I am a middle aged white guy who grew up solidly in what was once considered the middle class. Can I truly understand what it is like to be black in this country? Probably not.
But, I grew up in a small multi-cultural community. Easton in the 60's was like a little Brooklyn. Everybody did not always get along but we tried.
I have spent more than 32 years of my life with a black man and I have seen how he is treated by white people.
I have had co-workers/people say to me "Well... I don't really think if him as black" When I asked what they meant they said things like "You know he just doesn't act black" I of course asked what does that mean and "Well you know he...." They really don't know how to explain it and then of course they to a person got angry that I was suspected them of being racist. They were and they are.
He is black and he knows he is black every time he looks in the mirror. He is more likely to get pulled over by the police and, he is more likely to get followed by store security than I am.
When we were younger I remember white women clutching their handbags a little closer to their bodies or crossing the street when the saw him. On more than one occasion I noticed white women clutching their bags and then seeing me at his side lightening up their attitude because clearly if he was with a twinky white boy he was not going to steal their handbag or worse.
I have been there when people tell racist jokes but because "he doesn't act like a black guy" they thought it was OK. What does that even mean "he doesn't act like a black guy"
I am trying to understand why police pull over black people at a higher rate than white people.
I am trying to understand why black people get longer sentences than white people.
I am trying to understand why black students are sent to detention more times than white students.
Racism is alive and thriving in this country. You can't deny it. In fact, I challenge you to deny it.
But, before you do.
Answer this question.
If you are a white person in this country; Would you want to live your life or raise your son as a black person in this country?
If so, tell me why.
This was inspired by todays news out of Baton Rouge. I am in no way trying to justify the slaughter of police.
And, sadly I have no answers and that is extremely frustrating.