Last week, I had a conversation with one of our young men at Aurora Central. Some of our young men have followed the steps of Colin Kaepernick and have been “taking a knee” during the National Anthem in silent protest of racism and social injustice in the United States. While I couldn’t recount the conversation verbatim, the general end result was that this particular young man doesn’t care what people think of him anyway. And that led me to, Who Cares What You Think Anyway…?
So you know where I stand. I do support these young men to participate in what I can only call their “Civil Rights Movement.” I don’t believe in taking a knee. I do believe that it’s kind of dumb, for lack of better word, to judge the men of our past with the eyes of our present. I don’t believe in re-writing our history to suit the need of any one person or group of people. And… I absolutely, without a doubt, care what YOU think of me anyway. I care what they think of me.
You see… I think that we have to wear some type of badge of honor that we don’t care, because it helps us to either feel better about who we are or to perpetuate the myth that we’re stronger and because we are, we don’t have to “care” about what you think. I think that couldn’t be further from the truth. I’ve seen posts on FB with respect to “taking a knee” and “White America” and they’ve had an impact on me and often leaving me questioning…why do I continue to do what I do? Would it matter if I just stopped?
I as much a part of “White America” as those who thrive on displaying ignorance, discontent and lack of respect for another human based on the color of their skin. For me, it is about being a good human. It’s NOT about melanin. It’s about sharing my gifts with respect to time, treasure, and talent to another human who could benefit. Aurora Central, where that’s just where my heart lives. The generalizations we make, and WE includes everyone are damaging. I’d argue those generalizations are just as much part of the problem as the problem itself. So boil it down. Get to the nitty gritty. This is about being a good human. It’s really that simple. Be a good human. Let’s toss out the golden rule. Let’s stop treating people how we’d like to be treated and let’s start treating them how they’d like to be treated.
I care what you think about me. I care that maybe someday, when I’m old, the young people that I’ve interacted with will remember some random exchange that we’ve had and that the exchange came from me caring about what people thought of THEM.
Time for Trojan football!