On the BOT Facebook page, we’ve been having a very sincere discussion about the unintentionally prejudiced and hurtful things whites and Otherthan’s say. One reader posted the following comment and I answered as below. I share this because I know this reader is not alone. As an ally, it is very important to allow whites and otherthans the leeway to say the “wrong thing” without attacking (which hopefully I did not do) when they are clearly struggling. If we only talk to people who agree with us, we are not affecting change.
I wish we could sit and have a meal together. I hear you trying to work through this – just like me. I hear you frustrated because you don’t feel like part of the problem – just like me. Read some more of Dr. King’s words. He laid out what you and I can do.
The first, and most important thing is to acknowledge that we have a race problem in America. We have people of color with less access to education, health care and opportunities. That’s a fact. We have a judicial system (that I used to be a part of) that systematically finds, convicts, and jails POC for more crimes and less significant crimes. The police kill a black person every 28 hours – black people are about 10% of our population. How can this be right?
We have a media (which I am now part of) that portrays things in a way to keep the peace/status quo. That benefits white people. It’s wrong for someone to call you a racist. But it’s also wrong, I gently suggest, for you to say there is no problem because you have black friends.
What can you do? Please keep reading and listening. Thank you for being open enough to read my words.
I see I missed the use of “preference” but let’s just focus on one thing at a time. What else would you add?
It’s Butch to help others see when they cannot. Be Butch.