We Should Not Be Afraid to Talk about Race

I have never taken race as a big problem until I came to the U.S. China doesn’t have such problem. There are very few immigrants in China. In tradition, Chinese are friendly to foreigners no matter what your race is. In addition, Han is the only ethnic majority in China; Over 98% of population is Han. There is a long history for government to make special rules to protect the minorities in China. They have more privileges than Han. So there are not many problems between different ethnic groups.

         I have learnt something about discrimination and race problem of the U.S in high school. But in fact, I haven’t really experienced it since I don’t have American friends. All I know about this are from books and newspapers. It is quite confusing for me that why race problem is a sensitive topic. In my view, it is very common to talk about race. But we should show our respect for other races. If we talk about race with respect, I don’t think it is offensive. Of course, discrimination is not welcomed. For me, my race is my honor. I’m proud to be a Chinese. I don’t care to talk with others about Chinese. People should have a sense of pride of their race and don’t be so sensitive when coming to this kind of topic.

         Due to some historical reason, there are conflicts between black and white. Now that the racial problems certainly exist, how can we solve the problems if we just keep silent? Like Sarah Jackson, an educator, pointed out in her article Why I Want to Talk about Race, And Why You Should, Too:

Silence isn’t only consent; silence is like giving a system based in racial hierarchies a bear hug and cooking it a romantic dinner.

There is a saying in China: the truth always comes from debates. Only by talking about racial problem and facing it bravely can we solve this problem. You can’t avoid it since it is everywhere. Martin Luther King is famous for his speech about racial problems. He set an example for soling racial problems. It is not a good idea to pretend not seeing the problem. John L. Jackson, Jr. (no relation) of the University of Pennsylvania made an experiment, in which he keeps away from topic about race for 40 days.

“Race is around every corner, so I had to excuse myself from every conversation. I couldn’t read any headline because it is there already,” he said. “The experiment proved that if you’re not talking about race at all you’re not actually talking about the contemporary moment in a way that’s going to get us to someplace progressive.”

It is impossible not to talk about race. People should find a way to solve the racial problems instead of shirking. Everybody should do something to solve it. Government, as well as common people, should treat every race in equality. No special rules for some certain races unless they are in need for help or protection. It is a happy thing to meet minorities and talk about their lifestyle in China. One day it might be true in the U.S.


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