To Everyone Who Looks Like Me
We all know the adage: Try to walk a mile in another’s shoes. But, have we taken that to heart? Have we put ourselves in the place of another? Even tried to imagine for a moment what it might be like to even literally walk down the street in a Black person’s shoes?
I admit that it takes energy to put ourselves in another’s place. Mentally, we have to expend the time to ask questions. Physically, we have to make the effort to form relationships with those of another race. Emotionally, we have to process what they tell us.
This is difficult and so we don’t do it. We rationalize that we are not racist because we would never mistreat someone of another race.
I would agree with some of my closest friends and family –you would never mistreat a black person.
But what are you doing to understand the plight of what African Americans are facing in our country when it comes to injustice?
Let me be clear. I am Pro-Police. I am anti-Black Lives Matter organization.
With that clarity, I say to those who say they are the same, please open yourselves to go beyond your current thinking because what happened to Jonathan Price in Wolf City, Texas this week happens all the time.
This is why frustration turned to anger turns to riots. I want you to understand how it gets to this instead of pouring more misunderstanding on the issue of race in America.
Of course, riots aren’t the solution. But, more than the physical damage, they have caused White people to throw the baby out with the bath water. We cannot dismiss the race problem because of the actions of a few. There are radical people on both sides.
I am not calling out radicals. I am calling out you. The one who smiles at a Black person in the restaurant but has no friends of another race. The one who thinks the Hispanic girl in your child’s class is so cute but never invites her over for a playdate.
I can hear the rationalization from my friends now. Yes, I mean people that are more than acquaintances. So, I am going to give you a plumb-line:
It is Memorial Day and you are having a party. You invite your friends and family. How many people of another race are at your party?
If the answer is none. You are part of the race problem in America.
You are perpetuating it by modeling it to your children. I know that hurts. It pricks because it’s true.
What if that was your daughter? Would you want a Black man to stand by and let someone beat on her? I know that the people I am talking to wouldn’t hesitate to stop a fight of any man of any color beating on a woman regardless of her race. And, you would agree with me that Jonathan Price was a good man and did the right thing. Herein lies the race problem: he shouldn’t have to think twice about doing it. His family shouldn’t have to be grieving because he was Black.
If that still sits with you wrong, that’s why I wrote this. I have had to grapple with this and accepted that I need to become part of the solution because racism in America is a problem!
There’s another adage: If the shoe fits, wear it.
I hope today that you will recognize that shoe doesn’t fit anymore. Take it off and walk a mile in another’s. It will cost you time and emotional energy. It may even cost you “friends” but your life will be richer and America will be better.
It is clear from what Jonathan Price posted on Facebook that he was trying to walk a mile too:
“There were times I should have been detained for speeding, outstanding citations, outdated registration, dozing off at a red light before making it to my garage downtown Dallas after a lonnng night out,” Price said. “I’ve passed a sobriety test after leaving a bar in Wylie, Texas by 2 white cops and still let me drive to where I was headed, and by the way they consider Wylie, Texas to be VERY racist. I’ve never got that kind of ENERGY from the po-po.”
“Not saying black lives don’t matter, but don’t forget about your own, or your experiences through growth / ‘waking up,’”.