Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Just Imagine

the protests against the killing of unarmed african-american men in the united states continue, becoming more widespread each day, it seems.  white americans often seem baffled by the strong emotions these killings have aroused in the african-american community.  no white person can claim to share the experiences of african-americans that lead to such a response.  regardless of how sensitive some of us wish to be, we white americans have not shared the years, the generations, of repression that has been the reality of our black brothers and sisters.  it seems that many anglos go out of their way to diminish the angst that those most affected by these senseless killings are feeling; this insensitivity seeks excuses, justifications for what amounts to legal murder.

this state of affairs must not continue.  we must not continue to imprison, discriminate against, and kill unarmed men of color.  we dare not perpetuate a predisposition to assume a person is dangerous or criminal because of the color of his skin and his gender.  conservative white americans in general, and the republican party in particular, have pandered to the racism that is endemic in our society.  it's time that we stop standing by and treating this thinly veiled racist political posturing as a legitimate expression of american values that should be treated as a reasonable point-of-view. 

every white american harbors some racist attitudes.  we are all guilty of failing to try to imagine what it must be like to be an african-american, no matter how liberal our politics.  white america needs to be quiet and to listen to the outpouring of rage that is coming from the african-american communities in feguson, in new york, in cleveland, and across the nation.  we must hear the angry voices and all of us must work together to end these attacks on black americans, especially on young black men.  It is time to face up to our shortcomings as a society.

may we have to courage to speak out against those who try to justify police who shoot first and ask questions later.  may we have the compassion to hear the cries of mothers whose sons are killed before a police officer looked for other alternatives to diffuse a situation.  may we understand that some of us assume guilt based on ethnicity and that whites in similar circumstances to the black men who have been killed would have been treated very differntly.  may we imagine what walking in the shoes of another is like.  shalom.

No comments:

Post a Comment