Having contrasting views does not mean people have to hate each other. It is too easy to put others either in a positive or negative category based on their beliefs. Rosalynd Harris, a waitress and dancer from Washington D.C. and Jason White, a dentist from Lubbock, Texas, could not be more different from each other. Yet, Harris and White made the conscious choice to simply be kind and friendly to one another. White, along with two friends, was in the nation’s capital for President Donald Trump’s inauguration. Harris was on an emotional high after participating in the Women’s March. White told one of his friends to put away his red “Make America Great Again” cap prior to walking into the Busboys and Poets restaurant. This restaurant promotes social justice and its walls are covered with African American art.”She started laughing when we said we were from West Texas and she said, ‘I can tell you’re from the South,'” White recalls. “I said, ‘What’s your favorite thing on the menu?’ She said the avocado panini is delicious, and I love avocado, so I got that… It was a relief for both of us. This was just lunch.”
37-year-old White complimented Harris on her beautiful smile.
White wasn’t just in Washington for the inauguration. He was witness to the Women’s March and visited the Arlington Cemetery to pay tribute. He said all of the events are what it means to be an American.
Harris began waitressing about a year-and-a-half ago to make ends meet as dancing wasn’t paying all the bills. She is also looking for a new apartment. Worried about moving expenses, she has taken on extra shifts at the restaurant.
It came with a note for the professional dancer; “We may come from different cultures and may disagree on certain issues, but if everyone would share their smile and kindness like your beautiful smile, our country will come together as one people. Not race. Not gender. Just American. God Bless!”
“You automatically assume if someone supports Trump that they have ideas about you,” she says. “But (White was) more embracing than even some of my more liberal friends, and there was a real authenticity in our exchange.”
For Harris, this experience has shifted her views. “This definitely reshaped my perspective. Republican, Democrat, liberal are all subcategories to what we are experiencing. It instills a lot of hope,” she says.