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Monday, March 24, 2008

"You Don't Know What it's Like to be a Black Man . . ." Is it Really a Black and White Issue?

Photo by Chance Agrella


The claim that Hillary Clinton or anyone else who is not a black man cannot possibly understand or relate to 'the experiences of the black man' is ludicrous and faulty in logic.

By that same logic, the person making the statement could not possibly understand or relate to the 'experiences of a white woman' or anyone else who is not a black man - which means they have no frame of reference for comparison, which is needed in order to make their statement true.

You don't need to roll in a pigsty to know it stinks, and you don't have to go into space to know that stars are beautiful. As humans we have been given a unique ability to learn about and understand things we do not directly experience, but that we observe. As humans, we also have a unique gift for being able to show compassion for the pain others suffer - that we, ourselves, have not.

You don't have to be a white woman to understand that being treated unfairly is not fun. You don't have to be a black man to know that it really stinks to be judged upon how you look.

And frankly, there is no way to possibly 'know' the experiences of everyone else - as everyone has a unique experience. My experiences as a white woman are not the same experiences as any of my female friends who are white - though we have a few in common.

We are all people, which makes us each uniquely different. It is not our race that defines us, but the choices we make when the challenges life throws at us all come our way.

What do YOUR choices say about YOU?

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