Editor’s Note From Sedrick Gilbert: understanding through open and Honest communication
Following the publication of Thursday’s Editor’s Note on Race, in which I wrote about details of personal experiences when it came to the subject, I received the following message from Joni Durham, which I am sharing with her permission:
“This life event does a fantastic job of illustrating some of the over-all problem. This was something you had to deal with and consider growing up, while your white counter part did not. Everyone has their own set of things they must consider….some can’t be changed although it isn’t fair. This story helped me understand another perspective in a new way…. “white privilege” is such a vague term, and I hate it when people use it as a catch phrase or mindless chant. The account you shared really helped me to understand white privilege in a more specific and meaningful way. Thank you! Sometimes it’s difficult to understand more, when the topic of race can be so hard to discuss. I know quite a few white people who don’t ask questions or express feelings because they are terrified of people thinking they are racist. I wish more people would be honest about how they feel….talk it out….truly understand each other better!!! Even though we disagree about some things sometime, I hope you know I love you, and you will always find an ally in me!”
Joni’s heartfelt, sincere, and honest words got to the crux of what I was hoping to achieve with my original op/ed, to facilitate understanding and dialogue on a subject that weighs so heavily upon this country, but one that is tip-toed around due to fears to being misunderstood, attacked, and/or labeled in such a way that more harm is done to each party. I thank Joni for her thoughts, admissions, and willingness to engage in for what many is a hard and difficult conversation. Joni is an example of someone taking that first step in bringing about the change necessary in order for us all to heal and rise together in erasing and eradicating the national cancer that is racism. Her taking the time to reach out to me is greatly appreciated, an acknowledgement that I am on the right track in opening minds and hopefully bringing people together in understanding and awareness of experiences and viewpoints different from their own.
Source: Brazos Reporter