Why You Can’t Understand What Black Americans Are Going Through
Clay Rivers

Maybe if you didn’t worry about it so much, others would’t either. I noticed that when I was not dressed properly or when whe I ventured into cultural surroundings that were different than my own, the more I acted self conscious, the more others picked up the vibe. What you are talking about is when it is working the other way and you do not think you are putting out the I am different vibe….maybe you are! Once you get in the comfort zone, things seem to go easier all the way around and everyone stops factoring in color. To put it in perspective, a working buddy of mine [who many considered a bit of a miscreant at work, but was a truly smart and motivated guy] were having a conversation [late 1960's] and I made a comment that could have been construed as a bit racially harsh and I asked him if that was insensitive….his response was [as he laughed], “hell no, how could I be insulted, you forgot I was Black! How cool is that.” In other words, our conversations were between two guys and color did not enter the equation as it did with other coworkers. I think that openness & a sense of humor is what is needed vs this over sensitivity to move this understanding of the races forward.

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