An open letter to a friend.


This post came my way via social media from a friend.


Although our ideologies are miles apart, I know you to be a thoughtful and sensitive person, fully capable of reason and logical thought. I also consider you to be a friend, and not just in the sense of someone with whom I’m loosely linked on social media.

With that in mind I’m asking you to please consider the implications of your words above…

I’m ashamed of my behavior.

SO TRUE! Photo by Ehimetalor Akhere Unuabona on Unsplash

A racist prick is what he was. Misogynistic too.

Women were all “girls” to him. Mexicans were lazy. Blacks were lazy and stupid. Who knows what he thought of my group.

We were professional colleagues. Often when it was just us in an office together he would vent his hatred, his racist views, his misogyny, his horribly wrong ideas about others we worked with or cared for.

We were both doctors. Medical scientists. …

Let’s take the concept of privilege and extend it to all.

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

Add to that mix: slightly above-average height, tolerably OK appearance, reasonably intelligent, neurotypical, able-bodied, not significantly overweight, homeowner, native English speaker, possessed of a solid education and profession, financially stable.

Oh, and I live in California in a community that’s atypically accepting. It is peopled by many who support healthy lifestyles and benefits from good weather and clean air and water. I’m almost perfectly healthy physically and have no diagnosed mental illness.

That quite a list…


I’m trying to grow and evolve.

And harms more people than diseases ever will. Photo by Ehimetalor Akhere Unuabona on Unsplash

When this story started getting popular …

… I was challenged by multiple readers.

The challenge came primarily in the form of a question.

The way I hear it … Hey Burg! What have you done to become more actively anti-racist?

For me, responding to racism is now a three-step process.

Hear the racist out (briefly).

So much racism is covert. I want to “out” racists, hear their views and know without a doubt where they are “coming from.” …

How to move from merely “not racist” to “anti-racist”.

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

A life-long learner, constantly evolving, who contributes positively to society. That’s what I aspire to be.

I’m focused now on moving from non-racist to anti-racist as I learn, grow and engage. If you’re on a similar journey, please read on.

Wiser, more experienced minds than mine have defined “anti-racism” as

It’s not enough to be “not racist” [1]

That’s because a “not racist” posture is passive. It does nothing to build solutions to problems caused by racism. It merely identifies you…

I’d be happy to read your views and your reasons for them.

Photo by Victor Garcia on Unsplash

When I posted this story …

… a hate deluge erupted. Most of it flowed on another platform.*

An article that should have invited discussion, debate, reasoned responses, and perhaps some heat, instead sparked an angry conflagration, a maniacal book burning equivalent.

Death threats, promises of physical attack and sexual assault, racist slurs, bigoted comments, and shouted incoherent rants filled my inbox. So did multiple suggestions that I leave the country or not express my opinion.

Thankfully, positive comments came my way as well. So too did several hundred “thumbs up likes” of support.

What I did not see was…

The ongoing battle to understand ‘chosen for further distribution’

Photo by Jessica Knowlden on Unsplash


Date Published: April 4th, 2021

In a Publication: Equality Includes You

Story Duration: 3 minutes

Comment: All my recent stories about racism have been ‘chosen for further distribution.’ That’s simultaneously gratifying and disheartening.


Date Published: April 13th, 2021

In a Publication: The Haven

Story Duration: 4 minutes

Comment: Relatable rollicking rant.


Date Published: April 26th, 2021

In a Publication: Inspired Writer

Story Duration: 7 minutes

Comment: “Chosen for further distribution” almost instantaneously…


The pub “Doctor Funny” is actively looking for new writers

Photo by DESIGNECOLOGIST on Unsplash

Do you write funny?

If so, then “Doctor Funny” is the place for you. https://medium.com/doctor-funny

And you don’t have to be a doctor to write for us, just funny.

What “Doctor Funny” offers:

  • An honorary doctorate-level degree of your choosing with every submission … NOT! (But, your mother will still be so proud when you get published here.)
  • A small but growing colony of committed loyal readers — or maybe even royal leaders who should be committed — and that’s never a bad thing. (We’ll roll out the “read” carpet for your stories.)
  • Free and timely medical care — edits and suggestions if you…


I’m no poet and don’t I know it. But, I am a COViDIOT.

😬 😬 Hiding behind a mask of hate 😠 😠 Photo by Abishek on Unsplash

A few weeks ago when the story below stained another writing platform in addition to this one it generated an unusual deluge of hateful effluvia.

After reviewing the hate mail received, I reviewed the article.

It is not hateful or hate-filled. It’s stern, serious, and at times scolding, but it’s respectful. I was more than a bit taken aback by the heat and the hate its straightforward words spawned.

So, what am I to do with the hate?

Given that I’m beginning to explore my inner poet…

Sorry centigrade fans. It’s only funny in Fahrenheit :-)

****OK fine! A nod to the “centigradians” among us. **** Photo by Matteo Fusco on Unsplash

Share your ideas about how “Doctor Funny” can grow up to be stronger and healthier than it already is.

We want to reach more readers (good for our writers right?), better support our existing writers and attract new voices. So tell “Doctor Funny” how to do that.

When I founded “Doctor Funny” my niche vision was funny writing by “doctorate-degreed” people. Not to be elitist, but to be different, to occupy a space here that no other pub did.

Now I’m wondering if that vision is entirely correct. …

Michael Burg, MD (AKA Medium Michael Burg)

Putting “MD” & “um” in Medium | Top Writer x 5 | Writing about lots of stuff | “Doctor Funny” pub owner | “Relationalable” | ER Doc in remission | mburg1955@gma

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