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TikTok/@modestlymarleena Brooke Sjoberg

‘Let’s see you read’: Karen patient asks Black healthcare worker if she has a ‘master,’ to read

'She thought I had a master because I was 'so well behaved.''


Brooke Sjoberg


Posted on Sep 15, 2021   Updated on Sep 20, 2021, 1:45 pm CDT

A TikTok creator has shared a video of the racism she faces in the workplace, with a woman seemingly asking her if she knows how to read and if she has a “master.”

The clip has so far garnered 4.5 million views on the platform.

The video begins with the poster, @modestlymarleena, being asked by a woman off-camera if she has a “master.” When @modestlymarleena tells her she is her own master, the woman replies with, “Let’s see you read.”

“We all know what they did to POC who know how to read,” a text overlay on the video reads. “She said it in a condescending manner as if I didn’t know how to read.”

The poster wrote that before she began filming, she had been chatting with the woman, who was a patient at her workplace. The TikToker later clarified that she is a certified nursing assistant (CNA) and has been for the past five years.

“She said I was so nice, sweet caring and understanding and well behaved I must have a good master,” @modestlymarleena wrote in a comment.

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@modestlymarleena also noted that she’s “experienced” worse than this but that she “was just able to record this one.”

“Truly not a lot of people believe the black experience this is just a glimpse into our world,” she wrote.

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One commenter who also said she is a CNA, said she’s had similar experiences as well.

“Yup I’m a CNA and at this point I’m starting to believe racism is their default cause how do they forget everything else but remember racism,” the commenter wrote.

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In a followup video, @modestlymarleena shared a second part of the conversation, beginning with her asking the woman, “so you like Black people?”

“Yeah, I do,” the woman answers. “I love ’em.”

Then she continues.

“Dark people are peculiar people,” she says. “They’re so sweet, but they’re so sexy.”

Some commenters remarked on how polite the poster was throughout the exchange, saying they couldn’t have kept their emotions in check. One commenter wrote that she empathized with how much it hurts to smile and be polite when confronted with racism in the workplace.

“Finally someone understands,” @modestlymarleena wrote.

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The Daily Dot has reached out to @modestlymarleena via Instagram DM about the videos.

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*First Published: Sep 15, 2021, 9:15 am CDT