116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
I’m a 49-year old white female and recently moved to Cedar Rapids about four years ago with my husband. My memory/neurological disorder prevents me from driving, so I walk. A lot. Over the years, I’ve grown accustomed to the local culture of greeting people I see while walking. Saying hello to strangers, friends, familiar faces and everyone in between is part of my daily walking experience.
On a recent walk, I passed a Black man on the front porch with his son, who was probably about 8 or 9 years old. I said hello as I walked past them and overheard the following exchange as a walked:
Son: Who was that?
Father: I don’t know.
Son: Why did she say hi to us?
Father: Because she was being nice. (PAUSE). Now, I know you’re not used to people being nice to us, but some people are.
The point is clear. The more exclusive we are, the more damaging it is — especially with all the messaging and signing stating “Black Lives Matter.” It’s time to put our words into action.