My View of You...Through My Blue Eyes
An Open Letter to Black People From A White Guy:
Before I begin, I want you to understand that I do not race hate. I love all races. That being said, I strive to usher in an era of peace and love between all people. I don’t have national or international influence (yet) but I do have influence within my own sphere of the world. My purpose for writing this is not to divide or cause strife but to bring understanding. Understanding precedes healing. Now…. Let’s do this.
Dear Black People,
I first want to say that I am sorry. I am sorry for everything that has happened since the beginning of history. As far back as my books go, it is clear that there has been a divide. White and black have never mixed. They have never been seen as equal and nobody can pretend like they have been. I am sorry for the events over the past 2 weeks. I am sorry that you have to constantly worry about your kids coming home and I am sorry that the very people paid to protect and serve are the very ones hurting and killing. I am sorry that you have to deal with prejudice and racism on a day to day basis. I am sorry that most white people will never understand the hurt and the pain you feel. I am sorry for the lack of sympathy from white people. I am simply sorry.
There has never been a time where I can remember not liking someone because of the color of their skin. So I don’t know how to help other people that suffer from that “spirit of racism.” It isn’t something I am familiar with so I have no idea how to overcome it. There is no quick fix or magic trick that can change a person’s beliefs on a whole group of people. No amount of open discussions or forums or even protests and rallies will ever change a prejudice person’s opinion on black people. Racism is a learned behavior. You aren’t born racist. So that let’s me know that it can be unlearned. Unfortunately, even if every black man in America dresses like Steve Harvey and acts like Will Smith, there will still be racism. I find it appalling that white people would even suggest that “black people need to pull up their pants” or “become better educated” like that would actually change their personal prejudice. As if your outlook on an entire group of people is based on their educational level and the way they wear their clothes.
Why should any group have to change to fit your standards for how they should move, act, talk, and think? They shouldn’t. We wake up every day and turn on our TV’s to be fed the lies that black people are bad and black men are thugs and black women are feeding off the system. Think I’m lying? Turn on FOX News for a few minutes. Matter of fact, you can turn on any crime show. There is always one black cop/detective and every other black person on the show is shown as a thug. White people receive these images of black people daily. So no, changing how you look won’t help because the media decides how we view you.
We have gotten to a place where we love what you bring to the table, we just don’t want you to eat with us. We want you to bring your soulful voices to the dinner, just don’t think about sitting down. Please, bring your music and dance moves, just don’t grab a plate. You are invited to come watch us eat, as long as you bring your jokes and funny comedy shows. We are at a place where black people have become great entertainment and we like you as long as you are on the television or the radio. But please, we don’t want to see you in the same neighborhood. Don’t even think about coming to my bank or eating in the same restaurant.
The lie is that black people can only come from single parent homes. That they can only have low paying jobs. That they can only be drug dealers or in jail. That there is very little worth contributed to your life. I get excited when I see black people DESTROYING the stereotypes they have been placed in. When I see them breaking out of the boxes of oppression and crossing the parameters of where white people say they should be. By all means: open businesses, get that degree, get rich, and help others out of the same cycle they have been trapped in by the hands of white people. Break the cycle and break the stereotypes.
There is no tried and true method to conquer a system that is created to destroy, oppress, and hold you down. It has never been done before. I can’t propose a vision just yet. I can’t lay out a plan yet. My desire is to be able to go in and fix the issues and make life fair for every black person in America. If I could, I would.
What I can say is don’t lose your pride. Don’t lose your confidence. Don’t let media tell you that your black isn’t a gift from God or that your hair isn’t beautiful. Don’t allow white people’s perception to move you to a place where you feel inadequate. God saw fit to place you on this Earth and to bless you with a little extra melanin. You are smart. You are successful. You are strong. You are a gift.
I know this won’t mean much to some of you and it will mean the world to others. I just want you to know that at least one white person sees your worth. I see your pain. Although I can never fully understand your struggle, I sympathize with your pain. Above all, I am sorry.
A Sympathetic White Guy