Its hard to watch so much civil unrest in cities across the nation without having compassion for those who are protesting police brutality. We are fortunate to live in diverse communities where our police departments seem to be fair minded. In South Orange police personnel actually write tickets for “good behavior” so that youngsters will have a positive interaction with them and to show they are not only “out to get you.”
But, our reality is not everyone’s reality. We still have so much work to do so that black youth are not marginalized and profiled across the country. That’s why I find my work at The Community Coalition on Race so critical. We strive to keep the balance of diversity with true integration. Not only do we live side by side, but we also pray and socialize together as well.
One of the most important programs we run is our “Conversations on Race.” It’s not enough to have diversity in our community, we also need to have the right platform to talk about it. Our next big conversation will feature the topic Micro Aggression – a term used to define everyday racism, or those small, unconscious racist expressions that offend. A good example is a woman holding her purse tighter when a young black man steps into the elevator with her. Believe me he saw her reaction and was offended. I admit I have done this at one time or another and maybe you have too. That’s why we need to talk. So please join the discussion on May 13th at our Conversations on Race event (see details here).
Our country still has a great deal of work to do with regard to civil rights, but watching all of the protests on television makes feel proud and optimistic about their resolve. Change on a large scale only happens with effective protesting. Make your voices heard.