I Know That I Don’t Know

dreamy trendy black woman sitting at table

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto on Pexels.com

Last evening I listened to a black sportscaster and a black minister talk about the current problems in our society. They shared some of the experiences they had when they were growing up and I realized something: “I know that I don’t know what it is like to be black growing up in our society.” 

Mind you, I have had black friends and have interacted with many on a personal level. My father hired a black woman to take care of us when we were teenagers. He ordered Ebony magazine and had us read it so we could have an understanding of their culture. As a teenager, I protested outside of an establishment that wouldn’t allow blacks to be members. All that said, knowing about them and even knowing them has still not given me a true understanding of what their experience has been like.

In all of my interactions with my black friends, they have never shared their negative experiences with me. They bore their burdens quietly and with dignity and were a continual example to me. They never used their skin color as a reason for not succeeding at whatever endeavor they were trying to accomplish. One of my friends grew up in the south and I never heard her complain about the treatment she or her family must have received. I always waited for the subject to come up but it never did. One time she was talking about someone who was unkind to her at the store she worked at. Her comment was, “Oh well, they just don’t know any better.” That was her attitude…the people were just ignorant, and of course, they most certainly were.

I spent about an hour last night thinking about my friends and what it has been like for them. I was struck by the suffering they must have gone through each and every day just being a different color than the rest of us. This morning my heart has been expanded by allowing a part of their suffering to become my own. I can only join the Gaither Vocal Band and sing:

“I KNOW A CHANGE IS COMING, LET IT START IN ME.”

24 thoughts on “I Know That I Don’t Know

  1. From South Africa, we often stand astounded by the levels of racism we see especially in other former British colonies. We mostly don’t have that here, even despite Apartheid that was introduced by a foreigner and installed by a tiny fraternity. It wasn’t as if all whites hated blacks, as portrayed in the evil communist international media. As we were fighting atheist communism and not melanin.

    Of course, there are racists in every culture, no denying that. But what we see from abroad is apalling. Having said that, recent events in the US and UK, surely weren’t rational. I am old enough to recognise neo-Marxism when I see it, as I grew up in it. And it is atheist yet supported by supposed Christians. I wrote on my blog about this, the title mentions Floyd and slavery, if you wanted to check.

    I don’t do opinion but fact, as I am fairly seasoned in auditing incl some forensic audits.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I was raised in south we’re I knew I was treated different than the white. My grandparents were ignorant to the fact that it shouldn’t be that way. In fact I was reprimanded by my gramps when I didn’t put the white folks he worked for and with higher than blacks.
    When I moved here in 1987 I found out racism was and still worse than it ever was in Arkansas.
    TIME FOR A CHANGE, but for the better not like the situation of breaking in stores, burning, being disrespected.
    When all PEOPLE accept we are all of the HUMAN RACE, treat each person as they themselves want to be treated, and as GOD Wants us to be thing’s will change

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I think the silence on both sides has been a road block to understanding. That the dialogue has begun is encouraging… I too am in the process of educating myself and it is a huge undertaking. I feel like I’m starting to learn a new language and have to start from the beginning. I just hope I am shown a little patience as I try to get upto speed and root out my own personal biases…

    Liked by 3 people

  4. You are right, we never really will understand the long carried baggage from so many years of being looked down on. Knowing and finding solutions is a difficult thing for those of us who are white. We can only look through our eyes, no matter how hard we try. Showing respect and consideration can be a first step!

    Liked by 1 person

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