The Caucasian Response
I was at Walmart yesterday with an African companion and we strolled form section to section picking up the things I needed. I guess we seemed nice and friendly. We were at the self checkout point and a caucasian lady walked up to us. She had lovely silver hair and seemed to be in her 50s or 60s.
She said hi and then she said “I just want you lovely people to know that I stand with you and you belong here as well. Your lives matter.” I was a bit taken aback and frankly I was speechless. I recovered and said “thank you” and as she walked away I said “have a great day” and she said thank you.
I haven’t been able to process her approach and motivation but I do understand that she wanted to do something about the current elephant in the room. She felt like she needed to act. She wanted to be on the good side. I completely understand that. I did also realize that she wasn't completely sure how to behave or act at this time.
Here are a few things you can do:
- Read: there are lots of books about black people. Read history books about Africans, read about the slave trade, read about Apartheid! There is so much to read. There are fiction and non-fiction texts. Read history books, Encyclopaedias, Black Skin, White Masks, and Wretched of the Earth. If you prefer fiction read books like Kindred, Beloved, Roots and Cry the Beloved Country. These are books I have read. If I know American, European, Canadian, and African History not based off of a curriculum then you can too.
- Watch Documentaries and Movies: if you pay attention you can find pictures on racism and the black condition everywhere! I remember watching movies like Amistad, and Roots, as early as five years old. I remember watching Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner and understanding that there was a problem with the lady’s family the way they treated her man. Yes, as early as at five years old, I knew parts of the history of the black experience. There’s Twelve Years a Slave and you can watch 13th on Netflix!
- Interact with Black Folk/Others: lots of people do not know the difference between Africa being a country and Africa as a continent. Here’s a tip: Africa is a continent. I certainly don't understand the lived experience of most Africans because there are several countries in Africa and several cultures/tribes within each country, and state. Black Americans are different from Africans and have a history that is devastating. There is so much to learn and you can only learn if you widen your horizon and interact with more people. P.S: not as experiments but as people that you want to befriend and eventually understand. Your circle should not be limited to now only include black people but Asians, Europeans … everyone that you come in contact with and that you can be kind to.
- Update your knowledge/information frequently: being current with the affairs around the world certainly opens your eyes to the situation of things. I suggest listening to podcasts, radio, and television shows like The Daily Show with Trevor Noah (He is absolutely brilliant and I’ve loved his ability to articlutae and analyze issues since he did comedy in South Africa), The Breakfast Club, and there are so many out there that can help you stay informed. You don’t have to agree with everything said (I certainly disagree with Trevor sometimes) but being informed is essential.
- Join and have the conversation: I have a friend that mentioned that her brother and parents were rascist. I know a person that could not introduce me to their parents because they felt awkward and probably didn’t want them to know they were good friends with a black person. Having conversations with other Caucasians about their understanding of the situation of things and their experiences would be great for you and those you interact with frequently.
The best thing you can do for yourself and others is to be enlightened and react from a place of love.
Proverbs 18: 15
An intelligent heart acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.
2 Timothy 2:15
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
Ignorance is no excuse, no matter what race we may be. Read the Bible and read the situation we’re in right now. The Bible has the answer but don’t be caught slippin.
Thank you for reading this. Please clap and share. Thank you!