The beauty of ugly answers

According to the US Census Bureau, Blacks account for 13.4% of the population in my country, 12.0% in my state, and 36.9% in my state capital.

In my home town, it’s 0.8%.

How did I get to live here? Why did I not know these figures until now? Why has this never been a topic of discussion with my relatives, friends and colleagues?

Because I’m White, privileged, and part of a society plagued with institutional racism. I am just starting to understand this now, at age 51. I am ashamed, embarrassed, and feeling guilty. I am also determined to learn how to see what has been invisible to me, to listen to the unheard voices, and to do what I can to right wrongs.

In this we can all be leaders. We can all educate ourselves. We can all ask the difficult questions and truly listen to the ugly answers. For only these ugly answers can illuminate the path forward.

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