Dear White People

Dear White People,

The piano is an amazing instrument. It contains the twelve notes that, centuries ago, western society has agreed upon. These twelve notes are, of course, different as you travel back and forth across the piano’s keyboard. But there are twelve, expressed as 88 on almost every piano. These 88 are comprised of two colors: 36 are black, and 52 are white. If you take your hand and sweep them back and forth on only the black keys you will find a pretty cool sound that musicians call the pentatonic scale. If you sweep your hand back and forth on only the white keys you will get an entirely different sound. Still cool, but different. 

But HERE is what is most interesting to me. Let’s take, say, Mozart’s popular piano sonata K. 545 which is in the key of C. (The key of C contains no black keys.) You’re playing along nicely with no black keys until, a few seconds after you start, about 14 seconds or at measure 9, you need yourself a black key. If you don’t add it and the ones that follow, the piece starts to unravel. 

Let’s look at one of Rachmaninoff’s preludes: Opus 32, #12. This puppy is in G sharp minor which has almost all black keys. You’re cranking along, right hand flourishing crazily on all black keys when suddenly, you need a white key in the melody or the piece falls apart.

You know, of course, that this is a very simple analogy on race. My child-like point is this: in the United States of America we CANNOT see one people-group as less than another. Not only that, but we also need each other. AND we need for each person to be that distinct person God has made. We need to see that without that person being who they are, we are lessened as a society. The black community is NECESSARY to the very culture of this country. Without that community, we are not who we are supposed to be.

A while ago Solomon Burke recorded the song “None of Us Are Free” which contains the lyrics: “None of us are free, none of us are free, none of us are free. If one of us is chained, none of us are free.” I know why that he, as a black man in this country sang those words. But how do I see this as a white man? I have to bring in my faith. Being a Christian I believe that every single human is created in the very image of God. Everyone. And each and every distinction we all have is there because God wanted it to be there. As an American, I see that some of us aren’t as free as others. We are told we are all equal by our laws but I, as sure as I am breathing air, know that some of us are not being treated equitably. Some of us in our country are in figurative chains. Therefore, because they are in chains, I am not free. None of us is free. 

We desperately need for our black people to be who they were created to be. We need ALL of our races, or ethnicities if you will, to be who they are created to be. If we don’t do this, we cannot be the country we were meant to be. And let me dare to say this: If you don’t like this, you are free to find another place to live. 

And, if you are a black person who is reading this: I hope I have not offended you. I am just so very weary of how you are being treated. You never deserved this.

Thank you for reading.

Your friend,
Perry

2 thoughts on “Dear White People”

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