I am VERY white.. THAT is what I am feeling!
I am ashamed to say that it took me a couple days to get the courage to watch.
I was unsure how watching the video would help me help others.
When I finally watched the video of George Floyd in sickened awe I felt crushed, horrified, embarrassed.
I felt ANGRY!!!
My thought was… what can I do now?
I felt like going out and talking to anyone who would listen.
I wanted to tell them that what is happening is not ok.
I wanted to shout and say… I am white, but I am your friend.
I felt small. For the first time in a long time. I felt insignificant.
As I sat the boys down and organize my thoughts and share with them, on their level, the importance of approaching everyone with love and an open heart… I asked myself is this enough?
I remember learning about slavery in school and watching the movie, “The Color Purple” and “The Green Mile” and “Shawshank Redemption” and Oprah’s autobiography and feeling a similar sickness. I remember thinking how is it possible for people to look at other humans as less than them?
I remember wanting to go and hug every black person that I saw because I was sorry for what had happened.
Then I thought, how ridiculous this white woman saying she cares and wants to be a friend. Would they want to be my friend or would they not think I was sincere.
Then I thought… how offensive that I should think that, just because of the color of skin that person should need or want my help because of the color of my skin.
Those are my raw and honest thoughts. Right or wrong… here they are.
There is a young black man who walks by my house every day, sometimes with his parents or a friend. But, most of the time alone. Sometimes we chat, and say hello. But, I don’t know his name and he does not know my name.
I immediately wanted to know his name. But then I thought why?
I don’t feel compelled to know the names of the other young white men.
I want to go up to him and give him a hug and say I am with you.
I want to do this because it will make me feel better because I want him to know that I care.
I want to say, “tell me more about you and your world”.
I want to do this because maybe then I will understand if he wants to know me. But does he want to tell me?
Would he consider being my friend?
I have not figured this out yet. Maybe it’s just because he looks like a pretty sweet, athletic kid and I would like to call him a friend.
Sadly, since Mr. Floyd’s death, I have not seen that young man walking.
I am writing this to say that I know my path through what I think will be a turning point in our nation… a point where hatred will be crushed by love and people all around will say enough is enough to archaic, barbaric ways of thinking.
My path is simple… I will start with my circle.
It is not huge, but love is a chain reaction.
I start with my children, my family, my friends.
I will start with you.
If you are still reading… you care. You want this change too!
My children will know that they have to stand up and say NO NO NO, if they see or recognize racism and hatred. They will have the courage to stand up and represent themselves with love.
I am white, but that does not mean I am bad. I want to know more.
I am no longer afraid of saying the wrong thing.
That’s because I am saying something. And, do you know what!!
Right now, we ALL need to stand up and say something.
I hope this message finds you well.