Again, there was another African American person killed by the police. This shouldn’t happen, but it still continues to happen. There are riots currently happening in big cities around the U.S. People are angry and their anger is understandable. I can’t imagine their pain or fear. My heart breaks for them and for the state of the US right now.
I’ve been thinking a lot over the past two days about what I was taught about other cultures as a kid. Racism is taught, 100% and that is why racism still thrives amongst us. Growing up, I was taught I should fear dark skinned men and people different than me. This stuff was never directly said, but it was learned by reactions and through comments from extended family.
I grew up in Louisville, KY. I remember my sister and I were downtown with my grandmother. We were walking in the shopping area and my grandma pulled us close & clutched her purse. Why? There was a darker skinned guy with a boom box on his shoulder, walking past us. I remember being very confused by her reaction, because he was obviously minding his own business and I did not understand why I was “supposed” to be afraid of him. I remember looking at his face and noticing a look of disgust and anger. I know he saw her reaction. Reflecting back on that, I understood why I read what I did on his face, because he was just existing and minding his own business.
People are taught to fear those who are different. This is what keeps us separate and hating each other. We hate what we don’t understand and yet we don’t take the time to look deeper and see how we are more alike than different. This mindset and inaction is passed down from generation to generation. Until people break that chain, racism shall continue to thrive. Until we start challenging people when they say something racist, or act hatefully towards a different group, hate is perpetuated. It will continue to divide us.
To the People of Color: I see that you’re different but I don’t see you as a threat. I see your anger and feel your frustration, and it’s 100% justified. I see your pain and I mourn with you. My heart feels heavy for your losses and I can never know what it’s like to live in your skin or walk in your shoes. I want you to feel safe in the world, because everyone should be able to feel safe. One’s skin color should not be seen as an automatic threat when you’re just trying to live your life. I’m tired of you getting murdered by those who are supposed to protect and serve.
I see you, I love you, you matter and I stand with you.
A white lady in America
**I wrote previously on this same topic several years ago, un-eloquently. I was trying to express how I felt back then and how I still feel, which is what I’ve written above. I’ve heard and I said before that I do not see color. What I was trying to express was: I do see color, but I do not see a person’s color as a threat. I said in that previous post that all lives matter, which they do. What I was also wanting to express was: we seem to lack the ability to see the humanity in others and this is why we continue to be divided. People who hate do not see their neighbors as equal therefore they don’t treat them as such. This is why people still fear what is different than themselves and that is why racism continues to thrive. If we could start to treat others with love and recognize the similarities in others, perhaps we would start to treat our neighbors as we’d hope to be treated.