Well said. It’s all true, even if some of it is hard to hear.
This has me thinking:
This is the country we live in. Millions of Black lives are valued less than a single White person’s hurt feelings.
It’s important to find a way to talk about race across the racial divide in a way that will help make things better. I don’t want to be the “tone police”. Protecting white people’s feelings shouldn’t have to be a priority, but it should be a priority to find a way to speak so that the message lands, so that understanding begins, so that compassion kicks in, and things start to change. That kind of real communication should be everyone’s priority.
When you call someone racist, and they don’t feel racist, they get defensive and it’s almost impossible to listen while defending. That doesn’t make anything that you said above untrue, it just means real communication is very hard between people who don’t share experiences.
I imagine it must be hard to “tone it down” enough to keep white people’s defenses from kicking in when you are coming from a place of outrage, but it’s worth exploring. A front-on attack isn’t always a good idea if the defenses are strong.
There are people out there finding ways to communicate, for example, I think the way W. Kamau Bell talks about race is very constructive. However, the burden shouldn’t all be on people of color to gently spoon-feed the information to the white folk though.
I recently went through some “unconscious bias” training at work. While mostly talking about gender bias, there was some discussion of how unconscious bias plays out with regard to race as well. It was good, but I could easily imagine a white person of the type who is already complaining about “political correctness” would just stiffen up and not let it in when it’s presented as a sort of “here’s your problem with race” kind of way. But the field of unconscious bias is huge and does not just involve race and gender but pretty much everything a human mind does. Presenting the field of unconscious bias as a general field first, as a general human problem that we all share, could create some common ground where we agree that unconscious bias exists, without triggering the “political correctness” alarms. Then, with that common ground, we could then talk about unconscious bias with regard to race and gender.
Racism is a cultural problem. We are all “racist” in the sense that we have been enculturated into a culture steeped in racism. But one’s culture is so all-pervasive, it’s sometimes hard to see from the inside. We need to find a way to talk about it which leads to solutions.