Worthington BLOG: Racism is more common than you think

Photo Courtesy: KBOI 2

 

Racism is more common than you think

6/4/20  

By: Rick Worthington

I guess this is as good a time as any to admit, the #BLM rallies in Idaho and the rioting in other areas has me thinking more about racism than I have in years.

Let us speak honestly. Racism exists, and it is alive and well in Idaho.

Not long ago, while driving in Meridian, I came upon a young man in a pick-up truck. He was flying the American Flag behind his truck. A fine gesture, one that my own son has done. I fully support it.

What made this different, is that this young man – on this particular truck – was also flying the confederate flag.

Now, surely he understands that the confederate flag is widely used by white supremacists, and is often seen as a symbol that is offensive to many people. He must be from the south and is just showing off the the so-called “battle flag.” I mean, one should not automatically assume that display of the Confederate flag is racist or white supremacist in nature. It’s about context – right?

By the way – I’ve seen this truck before, but this was the first time I noticed the “white-pride” sticker in the window. How did I not see this before now? The answer is, I was never looking for it. I’m not sure if this is what would be considered “white privilege” or not – but I’m guessing it might be.

Look, I’m a middle aged white guy who grew up in a predominantly white neighborhood and city. I had/have a few friends and teammates of color growing up, but I never spoke to them about racial issues. We didn’t talk about it. They were my friends, the same in my eyes as all my other friends who I did not talk to about racial issues either.

My point is this: I should have asked them about racial issues. I should have had the good sense to know, they are going to feel differently than me when it comes to these acts of racism we have seen on TV for years. It’s going to hit closer to home for them than it does me. I should have tried to see these things then thru they’re eyes because it would be easier for me to be able to understand how they are feeling with the chaos of what is happening today.

I’m going to try harder to educate myself and be a little more aware. I owe it to them, as a friend, to have an understanding of these things. AND I really do want to know.

I hope they will forgive me for not having the awareness or empathy to see this behavior before now.

 

— Rick

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