“At SXSW we stand with the black community and will continue to amplify the voices and ideas that will lead us to a more equitable society.”
That statement in an email from SXSW today triggered something in me that rebels against the constant dividing of Americans into often marginalized subgroups even when it’s intended to communicate solidarity.
I understand why the murder of George Floyd is seen as an attack on the black community — I think few would say he would have been asphyxiated had he been a white man of European descent. Of course, had he been Asian or latino … what would the odds be that the outcome would have been any different?
I think I understand what it is like to walk the streets of the United States in dark skin — at least as well as anyone can whose skin color won’t put him at risk. I have the nose and the heritage that will put a target on me when the American racists and fascists get around to the Jews.
We would do well to remember that George Floyd’s murder was not just an attack on the black community. It was an attack on all of us who have a vision of this country where people live and let live regardless of their skin color, shape of their eyes, who they sleep with, what they worship, or however else they are differentiated in their physical and personal lives — provided it does not infringe on the rights of others to do the same.
I stand with the community of democrats who believe that the best people of this republic support the rule of law and accountability, the right to personal dignity and individual respect, strength in diversity, leadership that seeks to unite rather than divide, and freedom to speak the truth and limit the spread of lies and disinformation. I suspect there are a lot of black people in that community, and I know they will never stand alone.