Tuesday, November 13, 2007


This story hurts on a bunch of levels.

First, I like Kanye West, because he is a young brother who chooses to speak his mind and he has some skills. So I feel for him and what he must be going through with the tragic loss of his mother. I know they were close and my man must be feeling some serious hurt right about now.

The second part of this story that bothers me is the alleged incompetence of the plastic surgeon who operated on Donda West (Kanye's Mother). Why? Because he was a brother that's why, and whenever a black professional fucks up it bothers me on a personal and on a professional level.

Lord knows we have enough problems with even our own people coming to us because they always think the white man's water is colder and his grass is greener. And we damn sure aren't going to get the white clients until someone fucks up their case and then we have to clean it up. "Oh field, a woman just died a tragic death, can't you just leave race out of it?" Ahh No!

This brother's mug is already all over television and on the news as the man who allegedly fucked up Kanye's Mom. TMZ is all over this, and Larry King did a whole show on it earlier.

Memo to black professionals out here: Make sure that your shit is above reproach. You cannot afford to do a half ass job when you are out here making a living. You are already starting on the twenty and not the fifty yard line, so please work harder and smarter when you are out here doing what people pay you to do.

I don't even want to get into what went wrong with Dr. Wests surgery, because I am not a Doctor and I don't pretend to know about such things. All I know is that she was a seemingly healthy woman who decided she wanted a nip and tuck job, and now she is dead.

So my heart goes out to the West family. And to the brother who allegedly fucked up; my heart goes out to you as well. Because when Kanye is done with your ass, I guarantee you that you will wish you had become a veterinarian.


Anonymous said...

I feel for Kanye and his loss, but as we all know, every surgery carries some form of risk. Every day, surgeons perform their jobs as they should, and people die anyway. It's not always about malpractice.

If this surgeon did everything by the book, I really feel sorry for him. This could really damage his career.

Field, what you said also reminds me of something my older relatives always said. "You (black people) have to be twice as good as white people to be given anything approaching respect."

Anonymous said...

OK. I DO NOT feel sorry for this surgeon. His record is atrocious! If this guy was a white surgeon with a record like that and he KILLED Kanye's mother, yall would be screaming bloody murder.

Too me this is black on black crime. This brotha has MANY mal practice lawsuits against him. He's phucked up before! Some of them he's admitted guilt and settled. Earlier this year some board was looking into suspending his license. He's also got a string of DUIs and a bunch of other stuff. This guy is a hot mess!!!

Yes, it looks bad for us. Yes, his black mug is all over the news. So, now every black doctor will be scrutinized. That's a shame. I don't understand why he's been able to continue to practice.

Black folks can we PLEASE NOT blame YT.

Christopher said...

I like Kanye West, too.

While everyone else is kissing Bush's ass, like he was legitimately elected and enjoys a 90% approval rating, Kanye let Bush have it. I admire this.

The surgeon who performed the procedure on Donda West has, according to tmz.com, at least 6 malpratice suits against him, as well as a few sexual battery charges against him. Oprah should have her fat ass kicked for not vetting this doctor BEFORE she hired him as her "go to" TV expert on plastic surgery.

So sad. So unnecessary.

Anonymous said...

Good post, Field.

My condolences to Kanya and family. When I heard about her death and how it was related to complications with surgery, it reminded me of how anxious was before my own surgery for a blockage in my intestine. As they were rolling me into the operating room, placing me onto the operating table and giving me anesthesia to put me to sleep, I knew I could die within the next hour and never see the sun, family or friends again. I thought of how grateful I would be just to wake up from the surgery and see the sun. In fact, I started writing a poem in my head as they were gassing me to sleep and finished it when I awoke the next day.

Just One More Day

Let me live and know life for one for one more day
Just one more day


Let me wake to hurried neighbors revving cars racing to
a talk-filled office, chasing
another rising sun, sipping
fresh-brewed coffee from a Mickey's Diner cup


Let me lunch on crisp salad, green tea and friendly conversation
plucking seedless, blue grapes from the vine, swapping
broad smiles, warm eyes, a joke or two


Let me dine on French bread, beef brisket, and chilled wine
nurturing dreams of a more loving more peaceful self
humbled by your all-embracing love, your generosity in hearing me pray


Let me live and know life
for one more day
Just one more day

Though it's been almost three years since that operation, I still know that nothing is really promised; and I still rise and thank The Creator for one more day. Blessings

Blinders Off said...

My heart also goes out to Kanye and I pray he is able to go on. Not hating on Oprah, but

Christopher you made a good point because once something or someone appear on Oprah their stock rises.

kyledeb said...

Did you see this?


If you didn't please give credit to Citizen Orange for it. Also I've been coordinating a national effort to fight for migrant rights that is being led by people of color, if you're interested in participating please contact me further.

Kyle de Beausset

SouthernGirl2 said...

I am so sorry to hear of Kanya's mom passing away. My condolences to Kanya and family and may God comfort them in this sad hour.

Anonymous said...

It's becoming difficult to distinguish this site from an anti-black one. There is nothing for which we won't eagerly presume and broadly accuse black fault--and then attribute the fault to a person's color--for failing to meet imagined standards.

That is, to recap,

Black man presumptively incompetent, although we neither know procedures West's mother underwent, nor her physical condition.

And no better than the white cops, commentators cast the fault net wide:

Not just the black doctor is presumptively at fault but Oprah too. (How dare Oprah feature a black doctor on her show who would eventually have a patient to die!?!)

And, of course, their presumed failiings are because of their blackness. (When will "good" observed on this site be attributed to blackness?) The black doctor would have erred even if he meat the standards of his profession. He must be better than these doctors.

Teh doctor's appearance on Oprah show much mean that Oprah took no care in selecting the black doctor--and, I guess, presumably selected him because he is black---although this behavior would be against Oprah's apparent expert-selection process that hasn't in her 20 years on TV presented clumsy professions--white, black or other.

Can poor Kanye West' mother--an accomplished, politically-aware former wife of Black panther, be mourned without having her people drag her people in the grave with her? (Leave that for the clan.)

(Of course, I wouldn't want to downplay a plastic surgery mishap, but $400K doesn't seem like much for a surgical mistake on a person of means.)

Finally, P.S., in the doctor's pictures, he doesn't exude confidence--and I wouldn't go to him.

Plastic surgery may sound like surgery-lite but many of such procedures very dangerous. Rich people with the best doctors in the finest hospitals can die from just lipo sunction. (infection.) (Recall the death of the author of the "First Wives' Club.")

field negro said...

Damn mac, you were moving me there fam. Have you ever considered a career as a preacher?

kyledeb, I will check out that site (Citizen Orange). It's all love between the field and my brown brothers and sisters.

Blinders Off said...

When I stated Christopher had a point about Oprah it is not about her or the doctor blackness. What happened to Dr. West is tragic, out of a tragedy the spotlight is own doctors who practice in cosmetic surgery and any surgery is risky and dangerous. Being that he is black is no excuse to give him a waiver. Many doctors are practicing when they should no longer be practicing.

I could be rushing to judgment about Dr. Adams, but Dr. Adams professional and personal business (mal practice suits and DUI’s) are in the news. Also, IMO it is a fact when people appear on Oprah’s show if they were not well known or famous they are after they appear on her show. Her show gives that person credibility and it is the responsibility of her producers to screen her guests. Especially guests who are there in a professional capacity or who are stating their book is a memoir.

I respect the opinion of others whether I agree or not, I am definitely not anti black. I am just stating my opinion without name-calling.

La♥audiobooks said...

Anonymous said...
"OK. I DO NOT feel sorry for this surgeon. His record is atrocious! If this guy was a white surgeon with a record like that and he KILLED Kanye's mother, yall would be screaming bloody murder.

"Too me this is black on black crime. This brotha has MANY mal practice lawsuits against him. He's phucked up before! "

I take liking to these statements. Forget him. A black woman is dead by his hands. If anything, that's how I look at it.

Anonymous said...

Apparently, the preliminary autopsy report on Kanye's mom points the finger at the anesthesiologist--not the Black surgeon, not Oprah.

I do not excuse the failures of black people. I just don't regularly attribute it to their blackness. The latter is racism per se-.

Anonymous said...

Ok...why the phuck is this shit Oprah's fault. This is typical of the black community. We do everything in our power to exonerate phucked up black men. Oprah's been on the air for 22 years. She's interviewed THOUSANDS of people and many, many guest experts. Some of them turned out LATER to be phucked up. You bitch because she doesn't have ENOUGH black experts. Especially, black males. Now she had one and it's been found out that this brotha has issues and it's HER fault. No this BLACK MAN was a bad doctor. He was also on many TV shows BEFORE he got to Oprah. I don't hear you blaming the WHITE media for this negro.

BLACK PEOPLE **STOP** blaming black women for a brotha's phuck ups!!!

rikyrah said...


I'm feeling you on this. When I saw that the doctor was a Brother, I shook my head.

You know that Kanye and his mother probably chose him, because he was a brother. He probably thought the guy would take better care of her; he had a better comfort level with him. You know that's probably true.

Kanye will be haunted by this, because it was ELECTIVE surgery.

I have been telling folks for awhile that we don't take plastic surgery seriously.

WHen I heard that another surgeon had turned her down, my heart sank. It literally sank for the family.

Then, I heard that this brother was on television; I bet that also added a comfort level -because, how could a network put their seal of approval behind him, if he weren't on the right track?

All in all, my heart aches for Kanye, because this basically was about vanity, and in the end, vanity wasn't worth losing his beloved mother.

That's why you have to love yourself, as is. My father told me when I was a child: " Don't fool yourself; there's NO SUCH THING as minor surgery. If they cut you, it's serious."

Let this be a cautionary tale for folk. You have to INVESTIGATE, INVESTIGATE, INVESTIGATE anyone that is going to be cutting you up. Get on the internet; call up the agencies that record lawsuits. Know who's cutting on you.

The Christian Progressive Liberal said...

This is jacked up.

I had a good post, but your comment section ate it, Field. So, I'll just say this:

It's unfair that if we're in professions like this that we're held to a higher standard, but there you are. Meet that standard or get the hell out of the business, because if you don't keep your game tight, your pic gets plastered all over TV as the incompetent surgeon who operated on Kanye West's mother and possibly contributed to her death. So, Field, I know exactly what you're talking about, because I felt the same way when I saw this on Anderson Cooper last night.

My heart goes out to Kanye because I know how painful it is to lose your moms. And I'm sorry that the societal standards of beauty are so whacked that sistas like Donda West feels the need for "improvements" when she was a beautiful woman already.

If brothas won't affirm us as African Queens, sistas, we'd best do it ourselves.

As for this brotha, watch how fast the state of Cali yanks his license to practice medicine - he's already paid out over 1/2 a million in malpractice claims already.

A legit surgeon is not going to operate unless you're in good physical condition. The first surgeon Dr. West consulted with was concerned about her heart being able to take the surgery. So she went to this brotha and now we see the tragic results. Damn.

Anonymous said...

There's an old joke in medical education about how the people graduating first in their class and last in their class are both called Doctor. As rikyrah says, it pays to investigate--I think most of the state boards of medicine have on-line mechanisms for checking on physician claims and sanctions. I know for sure that Florida does.

Christopher Chambers said...

Man--this is tragic andi'm sorry for Kanye's loss...but in the scheme of terrible things we're dealing with in this world now--WHO CARES?! This is all over E! and Nancy grace. Jan Adams has problems but so do many docs--insurance companies pay out hundreds of thousands of clams for even the best docs. Field, you and I are lawyers so you know there are shysters out there milking the system over every ache and pain, whilst legit injuries go unpunished or uncompensated. I'm not saying that Adams is Marcus Welby, but I swear someone needs to come down cosmetic surgeons as this specialty has clown-ized and Hollywood-ized the whole medical profession.

As for Kanye's mom--I pray for thefamily, but Jesus this woman was not shot by a Klansman or rogue cop or one of Dick Cheney's goons. She died getting her boobs reduced. Many patients who are fat or vane undertake elective surgery like stomach stapling or cosmetic surgery without dealing seriously with the risk. Perhaps this happened here. Get over it. Likewise, like Kanye I lost my mom recently. It's pain beyond pain. But he'll write some rhymes and make millions off the tribute to his mom while I'm still paying off mine's overpriced casket. Nuff said.

Field, I know you have to opine on this stuff and there are some important context issues here, interesting backstories, but we as a people spend too much time on "scandals" like this when there are truly crazier things going on. I'm not impugning you for this post. I'm lamenting that too many folks are muttering about kanye and not taking the time to analyse how their elected officials, their pastors, their bosses are screwing them or poisoning them, and the media is either lying to them or dumbing them down to little kid level.

Anonymous said...

sucks whenever ANYONE falls off. i see what you're getting at, field: there IS a higher standard that we're held to. you fuck up and you're out. this woman opted for elective surgery. she had enough bank to know whether this guy had ever had a fucking traffic ticket, but opted to let him cut into her body without so much as a routine vetting process. from all accounts, kanye's mother seems like she was smart (we know she had the PhD, but we don't know that she was smart). it blows my mind that she would go through this without looking into his background. look, i'm just a fucking social worker, but i'll be damned if some DUI-racking fool cuts into my body on an operating table. sometimes people should just spend a little extra. it's not like you're choosing between a fucking saab and a hyundai, this is SURGERY! having said that, let's be honest, we all already can't wait to hear the song. RIP, Dr. Donda West.

Anonymous said...

We talk about issues most critical to us. We talk about sorry politicians and black sellouts all the time. If we can't talk about Sistah or Brotha who has fallen once in a while and give em some love, what does that say about us? That we only love black folks in the abstract? If so, do we really love black folks at all?

I'm still felling you, Kanye

Woozie said...

I heard it was because the man was sued 6 times in the past 6 years for malpractice. Black or white, that's amazingly incompetent.

Unknown said...

I am sorry about Kayne's Mom Donda West death but as they say there is no minor surgery. I have had kidney transplants to getting my fistula removed and the doctor told me I had almost woken up because they hadn't put me under deep enough. I hope this is a warning about people getting elective surgery, especially something as vain as plastic surgery when you sign that paper before they adminster medicines anything can happen.

To me, unless it genetic like mouth, facial or something like a damaged leg or threating life and health you should consider it just life's quirks and Field, why should black folks feel guilty because one brotha fucks up? I am sorry but when George Bush killed 3,000 people in the gulf coast 2 years white people or the media felt guilty for 5 days of inactivity that caused people to die. To me it's just one doctor's fuck-up and because he is black 38 million people should bear that burden? Sorry field I am not biting.

I don't feel guilty the doctor is a brotha, I feel sorry that Donda West felt she had to have ELECTIVE surgery and in her vanity she died and her family is now suffering.

Muze said...

man, i was so disappointed when i heard that the surgeon was a black man, because i already KNEW they would have his face plastered all over the news and internet. this is a sad tragedy and now he won't be able to grieve in peace because he'll be plotting ways to kill this mofo. sheesh.

like baatin said though, it is just astounding to me that she would have let this man come anywhere near her with a knife given his very public and very bad history.

Jonne Austin said...

Oh come on. I used to recruit in the healthcare field and I've got to tell you when you are up to have your license suspended or revoked as a surgeon, you done f*cked up big time. He was up for revocation or suspension prior to this.

He made mistakes. Even when we watch t.v. we see that they put you in recovery after a surgery, especially plastic. He sent her home?

Jonne Austin said...

A legit surgeon is not going to operate unless you're in good physical condition. The first surgeon Dr. West consulted with was concerned about her heart being able to take the surgery. So she went to this brotha and now we see the tragic results. Damn.

Tafari said...

I am so sick of this story! Yes the man has a fucked up record but do you really believe he is the only one out there with a trail of scared, dead etc.

As the 1st commenter said, surgery is risky so lets not jump to too many conclusions.

More and more, people treat plastic surgery as something quick, easy & fun but it is SURGERY. My final POV is, his mother should have tried dieting.

I used to like Kanye but he is a total socially irresponsible ass hole. I was through when he said "Mutt women make good rap video models"


Anonymous said...

Yes, it is official--some black person is to blame for Dr. West's death. There is Dr. West herself to be blame. Although a Ph.d and had cancelled the surgery many times who before Chicago, lived in Atlanta, we're right to assume that she did no research before going with her surgeon--but hired guy just because he is black. Of course, as an upper middle class woman even before she became rich with her son, she didn't know any black surgeons. So, we can assumed that she was so giddy about discovering that indeed (aw, shucks that) there are bona fide real black plastic surgeons that she selected her surgeon out of racial solidarity--although she apparently knew there might be complications. And, of course, she was derelict in not investigation the surgeon for dwi/criminal record. This is what we all do: run criminal checks on all our professionals--especially our surgeons.

Another black person to blame is Oprah (for featuring a black surgeon on her show and for NOT engaging in ongoing post-show investigation of her guests--and informing her viewers of the results of these investigations should anything turn up.)

And, of course, the doctor is to blame. (How dare a black doctor presume his own competence, and continue to treat patients after six of thousands of patients complain? The black surgeon is right to be investigated. Indeed, he shouldn't have even got a license unless he can show tthat he is at least 50% more competent than any would-be white doctor. Otherwise, white folks might project him as an incompetent and project this incompetence on me. And, of course, because I know what white people will think should ever a black should falter, only blacks who can assure that they will be super competent at all times should become high profile professionals. Otherwise, blacks should stay in low profile places that, of course, won't cause whites to project individual faults on all blacks. If we just keep this low profile, whites won't project us as incompetent. This happens only when give them ammunition--like make a mistake--or cause them to believe that we have made a mistake--that it becomes uncomfortable for me to watch Fox News.

Serious, though, believe it or not, even in the black community, mistakes occur for which no one is at fault. The word, "mistake," shouldn't just be used in our community to refer to a police shooting of a black man.

Anonymous said...


Please explain your objection to the "muttwoman" comment?

Anonymous said...

And--to add--of course--Dr. West's surgery was purely for vanity--and if so, she is blameworthy. It could not be for her health--although larger, dense breasts make breast cancer can make breast cancer detection less possible--and cause severe back pain. Belly fat--fat around the middle--is one of the leading indicators of future heart desease--the leading killer of black women in Dr. West's age group.

And if it were pure vanity--and, of course, this is what we would presume of a woman who made the sacrifice to secure a Ph.d as a single mother--rise through the ranks of her profession--limited sympathy for her--as surely there is for all of us who die to events traceable back to situations that if we had 20/20 future vision we would not have done.

Christopher Chambers said...

Bygbaby--I concur on all levels. Jeez. Maybe we can talk about the TRILLION bucks these "wars" are costing us, or the Pew survey on black folks. I'm sick of celebrities regardless of the hue. This latest Osmond obsession is the straw that broke the camel's back...

Anonymous said...

I hope you have a day job and blogging isn't it -- your writing sucks! Maybe you should've gone to college....oops my bad, somewhere before you said you had --- hmmm

Tafari said...

Anon - the "Mutt women make good rap video models" comment is a direct quote from an interview that KW granted Essence late last year. If you don't have a problem with that then I can't explain anything.

On another note, I do not see why
"Opfra" is a source of conflict in this discussion, she made no cuts on Kaye's momma. The only thing she is guilty of is having a loser on her show. I am sure he is not the only person that has went under the radar for her show or anyone elses. I think we are being a little harsh, or maybe I am reading to o far into this.

Chris, yes we are on the same page. We should also be discussing the growing gap & misunderstanding between the Black middle & lower class.


Tafari said...

Anonymous said... "I hope you have a day job and blogging isn't it -- your writing sucks! Maybe you should've gone to college....oops my bad, somewhere before you said you had --- hmmm"

What was your point?

Anonymous said...

Dr. Jan may have had some white customers, he was on Oprah, Queen of the Suburban White Soccer Moms after all.

Tasha said...

I truly feel for Kanye and his family, and I'm so sorry for the loss.

Even though Dr. Adams doesn't have a great record, there are other factors to consider before finding the surgeon guilty in the court of public opinion. Several other physicians would not perform surgery on her, which leads me to believe that she may have had some medical issues that she did not disclose to the anesthesiologist who was in charge on the day of her surgery. Also, her surgery may have exacerbated a condition that she was not previously aware of.

Yes, it is unfortunate that she passed and unfortunate that Dr. Adams has such an atrocious record professionaly and personally (but he seemed to respected in the cosmetic surgery community...he did/does have a television show on Discovery Health, and I'm sure they did credentials checks on him), but rather than point fingers and lay blame now we just need to let the West family mourn. Autopsy will reveal who/what was at fault.

Tafari said...

my last post on this topic (maybe). i just made the connection that i have seen the show on discovery health with jan.

Angela L. Braden, Writer, Speaker, Professor said...

A few points...

"Even though Dr. Adams doesn't have a great record, there are other factors to consider before finding the surgeon guilty in the court of public opinion. Several other physicians would not perform surgery on her, which leads me to believe that she may have had some medical issues that she did not disclose to the anesthesiologist who was in charge on the day of her surgery. Also, her surgery may have exacerbated a condition that she was not previously aware
of." Tasha

I think this is an excellent point. I thought the same thing. It is critically important to disclose information to the docs so that they can make a good decision regarding their approach to treatment.

Second point... I've had 17 surgeries that were medically necessary. And trust me, when you go under the knife, the disclaimers you must sign before surgery make it abundantly clear what risks you are opening yourself up to. This is exactly why you have to make sure you find a competant doc to perform your surgery. Because when you sign these little disclaimers, you really sign away your right to sue if anything goes wrong. So, if the docs are protecting themselves, it makes no sense for the patients to not protect themselves by making sure they have a doc that knows what the hell they are doing.

Lastly, all cosmetic surgery is not vanity. For some women, breast reduction is a medical issue. I'm not saying that's the case for West's mother. But I think we need to stop stating that all cosmetic surgery is elected and not necessary.


Lola Gets said...

No he wouldnt wish he were a vat, cause if he fucked with my cats, Id sue his ass too!

Unknown said...

This is one of those times when chickens come home to roost. Kanye West, the sell-out, makes a living parroting the party line on what makes a woman beautiful. He is succesful. Women listen to his 'music' and buy it and make him rich. Even his own mother, a woman with a brain and an advanced education is so convinced that she could really improve her appearance if only she had a tummy tuck and a boob job that she ignored medical advice and went doctor shopping. And now she is dead because looking like an attractive middleaged black woman isn't good enough.

But hey! Kaye outsold 50 Cent (actually a good thing because 50 Cent is even more full of shit than Kanye). And he did it by releasing as his first hit off the new album a song in which he suggests to some woman he is pursuing that she 'can be a black Kate Moss tonight.' Kate Moss. Thin as a rail, with eating disorders and a drug problem. Even before his mother died, my response to Kanye West was a big FUCK YOU VERY MUCH. But now his own mom has been consumed by the madness of this woman hating culture he himself promotes and earns a princely living by promoting.

Boy is he going to be relieved to have a plastic surgeon and an anesthesiologist to blame. Because otherwise, he might have to wake the hell up and smell coffee brewing. Maybe, just maybe he will ask himself why his beautiful mother should have convinced herself that she needed plastic surgery even though she had received medical advice against it. And if he can see himself as being part of the problem, maybe he will decide to switch it up and become part of the solution. Then Donda West will not have died in vain.

Chari said...

This goes to show that we should love ourselves as God made us.

Her family is most def in my prayers.

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