Born and raised in Mozambique and now a naturalized U.S. citizen, Serodio, 45, has filed a lawsuit against a New Jersey medical school, claiming he was harassed and ultimately suspended for identifying himself during a class cultural exercise as a "white African-American."So, an Egyptian isn't from Africa? Serodio has more claim to the tile of "African American" than President Obama.
"I wouldn't wish this to my worst enemy," he said. "I'm not exaggerating. This has destroyed my life, my career."
The lawsuit, which asks for Serodio's reinstatement at the school and monetary damages, named the Newark-based University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and several doctors and university employees as defendants.
Filed Monday in U.S. District Court in New Jersey, the lawsuit traces a series of events that Serodio maintains led to his 2007 suspension, starting with a March 2006 cultural exercise in a clinical skills course taught by Dr. Kathy Ann Duncan, where each student was asked to define themselves for a discussion on culture and medicine.
After Serodio labeled himself as a white African-American, another student said she was offended by his comments and that, because of his white skin, was not an African-American.
According to the lawsuit, Serodio was summoned to Duncan's office where he was instructed "never to define himself as an African-American & because it was offensive to others and to people of color for him to do so."
"It's crazy," Serodio's attorney Gregg Zeff told ABCNews.com. "Because that's what he is."
Serodio, who lives in Newark, said he never meant to offend anyone and calling himself African-American doesn't detract from another person's heritage.
Neither the American Civil Liberties Union nor the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People responded to messages seeking comment on the meaning of African-American.
The Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary defines African-American as "an American of African and especially of black African descent."
"There are people of all races who are African," Serodio said, adding that he's never had a problem identifying himself as an African-American until that day in Duncan's class.
Zeff pointed out that Serodio only labeled himself after his instructors asked him to do so and was then penalized for it.
Now, if you want to call it something else, then you need to get a DNA test and define a genetic percentage cut-off point. Then again, if you did that, then you are no different than the KKK and the people who invented Jim Crow laws. The logic comes from the same place.
At least we have honest self-identity from Serodio. Hey, we have Flag Officers in the Navy claiming "Hispanic" when neither their genetics nor their name is any more "Hispanic" than mine. We have "African Americans" that are 75%+ Caucasian. Etc ... etc ... etc ... we could go into the fraud of self-identity for hundreds of words.
Diversity and all the other aspects of that sordid industry is nothing but a self-perpetuating, racist, fraud that does nothing but destroy and plant seeds of division.