You know, I’m a runner, though not so much these days as when I was younger.
I was just writing to somebody else today that I’ve run thousands of miles through suburban neighborhoods all over the United States, including down in the Deep South.
Never once have I felt in danger. Never have I been scrutinized or threatened. A middle-aged white man in jogging clothes is safe out running. That’s just the way it is.
I’ve even, while running, stopped to poke around the odd construction site out of a sense of idle curiosity. Again, no danger or threats.
Middle-aged white men like me are presumed to be legitimate.
That’s a privilege that does not extend to black men, as we’ve seen this past week after learning a black jogger was murdered for nothing more than running his daily route.
I can acknowledge to myself that I enjoy that privilege without feeling guilty or ashamed or anything else negative about myself. It’s just a true thing that is.
I would hope, however, the next time I’m out running I ponder why I’m safe, and why other people aren’t. I would hope that my introspection and empathy would help make part of the solution and not part part of the problem.