Wow, Baratunde. Wow.
I read the comments too, and I think many of us who are not black don’t fully appreciate how it feels to be judged on our appearance — and not always in a good way.
I am Jewish, so obviously the story of your meeting a Nazi caught my eye. But being Jewish is internal, not external, so unless I tell someone, it’s not visible.
Your skin color is immediately visible, and I cringe knowing that it matters to a lot of others. I guess, having grown up in a family that embraced everyone, I will never quite “get” why someone who is different from me should be seen as less than I am or any kind of threat to me and my life. We are all human (maybe not the Nazis and their kin, however), and we are all the same but different. Why should it matter?
And I will tell you that the bit about the baby cracked me up. Who among us hasn’t felt something so intense that something as completely innocent as a baby’s face could actually upset us? It can take a lot of strength to calm down from fear, rational or not.
One thing I know about is Richard DiPilla’s LinkedIn Global Goodwill Ambassador program — there’s no link because it’s all carried out on LI. But it’s a way of showcasing the good that people do around the world, even in the smallest way. It celebrates the goodness that does exist, even if the doom-and-gloom crowd sometimes seems to be winning.
Oh, and by the way, you write very, very well.