As I thought about this month’s topic which is focused on race, violence, and the need to talk about it, four really big issues came to mind. Working on them has to be part of a way forward that moves us away from violence and obliviousness toward understanding and action.
White people can’t talk honestly about issues of race, without being branded “racist.”
Unfortunately, there won’t be much positive development, if we can’t even be honest. White and black people have to be honest with each other.
Sometimes black people are racially profiled by police, being harassed simply because of their skin color. We can talk about that. Black people are underserved by our economic and educational systems. We can talk about that. Our nation has a shameful history of enslavement, segregation, and failed government policies relating to black people. We can talk about that.
But black families are in disarray. Fathers are not in the picture. Too many black rappers have become role models of violence, vulgarity, and objectifying women. These are the heroes of young black men.
The urban subculture is marked by a manner of dress and speech deemed unacceptable by the majority of society.
Black-on-black violence, including, violence against women is significantly higher than the rest of the population.
But we can’t talk about these things for fear of sounding of being branded a racist.
The more blacks are subtly and directly suppressed by societal structures, the greater the probability of more “Fergusons.”
The more whites are suppressed from honest conversation about these issues, the more likely some honest-to-goodness bigot will cross the line to express his hatred through violence.
The more honest conversation is suppressed in the name of cultural sensitively, the longer all of these issues go unresolved, and the more time they have to fester.
We had better create some safe places for real conversation.
The black community needs to take responsibility for its own dysfunction.
If white guilt does not move us toward helping blacks help themselves, then it is no good at all. Likewise, blaming “the man,” doesn’t fix anything either.
I hope black anger moves people to involvement in their own communities, their own governments, their own school boards, and their own police forces. Once personal responsibility is accepted for the brokenness of the black community, it’s time to get involved in positive change.
White people need to get their heads out of their asses.
People who are not significantly disadvantaged because of their skin color, or where they happen to live, or because of poor education, or lousy parenting, or because of their age or gender, all need to get their head out their asses, and find out how the other half lives! If you are doing well, then you think the system is working great. If you try and struggle and keep hitting walls, you know it’s broken.
Understanding always, always happens in the context of personal relationships.
We need to hear each other’s stories! Democrats need Republican friends. Whites need black friends. Christians need atheist friends.
Until we know one another, the other will always be “them.”
Here are the links to posts by the other contributing authors.
- Jeremy Myers – It’s the White Man’s Fault! It’s the Black Man’s Fault!
- Wendy McCaig – Race, Violence, and a Silent White America
- Carol Kuniholm – Who is Allowed to Vote?
- Sarah Quezada – Race, Violence, and the Airport Immigration Agent
- Wesley Rotoll – Race, Violence, and Why We Need to Talk About It
- Kathy Escobar – We Have a Dream
- Liz Dyer – Why are American Churches Still So Racially Segregated?
- Loveday Anyim Snr – The Dangers of Racism and Violence on the Society
- Juliet Birkbeck – Remembering Voices of Hatred