I receive sad news that a young man is found dead.
Our only contact had been his occasional trolling of my social media comments and every time with his disparaging personal remarks directed at me. That’s not defaming the dead, but simply an observation to make this point…
He would often include my name in his comments, though a stranger to me. I once asked, “Who are you? I don’t even know who you are?”
These questions ended without answers. Perhaps, the gentleman doubted by sincerity in getting to know more about him and why the verbal attacks against me – someone he didn’t know. Perhaps launching verbal assaults from a distance was more comfortable than a genuine exchange up-close and interpersonal.
It is quite possible that we might have discussed health issues. I have mine. And just maybe, our discussions would have revealed his and the need for urgent attendance to them. There might have been some common ground talks about community. Navigating society as black men. Or even, the power of faith in our lives.
Had rhtorical attacks led to a real conversation, he might have understood my position that categorical allegiance to political parties is a self-nullifying position for African Americans and other groups whose numbers are relatively small. Why even criticism of the policies of the first black President of the United States is a necessary thing on the way to progress.
Maybe, we might have found a time and place to just laugh. Tell old stories. And shake hands with a greater sense of understanding. After all, with every challenge visited upon African Americans, surely we were not enemies. But somehow, our only encounters were shaped by less-than-cordial sentiments.
For my part, I dismissed the young man as someone intent on distracting me from my journey, my voice, and the things that cause me great concern. For his part, nothing of a real conversation was ever pursued.
Now, he is dead. And whatever positives a more constructive relationship might have yielded died with him.
Just a reminder that in a crowded world of people being “heard”, we sometimes miss the simple things about being human. That is to be humane.
R.I.P. young man. Your passing has not gone unnoticed. In this, I commit to establish a positive relationship with someone who heretofore has presented himself/herself as my “detractor”. And by this, I’m asking readers of kennethdprice.com to do the same.
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