I walked by this the other day, but because I was on the other side of the street, I only saw the bottom part and missed the big picture. This made think about distance, perspective, and their relationship to seeing the big picture. Sometimes we are too close to something and too wrapped up in our point of view to see things clearly. For example, I have had the experience where someone said something racist to me, and when I corrected them, they doubled down on the comment and got all in their feelings about being called racist. Here’s the thing: Amerikkka is a racist country. It was founded in racism and has perpetuated itself through racism. It’s embedded in every aspect of the culture, from our laws to our popular culture. Given that fact, for you to be a product of that kind of societal programming and not be racist is simply impossible. However, the human mind is a crafty thing. It goes to great lengths to protect itself and its self image. That’s where perspective comes into play: In the Disney movie of life, even Jafar thinks he’s Princess Jasmine. Everyone is the hero of their own story, even when they are actually acting like a villain. This brings us to distance: Sometimes you need to back up and look at the situation from a different perspective. In the case of racial issues, it’s up to you, white friends, to take a moment to look at the situation from our point of view. Here’s why: We have been seeing your perspective for centuries. It’s a survival strategy that we were forced to develop. We know you. We know how you feel. We know how you think. Why? Because not knowing could get us killed. Hell, even with that knowledge, way too many of us have been murdered. So, the next time someone calls you out for an act of racism, WHETHER INTENDED OR NOT, don’t get all wrapped up in your feelings about how you’re a good person. Instead, take a moment to try to see the situation from the other person’s perspective. You might be surprised by what you could learn. In conclusion, I would just like to say that it’s okay to be wrong. We’re all human, we all make mistakes, and we’re all capable of learning. And as Mother Maya said, when you know better, do better.
Actor, Singer, Writer, Comedian, Thrower of Shade and Mazel Tov Cocktails, Snatcher of Souls, Teller of Ugly Truths, Drinker of Beer, and Talker of Shit