ro tips for non-blacks following these police shootings and then mass shootings in Dallas, from me, your resident “Bridge Between Worlds”:
1) Your coworkers of the darker hues will be more somber and snappish this morning than ever before. It’s not you. Don’t try to cheer them up by showing consolidation just yet, better to minimize or avoid small talk, and in general, let them silently grieve for the rest of the week.
2) If you post anything on social media about the tragedy in Dallas or show support for cops, but didn’t post a word about the the police shootings in Baton Rouge or Minnesota, I suggest putting a word of empathy in your dallas/cop support post about it now… better late than never. Your black social media friends notice these things… more key, they notice the lack of postings. If you don’t, it tells people that you think some lives matter and others don’t, contradictory to your All Lives Matter mantra.
3) Save the finger pointing for a few days from now. Everyone is an emotional mess; no one is listening to opposing opinions at the moment. Don’t blame Black Lives Matter, dont blame the POTUS, dont blame cops, dont blame anyone. Save your opinions, let the moment breath and grieve, plenty of talk once the dust settles and the details surface.
4) Don’t make assumptions about the Dallas shooters and their intentions. Don’t group them with others. Wait for the details to surface. Don’t read the comment sections, and most importantly don’t be a comment section’er!
5) Let your darker hued acquaintances and coworkers have their private moments together. They need moments of vulnerability; it’s cathartic and healing. They’re not excluding you, they’re not negatively talking about you, they are just being vulnerable and recharging their psyche… everyday most of them put on a different face at work and in public then when they’re at home or with friends (moreso than you do, because yes everyone does this to a degree); at times like this, it’s hard to maintain that mask, give them some space so they don’t have to extend the extra effort for that mask for today.
6) Non Verbal communication is good. Smiles, nods, pats on the shoulder (if yall that cool for contact), etc. goes a long way and doesn’t require much effort in mental response from them. No need for anything extra beyond that, non verbal is enough and will be appreciated/remembered.