By Jared Karol
So I am continually reaching out to Allies because as I have said before their voices are powerful and this fight is not Black vs White but EVERYBODY VS racism and the injustices that racism brings. Jared Karol is a force to be reckoned with and is passionate about creating inclusive cultures where everyone feels like they belong. He is an educator and helps White people become antiracist.
I recently came across a post he wrote on LinkedIn and asked him if I could use it for this blog. I want to share it with you .
It's difficult for many White folks to fight for racial justice because we have very few, if any, meaningful #relationships with people of color.
Until age 25 I knew a grand total of 8 people of color.
In fact, here they all are.
Langston: Black boy; playground friend in first grade; never invited him to my house.
Antonio: Mexican kid; co-champions of 4th grade chess competition; played chess after school sometimes.
Vanessa: Half Mexican/half Filipina girl; close friend in middle and high school.
Ryan: Japanese kid; moderately close friend in high school.
Chad and Lee: Two Black guys; played soccer together in college; occasionally had a beer after a game.
Eric: The only Black guy on the college lacrosse team; barely knew him.
Tom: Black friend of my dad's; we'd hang out when I visited San Francisco in high school.
25 years, 8 people of color.
Only one of whom I was close with.
I suspect this is similar to many White people's childhoods.
Then we enter the real world, perpetuate self-segregation, and never seek to understand, appreciate, or validate the truths of people of color.
We show little #empathy.
We ignore, dismiss, or gaslight them when they share their lived experiences.
Then we go hang out with our White friends.
And carry on with our lives.