“Between the World and Me”


The weather is fascinating, at the moment. Despite heavy heat on Friday, the winds blew in and it was actually cool enough to have dinner al fresco. The previous night, the humidity, and the heat made it next to impossible. The great weather, the nature, the birds, all make me feel as if life is wonderful and then I think.

I think way too much and yet, certainly not enough. My thinking all these years has not made the racism go away. Racism will never go away. We are all racists, as my freshman English College Professor told us. That is part of the human condition. Whether or not we keep it in the best check possible is the issue. But what is one to do?

If I had my druthers, I would set societal goals, goals for taking care of the human condition, making healthcare, education, and equal treatment for all a given, and I mean all. Yes, I know it would cost us and that I would have to pay for it, but in the long run it would all even out and our society could use its time to dialogue about real issues.

I was at the library yesterday and the face of a book shot out from the rack, one of at least a dozen in my northern suburban library, a book that is widely being read: “Between the World and Me” by Ta-Nehisi Coates. Although I know that just reading it will solve nothing, I thirst to understand more of this. I feel like a cracker. I am a cracker just by virtue of the skin I wear. The irony of it all is that I am dark. I am dark, and it is okay. Why is that, after all? Sometimes one rues the day because of not being born this way or that way, but frankly I have nothing to complain about because I do not walk down the street with a target on my body.

The book is riveting in interest and I am about half way through. It is in the form of a message of a black man to his fifteen year old son, with necessary information about life. It saddens me to realize what one has to do to survive just based upon the appearance of the way one was born. It makes me think of what I would do if I were in his position, wanting to protect and counsel my progeny and not want to inspire fear, but making sure that they understood what they were up against. Life is way too complicated to add that within the framework of an already complicated life, but this is what someone of color has to deal with on a daily basis and despite the cosmetic improvements, it has a hell of a long way to go.

I can actually question a cop and get away with it by the simple chance of my birth and DNA. Someone of color cannot. Period. We have seen way too many examples of that in recent days.

Sick I am. The solution is truly simple. The fact is, we just are not all on board.

About Richard Koerner

Sixty something, father, papi, educator, organizer, Francophile, traveler, amateur photographer, gardener, cyclist, kayaker, calligrapher, cinephile, reader, and overall renaissance type human being.
This entry was posted in Fairness, Life in general, People and their characteristics, Racism, Thoughts and philosophy, Tolerance, Unfairness, Xenophobia. Bookmark the permalink.

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