I wasn’t going to say anything. After all, what does a white, suburban woman have to contribute to the discussion on race in America? Probably not much. I know that, but I do have something to say.
If you made up your mind about Michael Brown’s death before you researched all the facts, you might be a racist.
And this goes equally for people on both sides of the issue.
A cop was attacked. A young man died. It’s a tragedy no matter how you look at it. And anger is a very appropriate reaction.
However, I’d bet good money that most people didn’t take the time to personally research the facts before they drew conclusions; they just reacted. Either they assumed the cop was in the right or they assumed he was in the wrong with very little effort made to understand the situation.
And that is also a tragedy.
Unfortunately, this characterizes much of our opinions about things. We’ve stopped listening to alternative points of view a long time ago. We’ve stopped listening altogether.
If anything good can come from this tragedy, I hope that real dialogue about race in America can finally take place. I hope people will stop pretending there is nothing wrong.
Mostly, I just hope that people will care about what’s going on in this country beyond their own neighborhoods. Care enough to listen to people who are different from themselves. Care beyond posting memes or tweets of righteous indignation. Care enough to consider the possibility that they may have something to learn.
All dialogue must start from a place of humility or we will get nowhere.
So, please pause and take the time to listen and become informed. Then draw your conclusions, if you must.
***Please like and share this post to help others see it. Follow me on Twitter @cynthiaaenglish and Facebook at www.facebook.com/cynthiaaenglishwriter. Subscribe to my blog by clicking on the link on the top right if you are on a PC or scroll to the bottom if you are on a mobile device. No spam, but you will be alerted when I post something new. Feel free to leave comments below.