I recently saw a documentary about race relations. It was predominantly about the relationship between police officers and African-American men.
Both groups acknowledged the problem and offered reasons that they exist, but few solutions were offered on how to change things for the better.
I suppose there are decades of past problems that continue to be discussed among families and stories of “wrongs” get passed down and live on through children. Feelings and beliefs get passed down as well as learned behavior. However, people are not born hating each other. Hatred is a learned behavior.
I believe the question is, “How do we change the story?”
Personally, I have not lived the life of a person of color (any shade). I only have my life that I know and understand. Someone recently told me they were studying the differences that culture has on children’s education. I had never even considered that possibility! I imagine that the way people are raised, at home, and their belief system could make their learning experience different, even in a diverse school setting. Interesting don’t you think?
I don’t believe myself to be a person who judges someone else by the color of their skin. I even point out to people, during a conversation, if they are jumping to conclusions about someone because of their skin color, cultural upbringing, or religion. Yes, there are similarities among people groups, but everyone is an individual. You cannot judge a group by the actions of one person. Remember the Osmond Brothers song… “One bad apple don’t spoil the whole bunch, girl.”
We must stop the hatred. We need to stop the fear. We can stop the misunderstanding. We have to find a way to move positively forward!
Much as we expect politicians to “reach across the aisle” we should expect the same of ourselves.
• Going out for coffee with a coworker and getting to know them better
• Asking a neighbor over for dinner, or to watch a sports game on TV
• Attend a different church than usual
Getting to know people helps stop the misunderstanding, which should stop the fear, and could stop the hatred.
We will never break the stories of poor race relations without stopping the reasons for the stories of abuse by others to be passed down through families.