*As we all know, whether we want to admit it or not, truth ain’t always pretty. As a matter of fact, its usually ugly. Think about it. When someone you know and love tells you something about your look, behavior or attitude — and that something is not meant to be an insult but its unflattering, we’re hurt. And keeping with the whole pretty vs. ugly metaphor, we see it as ugly. Their remark to us, about us, was ugly.
But it takes a bigger person to see the ugliness within, like this dad of an interracial family who decided to put himself on blast.
KTVU evening anchor Frank Somerville is known for putting the business of other folks out there on his social media site. But recently, an incident he created had him facing his own racial biases, and he turned the proverbial camera on himself by putting it on Facebook.
Somerville recounts the story this way. He noticed, while walking past a bus stop at 8 p.m. one evening, a white woman sitting alone, and a Black man heading in her direction. Right then and there, he decided to “keep an eye” on the situation. Suspecting this Black man was surely up to no good.
Then, out of nowhere, a young boy ran up and grabbed the man’s hand. Somerville felt like a complete ass; changing his whole perspective once he realized the man was a father.
“I have a confession to make. It’s embarrassing.”
He said, the man did absolutely nothing wrong and yet I saw him as a possible threat. The main reason was because of his skin color. The whole way home I was thinking to myself, “I grew up in Berkeley” (Editor’s note: a supposedly liberal town for those of who don’t know). “I have a Black daughter and yet I still have that #$%&*^$ bias. What the $%^$&$*^#@ is wrong with me?”
He further chides himself saying he had just had a conversation with that daughter, telling her she will probably be treated differently than her “white sister” due to people’s attitudes. “And here I am doing the EXACT same thing,” he adds.
Just call it what it is man, institutionalized racism, and yes, its ugly.
Somerville is sharing his story for a reason. The same reason many Black folk say white people seemingly ignore. He says the only way to eliminate these biases “is to realize they exist in the first place.”
Yes. So true. Let’s hope that catches on as we move forward.
The only thing greater than this ‘realization’ would’ve been if Somerville, once he realized his own ‘bad’ — had actually gone up to the guy and outed himself.
I can’t end this article without asking this question though: as a Black person reading this, would you have done the same thing seeing the scenario Somerville did? Assumed the Black man coming towards the white woman was up to no good and ‘kept an eye on the situation’?
You’re a damn liar.