Guilty: Failure to Understand, Incapable of Empathy

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The truth is staring me in the mirror.

I am an older, white male.

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As such, I have a failure to understand, an incapability of empathy and am justifiably labeled guilty.

Why deny it?

How can I as an older, white male be able to “get it”?

How can I as an older, white male know how it feels to be abused both verbally and physically?

How can I as an older, white male know the hurt of being turned down for employment or fired from employment because of being who one is?

How can I as an older, white male be able to relate to police hostility or brutality?

How can I as an older, white male think I can be party to healing wounds that cross time?

How can I as an older, white male have the gall to talk about injustice and inequality?

How can I as an older, white male discover my options limited in achieving the great American Dream?

How can I as an older, white male know the humiliation of mothers pulling their children close to them when passing by?

How can I as an older, white male relate to the shame as people cross to the other side of the street in avoidance?

How can I as an older, white male comprehend being refused service in a restaurant or store simply for being alive?

Anyone can see it clearly in the photo that I am an older, white male – thus I am suspect.

It is plain to see that I have no seat at the table with the downtrodden.

The only participation I can have in the conversation is to admit my guilt and complicity for actions perpetrated 50, 100, 200, 300 years ago.

Those actions surely were committed by someone like me. I am guilty whether I am blood-related or not to the perpetrator.

I am guilty whether any thoughts of malice have ever crossed my mind or not.

I am guilty whether I have ever committed any acts of inhumanity or not.

I am the spitting image of the guilty.

From the Cornfield, not sure if I mentioned it, but I am also gay.

I have been asked to move from where I lived.

I have been beaten.

I have been threatened with jail time.

I have been met at the church door and told I was not welcome.

I have seen employment opportunities disappear.

I have been called things which would make the most vile person blush.

None of that matters.

I am betrayed by my appearance in the picture.

I am an old, white male.

Nothing matters except for what is so obvious by one look.

But don’t call it profiling.

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Mark

I am Mark Ivy, a born and bred Hoosier.
I am father to two wonderful sons, Dave and Kev, of whom I am very proud;
two terrific daughters-in-law, Anna and Hailey; three beautiful granddaughters, Dylan, Alaina and Amelia.

On May 9, 2017, my lung specialist hit me with the news I had maybe six months to live if the chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), the damage caused by the histoplasmosis described below, ran its normal course. I am now on hospice at home. Content and ready to cross over the river to the other side.

On September 2, 2014, I was diagnosed with disseminated histoplasmosis, a fungal infection, discovered by a biopsy of my larynx.
The infection is fatal if left untreated. For 2 1/2 years I lived under a death sentence being misdiagnosed
with a non-specific bacterial infection which left my right lung a “dried up sponge” and non-functioning.
I was aggressively treated for the infection with antifungals.
The treatment ended October of 2015 and fortunately did not take two years.

I suffer from chronic Horton’s Syndrome. The effects vary widely causing various problems.
Statistically, Horton’s affects only 0.1% of the population. Major depression also attacks me regularly.

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