…than addressing the racial injustice and unrest going on in this country. Truthfully, anything else I need to do seems to pale in comparison.
I’m white and I can’t possibly even begin to understand what those police officers were thinking. What goes through their mind to hurt another human being like that?, and bystanders couldn’t even help. I grew up in a racially diverse town in central NJ. My parents sent my twin sister and I to a high school which was more than 50% minority; a large high school after going through a small Catholic elementary school. There were race riots in the 70’s, years before we attended. Some adults tried to vocalize that it wasn’t safe for us to go there; but my sister and I thanked our parents later. We had so many more opportunities in regard to classes and activities, and we also had a larger population of people to get to know, people of different ethnic backgrounds.
So, I grew up amongst multiple races. I grew up with friends and fellow students/teammates who were Latino or Black. Beyond anything else, my parents taught us to be kind and empathetic. We really didn’t know any different.
I didn’t know any different. I went to school with many races, and although I knew kids were different, I just thought everybody was the same, on how they should be treated. I did learn history but did not spend much time thinking about it. I learned to treat everybody the same, but that doesn’t mean that everyone is the same. And, unfortunately, I didn’t learn to speak up for racial injustice. When I took my mindfulness certification program classes, there was a module called Inclusivity and Social Justice. I’ve learned a lot in that module especially around the topic of color blindness, which was presented by Rhonda Magee in her article title “The Way of ColorInsight” (https://www.mindandlife.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Rhonda-Magee-The-Way-of-ColorInsight-v2-final-edit.pdf.
See, earlier I said I treat everybody the same, but then I realized I couldn’t be colorblind. There’s so much more of the history of the black race, so much more about their oppression, the inequality, and the injustice. We, as white people, can’t possibly know what that feels like. I’m sad and disgusted. To people of color, I’m sorry I didn’t see you, as individuals with differences who needed to be heard and understood. I’m sorry I didn’t think to learn the differences. I have the race and the power to do something. I need to do something. I will do something.
I need to educate myself. I need to take action. I need to get engaged. I need to stand together.
I’m happy to have anyone join a conversation.