I’ve avoided writing this because I guess I haven’t known what to say.
And ultimately I’ve decided to write to you today not to be another “me too” acknowledging recent and horrible events, but just as that gentle reminder that.
Even if we don’t know each other well, have never met, or if we haven’t spoken for a while, know I sincerely care about you (I know that may sound weird but that’s just who I am and have always been.)
And I guess that’s what makes writing an email like this so difficult.
All week I’ve seen “Black Lives Matter” posts, I’ve avoided direct attention to all the craziness in the news, and I couldn’t bring myself to look at the photos or videos of the horrible events that surround George Floyd.
I told someone this week it’s hard to wrap my head around because I’m “ignorant” to racism, that I’ve never been exposed to it; so it’s hard to grasp the context of this current situation.
But as I thought about it more I realized that isn’t entirely true…
We’ve ALL been exposed to and exercised some measure of prejudice.
As I thought about it further we’ve all been exposed to situations (often more than once) that left us with a level of fear, uncertainty, and ultimately judgment.
Whether this is to people of race or ethnicity.
Whether it’s to people of social circumstance. (ie. homelessness)
Whether it’s to religion or spiritual belief.
Whether it’s sexual orientation or gender designation.
Whether it’s to level of education or experience.
Whether it’s to stigma or stereotype.
I’m not a person that has ever given a second thought to the measure of a person based on the colour of their skin, ethnicity or anything of the like.
To me people are people and although I will judge you (as is human nature) I will judge you on character alone.
I found this difficult to write because it seems the status quo is to apologize to people of colour, but I’m not sure I agree with that…
That’s not to say that I don’t have great compassion or sympathy for anyone who may feel less safe during these turbulent times, but rather I fear that when so much attention is given in outward support to a certain issue that an end result is where positive awareness increases so does resentment from an opposing party, and the net affect becomes no change at all.
(As an example I just seen the Reddit co-founder, quit the board and asked for a “Black” replacement. To me this is like throwing gasoline on this fire, what a stupid publicity stunt. If I were less “white” than I am I’d find this even more offensive than I do now.
I find businesses that insist on “increasing racial diversity” offensive.
To me this either an admission of guilt of existing known prejudice, or worse still pandering to an issue for personal gain, all at the cost of the repressed party in question as the net result yields a resentful minority (of any colour) that was overlooked because they didn’t fit the “diversity” profile.)
So this email I received this morning from someone else resonated with me.
It was titled “Stand For” and this was my favourite part.
“It is easy to be against something.
It is easy to fight against what we don't want.
It is easy to attack our enemies.
So that's what most people do.
But your power comes from what you are for.
Change happens when you stand in for something, rather than against the opposite.”
It stands to reason to me that although “racism” is a serious issue, what we really want is less “prejudice” as a whole.
But unfortunately “prejudice” is a somewhat natural feeling based on the experiences we’ve had (as an example most recently I was hurt, offended, and outraged as someone referred to me as an “anit-vaxxer” for my concerns on growing quantity of vaccines/mandatory vaccination, even though that is not who I am at all, but none the less this fuels my prejudice against “Big Pharma” and vaccines as a whole.)
As a father, as man, as a friend, I stand for following the simple wisdom doing my best to, “be the change I wish to see in the world.” Thank you Ghandi for that.
Recent events involving George Floyd, even without racial prejudice, were despicable.
Beyond words, I feel such deep sadness, and still don’t know what to say, no human being should ever...
I’ll leave you with this, in our polarized world, don’t “stand against” and strengthen the resentful and opposing opposition, instead work to minimize personal and broad prejudice by “standing for.”
I’m am with you if you are experiencing personal pain, and whether you like it or not, believe me or not, it changes nothing.
I sincerely care about you.