Some Say Outgoing Ochsner CEO’s Comments Were Racially Insensitive

Paul Murphy, WWLTV (New Orleans), May 21, 2012

Ochsner Health System’s outgoing CEO is apologizing for making what some are now calling racially insensitive remarks about smoking.

{snip}

Dr. Patrick Quinlan was interviewed for the first anniversary of the hospital group becoming a tobacco-free workplace.

The article quoted Quinlan as saying, “None of my friends smoke, but studies clearly show that the poorer you are the more you smoke. The blacker you are the more you smoke.”

“It’s unfortunate that one sentence was taken to mean something that it didn’t, but the facts behind them are true,” said Quinlan.

Quinlan says what he meant to say is that the tobacco industry has targeted groups successfully to get them addicted and stay addicted to tobacco and that people who are most disadvantaged suffer disproportionately from smoking.

He regrets his choice of words in the magazine article.

“People are very sensitive,” said Quinlan. “It’s complicated and it’s easy to be reactive. It’s my job not to trigger people’s reactions, but to get them to stay open and think. In that case, I failed.”

{snip}

Some now say that Quinlan’s remarks sped up his exit as CEO. Quinlan says not true.

“That’s been in the works for about 18-months,” he said.

Quinlan apologized to his employees. He plans to continue calling attention to the hazards of smoking.

{snip}

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  • The article quoted Quinlan as saying, “None of my friends smoke, but
    studies clearly show that the poorer you are the more you smoke. The
    blacker you are the more you smoke.”

    I’m sure there is evidence to support that.

    On the other hand, maybe we should support increased tobacco taxes, if only for our governments to get back some of that welfare money and salaries for affirmative action jobs.

    • Oil Can Harry

      One reason his comments were offensive to the p.c. brigades was the implicit message that blacks themselves are (gasp!) responsible for their own health problems.

      According to Tim Un-Wise and the $PLC types, NOTHING bad that ever happens to a nonwhite is ever their fault. 

  • “He committed the sin of pointing out blacks are more likely to smoke cigarettes.”

    Sorry but this is a lie… whites smoke cigarettes more than blacks.

  • Bergeron

    Maybe his real sin was implying that he had no black friends.

  • splitsing

    Smoking is disgusting.  I was speaking with a white cashier at a convenience store the other day and he said that they have broken out with all manner of flavored tobacco products that are marketed specifically for ‘hip hop’ ghetto baby mama pimping-styled gear. He said they are mostly all menthol-based flavors. Minty fresh yo.

  • People YOU ARE NOT getting it.

    Who do you think “Ochsner”  voted for in 08 – McCain?

    LET HIM HANG by HIS OWN people’s hands.