Sunday February 23, 2014
I have written much about racism because it worries me. If a police officer or random citizen feels that I look threatening I can lose my life. What’s worse is that the people I’d leave behind would have to be part of the media circus which will try to blame me for my own murder. (Perhaps I was wearing Timberland boots or a hoodie or I looked like a guy who stole the offenders lunch money in the 5th grade.)
When I write about racism I do not express my outrage at having to live in fear. If just by looking as I look, I scare people, imagine if I vented my fears, frustrations and concerns aloud? The fact is that in order for us to talk I have to suppress quite often how I feel.
My main burden in writing on this subject is: ‘How do you discuss something that enough people believe doesn’t exist?’ To answer, you have to always be on the defensive. Arm yourself with statistics, historical references, studies and facts. That is the only way I’ve found that people might consider that what you say may have an inkling of validity.
Steven Hawkings quote summarizes my experiences thus far . He says: ‘The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.’ We often talk about having a discussion, but how many of us have prepared ourselves to talk intelligently about this issue? There is much I do not know and need to learn. But instead of learning and interacting with other, I spend the majority of my time and effort to get heard. Meanwhile innocent people are getting killed or beaten. we are all responsible. We have no idea how to talk to each other; we let our discomfort keep us apart.
We do not talk—we bludgeon one another with facts and theories gleaned from cursory readings of newspapers, magazines and digests. Henry Miller (1891-1980)
At the end of the day I am part of both society and global culture that feeds off the systematic abuse of life, human life, nature etc. I accept that and it’s my complicity that prompts me to write and continue to do so. I’m lucky though; I have found many open-minded readers. But that doesn’t make my involvement easier to swallow.