Wednesday, March 21, 2012

dinner table conversation

Isaac "I hope nobody ever shoots me because I am brown." 

Hope: "Dad is always gonna be with us. He'll protect us." 

Noah: "No, that's not true. You are going to grow up. He won't be with you. That's tragic."

This person - 5' tall - no longer exactly falling into the "cute little innocent black kid" category ...

Nothing much changes, except maybe his height/littleness ... Only needs to put on the 'wrong' clothes and walk in a neighborhood while casually looking around, to possibly be considered "suspicious". 

By Tim Wise:

And by empathy here, I don’t mean merely the ability to feel for the family of this murdered child. I’m guessing most all can manage that much. Rather, I refer to the kind of empathy too rarely attainable, by whites in particular, in the case of black folks who insist, based on their entire life experience and the insight gained from that experience, that their rights to life and liberty are too often subject to the capricious whims of those with less melanin than they, and for reasons owing explicitly to the color of their skin.
Empathy — real empathy, not the situational and utterly phony kind that most any of us can muster when social convention calls for it — requires that one be able to place oneself in the shoes of another, and to consider the world as they must consider it. It requires that we be able to suspend our own culturally-ingrained disbelief long enough to explore the possibility that perhaps the world doesn’t work as we would have it, but rather as others have long insisted it did.
Empathy, which is always among the first casualties of racist thinking, mandates our acceptance of the possibility that maybe it isn’t those long targeted by oppression who are exaggerating the problem or making the proverbial mountain out of a molehill, but rather we who have underestimated the gravity of racial domination and subordination in this country, and reduced what are, in fact, Everest-sized peaks to ankle-high summits, and for our own purposes, rather than in the service of truth.

Tim Wise's full piece can be found HERE. 

The Curious Case of Trayvon Martin