Ian H. Solomon, Dean of the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy at the University of Virginia, author of the piece below, is the son of the late Linda Solomon, a long-time resident of Flagler County and the 2004 Flagler County Artist of the Year, who died in 2016. Until then, Ian Solomon was a frequent visitor to Palm Coast.
Today, again, I am overwhelmed with grief and rage.
I want to name the victims for whom I mourn and in whose names I seek justice. Names humanize and offer a face and a story and web of loving relationships, now extinguished. Names prevent us from being numbed by statistics or the anonymity of strangers.
So today, again, I honor Mr. George Floyd, Mr. Ahmaud Arbery, and Ms. Breonna Taylor. I honor their lives that ended too soon, pray for their families who will carry this grief for too long, and acknowledge their humanity as victims of an unjust system. May their memories be a blessing and an inspiration.
Of course, these victims were among the rare cases where the deaths were witnessed or caught on camera. A tragic irony is that by mentioning individual names, we both personalize our nation’s collective catastrophe and minimize it.
I also remember Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Laquan McDonald, Tamir Rice, and Trayvon Martin. I remember Walter Scott, Freddie Gray, Sandra Bland, Alton Sterling, Korryn Gaines, Deborah Danner, and Philando Castile. I remember Amadou Diallo. I remember Emmett Till. I remember so many that it is hard to remember anymore.
I also remember dozens of lesser-known names, and I remember the thousands of men and women and children whose names we never will know. I want to honor them all.
I remember my own brother, Sheldon Fredric Solomon, father of three, who died in 2011 at 47 years old — my age today — from a brain injury he received in police custody.
The dehumanization of black and brown people happens again and again and again and again and again and again… How many more unjust deaths must there be?
For the past several days, I have been speaking with students. These are my students, and I care deeply for every single one of them. Many of them — and particularly my students of color — are scared right now. They are angry. They are emotionally exhausted.
They are living through an extraordinary moment of history, with a global health pandemic, a calamitous economy, and military tanks in our streets. It is a moment of breathtaking national crises and conflict.
My students want to learn and serve. They had the courage to come to UVA after the Unite the Right White Supremacy rallies of August 2017. They came to develop their skills as ethical leaders and evidence-based policy makers. They came to tackle our critical public policy challenges and heal our democracy.
I want to give them hope to empower and inspire their future leadership. I want to protect their safety and their rights. I want to answer their questions. I want to comfort them. I want to assure them that the moral arc of the universe bends toward justice.
And yet there are moments when I find myself, as a black American man and the father of black teenaged sons, at a loss for words.
So, for now, I simply say to them what I say to my sons: “I believe in you. Please believe in yourselves.” Believe in the promise of this country. Believe in our human capacity to learn and change. Believe, like I do, that love is more natural and more contagious than hate even if it requires more patience, more passion, and more perseverance. Believe that we can overcome the past and together create a world where all people can thrive.
There is so much work to be done. Unspeakable violence and racism to undo. Empathy and understanding to cultivate. Healing and humanization to realize. So much work for us at the Batten School and UVA, in Charlottesville, and across this country and the world.
Yes, it is overwhelming at times. It is exhausting. It is unfair. But we will prevail because we must. We will do the hard work, have the hard conversations, make the hard choices, and support each other through hard times. I believe in you. Please believe in yourselves. Please believe in the power of us.
Day by day, protest by protest, vote by vote — it is my honor to join you in this struggle for a better world. We need each other now more than ever.
Before his tenure at the University of Virginia, Ian H. Solomon was nominated by President Obama and unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate to serve as the U.S. Executive Director for the World Bank Group from 2010 to 2013 after serving as Senior Advisor to U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and legislative counsel to Obama when he was a senator. Previously, Solomon was Associate Dean of the Yale Law School. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a non-resident Fellow on Africa for the Chicago Council of Global Affairs. He wrote the following today.
Where do we begin?
I understand the “knee to the neck” will be one of the 1st steps to ban in police training.
There are over 18,000 police departments with their own rules.
How can that happen?
The killing of Floyd was completely unjustified and I am sure his killer will get the sentence he deserves. But I wonder if anyone on here knows the real George Floyd…the one that was involved in the home invasion in which he held a gun to the abdomen of an 8 month pregnant female. He had a laundry list on convictions but that was the most disturbing crime he was involved in. He didn’t deserve to die in that situation but make no mistake, this was not a good man.
This is bigger than George Floyd, and why do we have to villainize very Black person that dies, he changed his life did you read that when you were looking for things to slander his name. There are a lot of people who are not good, your rhetoric is part of the problem. George Floyd’s murder was a tipping point and if you cant see that your lost.
CB from PC says
The criminals are the problem.
Cops or Civilians. Anyone who wants a just and equitable society where EVERYONE can succeed needs to understand that anarchy and lawlessness by either the cops or citizens is going to cause failure.
The calls to dismantle the police force while civilian criminals exist is no solution
It makes more sense to overhaul the Court and Judicial system which keeps releasing Felons who have been convicted multiple times. The current way sure is not working to deter crime.
I will agree with you that there are a lot of people who are not good. But when bad actions break the law, it is a different ballgame.
Just take the word black, white, or Asian out of the equation. A villain is a villain is a villian. What happened to George Floyd was wrong. At many points in the whole process of his arrest things could have been done differently; by Mr. Floyd, by the police and even by the bystanders. Unfortunately no one there was willing to risk themselves to put a stop to what was going on. (one of the police officers did verbally try to effect some change) Regardless of the color of his or their skin someone should have tried to help.
If you view the ENTIRE police tape that records George Floyd’s arrest from start to finish, you will see that he was at first instructed to put his hands behind his back before being cuffed, which he did, after which he backed up against a brick wall, crouched and slid down to a sitting position while dropping a small white packet underneath him to the ground. George Floyd was found, upon autopsy, to be intoxicated with a combination of Fentanyl, Methamphetamine and Cocaine. He was known drug user and, in years past, had been involved in the drug trade in other ways as well. He also went to prison and then was released on the robbery and battery charges mentioned previously. He was well known as a repeat offender on the streets. It appears, from reports, that he had made valiant attempts to turn his life around but apparently had relapsed and was having problems sustaining his recovery. None of George Floyd’s history justifies anyone kneeling on his neck, not for one minute let alone seven.
There is no excuse for anyone kneeling on the neck of any human being who is begging for their life, saying repeatedly that they can’t breathe, that they feel like they are dying and are calling out for their mother. Two of the “observing” cops were new recruits (one had been on the force for about a week and another for about four weeks), both of whom reportedly had made comments to Chauvin–who, apparently, was the supervisory cop in charge–about getting off the Floyd’s neck and putting him on his stomach, as they feared he might be suffering from “Delerium.” Apparently also, the shop owner who had called the cops to begin with, had talked about George allegedly passing “counterfeit bills”–but that neighborhood in particular was known to have been plagued recently with a rash of counterfeit bills. Whatever else the shop owner may have stated in his call to the cops is unclear. There are accounts about some witnesses stating that George Floyd seemed to be under the influence, which, it would seem to me, would caution anybody with any sense to NOT kneel or compress his neck or spine in any way, since his nervous system may have already been depressed or messed up by whatever drug he might have ingested.
To make things even more tragic, George Floyd tested positive for COVID-19–although, to what degree this may have effected his health and/or immune system and/or blood vessel functioning, is a matter of conjecture, at this point. I suspect that there will conflicting testimonies from different “Forensic Pathologists” about all that at trial.
The person I feel most actively sorry for, at this point is George Floyd’s six year old daughter, who has already been pushed in the front of the cameras for maximum effect, by her grieving mother–with Mom’s attorney hovering in the background.
Thank you for such a great and poignant oped. And I also thank you for NOT mentioning Black Lives Matter. I am so FED up & sick and tired of hearing about Black Lives Matter.
Frankly as a Christian I believe that ALL LIVES MATTER! And now I recently discovered that major name brands are donating millions of dollars to the BLM for their cause. What about donating to the families of the four law enforcement officers who lost their lives by the hands of members of the radical ANTIFA group who have raped the BLM cause? What about helping the hundreds of businesses across this country that have been looted, burned to the ground and ravaged by these radical terrorists groups?
CB from PC says
I too am overwhelmed with grief and rage as I see the aftermath of 10 days of destruction and looting of small minority owned and corporate businesses who served the citizens of their communities.
The “outsiders” will be gone, and those dependent on the jobs and goods and services provided by these businesses will have nothing.
Once again, the people who can least afford to lose, are left with the destroyed neighborhoods.
If you want to cease being a victim of the racism which you say exists, then it is up to each person to take advantage of education, scholarships, preferential hiring corporate and government programs.
A better life starts with you.
BTW, if there is any “white privilege”, I have yet to personally experience it.
The economic success engine uses the same fuel regardless of race.
You are part of the problem, do you realize that certain groups were able to invest millions of dollars in profit off of free labor; slavery. And after that those slaves were denied the right to the very things that would put them in the positions of wealth and power. Your lazy ass ancestors who thought Africans were dumb because of a different language and culture are to blame, perhaps they should have worked their own land. After slavery for hundreds of years blacks were denied the basic things that could help them grow economically, education, land, voting rights, etc etc etc. This is the part that is forgotten by “you people”. The whole world sees a problem and you don’t. Did you not see the riot agitators and police damaging and burning their own vehicles. It must be nice to put blinders on, there are millions of peaceful protests but yet and still you choose to focus on the small percent that are using this as an opportunity to commit violence.
You are part of the problem. If you continue to look at something that ended 150 yrs ago as an excuse for where people are today. Slavery was officially abolished on December 18, 1865. And your attitude of talking about “you people” and “lazy ass ancestors” is a racist comment as you cry racism. Not everyone owned slaves. Some of the “you people” your talking about had ancestors
that fought for the freedom of enslaved people. Like it or not its how the republican party was started. (The downfall of the old whig party over the Kansas – Nebraska Act) Out of that the
All new northern republican party was born. Truth is every single person in this country has the same opportunities as the next and they have for quite some time now. If you choose not to take advantage of the education offered to you then you have no one but yourself to blame, same as any person of any race. It is not the fault of slave owners from 155 yrs ago, and no one here and now owes anyone anything regardless of the color of their skin. Our lives are what we make them. The fact that people who were slaves had no education, or were denied basic things that could have put them in a position of wealth and power is not the reason you dont have it now. Lots of african americans have lead very successful lives by wanting better for themselves, taking advantage of what is offered to them and every other person in the country, and fighting to get it. They didnt sit back and wait for it to be haned to them because they felt they were owed something. You talk about slaves being denied all these things for hundreds of yrs after slavery ended, you must know it hasnt been hundreds of yrs its been 155 yrs. You want to talk about it but its almost as if you dont even know your own history. BLM is nothing but a bunch of crap. Every single life on this earth matters and not one is more important then the other. Everytime something like this happens all you here is BLM. Why is that? Black lives in africa, children especially are taken everyday from starvation no one says anything about that, black lives taken everyday by other black people in places like detroit no BLM being heard over that. Does it only matter when its a black life lost at the hand of someone of a diffrent race? Its ridiculous. George Floyd was killed by an officer of the law and it was a disgrace. Those officers deserve to pay for that, but not because Mr. Floyd was black, because he was a human being.
George Floyd was not a gentile giant as the media has tried to paint him. He was a criminal with a very long history of violent crime, drug crime and usage, and thats not painting him as a villian thats just the truth. Im sick of hearing he was turning his life around, you are blind if you cant see the issue with that statement. The man has been involved in drugs going back many yrs and had fentayl, methamphetamines, and marijuana in his system on the day he died. He didnt really change anything he was involved with police that day because he commited yet another crime. Maybe he tried to turn his life around maybe he didnt, truth is we will never know for sure, but in the end he didnt turn his life around and was not living the life of a law abiding citizen. None of that makes what those officers did ok and he certainly did not deserve to lose his life over it.
You want racism to end, stop talking about it. And in case your wondering a black man said that. Everytime you talk about it you keep it alive.
Tired of Jenn says
You obviously didn’t read what I wrote as to why we are where we are. I didn’t say anyone owes anything. And it is a fact that people who owned slaves were lazy, sorry. They thought that native Africans speaking a different language made them less than. Read a book. If you think racism will end by not speaking of it tells me a lot. The entire world is protesting something and you still don’t get it. So lets agree to disagree.
Are those things denied now?
Amazing, how many of the same people who who are talking about slavery in America like it was yesterday and how reparations need to be handed over immediately–most of it by people whose ancestors weren’t anywhere NEAR America at the time in question–are the same people who say Jews should just get over Holocaust already (because it was just a blip on the radar screen and it happened sooooo long ago.) Peope of Color are also pointing their fingers at others–selective groups of others– and screaming, “YOU PEOPLE!” So, what is the RATIONAL solution? Defunding law enforcement or abolishing it altogether–which is what some “activists” are now proposing–is throwing out the baby with the bath water to the inth degree–it will negatively impact the poorest and most at-risk neighborhoods the most. So, what do these social justice geniuses propose we do now? “Oh, let’s let the social workers handle it”…without any police back-up–let them handle all the calls that come in regarding domestic violence and the drug trade and every violent confrontation taking place on the street. That way, when they inevitably fail and/or try to defend THEIR lives so that maybe THEY have a chance to get home to THEIR families with THEIR skins intact at the end of the–we can sue/blame them.
How about this? How about if the residents of all these communities, who feel that “the system” has failed them, step up to the plate and start policing themselves and dealing with their own problems, which include drugs (Buying, selling and using), domestic violence, crime, various and sundry forms of violence, some of it perpetrated by very out of control individuals who have no behavioral or moral compass whatsoever. Let them rise to meet these challenge–and not make excuses for themselves while doing it and not minding other people criticizing them for the way they are trying to accomplish it. I sincerely wish them luck because they are going need it.
Sheila Zinkerman says
It is bad faith not to acknowledge that white privilege exists in our daily lives. To better understand how whites benefit from white privilege, Peggy McIntosh authored 50 Daily Effects of White Privilege that whites’ cash in on – often unacknowledged -every single day. To end racial injustice white Americans must first stop lying to themselves and acknowledge the fact that white privilege exists.
What put Floyd into the situation that would have the cop pull him out of the car and do what he did????????????
Pierre Tristam says
Ah yes, spoken like Judge John Russo Jr., who wondered to a victim’s face, in court, why she didn’t close her legs to prevent a rape. Lucky for Judge Russo, the New Jersey Supreme Court removed him. Unlucky for us, attila keeps commenting.
Amen to that. Sometimes I wish it was as easy as hitting the mute button on these things… smh Whats wrong with people?
The cops could have thought his weaknesses made him a “viable” target for their violence and they could get away with it.
This is a FACT:
Chauvin had 18 prior complaints filed against him with the Minneapolis Police Department’s Internal Affairs.
Tou Thao had six complaints filed with Minneapolis Police Department’s internal affairs
This is a FACT: Why didn’t the Democrat-run city administration do something about it?
Then his supervisors should be held to account also!
If “you” are not part of the solution, “you” are part of the problem!
How is it that so many somehow cannot comprehend that being fortunate enough to be born with “white” skin has “automatically” elevated your existence above people of color in our fundamentally racist culture and society?
Economic engines using the same fuel. . . OMG what malarky! Just another way of “Blaming the Victims” and saying “pull yourself up by your boot straps” to someone who lives in bare feet. Obviously, you don’t even try to have a clue about what it’s like to live your entire life surrounded by those that immediately and automatically judge you as “INFERIOR” and possibly dangerous by just seeing the color of your skin.
None of us with “white” skin knows what it feels like to live in quaking fear of those whose job it is to “protect and serve”. Why don’t you get it that people of color can only take the chance of calling the police for assistance in the most extreme emergencies?
Although I have be fortunate enough to travel extensively in countries where my “white” skin set me apart as a minority. . . I only have a tiny sliver of the feeling that trepidation brings. After all, I’m a privileged white American who can always “escape” to the security and safety of my home country and comfort of my house. I have only “visited” that fear, that insecurity, that lack of control. But, at least I have briefly touched it and do make an effort to intellectually understand it.
OK. . . if you have read this far, good on you. Time to turn on the comfort fear and hate of FOX.
I don’t believe there’s anything called white privilege. I believe it’s a made up term by social justice warriors a.k.a. little socialist’s in training. AKA Communist. What I do believe is Mr. Floyd should NOT have died. Police brutality runs rampant, an has since I was born. Yes even within the white community. It’s just not hammered into your head on television it’s not part of the agenda. Look up the statistics. Let internal affairs do their job. Tons of great police officers out there. Please don’t buy into the propaganda and indoctrination. They want to cause a civil war. Who are they? Billionaires, they want Control. They probably combed the news over and over and over again looking for a story to start a fight. What is it for people that own all the new stations. Do away with the police, anarchy will rain. There will be a Civil War, and then the military will come in. Your guns will be taken, and you will be a slave to the System.
If you live, that’s part of the agenda as well, Population control. Please look at the whole picture before commenting and adding to the confusion. It’s a chess game, they are 20 steps ahead. What would the outcome be if they did away with the police? A military state! As to the list that I read below. I have experienced all those things as a white woman.. I will not apologize for the color of my skin. I will never fall on my knees and beg for forgiveness for something I did not do. I believe the Bible even says you’re not supposed to bow before any man. I view all people as Americans not as individual races. I treat everybody with respect, I don’t care much for Democrats. Only because it’s very difficult to have a conversation with them. You have to look outside the box, you have to look at the world. Hatred, fear, have always been used to heard people into submission. They want a Civil War to bring in the military. Guaranteed it won’t be ours. While I am on my soapbox. I don’t believe there should be a wall either, their fencing us in. They’re making people scream for the wall, it’s just a fence that we won’t be able to get out of. Think outside the box people
Ian, a truly lovely sentiment. Thank You!
Unfortunately and sadly, your words are lost on many in this particular community.
Randy Jones says
I also am overwhelmed with grief that neither the City of Palm Coast nor the County of Flagler have an event on their calendar for 6/6/2020 to memorialize those AMERICANS who gave their lives on D-Day, 6/6/44. It seems the lives of those AMERICANS (and all of our allies) who died on the beaches of Normandy do not matter.
And what about trump who says there are “fine people” marching in the streets of America – today – with nazi swastika battle flags identical to those of the killers of all whom fell on D-day? And what about trump who spurns the allies who bled with us – while kissing the ass of putin, kim jung-un, et al?
Mike Cocchiola says
I am outraged by the reaction of some people who consider themselves good Christian Trump followers and then blame the victims for their own murder. I expect they also believe that Black Africans captured and sold their own people into slavery and thus are really to blame for 400 years of retched abuse of Blacks in America. Or that slavery was the best thing for these enslaved people because at least they were fed once in a while and really loved their masters. Or that if Blacks today were to just stop complaining, work harder, stop killing each other, and follow police orders they’d have all the wealth and privileges of whites.
This time those conservative tropes won’t work. This time we all had better listen and learn.
Weldon B. Ryan says
Richard & CB- It is so exhausting trying to explain to self obsorbed, privileged, racist people that the problem with racism exists. Frankly this is the problem. You’re the problem! Americans that think like you are the problem! How is it that Senetor Rick Scott, and Orange man Trump despite the years of criminal activity including fraud and pediphilia, and rape by Trump and the largest Medicare scam by Scott, did you overlook their criminal activity and participate in voting for them. No one condones looting and smash and grab but quite honestly the money syphonned from black, brown and poor neighbornhoods both by Corporate America and the Justice system is looting. Being forced to work in meat packing plants that has a shitload of covid cases with the choice of risk to you health or loss of jobs is violence. These things are criminal but you choose to love your white privilege and pass judgement with accepting and administering death sentences just like George Floyd’s killers. No lives matter until black lives matter because loving your live alone isn’t enough! It’s selfesh!
Nothing COPS hate worst is a dirty COP. Chauvin was one of the worst.
Ahhhh Yes. . . .Attila. . . a word synonymous with all things vile . . . rage, hate, murder, oppression, racism. . . . seems accurate here.
It’s interesting how people blame the person who was murdered here.
really interesting and really disturbing.
If you have white skin and you still say that you are NOT privileged simply because of your race, take a couple of minutes to really think about this introspective list from Peggy McIntosh, an Associate Director at Wellesley college. Maybe, just maybe you will be helped with your understanding of the root differenences in our life experiences and opportunities from those who do not have white skin:
1. I can if I wish arrange to be in the company of people of my race most of the time.
2. I can avoid spending time with people whom I was trained to mistrust and who have learned to
mistrust my kind or me.
3. If I should need to move, I can be pretty sure of renting or purchasing housing in an area which I can
afford and in which I would want to live.
4. I can be pretty sure that my neighbors in such a location will be neutral or pleasant to me.
5. I can go shopping alone most of the time, pretty well assured that I will not be followed or harassed.
6. I can turn on the television or open to the front page of the paper and see people of my race widely
7. When I am told about our national heritage or about “civilization,” I am shown that people of my
color made it what it is.
8. I can be sure that my children will be given curricular materials that testify to the existence of their
9. If I want to, I can be pretty sure of finding a publisher for this piece on white privilege.
10. I can be pretty sure of having my voice heard in a group in which I am the only member of my race.
11. I can be casual about whether or not to listen to another person’s voice in a group in which s/he is the
only member of his/her race.
12. I can go into a music shop and count on finding the music of my race represented, into a supermarket
and find the staple foods which fit with my cultural traditions, into a hairdresser’s shop and find
someone who can cut my hair.
13. Whether I use checks, credit cards or cash, I can count on my skin color not to work against the
appearance of financial reliability.
14. I can arrange to protect my children most of the time from people who might not like them.
15. I do not have to educate my children to be aware of systemic racism for their own daily physical
16. I can be pretty sure that my children’s teachers and employers will tolerate them if they fit school and
workplace norms; my chief worries about them do not concern others’ attitudes toward their race.
17. I can talk with my mouth full and not have people put this down to my color.
18. I can swear, or dress in second hand clothes, or not answer letters, without having people attribute
these choices to the bad morals, the poverty or the illiteracy of my race.
19. I can speak in public to a powerful male group without putting my race on trial.
20. I can do well in a challenging situation without being called a credit to my race.
21. I am never asked to speak for all the people of my racial group.
22. I can remain oblivious of the language and customs of persons of color who constitute the world’s
majority without feeling in my culture any penalty for such oblivion.
23. I can criticize our government and talk about how much I fear its policies and behavior without
being seen as a cultural outsider.
24. I can be pretty sure that if I ask to talk to the “person in charge”, I will be facing a person of my race.
25. If a traffic cop pulls me over or if the IRS audits my tax return, I can be sure I haven’t been singled
out because of my race.
26. I can easily buy posters, post-cards, picture books, greeting cards, dolls, toys and children’s
magazines featuring people of my race.
27. I can go home from most meetings of organizations I belong to feeling somewhat tied in, rather than
isolated, out-of-place, outnumbered, unheard, held at a distance or feared.
28. I can be pretty sure that an argument with a colleague of another race is more likely to jeopardize
her/his chances for advancement than to jeopardize mine.
29. I can be pretty sure that if I argue for the promotion of a person of another race, or a program
centering on race, this is not likely to cost me heavily within my present setting, even if my colleagues
disagree with me.
30. If I declare there is a racial issue at hand, or there isn’t a racial issue at hand, my race will lend me more credibility for either position than a person of color will have.
31. I can choose to ignore developments in minority writing and minority activist programs, or disparage
them, or learn from them, but in any case, I can find ways to be more or less protected from negative
consequences of any of these choices.
32. My culture gives me little fear about ignoring the perspectives and powers of people of other races.
33. I am not made acutely aware that my shape, bearing or body odor will be taken as a reflection on my
34. I can worry about racism without being seen as self-interested or self-seeking.
35. I can take a job with an affirmative action employer without having my co-workers on the job
suspect that I got it because of my race.
36. If my day, week or year is going badly, I need not ask of each negative episode or situation whether
it had racial overtones.
37. I can be pretty sure of finding people who would be willing to talk with me and advise me about my
next steps, professionally.
38. I can think over many options, social, political, imaginative or professional, without asking whether
a person of my race would be accepted or allowed to do what I want to do.
39. I can be late to a meeting without having the lateness reflect on my race.
40. I can choose public accommodation without fearing that people of my race cannot get in or will be
mistreated in the places I have chosen.
41. I can be sure that if I need legal or medical help, my race will not work against me.
42. I can arrange my activities so that I will never have to experience feelings of rejection owing to my
43. If I have low credibility as a leader I can be sure that my race is not the problem.
44. I can easily find academic courses and institutions which give attention only to people of my race.
45. I can expect figurative language and imagery in all of the arts to testify to experiences of my race.
46. I can chose blemish cover or bandages in “flesh” color and have them more or less match my skin.
47. I can travel alone or with my spouse without expecting embarrassment or hostility in those who deal with us.
48. I have no difficulty finding neighborhoods where people approve of our household.
49. My children are given texts and classes which implicitly support our kind of family unit and do not
turn them against my choice of domestic partnership.
50. I will feel welcomed and “normal” in the usual walks of public life, institutional and social.
Trailer Bob says
Wow…seems some people have too much time on their hands. Most of us get it already. What seems wrong is that anytime I have contact with a person of color, either in my neighborhood or in town, there is no problem. I go to bars that have regular customers who are black and we all seem to get along fine. We all have our own personality, careers, situation, but at the end of the day we just sip on some beers and talk small talk about sports, weather, whatever.
I am sorry, or maybe not, that I do not live in the same world some of you do. Too many people judge others, perhaps by the color of their skin, but I see everyone as being inside that skin…inside is where we are all the same. We all have the same internal organs, heart, lungs, brains, etc.
Reading some of these comments actually makes me feel that some of you are actually more racist than you would ever imagine.
Talk is cheap…very cheap. How about practicing what you all are preaching instead of constantly writing about it.
The more some of you write about just how perfect you are, the more I doubt it.
Move on and be real. Stop patting yourselves on the back for doing the right thing.
Thanks Shelia Zinkerman!
Just sent this to a friend in the UK to help her understand:
Unfortunately, under the trump administration, racism has gotten worse in the US. So, Peggy McIntosh’s list is even more valid. For example, segregation is subtly returning to schools. Children of color are more and more relegated to “public” schools, while white children, of even modest means, are moved to (what was private schools) “charter” and “religious” schools. . . and, much of the money that funded “public” schools in the past is now being shifted to what use to be those private schools. That is just the tip of the iceberg!
My basic opinion about all of this is that unless and until all lives are treasured “Equally”, those who are oppressed and discriminated against have a human right to push against that oppression. Yes, of course those (in the vast “minority”) who act out in a violent and criminal way should be held legally accountable.
George Floyd “paid his dues” to society over ten years ago. His life was just as precious to his loved ones as ours, and his human rights should not be diminished because of his failures. “Judging” the value of any human life is for the legal system, and a higher power. He was “murdered” horrifically by those in power, and whose job it is to “serve and protect” ALL people.
Simply because all kinds of injustices/slavery are prevalent around the world should not excuse them at all. An evolving civilization must be vigilant in striving for equality, justice and human rights. Domination over others, and the core belief that some races are “superior” to others is the root cause of injustice and inequality.
Understanding and appreciating our great fortune in being born with white skin, in first world countries, is fundamental in creating a balanced perspective on this issue. There but for the grace of a higher power goes each one of us. We should, at the very least, try to intellectually conceive of what it must be like to be born into a race that is so negatively judged, at every turn, as “inferior” in almost every way, merely because of the color of our skin. We are all brother and sisters, as human beings. I dream of the day we will start treating one another that way. I have zero confidence that I will experience that before I die.
…Except, Sherry, George Floyd was found, at autopsy, to be under the influence of various illegal substances at the time of his death, including Cocaine and Methamphetamines. So, while he may have “paid his debt to society” by serving out a prior prison sentence for armed robbery, he was, tragically, losing his fight against addiction. I wish that the society around him–Black and White, familial and not, could have helped him a little more with that struggle.
You are over-simplifying this situation as much as anybody else, who espouses a different political perspective, is. That is the biggest shame–because the deep-rooted issues we should all be dealing with, as all too fallible and vulnerable HUMAN BEINGS, are in danger of being, once again, lost in the shuffle.