Connect with us

Exposed

Racism Over Coffee

Published

on

A minority woman attorney’s recount of an unlikely experience with a racist client after defending him against a criminal charge.

It wasn’t my first encounter with a blatantly racist human being.  Growing up half black and half Asian-Pacific islander in a predominantly white neighborhood in the middle of the Delawarean country meant racism was no surprise to me.  I just learned over time to understand its roots, identify its many forms, ignore its intent, and frankly, accept it as another facet of life.

The racism I have experienced in nearly three-decades hasn’t solely permeated from the Caucasian race.  People of my own race rejected me too many times to count, but always for the same reason: I was too white. I am confident I am not the first or last black girl to be admonished this way.  My speech was too articulate, my hair too long and not nappy enough, I didn’t recognize or speak Ebonics, I didn’t live in a predominantly black neighborhood…the list goes on.  The black girls who chastised me for being everything they were not never invited me to their house for play dates, they never offered to show me how to braid hair, and they never seemed interested in teaching me the deficits of my cultural awareness according to their perceptions of me.

I have always tried to appreciate the goodness of people who have treated me well, regardless of skin color or race.  It’s not like I have discerned white people as treating me better. It’s not like I have clenched to my dream of becoming an incredibly articulate and captivating writer, speaker, and leader because I thought that’s what great white people do.  My childhood memories of racism don’t taint my desire to be the best version of myself, I don’t care what color the best version ends up being.  Although, I’m aiming for a version that is multi-colored like a rainbow so I can eternally be remembered as a multi-faceted and beautiful example of “happy.”

So given all racism has meant to me, it was no surprise that one of my first clients as an attorney and criminal defense lawyer was a confidently racist man. I have always found God to have an unimaginable sense of humor disguised as intentional challenges that lead to triumph.  D.R. was in custody on a misdemeanor stalking charge so he had a lot of time to write letters, which I received and kept.  They included offensive language, racist rants, and banter. I hung them on my office wall throughout my two years as a public defender because there was something incredibly powerful about voluntarily representing an ungrateful and mean client because you passionately believe in defending individual rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.

I never thought I’d see D.R. again. But like I mentioned before, God’s sense of humor is unimaginable.

So on Sunday, I was sitting at the head of an elongated brown wooden table which had grooves like those found on a park picnic table.  I was waiting for a prospective client to join me for coffee and I had chosen a local coffee shop I never frequent because I live 25 miles west.  My eyes were drawn to this guy whose red face I couldn’t distract away from, whose eyes I knew were painfully familiar.  Then, as he was adding sugar to his coffee behind me, I said to him, “I know you.”

He uttered some offensive joke about meeting me and taking me home last night.  I told him that wasn’t it.  Instead, I jogged his memory and connected the dots about where our paths had crossed before.  He paused while his face turned pale, his hand stopped stirring the sugar in his cup.  What he did next changed my life.

He picked up his paper coffee cup, walked over to the table where my stuff was spread atop, he pulled out a chair, looked at me and said, “May I join you? Do you have a minute?”

His presence was as confident and aggressive as I remember, and his conversation remained erratic. But I had never before sat at a table and enjoyed a cup of coffee or shared a smile, laugh, and joke with someone who once told me I was worthless.  But in that moment, I was unafraid, I was unintimidated, and unexpectedly forgiving.  He said he was sorry.  Sorry for ever saying all the awful things he did, sorry for ever treating me so nasty.  He said he was doing well, getting back on his feet, trying to stay out of trouble.

But his biggest moment of redemption was when he explained why he treated me that way.  He had been raised to be racist and admits his own ignorance kept him that way.  He said in the past 6 months he finally realized that the foolishness of his choice to remain an ignorant racist kept him from enjoying a lot of wonderful people.

I forgave him years ago because I knew his behavior was a product of ignorance. It doesn’t matter to me if he has actually changed or if he continues to be a racist.  People like him exist everywhere.  But what does matter to me, and the reason why I’ve share this story, is the power of open-mindedness.

So many people denounce racism and hatred, but how many of those people would encourage a man who spews tenets of both, to take a seat at the table?  To invite that man to chat over coffee?

By being open-minded in every situation you face, you can possibly bring positivity into your being and your life, you can succumb to chance encounters and force yourself to thrive in painful situations just by offering forgiveness over a cup of coffee.

Seeking to improve our understanding of the underlying issues within the legal system. Join me as I continue refining society’s legal literacy by discussing hard truths about the system. -Devika L. Carr, Esq.

 

 

 

 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Business

Former Heavyweight Champion: Mike Tyson’s 40-arce Marijuana Ranch

Former Heavyweight Champion: Mike Tyson’s 40-arce Marijuana Ranch

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Published

on

By

Former Heavyweight Champion: Mike Tyson's 40-arce Marijuana Ranch

 

Exposure Magazine CEO

Former undisputed heavyweight champion of the world, Mike Tyson, and his two business partners plan to open a 40-acre marijuana ranch 60 miles southwest of Death Valley National Park. According to mirror.com Tyson Ranch will allow growers to cultivate their crop and there will also be a cultivation school to help growers get the most out of their strains.

The operating company, Tyson Holistic, will employ mainly veterans and bring much needed jobs to the city it’s in.

 

#MustWeed Mike Tyson Preparing to Revolutionize Marijuana Industry, Breaks G… http://Fortune420.com/News #Cannabis #Stocks & #Crypto

Tyson is a long time believer in the medicinal benefits of marijuana use and with California legalizing recreational use of the plant, his plans to open the ranch are free to move full steam ahead.v

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Continue Reading

Editor Picks

Leading The Charge Exposure Magazine Co-CEO Gordon Woodberry on The E. Jones Show

Published

on


Exposure Magazine is on the move Co-CEO Gordon Woodberry is heading the movement. Manager of the legendary hip hop group EPMD weighs in on his role as Co-CEO and also the future for the publication.

Founded by Celebrity Publicist/ Producer CEO Tamara Lawrence

Senior Editor Cedric Nettles

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Continue Reading

Exposed

The Heart of the Matter – Support The Club at Collington Square!

The Heart of the Matter – Support The Club at Collington Square!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Published

on

By

The Heart of the Matter - Support The Club at Collington Square!

The November 26th Baltimore Sun story about East Baltimore neighborhoods was discouraging: “Poverty Makes a Powerful Statement”. The poorest area of East Baltimore, north of Hopkins Hospital, struggles with a grim list of challenges: poverty, violence, vacant properties, liquor stores and the lowest life expectancy in the city.

But in four renovated and connected rowhomes on Mura Street, behind four colorful doors, daily miracles are happening. The Club at Collington Square is an afterschool and summer program, a consistent, loving, educational haven for 92 children in a very tough neighborhood.

Here, Club staff are teaching and building the leaders this neighborhood and this city need. The staff know that changing young lives changes everyone’s future.

Program Director Vanessa Williams has intentionally recruited and developed a staff of young leaders as teachers and assistants — almost 100 percent of whom live in the neighborhood The Club serves. These dedicated staff provide a highly structured program between the hours of 3:15 and 6:30 chock full of academics, enrichment, play and homework help, and provide a snack and hot dinner cooked by The Club Chef in the on-site Community Kitchen. The program emphasizes student voice and leadership with roles for older scholars to mentor and serve younger scholars, and an elected student council.

Strong City Baltimore assumed operations of The Club at Collington Square when Episcopal Community Services of Maryland sought a more sustainable future. Strong City believes deeply in The Club and in its incredible staff, who do heroic work every day with some of Baltimore’s most vulnerable children.

Strong City assumed operations of The Club in October with a $130,000 deficit, which we have already reduced to $65,000. Your gift today will help us keep the doors open and enable the staff to be there every day with what our scholars need most: love, nourishment, academics and enrichment. It’s easy to despair when the headlines are so discouraging.

But we know that loving and investing in Baltimore’s children is the answer. Your gift will help the Club continue to build young leaders that will change Baltimore’s future.

Click here to give! Be sure to designate your gift to “The Club at Collington Square” and consider joining The Friends of The Club with a monthly gift of $100.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Continue Reading

Subscribe to Exposure Magazine Daily News

Enter your email address to subscribe to our daily news and receive news updates via email.

Join 37,456 other subscribers

Milwaukee
30°
light snow
humidity: 92%
wind: 11mph NW
H 28 • L 27
28°
Wed
37°
Thu
45°
Fri
44°
Sat
Weather from OpenWeatherMap

Contact

Map for INFO@RLASSC.COM Milwaukee Wisconsin 53202 United States

Trending