Give me 38 minutes.
If you don’t have them now, block them out on your Google calendar, right now, for later this evening. Stay up past your bedtime if you have to.
I want you to spend 38 minutes listening to the stories of eight people in my community—Durham, North Carolina—as they share the most vulnerable stories of being dehumanized by those charged to serve and protect them. I know George and Jonathan, but I’ve only encountered Frank and DeCarlos, Keith and Reginald, John and Robin through the stories they share here.
Well, I say I don’t know them. But our paths probably have crossed in town—at Burger King or in a tasty barbecue restaurant. I might have passed Frank in a crowd or smiled and thanked Reginald or John for doing their jobs.
But I probably didn’t light up the way I would if I saw the Mayor at my grocery store or recognized a player from the Durham Bulls baseball team on the street. Until I watched this video, I hadn’t realized how important each of these people are.
And that’s a problem.
In fact, it’s the problem.
So here I am asking you to spend 38 minutes you don’t think you have to spare because I’m convinced these guides can help you see people in your community who work two jobs, dodge potholes, visit their grandmothers and pamper their wives who love barbecue.
Why am I doing this? Because seeing DeCarlos and John and Robert has not only helped me see what I’m missing in my town. It’s also helped me begin to see what’s happening in Ferguson, MO. Not what’s on the news, but what’s on folks’ minds—what’s weighing on their souls—when they hear the news that one more black man has been gunned down by law enforcement.
The problem, I’m beginning to realize, is that I’m blind to a reality that some people can’t get away from.
Which is why it was worth 38 minutes of my time to watch this video.