Generosity or Gullibility: Blaming The Victim

My Dear Readers,

Americans are criticized for many things, but what is not appreciated about our culture is the instant and overwhelming response of Americans when it comes to the plight and suffering of others. The following story is one in which Americans, in hearing a story of desperation and survival, collectively reach out to help.

Dear Visible Man,

So much for the saying “crime doesn’t pay.”  I wondered whether you heard about the black woman in Phoenix who was arrested for leaving her two children in the car unattended while she went on to a job interview. Now I hear that she has received $100,000 in donations from around the country!  What type of message is that?

Sure, she is homeless, but she broke the law and placed her children at risk.  Now she is going to financially profit from her criminal act.  One can only guess what she is going to do with all that money, considering the media reports that she has a history of arrests for theft and drug use.

There are hard working folks struggling out there to make ends meet.  How are they going to react when they learn that a person can break the law and become wealthy without breaking a sweat?

I don’t know about her situation and I have never been homeless, but there is something wrong with this picture.  What is this country coming to?  We are being taken as suckers.  No wonder we have so many problems with people like her taking advantage of the system.

A Puzzled Taxpayer, Bellevue WA

Dear Puzzled,

I appreciate the opportunity to respond to your writing. There are a variety of comments from across the nation either condemning this woman or sympathizing with the circumstances that led to the incident.

I think it would be a broad stroke to dismiss your writing as another gripe from the affluent middle class.  You ask some provoking questions regarding a situation which is clearly heart (not thought) provoking.  However, I think you are falling into the trap of “blaming the victim” for her circumstances.

In this situation, there is a single parent who is homeless with two minor age children.  She is alone and desperate, living in survival mode, seeking to support her children. She goes on a job interview, taking a chance that her children will be okay by leaving them alone and unattended in the car.

It may be that she did what she felt she had to do.  She may have acted out of desperation.  Did she make the best decision for her children?  She knew that leaving them unattended in a vehicle was both a criminal act and placed the children at risk.  Yet she did it anyway.

Victim blaming allows many of us to sit in judgment of others.  This woman had a terrible choice, but she felt that she had to do this in order to provide for her children.  Is Blaming the Victim racist? Answer: It can be.  However, race does not have to be a factor.  Does one actually intend to focus blame on the victim?  Answer: Actually no.

So what exactly is victim blaming?  According to William Ryan, victim blaming is “a set of ideas and concepts that are unintended distortions of reality”.  These distortions consist of the following components:

  • There is a belief system, or a way in looking at the world. The belief system includes a set of ideas and concepts.· There is a systemic distortion of reality being reflected in those ideas.·      The distortion is not a conscious intentional process and,·      The beliefs i.e. ideas and concepts serve a specific function of maintaining the status quo of a specific group.

There is generalized belief system in this country that anyone can ascertain the levels of working or middle class simply by working hard, or “pulling yourself up by your own bootstraps.”  This phrase, created by in the early 20th century by the writer James Joyce, states:

“There were others who had forced their way to the top from the lowest rung by the aid of their bootstraps.”  (Ulysses, 1922)

This is core to the American belief that anyone, through their own efforts, can achieve their intended goals and objectives.  This depends on another belief system known as the “just world hypothesis”, which is the belief that in a just world, actions and conditions have predictable, appropriate, and just consequences. In essence, the existence of a just world is key to the ability to pull oneself up by their own bootstraps.

The just world hypothesis or belief holds that a person’s actions always bring morally fair consequences to that person, so it should follow that all noble actions are eventually rewarded and all actions that cause injury to others are eventually punished.  So how does this belief holds for this woman who has ceased her criminal and drug behaviors and is seeking to provide care for her children?

Due to her history, she is repeatedly denied employment and consequently she is unable to provide for her children.  She becomes homeless and is forced, along with her children (toddler and infant) to sleep in a decrepit automobile.   Out of desperation and the desire to survive, she gambles… leaving her children in the automobile with the engine running and air conditioner on, while she makes a mad dash for financial freedom—a job interview with the prospect of employment.

This was a desperate move during desperate times.  It is truly a blessing that someone saw the vulnerable children and intervention was obtained.

The woman is vilified as a monster for leaving her children alone in the car, even though she attempted to lift herself up by her “own bootstraps” in seeking employment—the same employment she would need to provide care for her children—and the same employment she has repeatedly been turned away from due to her criminal past and drug history.

It is the same society that vilifies this woman that also maintains the distorted system that prevents her from attaining the employment needed to care for her children.  The society that requires her to overcome these huge hurdles is the same society that punishes her for failing at doing so. In a just world, either the hurdles would be lower, or the punishment wouldn’t exist.

I would challenge you to think more holistically about the entire situation.  The societal punishment continues with the idea that the donations she received are a reward for the actions that she took. The donations are actually a result of the recognition of the terrible choice that she had to make and an attempt to keep her from being in that situation again, not a reward for endangering her children. Those who are reaching into their pockets to help are trying to make the world a little more just, the playing field just a little more level.

You are correct, however, in observing that there is something wrong with this picture.  The focus is on both the actions of a desperate woman attempting to care for her children and the response of hundreds of Americans and other people throughout the world who are responding to her plight.

Many blame the victim and sneer at those who reach out to help.  Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.  Put the focus on the system that refuses to allow this woman to pick herself up by her bootstraps and find work to provide care for her children.  Put the focus on a system that continues to handicap this woman, judging her for her past actions rather than seeking to empower her through employment so she can provide for her children.

What is wrong with this country? The belief systems as discussed are distorted.  Rather than solve the “broken system” that forces a desperate woman to gamble, leaving her children unattended in a automobile, why do we blame the victim and also to criticize those who seek to help?

The end result is that the broken system is maintained along with the distorted beliefs that hold the system together.  Subsequently the objective of maintaining the status quo and distance between working / middle class and poor is achieved.

Concluding Words

The misunderstanding here is twofold: it is tempting to fall into the same trap as this week’s writer, and focus on the fact that a woman left her minor children in automobile unattended, as opposed to focusing on the situation that forced her to do so.

If we accept this premise, then we unintentionally close our eyes and either fail to understand the reality that there are countless thousands of Americans who are homeless.  Indeed there are many men, women, adolescents and children living in similar squalor and impoverished conditions in local communities throughout this nation.

What is wrong with this country?  Well, we are still grappling with issues such as racism, classism, sexism, homophobia, and many others.  As a nation we are not perfect.  However, we are a nation of caring, sensitive and warm people.

The people who reached into their pockets and gave funds to the African-American woman and her children did so because they felt her pain and suffering.  They wanted to do something on an individual level and did so.  As these individuals through their financial gifts embraced this family, they should be acknowledged and not criticized for their generosity.

One objective that we as individuals can do as individual members of societies, communities and families is to work towards healing the distorted beliefs that maintains the inequities of the system.  This objective is a long term one yet necessary if we as a nation truly want to resolve the differences that keeps us apart. One way to do this is to focus on assisting those in plight and need in local communities by continuing to give generously to organizations within our local communities.

An example of such an organization is Youth Care, a non-profit agency located in Seattle, WA.  The agency, led by Dr. Melinda Giovengo, has a hard working staff dedicated to serving homeless adolescents and young adults.

Another program, the James W. Ray Orion Center provides food, shelter care, counseling, case management and transitional housing.  (For those seeking to provide financial assistance or simply want to help, please contact Youth Care at 2500 NE 25th Street Seattle WA 98105 or telephone at 206-694-4500).

What is right with this country?  How does one describe a nation of caring, sensitive and warm people?  In one word… generosity.

We don’t know about the issues faced by those we encounter every day. We often never know what becomes of those who receive the generous assistance of others.  We can only have faith that our help has made the world a little more just.

The Visible Man

Post Script:

Thirty-five years ago, a young man arrived in Seattle.  He soon found himself to be alone, financially broken, homeless and hungry.

It was the generosity of the people of Seattle that found him a place to stay, fed him in a church soup kitchen and assisted him to get on his feet.  This person worked hard, overcame many barriers and obstacles.

That person went on to become a contributing member of the community who has focused his life on working to assist others to empower themselves.

That individual was me.

Dr. Micheal Kane

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Letting Go of Family Secrets: Transitioning Into Tomorrow

Dear Visible Man,

An incident happened recently that’s turned my family upside down.   My father told me that my daughter (his granddaughter) stole money from his wallet during a recent visit, and after looking into it, it’s clear that she did indeed steal the money.

I am shocked.  I can’t understand why my 23 year old daughter would not only steal, but steal from her grandfather who worshiped and doted upon her. I am horrified. I can still hear the pain in his voice as informed me.  I have offered to replace the money that was stolen, but he doesn’t want it.

Instead, he’s asked that I don’t mention this to anyone else (especially her mother) or confront my daughter regarding her actions, but he has also decided to ban her from his residence.  I love my child, but I am disgusted, angry, and ashamed that she would steal from a family member.

I am having difficulty maintaining this family secret, because she acts as if she got away with what she did.   How do you suggest that I handle this?  Do I insist that she apologize to the family and specifically to her grandfather?  Or, do I treat this as a no harm, no foul and just let it go?

Bewildered Parent, Renton WA

Dear Bewildered Father,

I appreciate your willingness to write about what has to be a difficult issue for you and your family.  No doubt you feel caught in the middle– as much as you are protective and concerned about your aged parent, you feel the same way about your daughter.

First, a few questions:

  • Why are you and her grandfather engaging in a conspiracy of secrecy regarding your daughter’s inappropriate and criminal behavior?

 

  • Are there mixed messages in banning her from her grandfather’s residence but refusing to communicate why she is being banned? Is the goal for your daughter to figure it out on her own?
  • Why are you feeling shame for her actions and behavior? What role did you play in your daughter’s decision to steal from her grandfather?
  • Why would you expect your daughter to behave as an adult when you and her grandfather continue to parent her as a child or adolescent?

It’s clear that both you and her grandfather are emotionally wounded by her actions. As a result, this is the time to confront the behaviors and actions she has chosen.  Although you and her grandfather may be willing to forgive and move forward, it is important for her to understand that society at large is not as forgiving as family and will respond very differently.

When confronting the behaviors and actions she has taken, I would suggest a cognitive-behavioral approach that is based on “reality outcomes.” A model that focuses on this is “Four Stages of RACE in the Journey of Self Discovery.”  It is important her to understand that society will hold her to the following standards:

  • Responsibility-The individual must want to accept the burden of being responsible for his/her well-being.
  • Accountability-The individual and no one else is answerable for his/her actions.
  • Consequences-are reactions and responses (not punishment) for what the individual does or does not.
  • Empowerment-Comes from within; the individual must want to his/her direction in order to achieved the desired goals and objectives

You should seek to eliminate the secrecy as well as remove yourself (feelings of shame/disgust) from the equation.  Encourage open dialogue within the family regarding the incident.  Encourage her grandfather as well as yourself to share with your daughter the emotional impact of what she did on the family.

The Gift of an Apology

Should an individual be told, directed or forced to apologize for behaviors and actions that have wounded another?  I say no.  An apology can only be given as a “gift” of regret or remorse that is extended to another.

An apology serves as an acknowledgement of the impact of one’s actions, a desire to atone for that impact, and also the attainment of the “Four Stages of RACE in the Journey of Self Discovery.”  This acknowledgement, atonement, and attainment of the four stages must come from within the individual and not be derived or directed externally from a third party or individual not directly involved in the wounding behavior/action.

In closing, I would encourage you to see yourself as a “father”, instead of a “parent”.  As you seek to assist your daughter to transition from late adolescence to young adulthood, it is also time for you to empower your psychological self to transition from the role of “parent” to that of “father.”

Hold to your beliefs that you have provided your daughter with a solid foundation.  It is now up to her to move forward into a world and society that has larger demands, expectations and consequences for choices and decisions made.

You will always be daddy, but now, it is time for you to step aside into the role of advocate, bystander, and consultant.  You will always be concerned for her and fear for her safety and success. However, you must make the choice to live with that fear—that is, to proceed forward and prepare for what may come—instead of living in fear—that is, halting her progress and yours by being afraid of what may come. In the former, you embrace your fear; in the latter, you fight it. And, since fear is a part of you, you only succeed in fighting yourself when you fight fear.

It is in this transition that you must want to choose whether to continue to live in fear or seek to learn how to live with fear.  Fear is here. Forever.  Learn to embrace your fear.

The Visible Man

Standing Firm: Gatekeepers or Gate Blockers?

I was standing at one of many crossroads of my “journey of self-discovery” when I realized that I was truly blessed.  There are those who grumble as they go to what appears to be just another day at the office, but I can truly say that I love the “work” I do.

I am a psychotherapist.  Patients come in and tell me their stories, sharing their psychological selves with me.  I never have a boring day.  Each day brings me the privilege of listening to what is being revealed.

Most recently, I had the opportunity to listen to the truths being revealed by an individual, who for the purposes of confidentiality, I have named Gilda.

Gilda is a 15-year-old patient of biracial heritage (African-American & Caucasian) who is a student at one of the local public high schools. She recently gave me quite the tongue lashing when I made the error of referring to her as a “adolescent.”

Gilda was quick to assert that she was a “young woman” and not a child.   Understanding the importance of clarity when working with young people, I went further on this journey with her, and what I found was quite revealing.

To my surprise (and ignorance), Gilda stated that in being called an “adolescent” that I had defined her as being a child.   I began explaining the “clinical” stages of adolescent development and where she may fit in, but Gilda was having none of it.  Regardless of what we “old people” saw, she said, she was a woman.

I was curious about whether most of her fellow adolescents felt this way, so I asked Gilda to conduct a survey (nonscientific, of course) with her friends, focusing on the following questions:

  •      How do you define yourself, as an adolescent or young adult?
  •           What is the basis or foundation of your definition?

The agreement was that Gilda would return to our next session with feedback from her selected population.

At the next session, I was barely settled in my therapist’s chair (this is one stereotype that I will admit to: I do have a special chair) when Gilda shouted out, in a strong clear voice,

“I talked to all my girlfriends and we want to be called young adults and not adolescents!”

I can’t say that I was shocked.  The first question is almost like being asked if you want ground chuck or steak & lobster.  My real interest was the second question; that is, understanding the how they define adulthood and what makes them think they have achieved it.

Gilda shared with me that there is a group of people that she described as the “generation gate keepers.” She characterized them as “haters” and felt that they seek to prevent young people like she and her friends from crossing over and becoming young adults. There were some (very) specific points she made:

  •   Stop the “adolescent” crap and recognize that we are young adults
  •  Open up the generation gate, stop blocking us from crossing over the bridge into adulthood
  • Realize that, as young adults we can do everything that older adults can do, including having sex.  (Gilda went on to say that she has friends who have already had sexual intercourse).

I suggested that what she said, particularly about sex, could actually be a reason why the gate keepers would view her age group as immature, and thus continue to block the gate, but that didn’t go over well.

“There you go stereotyping me; just because I am a young adult does not mean I am immature!”

What is most important to people of her generation, according to Gilda, is:

  • The thought of gaining more freedom
  • Getting physically older
  •  The desire to explore and experience new things

Gilda acknowledges that “peer pressure” is a strong factor, but people must make their own decisions as to what actions they take.

“My generation is misunderstood, blocked and not taken seriously.   Because we are young, we are automatically defined as immature.”

Gilda has raised some interesting points.  She views her generation as not being taken seriously, as being stereotyped or being blocked by the gatekeepers preventing access to adulthood.  When questioned about what age these gatekeepers were, Gilda responded that they were primarily women over the age of 25 years old.

I suggested that perhaps when she becomes 25 years old, she may also want to block other young people of the age of teens from accessing the bridge leading to adulthood.  With a quick smirk, Gilda replied:

“No, I want to serve as a mentor to girls in the same situation.”

Serving as a mentor?  Interesting.  I wondered, who is currently mentoring Gilda and her generation?

While sitting in session, Gilda has her “lifeline” in her lap.  The lifeline is her cell phone.   As we are talking she is intermittently texting. In traditional therapy sessions, the cell phone would be banned due to its interference or distraction.  I’ve learned, however, that that strategy would prove not only ineffective, but defeating within the modern therapy process.

In other words, the cell phone is a lifeline, it is the comfort zone.  As long as the young adult is involved or invested in the therapy session, I will allow for it to remain, understanding that texting may be taking place during the session.  Now and then I gently, and in good humor redirect the individual to our process.

My point is that this young group lives in a culture of their own.  A culture that is focused through the cell phone and the opportunity for communication and connection that it provides.  These young people spend countless hours in their bedrooms, hiding away in privacy, communicating to others outside of parental or adult supervision.

And this is universal—it exists across color, class, and income lines.  Gilda comes from a two parent middle class family with both parents who are actively involved.   Academically, Gilda has a solid B+ GPA.  She is actively involved in sports and her church community.  She states proudly that she is not sexually active.

In terms of the life model I’ve written about often, Gilda is neither just “existing” nor is she just “surviving.”  She views herself being empowered and wants a seat at the adult table.    She, like her age cohorts, are merely speaking of their frustrations of being denied what they truly feel being their right to “self-determination.”

I must admit I am struggling.  I am a 60-year-old dude who is being told by a 15 year old, “I want to define myself.”  She is telling me to stop stereotyping her.  She is demanding to be free. Ignorance is really about “lack of knowledge,” and in this situation, I’m the one who is being schooled. Now that knowledge has been provided, it is for me to work with and seek to “balance” the information that has been presented to me, within me.

In balancing this, I will be reflective as I remember my youth in which others attempted to define me.  I was told to learn to work with my hands because that was my strength; once, a well-meaning, polite and smiling teacher told me that “your people” did not do well with “book work.”

In my youth, those were the gatekeepers who sought to, as they sought to define me, and, intentionally or not, blocking my access to the life I wanted and leaving behind the life they wanted for me.  In my youth, I struggled to deal with stereotypes and misconceptions that were placed upon me.

As I look to the present I see that not much has changed.  Today, the gatekeepers continue to seek block the way as I continue to purse the bridges that lay in my chosen path along the journey of self-discovery.

Today, I continue to respond with assertiveness—the same assertiveness I see in Gilda—as they attempt to define me.  I proceed, knowing that despite my academic, professional, martial and family successes, I must continue to respond to the stereotypes and misconceptions that confront me.

In closing, I want to say, “Thank you, Gilda.”  You have shown though your words and affirmation that “the young can teach the old,” the caveat being that the old must want to learn from the young. As we who are older learn from the younger generation, it is my hope that these young people will do the same for subsequent generations.  It is not enough to want something so precious as self-determination, freedom and the right to live without interference from others—we must pursue it and allow others to pursue as well.

I have learned that achieving this also comes with the responsibility of utilizing these rights wisely.  There will always be the struggle to maintain such gifts and resist those who seek to dis-empower you, remove or minimize what you have worked so diligently to achieve.

As much as I respect the words and wisdom of Gilda, I will admit that I am not there yet.  It is hard for me to let go of the notions I’ve grown up with and learn to work towards accepting Gilda as a young adult.  However, I respect her right of self-determination.

So, to Gilda and others out there who share her goals, regardless of what may be said by others, stay true to your beliefs, even if you find that others do not share the same.

Be aware that others will seek to define you.  It is for you and not others to define the self—that is, who you are and what you want in your life.

It is my hope that when Gilda become 25 years old that she will remember her pledge to serve as a mentor to “young adults.”  Young adults hunger for it now.  When that time comes again, they will want it again.

“I know what I am.  I am a young strong black woman.”

-Gilda

The journey continues…

-Dr. Kane

Apples And Oranges: Happy Negroes Picking Cotton Vs. The Beating of An Innocent Motorist

My Dear Readers,

     There are times when I receive correspondence that “compare apples to oranges.” In today’s posting I am responding to such a request.  Although the writing initially surprised me greatly, I appreciate the opportunity to respond to this.  Knowledge can eliminate ignorance, but only if we want to work towards that healing as a response to hate.

Dr. Kane

 

Dear Visible Man,

In light of your recent verbal attack on the black men who you denounced for being full of “racial hatred” for attacking a white man (Another Consequence of Racial Hatred, 4/14/2014), I wonder how you now feel after hearing Cliven Bundy’s remarks about slavery, the black family and picking cotton?

Here’s this white man, whom after refusing to pay fees for grazing his cows for 21 years on federal government land, talking about blacks being lazy and on welfare, and he feels that he can speak about the work ethic of black people?

Maybe there’s a reason why some black folks get really upset and act out their anger.  Look at all the garbage we have to contend with! In the case of the men in Detroit, I think they were angry and just blew up out of frustration.  As a black man born and raised in America, you of all people should understand what we as black men have to go through on a day to day basis.

It may be that since you have received all of that education, you may have forgotten what it is to be black.  Or it may be that you just don’t deal with the average issues confronting black men in white America anymore.

Given what you said about the black men in Detroit in comparison to what Cliven Bundy is saying about us, you may want to reconsider your position.  Perhaps, even publicly write an apology.

Just saying,

Really Black, Seattle, WA

Dear Really,

Just saying?  It seems you have said a lot.  It would be “real” for me to simply dismiss your correspondence as simple and petty.   However that would be a serious mistake on my part.

It is my belief that you have just confused the point of my previous posting.  Furthermore, it is clear that you are attempting to use the comments of Cliven Bundy to justify or explain the actions taken by the African-American males as they almost beat a white motorist to death. And, neither my profession nor my education indicates that I don’t understand that frustration. I am secure in my ethnic and cultural identity. I simply disagree with you.

First, let us bring clarity to the actual comments made by Cliven Bundy.  In review of the online version of the Seattle PI (4/24/14), Mr. Bundy is cited as stating the following:

“I want to tell you one more thing I know about the Negro. … and in front of that government house the door was usually open and the older people and the kids- and there is always at least a half-dozen people sitting on the porch-they didn’t have nothing to do.

They didn’t have nothing for their kids to do.  They didn’t have nothing for their young girls to do.  And because they were basically on government subsidy, so now what do they do?

They abort their young children.  They put their young men in jail because they never learned how to pick cotton.  And I‘ve often wondered, are they better off as slaves, picking cotton and having a family life doing things, or are they better off under government subsidy?  They didn’t get more freedom.  They got less freedom.”

Cliven Bundy’s remarks on slavery, the black family and picking cotton were met with shock, as his conservative supporters sought to distance themselves.   For example:

  • Senator Rand Paul (R) Kentucky, who has praised Bundy as a defender of states rights, stated, “His remarks on race are offensive and I wholeheartedly disagree with him.”
  • Glenn Beck, television and radio host stated, “If he really thinks that slaves had a family life, just that shows you how unhinged from reality this guy is.” Beck goes on to encourage conservative defenders to “end their relationship with Bundy.”
  • Dana Losech, conservative radio commentator states Bundy is “not media trained.”

Cliven Bundy reacting in his own defense to his critics, states:

“They’re making it a racist type thing.  I’m not a racist.”

Cliven Bundy, despite his faults (and there are many), may be correct here, but for a different reason: in his heart of hearts, he really does not believe he is a racist.  As much as he is truly speaking directly from his heart and belief system, he is also speaking out of ignorance, which, as defined is the “lack of knowledge or information.”

It would be a mistake to engage in similar behaviors as Mr. Bundy’s current detractors (and former supporters) to simply dismiss him because of his views.  It is unfortunate that none of his detractors have shown any interest in understanding the basis of his views or attempting to educate him by providing accurate information regarding slavery, its impact on the black family and the current dilemmas being faced by black men. Rather than be dismissive of Mr. Bundy, we as individuals must want to examine the basis of Mr. Bundy’s beliefs.

This form of racism, typically referred to as “unconscious racism,” reflects anti Black feelings and behaviors among the affluent middle class.  It consists of assumptions and expectations as to how African-Americans as a group do act, how they should act, what they deserve and whether they should be treated equitably.

Mr. Bundy’s comments also show characteristics of “aversive racism,” which is a form of racism where the aversive racist says, “I’m not a racist, but…” and may then engage in racist statements. In doing so, the aversive racist overtly denies racist intent, while acting in ways that still feel racist to the target.

Mr. Bundy’s former supporters now seek to distance themselves from his remarks as they too realize, despite Mr. Bundy’s denials, the insidious impact that such comments have on the people they are attempting to influence.  Unconscious and aversive forms of racism are insidious because those who practice it not only deny racist attitudes in a defensive manner, they also engage in racist behaviors that are based on supposed evidence consisting of singular personal encounters.  In this situation, it’s Mr. Bundy’s personal knowledge of “Negroes.”

 

Concluding Remarks

Mr. Bundy’s words, in comparison to the actions of the group of African-American males in Detroit,  are in reality a comparison of apples and oranges, which other than both groups being fruit, cannot be practically compared.  Specifically, both are derived from being  rooted in racial hate and pre-supposition, yet are dressed attractively for the unsuspecting consumer, their own social groups, and the naïve public.

However as previously stated, Mr. Bundy’s words are built on a foundation of “unconscious racism” whereas the acts of violence in Detroit by African-American males upon an innocent white motorist were “conscious racism” based on emotions.  Regardless of the “intent” by either Cliven Bundy or the group of African-American males in Detroit MI, the “outcome” was wrong.

Both outcomes have traumatic impacts and will continue to work to reinforce division among us. It is up to us, all of us regarding of ethnicity, racial group or political views not to allow that division to continue to create disunity among us.

As stated in the Ten Flashes of Light in the Journey of Life, (#5)

“When a person exposes the true self to you, embrace the action and treat it as a gift.”

I do want to thank the writer for providing me the opportunity to take what was stated and create a vehicle of healing and understanding.

As I stated in the previous writing:

“It is up to all of us as individuals or as members of the larger group (society, community and family) to decide whether we will continue to “live in fear” of each other or have the willingness to “live with fear” and in doing so have the willingness to openly communicate across the table of human interaction the differences which not only separates us and also works at keeping us apart.  We will either learn to work together or work apart.”

The Visible Man