Underneath our skin, we’re all the same color, said Mr. Cam Newton, the 28 year-old Black quarterback for the Carolina Panthers when weighing in on the controversy surrounding Mr. Colin Kaepernick, the bi-racial quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers who’s refusing to stand for the national anthem until meaningful change materializes at the intersection of race and policing.
While it’s true that we all bleed red, unfortunately human beings don’t see blood when interacting with one another but rather skin color takes center stage – which Mr. Newton measures as just 1/8 of an inch – and that skin color undoubtedly, more often that not, impacts the interaction, whether it be a white woman clutching her purse when a black or brown man enters a cramped elevator or a black civilian being dismissive to a white police officer for what they perceives is racial profiling, not legitimate policing.
Mr. Newton, not a prolific thinker on the issue of race, joins a growing cohort of high-profile Americans who are opting to be colorblind amidst racism; this cohort, all of whom may be well-intentioned by retraining their eye to see more than the outward appearance of another, are actually doing little to mitigate such a prominent social problem by, instead of confronting racism head-on, convincing themselves that others around them are too focused on it.
In the colorblind club with Mr. Newton, who last month said America is beyond race, frolics Philadelphia sportscaster Mr. Howard Eskin, who declared to me, at City Hall yesterday, that Mr. Charles Barkley – a retired professional basketball player who has been awarded the opportunity to star in a television show entitled ‘The Race Card’ – has the best message on race because “he doesn’t see it as a white man or a black man,” but rather what’s right for the country.
A similar sentiment was expressed by Mr. Newton: “We just have to do right by each other.”
Admittedly, the Atlanta-born athlete is perplexed by how skin color – something that’s so small, according to Mr. Newton – plays such a big role in society. But, what Mr. Newton may not understand is that those who fight against anti-black racism, like the Black Lives Matter activists, are also puzzled by how their lives are deemed disposable simply because they’re aren’t white and that’s the reason they march, protest, and willingly subject themselves to arrest.
A post racial society is a grand aspiration for Mr. Newton, Mr. Barkley, Mr. Eskin and America as a whole to have – and a collective should continuously aim for it – but that’s not the present-day reality, thus equal focus from us all needs to be applied to the maladies of today and the pursuit of a happier tomorrow.
Thanks for reading. Until next time, I’m Flood the Drummer® & I’m Drumming for JUSTICE!™
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