All I can say is, thank you, for getting it. In this brief moment, I don’t feel like I’m crazy, over sensitive, “angry black male” (something that has rarely been ascribed to me, personally), or “taking what they said out of context.” In this moment you’ve created, I felt heard and seen.
The difficulty that you alluded to is, “what now”. Where do we go from here. For well meaning European Americans, I think this is the problem is (as they’ve said to me) “I try my best not to be racist but it never seems to be right.“ Many SJW’s call it out whenever they witness it and to others seem to be more offended than those who were mistreated. Others, sometimes make a clumsy misguided attempt to help but end up making this worse. This makes others watching, wary to take a stand even when there’s an obvious wrong.
Obviously, silence can’t be the answer. What happened in your meeting room and re-casted on Blackish was a rare, but fortunate. interaction. People left changed but not sure what to do next. I wish I had the answer.
Two things I might share that might help are 1). Thanks for seeing and hearing me, 2) Don’t let that become me. Yes, I am African-American. Yes, I experience systematic oppression, but that is not my entire day. As a an educated male of size, I also garner my share of privilege. While I am always African-American, there are surprisingly countless things in my day that I interact with where I don’t think about that (my research on the rise and fall of fidget spinners being the latest). I have many interest, curiosities, and spheres of activity that transcend my racial identity. Yet, there are many things throughout my day that are deeply intertwined with it. For example, I feel that I have to make it a point to tip at restaurants (18–20%) just to fight a stereotype (at some point I may outgrow this especially since my thoughts on tipping are more in line with Mr. Pink’s — Steve Buscemi, from Reservoir Dogs).
Anyway (I think I’m starting to ramble), thanks again. Maybe your post is the best first step.