White Man/Black Culture Part 2 For the past 16 years (minus 1 in inner city Pittsburgh) I’ve lived in the West Philly area. Literally everywhere I go (except in certain situations at work) I am the minority in number and it’s been that way for a long time. I’m the minority in number at the restaurants I go to, the sports bars I go to, the church I go to, the concerts I go to and perform at, the dollar store I go to, at the barber shop. This isn’t me trying to me someone I am not. It is who I am, who I feel comfortable around. Who I can relate to. I actually feel more comfortable around black culture. I often feel awkward being in all white gatherings since I have such different experiences and interests than many of them. I’m aware I could frequent other places and attend a predominately white church. Where I go is is all by choice and preference.
For more than a decade I’ve worked with some amazing track and field, soccer, basketball, and football players at the collegiate and NFL level as a strength coach and those teams are predominately made up of minorities. All my relationships I’ve been in since 2001 have been with black women as that’s who I’m more attracted to, no disrespect to anyone else. I love black women but have also had my heart broken by black women multiple times. The women I’ve more recently talked to/dated are all black queens. I think it’s safe to say that when I do have kids they will be black. I have 9 biracial nieces and nephews who I love to death. Over 75% of my friends on social media are minorities or people of color. Over 75 % of my closest friends are black. I’ve laughed with my brothers. I’ve rejoiced with my brothers. I’ve cried with my brothers.
And right now I grieve with my brothers and sisters. I hurt when they hurt. And right now I know they are hurting due to the lack of justice in America.
I mentioned earlier that the lane I’ve felt God has wanted me to be in with my music has been to minister to people who are suffering. I believe that is the heart of God. To show mercy and compassion to those who are hurting.
Another innocent unarmed black man was murdered by the police in ruthless, heartless fashion. If you’re reading this and you can’t understand why people are so infuriated by this consider the following. My friends have to fear if they get pulled over if the people who are supposed to be protecting them , could actually kill them for no good reason. My nephews have to live with being seen as a threat when they are the most loving boys I’ve ever met.
You may be wondering, well how come black people don’t get as upset about black on black crime that happens everyday in their communities? I see where you are coming from and murder is murder and evil is evil. This should be frowned upon and further change needs to take place. However, the main difference here is that when someone in the hood kills someone and there is clear evidence for it, they are almost always convicted of murder and locked up. Whereas there have been countless innocent black people killed by the police throughout our nation’s history, and each time the police officers are let off the hook, even when there is clear evidence to show they are guilty of killing. So people are not just upset about George Floyd but a system of racism that has existed in America for far too long.
I’ve been pulled over while driving only a handful of times in my life. The majority of those times I’ve had black friends in the car. Coincidence? I think not. I realize that when I get pulled over I don’t have to fear for my life in the same way my black friends do. I’m aware that when I walk into a store I don’t get the same accusatory stares or followed around like they have to go through. I’m aware that I don’t have to face systematic oppression like they do.
I know what it’s like to be the minority situationally because that’s my everyday life. I will still never know what it’s like to be black in America and face the same oppression that my brothers and sisters face, and I’ll never pretend to know what that’s like. There are plenty of FB posts and stuff I’ve seen on social media lately from some of my black friends that I don’t agree with. But I think there is a time for everything as Ecclesiastes tells us. Right now I think wisdom says to grieve with those who grieve and mourn with those who mourn. I won’t sit here and tell you how to grieve. I am not ashamed of being a white man in America because that is how God made me. But I am ashamed of the oppression other white people have placed on black people for over 400 years. I am ashamed of the hatred in their heart and the wicked deeds done by claiming to be superior due to skin pigmentation.
I do not have all the answers but I do know that one day believers will worship in heaven with people from EVERY nation, EVERY tribe and EVERY tongue. A place where there will be no more tears, no more police brutality, no more murder, no more death, no more racism, and no more hatred; because of Christ’s death, burial and resurrection. I long for that day.