If you can’t relate, reflect and be part of the solution.
I am part of the problem. Because when a protest or riot over racism was on the TV, I would change the channel. “That’s not going to change anyone’s mind,” I would tell myself. I was so incredibly wrong.
My eyes are open, finally.
Not sure why or how but it finally clicked as to WHY so many African Americans are angry. They’re hurting, not just because of the latest tragedy involving George Floyd, but for the literal HUNDREDS of years of racism, oppression and injustice prior to May 25, 2020. How and more importantly WHY is this acceptable? The answers to racism are so blatantly obvious and right in front of our face. It’s time to get uncomfortable.
We (white people) have to take a more active role in eradicating racism. We can’t just change the TV when it’s something you don’t want to watch. What’s the easiest way to start making a difference? Have a discussion with someone who doesn’t look like you. And listen.
Donovan Lewis is a friend of mine I met when I worked at Sports Radio 96.7FM/1310AM – The Ticket in Dallas. He included me and didn’t “big time” me from the first day I met him. He not only didn’t “big time” me, but actively helped me when my career transitioned into TV. He never said no when I asked him to jump on a show with me. Heck, he even “Tebowed” with me back in 2011. Ha!
I can’t say enough good things about Donovan, but I also never took the time to talk to him about racism or the things he’s been through. I may be late to the party, but I’m glad we, like all of us should be doing right now, had a discussion and got uncomfortable.
After we talked, I thought of so many more questions of how to move forward, but there’s an easy way to do so.
Educate yourself. Show compassion. Show empathy. And let your guard down and listen. It’s quite simple.
One of the first things I did was watch ’13th’ a documentary on the 13th Amendment, it’s history and systemic racism in our country. I was absolutely appalled at what I saw. I consider myself an educated person, but I literally wasn’t taught about half of what was in this documentary.
It’s time to get uncomfortable. Let’s have these conversations with people who don’t look like you. As Donovan and I discussed, it’s OK to hear the truth. We can’t keep passing down ignorance from generation to generation. We can’t keep doing the same thing and expect a different outcome.
We have to keep the conversation going. We have to continue to ask questions. We have to continue to listen. Because really that’s how change starts.