I know most of you read this blog to learn more about health and fitness but neglecting to write about what’s going on right now in our country would just be tone deaf on my part. If you aren’t ready to have this conversation and choose to end your reading here, I understand. These are not easy conversations to have. They require deep introspection. They require real humility and real admission of wrongdoing/thinking.
I know most of us walk around on a day to day basis and say to ourselves, “I’m not racist,” and then leave it there. I know most of us walk around and think “Gosh, that officer that murdered that man is terrible,” and then leave it there. But more has to be acknowledged as well as done.
I read an interesting quote from an Australian basketball player as he wrote his own piece on the entire situation and he said, “I never walked around hating someone else because of the color of their skin or culture. But I didn’t SUPPORT them either. Which is just as bad.”
It is not enough to simply be not racist. You must be ANTI-RACISM. You must condemn it anywhere you see it and educate those around you.
And, here’s an easy way how. You must bring to light the privilege non-blacks have in this country that black people do not. YOU can walk around and think “well, I’m not racist so I don’t have to get involved with everything going on.” But for black people, they can’t EVER stop being black. They can’t simply walk around this country and pretend like what’s going on doesn’t affect them. They don’t enjoy that luxury. And, I’ll explain that with a personal story.
Just the other night I was having this exact conversation with my older brother and cousin. My cousin is a black woman. She is half nigerian, half mexican. My cousin and I were trying to explain to my brother that it is simply not enough to be non racist. My brother didn’t want to acknowledge “Black lives matter”, he thought “all lives matter.” My cousin had asked my brother and I (being Mexican men mind you) to help her move into her new home in a gated community about two months ago. The timing of her move-in date didn’t work out and she had to postpone it. She ended up being able to move in very short notice so she had to ask a friend of hers to help her instead. She lives in Houston. Her friend is a Black man. Now, because of the way everything worked out, she was technically allowed to move in, BUT she still hadn’t actually closed on the deal. She explains all of this to her friend. Her friend begins to tell her that he will not help her move the stuff into her new home because he’s afraid. “Katy, you want me, a black man, to move this stuff into a place that you don’t even technically belong in yet, and where no one knows me? There’s no way I can do that.” I then asked my brother, after my cousin had finished telling us this story, “Would you have even thought twice about walking into this gated community and finishing the move in?” “No,” he said.
That’s the point. Non-blacks in this country have the privilege to walk around and do something as simple as help a relative move into their new home without having to think of the color of their skin. Black people can NEVER do anything in this country without thinking they’re black.
We all know that the most belligerent forms of racism are the worst of it. But, as Desmond Tutu said, “If you have chosen neutrality in times of injustice, you’ve chosen the side of the oppressor.” DO MORE.