We have to keep working to improve race relations
In light of the recent murders of two police officers in Brooklyn, it is distressing to me, as a white man, to follow this tragedy and all of the recent stories on racial relations.
As a person who grew up during the late ’60s and ’70s, I believed that we had come a long way in learning to accept our diversity. I am sure that many of my fellow baby boomers would agree. It doesn’t appear to be the case, however, as recent events have indicated.
Having spent my earliest childhood years with African-American girls as playmates on the Lower East Side, meeting black boys and girls whose fathers my Dad knew and worked with, and later moving to Washington, D.C., for several years in a career move, I have been fortunate to have been exposed to a great many African-Americans. All were great folks and we got along well.
I had the pleasure of having my former boss and his girlfriend, both African-Americans, as house guests for several days when I later moved back to Buffalo. Escorting them to the obligatory Niagara Falls and Anchor Bar, as well as simply taking walks in the neighborhood on cool autumn nights, are good memories that I will always look back on.
I’m hopeful that these recent events are more the exceptions than the rule. Or, at least, they are temporary disruptions that we all can use to make adjustments going forward to rebuild solid relationships. It’s not only beneficial but mandatory as a nation that we do so.