I don’t care if you voted for Trump. I don’t care if you voted for Obama. I don’t care if you have spent the last X number of years believing Xbox is superior to PlayStation. What I do care about is that you treat me like a human.
We can have a difference of opinion on things like; The best flavor of ice cream, if 9–11 was an inside job, or how Goku would stomp Superman. However, If we disagree on whether or not history matters, if my ancestors being “slaves” is relevant or if “racism” still exists, then we don’t have a “difference of opinion.”
See throughout my life; I have dealt with prejudice and racism. An example of which would be when someone got into an argument with me and chose to say, “I’ll hang you from a tree.” was that a racist statement, or were they just using gallows humor?
Whether you wanted it to or not, your skin color may have afforded you benefits or protections that mine has not. While those benefits may not seem real, think about this simple one. Flesh-colored bandaids didn’t exist for me till I was a young adult, however for some of you my age, they have always been there.
Now the argument has been made that “maybe the person just had a bad day” or “by using a race as a factor it removes the root issue.” Thing is you can’t pick and choose what to remove from the situation to make it fit the narrative in your head. If I, as the only person of color, was singled out, you can’t say it’s because my brightly colored shirt drew attention. That is just not how life works.
Yet that is the go-to for so many. Choosing to believe that privilege isn’t real or that people can’t possibly see skin pigment as a real differentiator between other people. That doesn’t make you racist. It just makes you ignorant of the situation. You don’t know or can’t see the forest for the trees as they say, while some of us will never be able to articulate our experiences. Some of you will refuse to listen, no matter how articulate we are.
Each and every one of us is a product of our experiences. Those experiences shape our opinions and mold our expectations of the world. They can lead to us being cynical and conspiratorial, or they can lead to us being compassionate and credulous. They are also a reason it will take time for us to understand one another, sincerely.
The best any of us can do in the meantime is keep reminding the others that regardless of our differences, we are not dogs, cats, horses, or mice. Each of us is a self-aware bundle of madness. Held together by compassion and driven by a curiosity of the unknown. We are all humans here.