DR. LEONARD YANG

Leonard Yang

I would like to commend The Northern Virginia Daily and former Editor Linda Ash for seeking to balance the editorial page.

The contrasting views of white Americans with regard to police violence against Black Americans is illustrative. Mona Charon recently maintained that not every tragedy is a racial lesson and does make a good point that there seemed to be a rush of judgment in the case of Officer Kim Potter who shouted “Taser, taser, taser” before shooting Daunte Wright with her firearm.

However, in her analysis of the encounter of Lt. Caron Nazario (who is the Latino Black SUV driver who was in military uniform when stopped by Windsor, Virginia, police) she reveals her bias as a white woman when she criticized him for waiting to find a well-lit area before he stopped and describing his asking “what’s going on” as odd and “weirdly” declining to exit the car after carefully placing his cell phone to record the incident. He showed his hands to the angry officers and told them that he was afraid to get out and they responded “you should be.” She states that when flagged down by police she pulls over right away – well, she is white.

Eric Holder, Black attorney general under Obama, stated how even he was compelled to give his sons “the talk” that many African American parents give to their sons as to what to do when pulled over by police in order to not get killed.

The Black CEO of AARP wrote how, when deciding if her adult son should drive her daughter back to graduate school at night to another state, she opted in a joint decision with her children to find another way for her to get to school. Most white adults are not aware of the fear that even upper-class Blacks have of driving while Black. They don’t know what it feels like to fear for their life due to the color of their skin or the shape of their eyes (I am an Asian American).

In contrast, Connie Schultz empathizes with the pain and fear in her Black student over the shootings of Blacks by police. She humbly calls out her whiteness and for the need for white people (in my case a non-Black person) to be outspoken allies of Black people despite the hate mail that she has received about racism from whites. Hers is a guide as to how to approach others who are different than us. It is how I feel we should be as Americans – trying to understand one another. Please read her opinion in The Northern Virginia Daily: "The Whiteness of Being."

Dr. Leonard Yang is a Winchester resident.