One of my Facebook friends is a guy I graduated high school with [My class had 1200 students]. Though not really a friend, I would not have imagined that I would need to school him [and some of his FB friends] in this manner.
I don’t begrudge this time and energy. These troubling times call for more communication and if possible, more education to allow people to see divergent views. It becomes trying when people with divergent views stonewall or refuse to reconsider alternative views. Many people don’t understand why African-American people are angry. The same people say that white privilege doesn’t exist. Self-awareness is a very needed trait that one should cultivate with earnestness. This was an interaction that I was afraid might go south. Gratefully, it appeared to go well.
Friend: So they’re going to make the Indians and the Redskins team names go away. Great news! Communities of color haven’t a leg up like this since the OJ verdict. Oh, I read where our homes no longer have master bedrooms but instead have executive suites.
Author: You’re really good at the trolling commentary; do you have any solutions??
Friend 2 : Do you think we’ll have to rename Indiana? Where does it stop? When anyone can deem literally anything as offensive, where does it stop? What are your suggestions Guy?
Author: Don’t be obtuse! Some people have taken some liberties and taken lives doing what they wanted and now, protesting against that is offensive? I think not! Re-naming Indiana wouldn’t hurt. You can start by looking at the past and imagine how you would feel to be an indigenous man i.e. native American, or an enslaved African-American, or even an early immigrant Irish or Chinese. How would you like to be treated? What would you like your heritage to be for your children?
Friend 2: I appreciate you engaging with me on this, but I’m just not capable of seeing this the same way.
Author: Unfortunately there are too many likewise close-minded
Friend 2: If you honestly feel that changing a baseball team name or the name of a syrup, or banning a Dukes of Hazzard lunchbox is mission critical to a better America, then I will 100% re-evaluate my stance. I’m not a closed minded guy like you claim, but I can understand how my comments may have sounded that way.
Author: Then you also understand that symbolic change is not going to be sufficient; substantive change is needed to level the playing field for all. That’s where we’re going and we’ve already been waiting in this country 400 years.
Friend 2: What would it take to “level the playing field” in your eyes? What specifically?
Author: No discrimination in lending, hiring, college admissions, contract assignment, etc. No discrimination! Eliminating white privilege would be good too! Level field
Author: By the way, help for nonwhite kids to matriculate through high school and college would be good too!
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