I know that you want for me to tell you that there is no racism in America.
Or that there are very few racists in America.
Or that the people who are racists are easily identifiable and wear white robes or have swastika tattoos.
You want me to tell you that slavery was a long time ago.
And that no scars remain from it.
And that it doesn’t affect us today– that our country has moved on from it.
You want me to tell you any issues that Black people have are Black people’s fault.
That we shouldn’t care about cops killing black people cause black folks kill black people.
You want me to believe in the same America that you do.
You want me to believe that if I work hard enough I can achieve the same things you can.
You want me to believe that we compete on an even playing field.
And that everything you have is because you earned it on merit (with no advantages).
You want me to believe that you don’t see color.
You want me to believe that you don’t treat people differently because of race.
And that you think that we are all the same.
You want me to believe in the American dream.
That America is fair, just and good.
This dream, this love of America is so much a part of who you are, losing it is scary.
Losing it means that you have to look at ugly things.
Losing it means that you have to deal with emotions like guilt, pain and shame.
Losing it means that you have to admit your own privilege and diminish your own story.
It’s easier for you to believe that I’m angry.
Or not acting appropriately, or following the rules, or working hard enough.
Or that I, myself, am racist.
Or that I am creating issues where there are none, when I tell you the truth.
The truth is—you are right.
We are the same in most ways.
We want the SAME Thing.
Me and you have the same dream –the American dream
I, too, want for me and my children to be able to believe in endless possibilities.
To have comfort that we will be safe.
And confidence that law enforcement is always on our side.
To have equal education for my children.
A sense of acceptance and belonging.
We have the same dreams.
But we are living different realities.
And guess what? Ultimately, if I don’t have my American Dream—neither do you.
Ultimately, we are in this together.
We are connected. My pain will be yours. This country will be as good as we make it—together.
So, you may need to give up what you want, in order to get what you need.
Because for you to have what you want means that I have to continue to lie to you.
And that’s not fair to either one of us.
It’s time we both be brave.
Brave enough to face and tell the truth
So that we can save ourselves.
And our America.
And have liberty and justice for All.