Over 115 million people will come together in their homes with friends and family and put their political and soical beliefs aside to spend 4 hours togeather watching the Super Bowl. In such a divisive time- I believe that we all need to find ways to unite. But sometimes the ability to unite means that first we must acknowledge what separates us. As I get ready to watch the Super Bowl, I couldn't help but reflect on the fact that tonight we will watch 92 Black men play in the biggest sporting event of the year. As I thought about that number, I thought about how long it would take me- a Black man in corporate America living on the west side of NYC to interact with 90 Black men. With 60. With 30. Then I thought about how many white men will sit tonight, surrounded by people who look like them, think like them, live like them- and watch a game that they have been waiting all year for, that will amount to mostly Black athletes (92 Black to the 30 White) playing for their entertainment. This ties into the culture we have created where Black people can sing, rap, play to entertain our country, but when push comes to shove, most White people can enjoy the entertainment but never actually have to touch us, interact with us. Understand that I am highlighting an opportunity for us to come together. Sports, and the Super Bowl have always been a uniting force in our country. So today, on the day of our 51st Super Bowl, I would like to tip my hat to ALL 122 players on the field. And as they play in a game that has always brought us together, I ask that going forward, we all be just a little more conscious of how we can be united and interact with each other on the other 364 days of the year. Please note my post was not about Black and White as an "issue"- it was about an opportunity for people to be united. And as I said in my post- sometimes solutions do not present themselves until we are willing to acknowledge that their is a problem. It is a real privilege for White people to not have to consider certain things that as a Black man, I have no choice but to consider. But instead of being negative about it, I try to share my lens with others so they can begin to widen their view and think about things that they otherwise might not have to think about.
"Just A Thought"
Sean L. James