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