I read this tweet this morning:
My heart sank. I felt more sadness for our society than I’ve been in a long time. I know it’s nothing new in our country — not by a long shot. But there was something about these 140 characters that really hit me.
I don’t know Bryan personally. I probably couldn’t pick him out of a crowded room. He’s just someone I follow on Twitter. But what I do know is that he is a respected engineer and someone people look up to. He works hard. He knows his shit. He’s a shining example for a group of people who are unfairly marginalized.
We’re a lot alike. Both early-middle aged, both successful, both good at our jobs. The one big difference? Our skin color.
I’m not afraid of the police. I don’t get pulled over for no reason. I don’t feel every police officer’s eyes scanning me from top to bottom every time I’m within 50 ft. of them. I’m just another guy who doesn’t register as a threat.
Yet, this guy who’s similar to me is generally afraid of police officers for no other reason than the color of his skin. There’s no good reason. He’s not a threat. He should be passed off as quickly as I am.
Look, we all make jokes. Casual racism can be funny. Is it right? Probably not. But the differences between cultures and stereotypes can be weird, interesting, and downright hilarious. However, I know at the end of the day, if I look deep in my heart, I find real racism to be vile and pointless.
I’m sorry, but if you don’t find that the tweet above doesn’t make you angry, or sad, or questioning the state of our nation and society, it might be time to take a long, hard look at yourself.