The journalist in me really wants to write about the NFL “take a knee” movement and the ridiculousness going on via Twitter among our actual U.S. president and a whole slew of professional athletes.
But I’m honestly not sure what, if anything, a white girl from College Station, Texas, has to contribute to this dialogue.
I spoke with our sportswriter Tad Desai recently about the acquittal of Jason Stockley, a St. Louis police officer who fatally shot a black man, Anthony Lamar Smith.
“Why don’t you write about St. Louis?” I asked Tad following reports of riots and racial unrest in the aftermath of the court proceedings. Tad is from St. Louis, so this seemed like a logical suggestion.
“Why don’t YOU write about St. Louis?” he countered.
Well played, grasshopper.
“Um, and say what? Racism is bad?” I asked.
Yeah, it seems I didn’t want to touch the controversial topic either.
It seems that all – scratch that, let’s go with most – humans believe that racism is bad. Patriotism is good. Despite our political persuasions, for the most part, we’re grateful for the men and women who fought for our country.
Both of my grandfathers were veterans. My childhood friend Kelli Campbell lost her Marine husband a little over a year ago when his helicopter went down during a training mission in Hawaii, taking not only Shawn Campbell’s life, but the lives of 11 of his comrades. She’s raising four children by herself and she hasn’t even had her 40th birthday yet.
It’s 2017, and I’m pretty sure we all have friends who are police officers, gay, black and Latino. Sorry folks, but it no longer makes you special when your Facebook profile pic looks like a Benneton ad.
Heck, my sister’s last name is Villanueva. And for some reason, maybe because her name is Carla Villanueva, every time she calls for assistance with household repairs or for a cable guy, they send a Spanish speaker. While she is highly intelligent and a graduate of the fightin’ Texas Aggie Class of 1997, my sister Carla is blonder than I am and her Spanish probably doesn’t go beyond the word “fajita.”
My generation didn’t grow up in a time where we had to use a different water fountain than our peers who had a different skin color. I certainly don’t know the oppression and sheer torture that has been experienced by Holocaust survivors and victims of hate crimes.
But aren’t we all better than that now? Can’t we all just freakin’ get along? Can we maybe not insult our president? Look, I’m not a fan, but he was, in fact, elected into this office. Does it have to be a news story every time the National Anthem is played?
I think we all want to eliminate hate and racism and post-traumatic stress disorder and bad things in general. Is there a way to work together to build those bridges?
Maybe, little by little, let’s lead by example and show our children love, compassion and humor. Y’all with me?
You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.
April Towery is the managing editor of The Sealy News. She can be reached at 979-885-3562 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.