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May 31, 2020

Wrestling With Your Racism

Over the past week, our timelines have been filled with news articles speaking out on the murder of George Floyd. Over the past few days, we have seen media coverage of the riots. I am going to toss out a question to all of my white friends and family. If you are white, how does the murder of George Floyd and the riots taking place around the country make you feel? I don’t want you to answer this question in the comments below. I want you to journey through processing your thoughts and emotions on the matter. I want you to sit with it. I want you to think about it. I want you to form an opinion not based on what you think others want you to say, but truly an opinion of what you think of it all.

A good starting place is to simply ask yourself this question:

Was George Floyd murdered?

Some people believe he wasn’t. What do you think? Now whatever your answer is to that question, own that that is where you are at in your thought process. I’ll be honest. I hate being presented with things that have a 100% right and wrong answer. I believe we live in a world filled with grey….but there is no grey in this issue. George Floyd was murdered.

If you do not believe he is was, here are a few possible things that could be happening within your thought process.

1.) You have not really processed this. You have biases in your life that have caused you to dismiss what is happening. These could have been formed by your upbringing, religion, political party, etc…because of these biases you made a quick judgment that was not thought out and is wrong.

2.) You truly dislike black people and do not care what happens to them because you are not black. I would say this is racism.

3.) Because of all that is happening in our world (COVID19, unemployment, the murder of George Floyd) you have been so overwhelmed with fear and worry that you just haven’t had the emotional and mental energy to process your thoughts on this. (Similar to #1, but different).

4.) Your life is not affected by any of this so you just don’t care. You have your job, your kids, and your life…and you are not black. So you just go on living your life.

I know there are probably more options than these, but I’m throwing these out there as a starting point for my friends. If I’m honest…I fell into #4. Because this did not directly affect me or the community I’m in, I haven’t really cared. I know this is wrong and I have changed my thought process and I do care. I am not white, but the majority of my friends are. Even though I am Mexican, I still think I live a pretty cushy and privileged life in one of the most white communities I have ever lived in. There are very few black people in my community and I have not seen very many of my Facebook friends talking about this topic. So I am going to speak up.

What has been happening to black Americans in our country for hundreds of years is not ok.

Murdered.

Enslaved.

Mistreated.

Racially profiled.

If you are a white friend of mine. I am not asking you to type up a simple statement that you can post so that you will be on the “right side”. I am asking you to do the hard work of processing how you feel about all of this and then to TRY to understand the horrors that happen to black Americans in our country EVERY DAY. I say try because you will never fully understand. I will fully never understand.

I am a Hispanic male with a shaved head, a very dark beard, and tan skin. I get racially profiled all the time by strangers, I see their stares and feel the weight of their judgment. A Mexican man married to a white woman in a primarily white state? Some people are not ok with interracial marriage. I get extremely nervous around cops. I just have no clue what they might do to me or how they will interact with me because of how I look. This scares me. I do have thoughts about being profiled and then mistreated. If I feel this way and I am not black….I cannot imagine how much more black Americans feel this fear.

It is not the same and I am not trying to say they are the same. Racism never died in our country. I experience it more in Kansas than I did in Texas. I won’t say that I experience it daily, but I know black Americans deal with it every single day in our country. Chances are, if you are white…you have never feared for your life or being mistreated by a cop. Why? Because you are white and you know your chances of being murdered by a police officer are slim.

You can go jogging and not be murdered. (#AmaudArbery)

You can break down on a public road with car problems and not be murdered. (#CoreyJones)

You can read a book in your own car and not be murdered. (#KeithScott)

You can take out your wallet and not be murdered. (#AmadouDiallo)

You can be arrested without the fear of being murdered (#GeorgeFloyd)

Friends, please sit with this and wrestle with it. If it makes you uncomfortable that is a good thing. It should. Press in and process what is happening to black Americans. Then begin to seek out how you can support them. I understand that many people will read this and not be moved by my words. I cannot change your mind, but I can encourage you to change your own mind. People rarely change because of the words of someone else.

They change because they do the hard work of processing and working through their thought processes. So I am begging you…if you are white and not moved to care about our fellow Americans of color….please begin the process of figuring out why you feel this way. I’d love to sit down over coffee with you, face to face, and help you process. There is no hate here coming from me. I love all of my white friends! I love my white wife. I love my friends of color. I want black Americans to be heard and I want true change for them.

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