By BRET WOOTEN
These days it is so easy to segment ourselves, joining Facebook pages and watching newscasts that reflect a singular, intentionally skewed perspective, disregarding or mocking alternative views.
It’s an act I have grown to disdain.
I find it helpful in moments of confusion to reach for my keyboard to try and work out my feelings, writing from numerous perspectives. Unfortunately, over the past few years I have written one line far too many times.
“If we were not blessed with the gift of sight, then what would we hate?”
It is a fatalist view of us, one I do not at all believe in.
A recent corn dog dinner with my eight-year-old daughter found me thinking about perspectives as we listened to a podcast of the Memorial ceremony in Dallas for our five fallen officers.
This is what was said that night:
“Daddy, are you OK.”
“Why are your eyes red? Are you crying? You never cry. Did you bite your tongue, that’ll make you cry, remember when I did that?”
“No, I did not bite my tongue.”
“So, are you crying?”
“I’m trying to imagine what I would say to you if I were a black police officer and you were my son.”
“What do you mean?”
I once again fumbled through a conversation about race, tolerance and the inherent good in people. As I finished my daughter gave me a cutting look as she gnawed on the stick from her corn dog.
“You know what people need to do.”
“Sit down and eat some corn dogs together, it’s really hard to be angry, when you’re eating a corn dog.”
(Unless of course you don’t have ketchup, that could be a problem.)
I could not help but chuckled as I said, “You might be onto something there.”
Her beautiful young mind is incapable of understanding the level of hate that has brought us to this point in our shared history.
I hope one day, we as adults will walk the streets as blind as our children and as Dr. King famously said, “Judge people by the content of their character, not the color of their skin.”
We need to stop blaming them, whoever “them” is and find the strength and courage to stand together as us.