What’s the End Game In All Our Talk Of Race?
Good Talk. That's one way to describe the Morning News Radio Show on KIT today. (6/9/21) Good Talk...sorta. Maybe a good start on having a good talk?
We are talking about RACE in America and that is always tricky, especially in today's super charged sensitive climate. But we have to talk about it in some manner other than how we are talking about it now, before we get too far down the road of no return.
There are millions of guys in America like me and today's co-host Richard Miller who don't buy into the idea that "all and only" white people are racist. That is offensive (and racist) and if that is to be the starting point, then this conversation is going nowhere. At the same time, guys like us ARE interested and willing to have a conversation to move forward on race relations, mutual respect and understanding so we gotta find the middle ground and participants willing to build a plan for a future rather than dig up the mistakes and problems of the past.
Today's on-air episode stemmed from the news story coming out now about NY psychiatrist Aruna Khilanani’s April 6th presentation to medical students at Yale University in which she is quoted as telling the students, “I had fantasies of unloading a revolver into the head of any white person that got in my way, burying their body and wiping my bloody hands as I walked away relatively guiltless with a bounce in my step. Like I did the world a f***ing favor.”
Alrighty then. Also not a good place to start the conversation. She claims her words were taken out of context. That's a standard refrain heard from the "oh-oh, busted" crowd caught saying what they shouldn't, but after all, her lecture was titled 'Psychopathic Problem of the White Mind'.
In her talk the Doc said she was frustrated by a cycle where basically she says people of color explain racism to white people who deny they're racist...that further angers people of color and then white people use that anger & outrage as a confirmation that it's the people of color who are crazy or have emotional problems. She now claims that her lecture used provocation as a way to stir up real engagement. Not exactly mission accomplished.
Instead of any real breakthrough conversations on the topic of frustration and race, social media has come after her, her private practice appears to have been shut down and the only talking and "engagement" underway is on the subject of getting her fired, questioning if her lecture was hate speech and shouldn't someone as outrageous as she is be under some kind of psychiatric observation herself?
So the point is, how do we talk and find a way forward when some of the people are already this far gone? None of us living today were involved in slavery. All of us living today could work together to build a better country for everyone. But we will need open, honest, perhaps painful, serious conversations with sincere people looking to find peace and improvement for all, and not just an elevated spot in the limelight for themselves.
What is the end game? What is fair? What will a win/win look like? We better define that because that's the only way we have a chance to get there.