A black American physician and medical director was blacklisted from practicing medicine in New York City and the surrounding areas by the city’s Department of Health in 1965, according to the New York Times.
In 1966, the Times reported that Dr. George J. Mitchell Jr., who had served as a surgeon in the Army’s medical corps and a professor of surgery at New York University, had been a blacklisted by the New Yorks Department of Public Health because he had refused to accept blacks as members of the medical profession.
He was forced to resign from his post as an associate professor of medicine at NewYork-Presbyterian-Columbia Hospital in 1964, according the Times.
The story was widely circulated by the public at the time, but the fact that Mitchell was black did not cause the department to fire him.
According to the Times, Mitchell was one of many black doctors who were not allowed to practice medicine because they had rejected the idea of racial integration in their community.
As a result, black physicians, dentists, doctors of osteopathy and podiatry and others were not able to practice in the city.
Mitchell’s exclusion and blacklisting were documented in the book, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness.
The New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) and the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) filed a federal lawsuit in the New Jersey Supreme Court against the city, citing Mitchell’s role as a physician, and seeking to restore his position as a doctor.
“There is no excuse for the Department of City Health and Mental Hygiene to have denied Dr. Mitchell a license, because he was black,” said NYCLU attorney Robert Pincus in a statement.
“It is unconscionable for the City to deny Dr. David Mitchell a doctorate degree when his racial discrimination is so pervasive.”
The case is in the trial court of Judge Ronald K. Biederman, who is overseeing the case.
Mitchell is scheduled to testify in the case this spring.