White/Black Perspective

I would rather read a novel than watch most television/movies.

I do a lot of “serious” reading; I do a lot of, well, “escape” reading.

The last escape book I’ve read is The Force by Don Winslow. It is a gritty…read plenty of language…incredibly well written cop book.

The author is white. He has several black characters in the book.

One of the black characters is a woman (an emergency room nurse) who addresses the fact that her white cop boyfriend is infuriated because cops are being called out for abusive behavior etc.

She says, “I get you think that only other cops can understand what you go through. Y’all feel aggrieved because you’re blamed for killing Freddie Gray or Michael Bennett. But you don’t know how it feels to be blamed because you are Freddie Gray or Michael Bennett. You think people hate you because of what you do, but you don’t have to think that people hate you because of what you are. You can take the blue jacket off. I live twenty-four seven in this skin.

“Here’s what you can’t understand Denny – what you can’t understand, because you’re a white man, is the sheer…weight…of being black in this country. The sheer exhausting weight that presses your shoulders down and tires your eyes and makes it hurt just to walk sometimes…

“And you were right last night – sometimes I do hate my patients and I’m tired, Denny, tired of cleaning up the things they do to each other, we do to each other, and sometimes I hate them because they’re black like me and because it makes me wonder about myself…

“So that’s what we go through, baby…every damn day.”

As I read the book I reread those words several times; trying to understand…

I know I don’t understand; anymore than anyone can understand what it’s like to be a soldier returning the USofA from Vietnam unless you were one.

But this passage from this book floats around my brain; and brings me a little closer to understanding…

Author: Jack Hager

Jesus invaded my life shortly after my arrest at age 26. I spent the first few years of my new life incarcerated. Went to Bible school after parole; have served with Kansas City Youth For Christ, Headwaters Christian Youth (Rhinelander, Wi), Family Life Ministries (Bath, NY), and now with Midland Ministries (Saint Joseph, Mo). Married with four children, work with youth, adults, inmates. Heavily involved in Bible quizzing for four decades. Narrow minded about Jesus and the gospel; fairly open minded about most other things. Speak in churches, camps (both teen and family), civic groups, public schools, Christian schools and colleges...amazed I get to do what I get to do....favorite verse Romans 15.13 "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing so that you, by the power of the Holy Spirit, may overflow with hope."

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