Assume for a terrible moment… that you’ve lost a loved one.
And at the funeral, I come to you and say, “I’m sorry for your loss but, everyone dies eventually.” Or, “All deaths matter.” Would that be helpful to you?
What if I say, “I’m sorry, but your loved one didn’t eat right, was a criminal or shouldn’t have been doing the act that caused their death.” How would you react?
What if I went into a long exposition about all the loved ones I’ve lost and how I felt each time. And how I know from experience that you weren’t grieving the right way? Would you appreciate my insight?
What if I burst in during the middle of the service and yelled about the “thugs” who are rioting because of this death and how unfair it is that people are making your loved some kind of hero. Would you be receptive to that?
Maybe the best thing would be to attend the service, offer support, listen to those who knew your loved one and keep my opinions to myself… because my viewpoint would only marginalize the feelings of those who are the most directly effected.
Maybe by listening, I could learn more about your loved one and have a better understanding of who they were and what they faced in life.
Maybe that’s how those of us; who don’t experience racism on a daily basis because of the color of our skin, should act.