It’s taken me a while to get my thoughts together in a clear enough fashion to even begin to write a blog post. And I still may not be at full clarity, so bear with me.
This past week was a tough one. Amen?
Two senseless killings of black men. Then senseless killings of police officers, and many at the protest said they weren’t at odds with the officers who were there to watch over the protest. And then a shooting in a town where family members live, and then another less than 24 hours later. Then a black man commits suicide by hanging, and people automatically assume it was a racially motivated murder.
Insanity. All insanity.
My mind has been reeling, and so has my heart, while trying to come to terms with all this. It hurts; I am grieved, and yet I am also irritated at some of the reactions I see posted on Facebook and Twitter. Yet I know that the posts I read are fueled by emotion, deep emotion, the same as what I feel.
I watched a video today where a white woman asks a white audience to stand if they want to be treated as badly as black people are treated in this country. I saw the blank stares looking back at her, while she stood on stage and glared at them. I saw what she was trying to ask, what she was getting at, and yet I saw the fallacy in what she was asking.
First of all, nobody wants to be treated badly, white or black, so they’re not going to stand up when someone says “stand up if you want to be treated badly.” However, that doesn’t mean these same people enjoy treating other people badly, or enjoy the fact that people are being treated badly. Was the lady assuming the people in the crowd enjoyed treating black people badly? Well, if so, in my humble opinion, that was a bad assumption on her part.
But let’s say just for a minute that she wasn’t assuming that. Did the lady stop and think for one minute that many of the people in that crowd might know black people who aren’t treated badly? Is it possible that those white people in that audience just didn’t know what the lady was talking about? Could that have caused some of the blank stares she was seeing? That’s very possible. See, many people hear of black people being treated badly, but it’s “out there” somewhere, and it’s not close to home. So they can’t truly imagine it, or empathize with it.
I’m not saying that black people are never treated badly. Some are. Some are treated horribly, and there’s no justification for it. And though there are laws in place, and we’re supposed to be a nation built on equality, there are still some places in this country where white people think black people are less than human. It hurts me to even think about that, but it’s true. Sad, but true.
But there are also some places in this country where white people are treated badly, just because they’re white. Yeah, I understand that to a lot of people, that’s a downright impossibility, but it does happen. Sad, but true.
How do we stop this?
I have my personal thoughts, but I really want to hear from you all. What’s the answer?
Okay, one last thing. I really don’t like calling people “black” and “white.” I mean, those aren’t true skin colors, you know? The background of this page is white. The type on this page is black. No one on the entire planet has skin color anywhere close to black or white. We are all different shades of beige. Or brown. The only reason I used those terms in this post is because they are well-known, frequently used terms in the world.
So, readers, I’m asking you to respond to the blog post, and tell me what you think. What’s the answer? How can we get people to stop treating others badly? How can we encourage kindness?