The New York Times has a small section every Saturday entitled“metropolitan diary.” It narrates ordinary New York City human experiences. An incident occurred before the pandemic. It took place in a Starbucks restaurant in midtown Manhattan early one morning, probably around seven, as customers were standing in line to get their coffee. There’s not a word spoken between the customers. Everyone was in his or her own world, eager to get to work or just start the day.
Suddenly, out of nowhere, a woman shouts “My kids don’t call me anymore.” There’s silence. A few minutes pass and she shouts again: “I might lose my job.” Then another woman waiting in line to place her order goes to the woman and says: “Let’s you and I sit down with our coffee. Tell me your story.” Isn’t that what so many of our black and brown brothers and sisters have been waiting to hear for centuries? “Tell us your story.”
Isn’t this at the heart of today’s unrest, even today’s violence? We need to hear the stories of people in this world who are outraged, whose story hasn’t been heard, whose story needs to be told. We’re not at a Starbucks restaurant. We’re brothers and sisters, all – “Please, brother, sister, sit down. Tell me your story.”