West Side Highway

This past weekend I was up at my Alma mater, Sacred Heart University, where they were celebrating alumni weekend. It was great to see friends, professors and teammates I haven’t seen in a while and just catch up a little. I also really enjoyed the fact that our football team got their third consecutive victory over Marist College to remain undefeated.

While all of that was fun, I think the most memorable part of my trip was after I left Connecticut, and was headed back to NYC. I was accompanying my friend Nick who said he was driving back to the city, so I joined him. While on the Merritt Parkway, we talked about a multitude of things. You know, it was one of those times when you and a friend you haven’t seen in a while just talk about “Life” in general.

As we approached the CT/NY border, I remember the new Travis Scott album slightly being played in the background of our conversation. To be exact, the song “Through the Late Night” was on. (By the way that’s my favorite song on the album…I had the aux.)

Somehow we got on the Colin Kaepernick topic and the controversy surrounding him at the moment. We both shared our thoughts on the matter as we crept closer and closer to the city.

As we were approaching the West Side Highway, our dialogue dove right into the injustices going on in America and the racial division its brought to light. What I liked was the fact that Nick seemed intrigued about the topic and began to speak on it. He started by saying that he was aware of his white privilege, especially as a white male. It was surprising to hear him say that, but in a good way. He then gave me recent examples in which he knew he was treated differently then those of another race around him.

Without him saying it, I knew he was interested in hearing the other side of the spectrum. So I started by telling him that when I wake up every morning, I’m conscious of the fact that I’m a person of color (African American/ Mexican American). I explained to him that I’m aware of how some people in this country may perceive me regardless of never interacting with me personally.

I then gave him a little history lesson on maybe why these shootings in America have been happening for years and from there we began discussing possible solutions. As we finally pulled into the parking garage of his residence. I was happy.

I was happy he was comfortable enough to have this conversation with me. (Its a conversation I’ve had with most of my Caucasian friends) It shows me three things. One, they’re aware of whats going on in this country and they don’t want to be blind to it. Two, it allows them to hear my view on the situation. Since we’re friends, I hope they can be more conscious of injustices going on right in front of them in their everyday lives, with maybe our talk in the back of their minds. (Or front of their mind, whichever works) Third and finally, it allows me to share some history with them that wasn’t taught to us growing up. Yet it has had tremendous impact on the current state of our country.

We’re friends, we should be able to talk to each other about these things, regardless of race. Plus, at the end of the day, the only “race” that matters to me is the Human Race. What ever happened to that one?

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