When you know better, do better

I have a confession to make. Years ago, I erroneously thought that racism didn’t exist because I was not racist. That kind of thinking is very naive and ignorant. To this day I believe that there are a lot of white people out there that think this way. That kind of thought is dangerous because it breeds apathy and an attitude of disbelief.

White privilege is alive and well in 2020. What can we do about it? For starters, we can acknowledge that racism does exist. Next we can do our part to help our fellow mankind by becoming aware of how others are treated. That is not enough though. It takes action. Sometimes action takes courage. It is NOT okay to watch someone being treated unfairly regardless of who they are as a human being. We as a society must hold all people accountable for their actions. I would wager that if a police officer knew the general public was watching his actions, he might not have felt comfortable enough to act in such an abhorrent behavior. Maybe it would happen anyway because he is just a bad apple. But we as a society must watch out for each other. When we make a decision to ensure that our fellow mankind are safe, things change. We hold society accountable for their bad behavior. There are dangerous situations where it is not advisable to get physically involved but we can report abuse to the authorities right away. We can advocate as a witness for those who have been wronged. We can videotape and expose atrocities. We can call news groups to investigate. We can speak up and say something. Sometimes it calls for us to be courageous and step in. There is always something that we can do. Apathy is not the answer.

Violence will never be the answer to racism. Violence is never the answer to anything. There are good policemen and policewomen in the world. My brother is one. We have to stop generalizing that all police are bad. They have families and their safety is just as important as anyone else’s. So let’s get to the real problem – which is the total lack of compassion and respect for someone because of their skin color. For those that view someone matters less because of skin color, take a look at your DNA. You might find compassion when you realize that we are all a melting pot.

“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” Maya Angelou