We all know the history of exploitation of Black People by white people through enslaving them, working them, breeding them, buying and selling them and generally treating Black People as lesser beings.
Today, Black People here mostly experience the lowest rung of the socio-economic ladder, are the least respected component of the US population and are routinely shot to death while unarmed by what is clearly the white mans police force.
So, what is the matter with Black People? My wife and I have lived in Vallejo. California for the past two years and discovered this city to be remarkably diverse ethnically--roughly 25% white, like us, 25% black, 25% Asian and 25% Latino. Here is the point of this letter: I have encountered more Black People in the past two years than in all the previous years of my life (I'm 78) and I find them difficult to understand. How is it possible that every Black Person I have met over the past two years while shopping or other has been so genuinely friendly, so pleasant. so gracious without exception? They surely know their history, past and present, at the hands of white people, Why are they not persistently angry and resentful, why don't they act like white people. I can't help but feel I receive from Black People far more than I deserve.
I live in a marina with a promenade along the shore used by many people who walk. There are numerous giant Black men (I'm 5'6) walking here who always nod and greet me without malice or suspicion or reserve--genuinely friendly. Why do they not behave like us?
Can we learn something profound and existentially necessary from Black People? Do we white people have the capacity to learn this?
The above letter was sent to several newspapers including here in Vallejo and none would publish it. I believe this is because they feared they would offend their white readers. I think many and hope most white readers would not 'see' themselves referenced in this piece and would embrace its contents and intent. Those who are offended need be so.
As regards this piece I note that the Black Lives Matters movement resists their being abused by the white mans police force and also I think they wish to be considered as equals. Based on my observations of Black People here in Vallejo I can say with confidence that you are not equal, you are better. There is a subtle, distinct elevation in spiritual evolvement within the black community.
I doubt many white people will relate to what I have written here still It would please me if Black intellectuals could find a way to develop the language to share these sentiments within the Black community.
Finally, in this exploitative, powecentric nation it does not surprise me that Black People are repressed the most. If an upwelling of decency and desire for fairness and justice and self empowerment were to get out of hand it would upset the status quo...