(All others are welcome; white people from the US is just the target group I'm addressing this to.)
Please do me the favor of reading this: Most of you have no idea what Martin Luther King actually did
In this essay you will hear about a shared experience for African Americans that white people did not have to experience. My fellow white people, I am asking you to read and empathize. What if this was in your family heritage? How would it affect how you see the USA today, and how you see the race that predominantly makes up the government and runs most of the major corporations?
After reading, here are some things I anticipate you might think, and follow-up points from me:
- "My family didn't do awful things like that." Congratulations! But enough white people did
, that the diarist's family and thousands if not millions of families like his lived in fear.
- "Things aren't like that any more." Hallelujah, they are not... in most parts of the US, for many groups. Hispanic people in Arizona who have to "show papers" and Muslim Americans and Arab Americans who are pressured to "prove" in the court of public opinion they aren't evildoers could be feeling that things are like that, or are heading down the same path. Do any of your white friends or family express negative opinions of people of color? Are you helping your friends/family understand how they are wrong?
- "It's not fair to call all white people racists." Please go back and read the essay again, because the author did not do that. If after reading a second time, you still think that claim was made, please PM me and we can talk it through.
- "But the essay doesn't tell me what to do next." That's right; it doesn't. The author is relating an experience, not writing a 'how to' manual. Here's what I
want you to do next: Empathize with the people in the essay. Try to feel what they were feeling. That's it. (If empathizing sparks you with an idea for something practical to do, great! Go do it!)
I'm going to be away from LJ today so I'm disabling comments. But if you have any thoughts, I welcome hearing them by PM.