Words from an interviewee:
Over quarantine I noticed that everybody in the neighborhood, you know, you would see families out walking. Everybody was trying to be outdoors because we were isolated at home. All of my Caucasian neighbors were walking together, all of my East Indian neighbors were walking together, and I know several of the Chinese and Korean families in the neighborhood, they were walking together. Why the divide? Why aren’t we…? I think there is this interesting thing when you have a walking partner and you’re sharing with them: your spouse, your kids, your work, your worries. You know, you open up a lot as you walk together. So actually, if you’re walking with somebody and exercising with them, you’re including them in the innermost circle in your life. And so I realized that we were just walking with those we felt most comfortable with and those that we were willing to let into that inner circle.
Over quarantine when I was walking, I always came across one of these friends of mine who I knew through our daughters. This East Indian friend said, “My daughter’s going back to college, I don’t have anyone to walk with let’s walk together.” And I said, “Yes let’s do. Let’s walk together.” So, we started walking together and then she would say, “Hey, I have this other friend, can I include her?” And I said, “Yeah! I have this other friend, too, let’s include her.” So then several of us started walking in different combinations and I thought this is how it really should be. Our kids are going to the same schools, we’re all in this neighborhood together, why are we not sharing in each other’s lives?
A U.S. without racism would have to be people without racism. People who really do feel that all people are equal, are of value, all people should have opportunity. So, I think it will have to be a real change in people’s ideas, their attitudes and their hearts.