Usually, I am quite tolerant, respectful and patient towards people of all cultures, colors and genders. However, as the news has been broadcasting updates on this story, I began wondering…let me rewind and bring you up to speed…
On April 3, a white 54 year old male, named Steve Utash, hit a 10 year old, black boy, with his truck, on the east side of Detroit. Instead of driving away, Steve got out of his car in order to help the boy he hit. As a result of his compassion, a gang of teens and men, proceeded to beat Steve so severely, he is suffering from severe brain trauma and is slowly recovering in a nearby hospital. So far, 4 suspects have been arrested as police scour the city for the rest of the assailants.
All 4 men range in age from 17 to 30 years old. All 4 men are also black. All 4 men beat a white man almost to death. Yet, there are no mobs protesting in the streets, hurtling racist accusations. There is no family, dramatizing for the cameras, but calmly relaying the progress Steve is making.
As I have listened to this event unfold, I thought about the Trayvon Martin incident. Ironically, a lot of noise was raised about racism, profiling, etc. etc. etc. etc. Trayvon’s parents were on the news, every night, letting the whole world know what a good boy their son was. It was a never ending news fest when this incident occurred. Interestingly, this is not the first time an event like this has happened. Nor is it the first time emotions have caused unrest and upheaval in the community.
Granted, I am a white female with German, Hungarian and Dutch ancestry. I have had the advantage of being raised in a middle class household, in the suburbs. However, I am not a racist and do not believe in judging someone by how they look. Due to my upbringing, I also do not have an inkling of what it is like to live in the bowels of any large city. (Although, I have driven through some sections of Detroit, at night, that did not leave me feeling warm and fuzzy.) I am not criticizing those families who get angry, upset or emotional when their son/daughter/mother/ father, etc. is unexpectedly killed. I know if one of my family members, namely my children died, tragically or otherwise, I would probably have a nervous breakdown. It would absolutely, unequivocally be devastating to say the least. But, since this latest act of violence, I am wondering just how the community would have reacted if Steve was black and the attackers were white. Would a circus of flying accusations, dramatic twists and turns and crowds protesting injustice occur? Or would people calmly support, not only the one who hit, but also the one who was injured and raise hell against those who took it upon themselves to inflect harm on someone who was showing compassion?
No, I am not just wondering. I am sick and tired of hearing about those situations where someone of ‘Caucasian’ coloring is accused of racism and profiling when they are involved in a situation with someone of ‘Color.’ Yet, in this case, the tables have turned, making it nastily reek of hate and racism.
Nevertheless, Steve’s family is an example of doing what is right in focusing on their father’s health rather than perpetuating the violence. Recently, they held a vigil for their father, calling for compassion as the community united together to support them and Steve. An example I hope others are taking notice of and will choose to follow in the future.
So I ask for you to pray for those living in a world where violence is rampant…those who are not as well off as you…those who are…for a world where others unite instead of fight…and most importantly, I ask for you to pray for…
Steve Utash and his family…and
for those families whose sons were involved in this heinous crime. I know they are suffering too.