This past weekend was a very sad weekend for me.
I don’t ever recall a time where I cried so much. Those tears came from anger, which later manifested into fear.
Fear for the future of my 10-year-old black son who has ADHD. How will people who don’t look like him perceive him when he becomes an adult? Will they like Gavin (that’s his name) for his qualities: his smarts, wit, and kindness? Or will they fear him because he is a young black male — especially if he takes after his family genetics (I’m 6’4″, my wife’s dad was 6’2″ and her mom is 5’9″).
I also fear for my nephews and godson. I have two who are in their mid-20s, one who is a few days from turning 10, and another who is almost 16 months old. My biracial godson just became a teenager. How are those same people feel about my oldest nephews? I pray and worry about my younger nephews as well.
I’ve had high anxiety since the killings of Ahmaud Arbery in rural Georgia and George Floyd in Minneapolis (and a white woman — a LIBERAL, no less — weaponizing the cops on Christian Cooper, a black bird-watcher in New York City for good measure). Both were senseless and race-driven, and could happen to ANY Black man.
I must say that given what I’ve seen what transpired in the wake of Floyd’s murder over the weekend, I have a little bit of hope. Seeing people from all colors coming together was a beautiful thing, and seeing police marching with the protesters in certain cities (Flint, Michigan and Newark) was hella awesome.
But was even more awesome was seeing a lot of WHITE PEOPLE among the protesters and speaking out in favor of black people. Lots of my white brothers and sisters who are college buddies of mine reached out to me via Facebook and expressed their disgust and sadness over the Floyd killing. Those acts of kindness REALLY moved me to tears and gave me a lot more hope of change in this society.
It was also great to see more prominent white athletes and coaches speak out. Alex Morgan, Steve Kerr, Carson Wentz, Zack and Julie Ertz, Joe Burrow, JJ Watt and Chris Long from the pro level. Trevor Lawrence, PJ Fleck, Barry Alverez, Mike Hopkins and John Calipari from the collegiate ranks.
This is what we as black people need: more of our white brothers and sisters speaking out on our behalf. I’m not even asking for them to be on the front line, hell I’m not one for being front and center in a lot of things myself, but at least be there for support.
History shows that social change in this country happens when white people get on board. Whether it’s the Civil Rights Act of 1964, or the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Seeing white people marching and literally dying for the cause opened a lot of eyes in our country and around the world. And that was the pressure needed to force then-president Lyndon B. Johnson and the rest of the crew in Washington to actually do something.
What I guess I’m trying to say is, we need our white brothers and sisters with us.
Here are some quotes from some very famous people in American (and world) history to end this:
“Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are.”
― Benjamin Franklin
“In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”
― Martin Luther King, Jr
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