I am watching “Accidental Courtesy”, by Independant Lens. Why are they hitting me? asks the black gentleman, Darryl Davis, as a child. “There are people who simply do not like you, for no other reason than the color of your skin.” his parents replied. “…it was incomprehensible to me.” He says now.
That child grew up to become a remarkable human being. Paraphrasing here, now he says that “If you allow someone whose views oppose your own to express those views, chances are they will return the courtesy.” He seeks out clan members and befriends them. He asks them “How can you hate me when you don’t even know me?” “Exactly what DO you belive?”
He asks them a lot of questions like “Could I join?” and then, of course, “Why not?” He talks with them about music. He finds common ground. He asks questions about their beliefs and in great detail.
He is astonishingly well aware of the small details of their beliefs. He listens. He disagrees with their viewpoint while steadfastly respecting their humanity. He announces that he considers them his friend. He maintains the friendships over years, socaizes with them.
He has a staggering collection of clan robes, given to him by these friends, when they leave the clan. Says one day he will open a museum. That it is important to claim our history. Not all of them leave. He perserveres with steadfast friendship without burdening it with expectations. He just keeps humanizing himself to them and is happy to do this.
He is changing the world. This is almost more than I can take in but I think my world view may be forever altered.
Just before the fire I had planned to invite some local business owners I have failed to communicate with, about why I do not send work to business owners who violate Equal Opportunity laws, out to lunch, just to talk and visit in a public place where I could know I was physically safe. I wonder what my little world – and yours – might look like today if our lives had not been upended, and I had tried that.
I have lately been thinking about this again. Considering if I am in good enough shape to do it well, if I have done enough of the work dealing with the astonishing chain of losses and traumas in our lives the past couple years. Wondering if there was any point, if it is worth the effort.
I FEEL what this man says about his experiences. I can sure relate. I am looking through this man’s perspective as he says “What would you say to people like me, who would say to people like you ….. Where is the place for me in this?” How well he puts it.
Statistics: Posted by rj5156 — Mon Feb 13, 2017 11:08 pm