A Practical Guide on How Not to Approach Talking About Race or Any Serious Issue


One thing that is killing any hopes of having a conversation about important matters in this country is extreme generalization. It is a subtle technique. It is the primary tools used nowadays to keep us separated as people. In my book on propaganda it is in my number 2 most used technique. Let me give you an example of how it is used:

Guiding Thought:

indexExample:

Abortion is the killing of babies. Killing babies is wrong, and people who object to the fact that abortion is baby killing are themselves crazy. Life is sacred esp that of a defenceless baby

No one can argue well that abortion isn’t taking a life away, especially after you’ve seen the pictures of the dead foetuses the anti abortionist shove in your face. The tactic employed here is that when one reduces a complex situation down to it’s simplistic roots one can formulate arguments which are hard not only to publically argue well against, serve well to divide people into opposing camps.  Let me give you another example:

Guiding Thought:

Big-Brother

“Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing.”
― George Orwell, 1984

Example:

Slavery and segregation were products of racism. If slavery and segregation are legally banned then racism doesn’t exist.

Ultimately as has been said Tyranny is the deliberate removal of of Nuance.  We cannot rendered a centuries old problem into a simplified one dimensional issue. What this means in discussion race or any social issue that has the potential to grip a nation and force a frenzy of response, is that every one has to educate themselves on nuance. everyone has to education themselves on the complexity of the issue.

How to talk about Race Specifically

The first thing to realize is that we all do not stand on a level playing field. If I assume that what I go through is what you go through that completely fiction-making, it is elitist and close-minded at its best.  When you say the word “America” you are describing your experience of America or America as seen through your family, friends, community, religious linguistic, lenses.

The second thing to realize is that because you have not experienced something doesn’t make it imagined. If I say that there has been a history of medical experimentation on Blacks and Hispanics in the USA from our early history to present and you (whatever your race)  reply well no one experimented on my aunty, mother, cousins then what you are doing is you are closing yourself off to an opportunity to research and learn something. If after you have researched you are still not convinced saying: After doing some research I am still unconvinced is infinitely better than dismissal because no one you know told you it happened to them.

The third and most important thing is to realize that you too despite your race have something to add. You do not have to experience internment camps like the Japanese or police brutality to still say something important and add something to the discussion. Many abolitionist during slavery times were Caucasian, many people walking in protest of the Trayvon Martin case are Caucasian. Many whites walked with Dr King. The important thing here and I cannot stress this enough is how you articulate what you mean to say.

Empathy is paramount! Someone’s experience is just that a personal experience, it is not fodder to reinforce your political agenda.

A Recent Happening in the News

I think this will illustrate well what I am saying. There are more things to consider when talking about race but I do not want to go on forever.

While debating racial relations with Ben Ferguson, CNN host Don Lemon was attempting to get across to Ferguson how impossible it is to have any perspective on the continued culture of racism in this country unless you live life as a black man. It seems so nakedly obvious to me, just as a black man wouldn’t know what going through life as a Mexican woman would be like, so too is the case for white conservatives and African-Americans.

Lemon does the best job of explaining the disconnect between what conservatives think race relations are like in this country and what the actual experiences of actual black people really are. It’s so simply stated when in the clip Lemon tells Ferguson,

“Your privilege does not allow you to see certain biases and certain circumstances in society.”

That’s it. That’s really and truly it. I know it may not seem like to a lot of white people, but there is a baseline tolerance and acceptance of us that African-Americans do not enjoy. I’ve seen it and heard it myself. Racism isn’t dead in this country; it’s just culturally unacceptable in the mainstream. That isn’t preventing conservatives from pushing policies that still directly impact the black community in a negative way. Voter ID laws, to just hammer at the tip of the iceberg, are the most glaring examples of the Right’s attempts to subjugate and disenfranchise a bloc of voters that they’ve had written off for decades.

Taken from here

4 thoughts on “A Practical Guide on How Not to Approach Talking About Race or Any Serious Issue

  1. “Racism isn’t dead in this country; it’s just culturally unacceptable in the mainstream. That isn’t preventing conservatives from pushing policies that still directly impact the black community in a negative way.”

    This is right on. I have learned to my disappointment that all we did was to drive racism underground. This then gave the appearance that it was gone. If it was gone; it had no power over us. If it had no power over us we could put it out of our mind. When we put it out of our mind it resurfaced and struck with lightning speed; stealing back the progress we had made and none can be blamed on racism because it is gone.
    So the Supreme Court decision that we no longer need to monitor the laws passed by racist states wasn’t a racist decision. No. Those Voter ID laws? Not racist at all. Because we no longer have a problem with racism in America.
    Racism is dead; long live Conservatism. Racism is dead; long live “Stand Your Ground”. Racism is dead; long live the Corporate Masters. Racism is dead; long live Racism.
    Hiding quietly until we felt safe to look away for a moment then strikes like a Fucking Cobra.
    Now we have no structure to fight racist actions by governments state or federal. We felt to safe and could no longer find those juicy targets to declaim. So we are left standing naked and vulnerable amid a sea of murderous haters of humanity. Nazi baby killers and sociopathic mind and body rapists. It was there all along. Hiding among our wealthy. While they claimed to have seen the light; they secretly planned and carried out the continued enslavement of a large percentage of the former slave race who has struggled so long and so hard only to be dashed upon the jagged rocks of hurt and disappointment. To be left feeling as though all of the work; marching; fighting; preaching; litigating; bleeding; dying; and crying were for naught.
    They have secretly planned and carried out the repeal of the only legislation crafted specifically to protect the rights of the poor; the disadvantaged; the black and brown.
    They have secretly encouraged us to believe that America is moving in the right direction. Let us have a few things we asked for but then with the same breath; stole a far more important protection assuming we would be fooled into saying nothing about losing our rights if they just ley gays marry. Not that we want that taken back but it also won’t do to let them use it to mollify us.
    Who were the victims of the mortgage crisis? Black people who were loaned money they could not repay and fleeced of the money they could pay. Who are the victims of every crisis? The Black; the Brown; the Red; the poor. These are those who pay for these racist schemes.
    The Banks. The Military Industrial Complex. The Advertising Industry. These are those who benefit from their schemes. They gain money; power; bodies for their war machines; slaves for their labor camps and prisons; and an easy to identify focus for the rage and frustration of the rest of society at the generally poor conditions they are forced to endure while waiting to fall off the ever closer edge of poverty and despair. They turn around and find themselves dangling over the edge; still hoping beyond hope for a chance to fulfill their American dream. Still believing they too can have the grand prize. They have been assured that if they just work hard enough; success will find them. Just keep on slogging away; everything is getting better; after all; we got rid of racism; didn’t we?

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