Good morning, Jadesola.
I hear what you are saying. I do. Writing this piece and reading responses like yours has done more to inform me than anything ever has. I mean it when I say thanks for writing.
You wrote: "Racist behavior is natural to racists. You do not have to think about doing it. You just do it - thats is why you cannot see how terrible this article is. POC are constantly harshly mistreated almost every passing minute in this country - at work, jogging, in the shops, and cant even get a break when they get home. Being policed for no reason at all by majority white neighbors."
"You do not have to think about doing it--you just do it."
That is the part I'm grappling with.
I now see the ramifications of "being policed for no reason." The risks of that, the history of injustice behind it. I had not taken that into account.
But you do understand that when I talk to my Black friends/family.....or even a stranger, I do not believe I am racist. I am aware that their skin is Brown/Black. Yes. And they are aware that mine is White. I see their brown eyes; they see my blue ones.
If you and I meet on the street for the first time, you will see me as White and I will see you as Black. I trust that does not make me and you racist.
I've walked alone in early dark/dusk--getting off the bus from work in NYC, or trying to fit a little exercise in. An article in the local newspaper years back reported that a "Caucasian" man had attacked a couple of women wallking in the area....
I soon saw a man who just seemed off, walking alone. Then I noticed a bulge in his side pocket and immediately feared a gun. I hurried back home. I called the detective's phone number listed in the paper. I think the man was eventually captured.
But--even without a police report, if I saw a man walking alone, night was falling and he looked to be packing a gun, whether his skin was White or Black, I would be scared. Would you? What would you do? My point is that it is not always racial profiling to call the police, is it?
I see this issue is much much much much bigger than my small world and my limited perceptions. Key above all is that I guess I have not been discriminated against because of my skin color (although I think my mother may have been, when she was a young woman teaching an embalming class at night in Harlem in the late 1940s).
I certainly have not been racially profiled. I have not lost my life and my promise as a human being because of my skin color. I am still here, unlike George Floyd, 46, and Breonna Taylor, 26.
I see the racism is preconceived and looming--sometimes brash, sometimes quiet and stealthy. I will do my best to understand it better and to be aware of my White privilege.
I grapple with seeing it both on a personal level and a global one. And I reacted when I saw that viral June 2020 video about "Susan/Karen" and the Hayat family and the neighbors, because it made me uncomfortable and scared. I believe I would have felt the same way had the neighbors all been speaking against a Black woman standing alone on the street. I do believe that. And it just so happened that I knew the White woman at the center of the story.