Walk in My Shoes
Who am I? Male, female, white, of color, straight, gay, or trans. Immigrant, wealthy, “just making it”
What does it matter? I am human like you.
Ah, but it does matter, because there are different standards depending upon your status.
If you are a white male, you feel targeted and need to tow the line because of white privilege backlash.
If you are a white female you are targeted because you are a woman a sexual object for perverts, assumed wanting sexual advances.
If you are a black male you are a walking target, presumed not to have an education, home, job. You are feared for your strength and presumed to be gang member, presumed trespassing in white communities, presumed dangerous.
If you are a black woman, you are angry at losing your sons to violence, gangs and police and now the military. You are everyone’s mamma that stays home and cooks. You are not presumed educated and employed with aspirations.
If you are gay/lesbian, you are hidden unless outed and still today a rarity in socially mixed groups.
If you are trans, heaven help you. You are a target period. You denied your birthright of physical gender to become true to yourself. You are at risk to be eliminated.
If you are of Asian decent you are a target because you are responsible for the pandemic.
If you are wealthy, you are self-serving and must share with those without.
If you are poor you are pitied and assumed to have no ambition to move out of poverty.
Who are you?
Does the stereotype fit? Or are we a product of our culture with biases both subliminal and explicit.
We all do matter.
We are living now with an epidemic of killing of blacks for what seems like unjustifiable vengeance perpetuated under the guise of protecting the public.
What is the public being protected from? A man sleeping in his car, jogging in a neighborhood, driving in an expensive car (which was his), being black in America? Being a transsexual? Being different from you?
There are folks that simply hate those unlike them. There are those who hate because they fear losing their own identity and wrongly presumed birthright. There are those who hate because they fear themselves and that they will lose their identity if melded in a heterogenous world.
Then there are those who because of a badge, a duty to protect - and frightened of other - use their power to overpower, to overkill, to go overboard and undermine their duty to serve and protect.
We live at a time when we all need to look inward and imagine ourselves as part of an oppressed group and what to do!
We can listen to the stories, the experiences, the fears, the losses others have lived through. We should imagine walking in “their shoes” to determine how each of us can make a difference.
The main difference is in ourselves. We all have our subliminal biases. Bring them to the surface; talk about them. Defuse their power by acknowledging those biases exist.
Then disown them even though they are buried in your psyche.
Become better, change, reach out your hand to someone not like you. Be a friend and protector