So, this morning I was in the process of writing a different blog post when I had an interesting and actually very disheartening conversation.
This morning I reached out via Facebook to an acquaintance of mine who is going through a divorce, which is something we have talked about before, just to see how he was doing.
I just wanted to reach out and lend support to let him know that I was thinking of him and people are there for him.
He started to tell me how things were difficult because some of his friends had sided with her and then he noticed that some of her friends had sided with him.
He said he was not sure who to trust at this point.
I think those are all fair thoughts.
But then he told me the reason his friends sided with her was she was white and he was African-American.
This is where things got…sad for me.
I simply said (Quote):
“I don’t know if it’s about race…people unfortunately feel they have to take sides in a divorce. Either way, I’m very sorry.”
He then went on to tell me that I couldn’t understand because I was white and it wasn’t anything personal against me, but I just wouldn’t understand.
…This was a huge blow.
My heart just dropped in my chest when I read it.
This has stuck in my head all day and I was worried writing about it on here, because no matter what I say, by society’s standards I am in the wrong and have no right to be sad about what happened at all.
But I am.
See after he said that to me, I just simply told him he had made me uncomfortable and it sounded like I wasn’t the right person to talk to.
He told me I couldn’t understand what he was going through.
What made me so sad about this situation was that it didn’t have to be about race.
Perspective is everything and I understand that.
However, that conversation we were having wasn’t about that and now instead of me being a friend to him and able to talk to him, I feel alienated and sad about the state of affairs between us.
I hear about this divide every single day and it makes me sick to my stomach.
Especially having someone directly throw it at me in a situation that does not seem related.
I don’t see him as just a African-American, just as I would hope he wouldn’t see me as just White.
But everyone is so concerned about a divide being created between people due to unimportant differences that people are creating that divide.
At least in this instance and many that I see.
I am not saying that racism isn’t real or that these things don’t exist.
What I am saying is that it doesn’t have to be everywhere. It doesn’t have to be here.
This man and I could have been friends. I never thought about him as just a, in his words, “person of color”. Nor did I ever think that had anything to do with his current struggles.
But now I do feel he only sees me as a white person, which hurts because stereotypes hurt.
My sister has a friend at work who brings it up frequently that he is an African-American and she is not.
I know how often he brings it up, because she texts me when it happens feeling the same sadness I felt in my conversation.
I saw this video awhile back (it’s obviously old):
“How are we going to get rid of racism?”
“Stop talking about it! I’m going to stop calling you a ‘white man’ and I’m gonna ask you to stop calling me a ‘black man'”
This is truly how I feel.
I also wholeheartedly agree with another quote from Morgan Freeman about racism:
“If you talk about it, it exists.”
It doesn’t have to be this way. Let’s stop talking about it in these instances. Let’s stop bringing it up in unrelated personal conversations. Or in our workspace just because someone is of a different race than us.
If you have followed my blog, you know I am very devote religious. (LDS to be specific)
And when someone goes to a LDS temple it is required that we all wear white and very similar outfits.
It’s done this way to signify that “God is not a respecter of persons”.
Wealth, race, career…none of this matters to God. We are all on the same level.
He sees us all the same and as his children and we don’t have to talk about those things that can divide us (if we let them) there, because we are all the same.
That is how I try to see people and how I feel.
I’m absolutely, 100% no better than anyone else and when a situation gets brought up where someone feels that I think I am for whatever reason, it hurts.
This is a controversial post and I get that.
I really went back and forth on whether to write it, but then my friend told me that I should because blogging/journal-ling is a “good way to keep a record”.
That is why I wrote this post, because I would want my children to know how I felt about this.
That I never saw anyone differently and when I hear of those filters being placed in any instance, it hurts me.
But I also want anyone who reads this to know that I did not write this lightly.
In fact, I already know I will have to disable the comments and walk away from computers for a minute after pressing “Post” because I am nervous.
But nervousness should never be a reason to stop yourself from speaking what you feel and believe.
So, here we go.