I go for a run a lot and I never think about getting shot.
That isn’t the reality for many people that don’t look like me.
A year ago today, Ahmaud Arbery went for a run. His run ended with him being gunned down because he “looked like a thief” due to his skin color.
I like to think Ahmaud Arbery’s run woke up white America.
As I process this day and all that has changed since we white Americans started to wake up, I am sad that it took the end of someone so young’s life to wake us up.
It is hard to care about things we can’t relate to. A man going for a run in a nice neighborhood is something a lot of us white people can relate to. But can we relate to a mom worried about getting her kids a bed to sleep on or a dad struggling to find work. To really eliminate racism, we need to think about those that we can’t easily relate to. I often catch myself looking down on those less fortunate. I can fall into the trap of thinking that they deserve what they have gotten themselves into. When the truth is, most of the time people who are less fortunate don’t deserve it, and sometimes it’s because of the color of their skin that they weren’t given opportunities that I was. I think we, myself included, need to wake up to many more of the things our Black neighbors deal with on a regular basis. Today, to celebrate Ahmaud’s life I challenge you (and myself) to start waking up to all the injustices we see. Even if we judge first, let’s practice the skill of pausing to ask how it got to be this way in the first place.