To talk about race or to not talk about race…that is the question…

Black, White, Asian, Latina…I’m talking about race, arguably one of the most difficult topics to talk publically about. But why? I would like to state that the following is meant for educational purpose and is not meant to offend anyone.

I think that I can comfortably say with no hesitation that many of us hesitate when the conversation of race arises, but it is so interesting to me why this is. I should also say that I am no exception.

During this past week, our conversations and readings have focused on our views of race and how we talk about it. In lecture, I noticed somewhat more silence than usually, less people contributing to the conversation, and this is absolutely because of the awkwardness of not knowing what would come off as offensive or simply opinion.  I attribute this to the main reason why we are so scared to talk about this topic. In a discussion in class, it was also brought up that many times, white people feel as though their privilege takes away their rights to criticize or simply converse about race.

After reading the book, Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?, by Beverly Daniel Tatum’s, many of my classmates began to open up about their feelings of other races criticizing their own race. In this book, the author, who is an African American Psychologist, broke down the many ways that each race in represented in the media and what we think about each. By this, I mean how we view one another. She predominantly talks about white privilege and shares her views of why white people are so defensive.

I believe that this was a good book to read, because we far too often hear only one side of the story, but hearing from another race opened my eyes to how they feel when white people act a certain way, allow I found I agreed with little that she said.

But now that we are open to discussing this topic, should we continue to do so?

I believe that if we use kindness and understanding, any topic should be open to discussion. No hatred or ill feelings are appropriate for this topic in particular because at this time, we still have sadly not reached a complete understanding of one another and this will continue to build on those feelings. But if we do use kindness, I believe that we will be able to open up with other races and really discuss how we are feeling and learn from each other.

The conversation of race should be one we are all open to, but it will take small steps.

My assignment to you today is talk to someone about race and take something away from it, whether it be good or bad and allow it to improve upon your view of race.


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