Facing the issue of race head on

Published 9:03 pm Wednesday, March 4, 2015

By Domenick Epps

It has been three years since young Trayvon Martin was killed.

The controversial event that occurred on Feb. 26, 2012, has changed America and at one point caused a greater divide between blacks and whites. The court proceedings and final verdict revealed the hidden feelings of many in regards to race and the belief in the inequality of our justice system, as have the cases of Mike Brown, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice and others.

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There is an issue of race that we have yet to face head on.

But after driving an hour and a half for a listing appointment recently, I met an amazing couple who gave me hope.

We were meeting face to face for the first time on a day after the snow. Due to the weather conditions, I didn’t wear a suit and tie as I do 99 percent of the time. This time, I wore jeans, Timberland boots, a gray hoodie and a thick black jacket.

This was an immaculate rural home valued at more than $450,000, and I was met with a gated entrance as I drove down the gravel path that led to it.

I got out, grabbed my bag and proceeded to the door. I rang the doorbell, only to hear a loud voice say “Domenick, I’m on this side.” I walked over and was quickly greeted by a white man in his late 60’s dressed in a gray hoodie and jeans.

Before we entered his home, he complimented my attire by saying, “I like a man who doesn’t have to wear a suit and tie.”

We entered the home, and he quickly gave me a tour. Then I met his lovely wife, and we all sat down in their living room. It was here where, to my surprise, the issue of race was faced.

He looked me in my eyes and said, “I want you to know that I am a racist.” I smiled, I looked at his wife and she smiled. He went on to state how all of us have some degree of racism in us.

He then described how he was the first white teacher in his city to teach in an “all-black” school in the late ‘60s. He broke a barrier, and I told him, “I’m a barrier breaking guy.”

Unlike most appointments, which usually last an hour or so, I was with this amazing couple for three hours. We shared, we laughed, we prayed and, yes, I got the listing.

What would happen if we all were bold enough to lay it all out, while understanding that while God is still working on us in certain areas of our lives we have yet to overcome, we can still work together?

Let’s not hide behind it; let’s face it head on — that is if we really want to conquer it.

Domenick Epps is a Suffolk resident, real estate agent and youth pastor. Email him at DomenickEpps.Realtor@gmail.com.