President spoke from the heart
The President’s words were “That could have been me 35 years ago.” They were raw, honest, heartfelt and, sadly, probably true. What can we learn from Mr. Martin’s death and the President’s words? I’m not referring to the legal issues, because I am not the person to write about that. How do we learn not to judge a person by his or her dress, skin color, handbag, tattoos, piercings, car and other externalities? Sunday morning, there was a commentary on NPR. Kathy Grigsby Bates speculated how different the outcome probably would have been if the billionaire hoody-attired Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg had been walking down that dark street instead of Trayvon Martin. We know it would have been different.
In public health, where we are so committed to overcoming health disparities, can we walk in someone else’s shoes to feel what it would be to live his life? We need to do that, to close some of the distance that academia erects between us and the people we study, nurture and aim to help. Linda Wertheimer, on the radio Saturday morning, examined herself in light of President Obama’s suggestion that we each have a conversation with ourselves and ask the question, “Am I wringing as much bias out of myself as I can?” Am I? Are you? Are we? We can do better.
I can’t believe it’s less than a month until orientation. Happy Monday. Barbara