Reader Opinion: Asking for a friend

What's the incentive for some to bother leading a good life?


A good friend, a Black woman writer, asked me today, "Why do they hate us so much?" She wasn't asking as a friend, woman, or writer.

In a very real sense, the people of the United States were on trial during the The George Floyd homicide trial in Minneapolis, and to a slightly lesser extent, Christianity.

When a minority person interacts with the world in the U.S., they never know what the day will bring them. Not because of whether they're "good" people or not; that doesn't matter! But because of the color of their skin. There's so much hate out there in our society. Dark-skinned people can lead a perfect life, but if they're dark, they may be "red-lined," slighted at a service counter (or think they've been), made fun of, insulted, spat on, or sometimes killed. Mostly all done with impunity, sometimes anonymity. They don't know what the day will bring, if anything. They spend the day, every day, waiting for the other shoe to drop. All their lives. So what's the incentive for some to bother leading a good life?

When you're in the minority, who can you turn to for help in the majority? How can you spot the helpful ones from the hateful ones? During the terrible, sinful Vietnam War, those of us who opposed it could find our like-kind through the universal peace symbol, and other things. Christians and Christian sympathizers identify each other through the cross (a symbol born of terror).

Could those willing to aid and defend minority people find a common, universal symbol of identity? A green armband? A medallion? A ring?


A. Martin


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