Dear White America,
As you well know, the concept of race and the issue of racism have been staples of Western Civilization from the moment that Christopher Columbus “discovered” the Caribbean. From this “discovery” we eventually saw the settling of the North American continent and the rise of a nation that was supposed to rest upon the principles of freedom, justice, equality, and liberty. Many consider these four concepts the cornerstones of this nation.
Please understand that this communication is not constructed from a position of animosity toward you and yours. However, it is an appeal to your humanity; that inner place that intuitively reveals to you what is correct and incorrect, Christians call it the Holy Spirit, atheists call it a moral compass, I call it the ability to speak truth to power even when you will be punished for your position. Edmund Burke articulated it a different way when he stated, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
Hence, this call from an African-American male with a son, nephews, cousins, and friends who resemble many of the men who have been murdered by officers in American streets asks for you to weigh in, in a significant manner regarding the repeated killing of my brothers in American streets.
Now I am certain that you have already tired of and been completely turned off by the droves of blanket criticism that my people extend in your direction, criticism that the vast majority of you do not deserve, however, you must excuse our tendency to group all whites together as a monolithic group; from our perspective on issues of racial conflict you rarely, if ever, differentiate yourselves. There are few things that can remove the in-fighting and bi-partisanship of the white community like racial matters; you appear very white bread and monolithic at those moments.
I hope that you can understand that the African-American community has been down this road of white officers murdering African-American males repeatedly, and nary a time have we heard many, if any, members of your community speak truth to power and denounce the murder of American citizens in America’s streets, regardless of the victim or victimizers race.
So in an effort to help you avoid being mistakenly identified as a supporter of the vicious killing of Black men in the streets of America by law enforcement officers, consider this a welcoming invitation for you to weigh in regarding this matter in a significant way; behave as if this string of deceased American citizens were not only white, but also a close family friend. Behave now on the side of freedom, justice, equality, and liberty, as if it were your son, nephew, brother, husband, father, grandfather, that you felt compelled to pray for each time they left your presence; a prayer that asked a higher power to put a hedge of protection around them from the evils to be found in the outside world.
Make no mistake about it, your failure to speak up at this moment of crisis will cause African-Americans to group you with those who publicly support, if not encourage white officers murder of Black men, as if they are cheering for their favorite sports team. Your individual and collective silence ensures that evil will triumph; as none of the good whites did anything to either prevent evils ascension or denounced it once it ruled this nation.
Dr. James Thomas Jones III