Today, I plan to write to you personally, in a letter instead of an article.
After all that’s happened regarding the George Floyd murder (and for that matter, Ahmaud Arbery’s murder while on a jog in Georgia or for Breonna Taylor, when police raided her Louisville home), I am grieving. I can’t believe we are still in this mess. I know I must respond in a redemptive way. All leaders must respond in a redemptive way. I lived through the riots of 1968, the protests in the 1970s, the Rodney King riots in 1992, the Ferguson protests of 2014, and now what’s broken out in at least 140 cities in America. And there’s no resolve.
As a white male who can only imagine what my friends of color are experiencing, I’ve decided to – rather than offering advice – remain in a posture of listening. And reading. And watching. And learning.
Let me share with you some of the posts that have impacted me over the last few days:
1. Bernice King (daughter of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.) I met with Bernice some years ago and talked about her passion for the next generation. She has some wise counsel for us today. Here is her short speech: https://www.fox5atlanta.com/video/689452
2. Refinery29. “Your Black Colleagues May Look Like They’re OK—Chances Are They’re Not.” Here is the short article: https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/2020/05/9841376/black-trauma-george-floyd-dear-white-people
3. YouTube. This video required me to grab a Kleenex. It’s parents of color trying to explain to their kids how to deal with this situation: https://youtu.be/coryt8IZ-DE
What I do believe is this: It is not enough to be quietly non-racist. Now is the time to be vocally anti-racist. Let’s build bridges to those who are unlike us, not walls. I actually believe most of us want this—but perhaps are not sure how to do it.
I’d like to hear from you, since I am in a listening posture. Would you weigh in?