I am white. I grew up in a small town in Iowa and didn’t meet a black (or Latino, Indian, Asian) person until I went to college. I then played football with black guys. Sure they acted differently than me, but so did the white guys from New York and California. They were different, not better not worse.
When I graduated from College I taught in a predominantly black high school, and played semi-pro football. Omaha, NE did not realize that a school that was 90% white 10 blocks from a school that was 95% black was a bad thing.
Here are some things that happened during my high school teaching years:
- One night after leaving practice, a teammate and I were each stopped for doing a rolling stop. I am sure the black player was more polite than I was, because that was the way he was. He got a ticket and I got a warning.
- I coached wrestling. I took the freshman team to a meet and because of a scheduling problem, we got there 4 hours too early. My wrestlers were polite and quiet. They were all black We were all getting bored. One young man asked politely if we could watch the local school’s varsity team practice. They had some of the best wrestlers in the state and it would be a good learning experience. The coach he asked yelled at the young man and said we always had a problem with you “YOU PEOPLE”. He still addressed me nicely every time we talked. I am still embarrassed that I did not stand up for my player.
- I had a friend in Bloomington,MN. He was black and lived 1 block over from me. One night he was walking through the neighborhood and got stopped by the police. He was questioned for about 15 minutes. If I would not have walked by with one of my children, I do not know how long he would have had to stay there. I verified that he lived in our neighborhood. Also, he was a Dr. at our local clinic.
- I was in the car with the same Dr. one day and got stopped for a broken taillight. The policeman then made sure that the Dr. kept his hands on the wheel and talked very rudely to him. I have never been talked to that way.
Here is a snippet from that article.
When we say “Black Lives Matter,” understand what that actually means. We aren’t saying that ONLY Black lives matter. We’re saying “Black lives matter TOO.” For the entirety of the history of this country, Black lives have not mattered. At a minimum, they haven’t mattered nearly as much as White lives. If a Black person kills another Black person, and we have it on tape, the killer goes to jail. If a White police officer kills a Black person and we have it on tape, the entire judicial system steps up to make sure that officer doesn’t go to jail.
That is why Black people are in such pain right now. The deaths are bad enough. But having the feeling that nobody will ever actually be held accountable for the deaths is so much worse. And then watching as the police union, the media, and conservative politicians team up to imagine scenarios where the officer did nothing wrong, and then tell those of us who are in pain that our pain is wrong, unjustified, and all in our heads just serves to twist the knife.