Trying to ‘raise the average’

Trying to ‘raise the average’
                        

Letter to the Editor:

As I walk into the store, I am minding my own business — as is everybody else. I can pick up items, examine them and put them back on the shelf or in my shopping cart.

I can browse around, tell the friendly staff I don’t (yet) need any help and they leave me be.

If I don’t find what I want, I leave the store. I can have my cell phone out, and nobody feels threatened.

I get the benefit of the doubt, innocent until proven guilty.

When I talk to people, it usually doesn’t take long and they ask me where I am from. I am from Germany, and you can hear it when I am talking. Sometimes, they tell me they have ancestors or family from Germany, that they have been to Germany on vacation or while in the service. We have a pleasant conversation because I am from a “good” country.

I look the same as they do.

When I am out and about, I acknowledge Black people — with more emphasis than White people. You might call this “reverse racism.” (There is no such thing. Don’t confuse it with prejudice, bigotry, ignorance.) I call it “raising the average.”

For every bad experience a Black person has with a White one, I want to make up for. I want to make sure the Black person is acknowledged, seen and respected — as they should be.

It is my way of saying: “I see you and I respect you.” It is my way of saying: “I know that not everybody treats you with the respect you deserve.” But I do not understand how they feel because I never felt that way. I never experienced what Black people experience every day. I want to say I am standing with you, but I can’t — because I never stood in your place.

I am different, but I don’t look different. In light of the recent events at the Capitol, more evident than ever.

This is White privilege.

Herbert Weber

Wooster

Letters to the Editor are accepted by email at mplant@alonovus.com. Writers are allowed one letter every 30 days, and letters should include name and address (address not published) and be 500 words or less. AloNovus Corp. reserves the right not to publish and to edit for clarification purposes.


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