Benjamin Watson is a Super Bowl champion, author, and activist who’s never been afraid to discuss controversial issues, including racism in America.
He discussed that very topic Friday on CBS Sports Radio.
“I would remind everyone that we all have our own narratives when it comes to this topic because of our backgrounds, our upbringings, (and) our personal experiences that may be different than someone else’s,” Watson said on The DA Show. “I would encourage people to take time to engage with someone of a different background, someone they have created an intentional relationship with, where they won’t get offended either way if someone asks a question about a specific event that’s happening.
“A lot of what we see is you see something on television, you hear something, you read something on social media, you immediately have an immediate response to it, and you get in your corner because of what you believe and you don’t want to talk to the other side,” Watson continued. “You demonize the other side, actually, without listening to them. I would tell people, ‘Hey, have the courage enough to present your ideas in totality, to hear someone else’s ideas.’ If you disagree, that’s fine. But understand that simply because something is not your experience doesn’t mean it’s any less real or wrong.”
Watson believes that self-reflection and understanding is needed from all sides.
“We need to be honest with ourselves in places where we need to repent of our bad attitudes, our prejudices, and our racism,” the 36-year-old Raven said. “We need to forgive things that have happened to us in the past, and we need to be willing to work together and admit, ‘Hey, we messed this thing up, and we need to do better.’ It’s a very hard topic, but it’s something that we have a hard time getting rid of. It’s not going anywhere. It keeps rearing its ugly head in different ways. It’s going to keep happening, but the only we address it is to understand that there’s a spiritual component, too. I believe that our relationship with Jesus Christ is one where the forgiveness and the repentance can come for us to tackle this problem of race in America.”