In light of the recent killing of George Floyd, Americans have taken it upon themselves to step up and hold officers accountable for their actions. The importance of Black Lives Matter has rung out to all the races as they protest together and fight for a cause that is important and changing lives. But my experience recently was different, as an African American women I was recently on an elevator with another elderly African American women and an elderly Caucasian male. The three of us were on this elevator in a medical facility and as you may recall the awkward silence that exist with strangers on an elevator right? Well in this short ride from the parking garage to the 9th floor the elderly man takes the time to announce his remorse of the current events and kindly states "I want to be a part of solution to fix it". My initial response is programmed "thank you we appreciate those kind words". I took a moment to exchange looks with the elderly African American women before getting off the elevator and its like we both questioned his words and if they were only said out of guilt?......…Am I wrong for believing this is white guilt?
Internally, I wanted to stay on the elevator and ride up to the 11th floor with him and educate on his guilt and asking him to put his words into action when the opportunity presented itself for him (aka election time). But I didn't do this because I had on my work badge and I did not want my employer to question whether I was lashing out at his elderly man. Two, I didn't say anything because for so long many of us in the African American race have been taught not to rock the boat, reduce conflict, and not engage in words if they are not kind. But truthfully him putting his guilt on us that morning made me feel worse and angry as hell. Understand, we don't need apologies and definitely don't want to carry the burden of anyone's guilt. Understand our reasons for the fight and the need to be heard by helping us continue to discuss race no matter how uncomfortable it makes each and everyone of us.