"Do Black Lives Matter?" Like all rhetorical questions, it's spoken to remind us of the obvious answer; truths that sometimes slip out of sight and mind.
A student-led discussion centered on race, equality, white privilege, and oppression engaged 100 or so Boulderites and non-Boulderites, students and instructors, whites and minorities at the main campus of Naropa University this moonlit, early December evening.
Views were passionate. Loud. Angry. Searching. And silent. The room wrestled with burdens that no one person or group has completely lifted off humanity's back, not just yet. The ball's been moved down the field thanks to players like Abraham Lincoln, Booker T. Washington, Mahatma Gandhi, Rosa Parks, W.E.B. Du Bois, Cesar Chavez, MLK, Jr., Malcolm X, Bobby Kennedy, Jesus of Nazareth, and thousands of others who, throughout history and right up to this Monday in time, strove—and strive—to create a society where each person's basic human rights are recognized and respected.
Impressing me most during the conversation were the words white privilege: the idea that people born white in western civilization enjoy both overt and more nuanced societal advantages that even those same caucasion persons, themselves, may not realize they have or enjoy.
If I were a black man, how would I feel shopping or dining in a town predominately white in population? What about engaging in politics? Or just driving down the road? When it comes to balancing the scales of our human population in terms of race and equality, there's certainly more to do than meets the eye.