A Facebook post about a conversation between a black man and a white woman is going viral for all the right reasons.
On May 30th, Caroline Crockett Brock, 45, told the Internet what she had learned about racism from talking to her appliance repairman, Ernest Skelton.
From derogatory language to random police stops, Ernest spilled everything on his day-to-day life in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, revealing just how much prejudice and ignorance he has to deal with.
Caroline said it was the first time she had such a sincere talk about racism; she said it was “illuminating”. So, thinking there probably are more people who would appreciate learning about these complicated social dynamics, the woman shared a rough transcript of the discussion she had with Ernest on her Facebook account. And she was right. Over 220K people reacted to her story and more than 182K shared it, thanking her for the cold truth and a lesson in empathy.
It looked like their relationship will gonna be something special right from the beginning.
“People judge me before I even come in the door, so that’s the reason why I ask, ‘Is it OK for me to come in?'” Skelton told WMBF News.
The question really surprised Brock.
“She said, ‘Why wouldn’t I let you in? You’re coming to check my appliance.’ Then, I explained to her that’s what we go through because people look at us different,” Skelton explained.
When Skelton returned to Brock’s home for their second appliance repair appointment, she asked him a question that was a little more personal.
“I just decided to ask him straight out, ‘How are you doing right now given the current climate?'” Brock said.
At first, Skelton thought she was talking about the coronavirus, but Brock wanted to get an understanding of his everyday life. This was when Skelton opened up and told her some stories about how racism has affected him.
Ernest was happy to get his picture taken
Image credits: Caroline Crockett Brock
Brock asked the repairman if she could post their interaction on Facebook, and he thought it would be a great idea. Fast forward a few days, and they’re all over the Internet.
“In the comments, people, a lot of white people say, ‘I’d love to have these conversations, but I’m scared. I’m scared I’m going to say the wrong things. I’m scared I’m going to approach it wrong. I’m scared I’m going to offend someone,'” Brock explained.
However, these folks should keep in mind that Skelton, for example, said he wasn’t offended by Caroline’s questions at all. It’s because he had built up trust with Brock prior to addressing these serious topics and knew she was sincere when she asked about them.
“If we want to change the world and make our country stronger, we have to be willing to step into the uncomfortableness and pain in this country,” Brock added.
“When are the lines going to draw so I can say it and tell them back in the day it was a white man’s world, but now we united,” Skelton added.
The two hope that their interaction can inspire others have similar conversations as well.
For now, however, Skelton said he will continue asking his customers if he can come in.
Here’s what people said after reading Caroline’s post
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