A new weekly feature from Lloyd Marcus…
Lloyd’s Life Lessons: The Invisible Wall
Years ago when I was in my twenties, I paid a weekend visit to the home of a fellow black buddy. He talked about the “white people” on his job. It struck me odd. These were people he had worked with every day for years. Together, they celebrated birthdays, fellow-shipped at company picnics, shared family joys and tragedies. And yet, he did not refer to them as Joe, Dave, Pam or Sue. He referred to them as a monolithic group, “white people”. There are whites equally guilty.
Some folks view race as an invisible wall which separates them from those outside of their race. Their attitude is while we can have a surface relationship, I will never totally let you “in” because of your race. Such a mindset robs one of rewarding relationships.
I have been blessed with an ability to relate to people of all races as individuals. Candidly, I have been criticized for having “too many white friends” or “being too comfortable around whites”.
In dealing with people as individuals, guess what I have discovered? Good people and jerks come in all colors. Just because you share the same skin color as someone does not mean that person is a better friend than someone of a different race. My goodness. It seems absurd that I would have to state such an obvious truth.
When I was away from home in the army, the neighborhood guys back at home who were trying to hook up with my young bride were not white, they were fellow blacks.
Unfortunately, the people who seek to divide and keep us at each other’s throats are politicians. However, I am pleased to report that the younger generation, in general, are smashing through their invisible walls of race and relating to each other as individuals. Yes, despite the rhetoric of race profiteering politicians, we have come a long ways baby regarding race relations in America today.
Dr King would be proud. “I have a dream…little black boys and little black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and little white girls and walk together as sisters and brothers.”
Call me an Uncle Tom or whatever, but I am soooo sick of politicians attempting to win emotion driven black voter support for whatever program or policy they wish to sell by making it about race. This tactic insults our intelligence. Such divisive politicians have truly reached and surpassed their “jump-the-shark-moment” with me in regards to playing the race card.
Racism is evil. Thus, branding someone a racist should not be done frivolously.
Dear Lord, just like you destroyed the walls of Jericho, I pray that You continue tearing down invisible walls of race which divide us.
Lloyd Marcus, Proud Unhyphenated American