“Is it safe?” Have you ever heard, or asked, this question about going to an event or meeting in ‘a certain neighborhood’?
This questions came up during reflections at Tender Shoot of Joy’s second session in our series “Buddha-Dhamma Confronting Racism.” At first blush personal safety may appear a legitimate concern … of white folks. Let’s dig a little deeper.
Assumption 1: Certain parts of our city, county, state, and country are unsafe.
Assumption 2: Unsafe especially for people like me.
Assumption 3: But they’re OK for ‘those people,’ who aren’t like me.
Assumption 4: So long as I don’t have to go there.
Moral 1: We don’t care all that much if other people live in dangerous places so long as they aren’t unsafe for me and my family.
Wow, it’s ugly when we parse out the ‘logic.’ Damn ugly!
Moral 2: You may not be ‘a racist’ yet you likely harbor racist attitudes and implicit biases.
White folks, we got to let it hurt.
Otherwise, we’ll never grow up.
Question 1: Do white people ever wonder if black folks feel safe in our enclaves?
P.S. You can run but you can’t hide.