A White Person’s Guide To Discussing Race and The Five Things Black People Can do to Help
I’m a white guy (half Jewish actually), but that’s not going to stop me from tackling one of America’s most divisive and complex topics – racism.
“White guilt” typically deters people who look like me from discussing racism in fear of appearing to be condescending or ignorant to the many ills plaguing minority communities.
But I have a little something called BALLS – big ones, fuzzy and loaded with testosterone. I aint afraid to get my hands dirty with some race talk. So here it goes.
(Ahem) In light of the recent foolishness that occurred recently in Virginia, it’s time to have an open discussion about race.
This involves putting your butt hurt aside.
I need my fellow white people to take a deep breath because I know many of you are uncomfortable with the subject of race.
White people are like a deer caught in the headlights when a black person brings up the issue of race. We become paralyzed with confusion and fear. In these situations, white folk rarely know how to respond appropriately.
But don’t worry my fellow saltine brothers and sisters (that means white people) – we can get through this.
Black people: I need your help too and I will give you inside tips on how to get through to my people (or at the very least, engage in healthy conversation as opposed to whipping out the race card and stirring up emotions).
White People, Stop Telling Black People How to Feel
White people, let me break it down for ya’ll – none of you can begin to imagine belonging to a group of people and being enslaved for hundreds of years, denied rights, viewed and treated as less than human.
So, please stop with the, “But slavery ended a long time ago.”
Yes, it’s no secret – Abraham Lincoln (who ironically owned slaves) eradicated the practice of slavery many years ago. Notice how I said “practice” and not mentality.
But even after slavery was abolished, the powers that be (aka white people) re-engineered our criminal justice system and created racially biased laws to prevent their black counterparts from advancing.
Writer Michelle Alexander’s “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration In The Age of Colorblindness,” explains how the frequent imprisonment of black men, coupled with the dearth of opportunity they receive once they’re released from prison, perpetuates a cycle of modern enslavement on its own.
Seriously, who’s going to hire an ex-con and feel comfortable about the decision? Who’s going to rent or sell property to a former felon?
But it’s gets worse.
We also have a criminal justice system that wrongfully convicts people of color (and guess what group of people has the most overturned convictions due to false witness accounts, poor defense and a plethora of other issues?)
Is there any group that has been historically portrayed as negatively and treated as poorly as black people?
Yes, that was a rhetorical question.
White People, Stop Comparing
White people often use the art of deflection to avoid talking about race. A common deflection is to bring up the history of Irish slavery. Irish slavery did not last as long nor were the conditions as bad. This is a simple-minded tactic to deflect and deny the long mistreatment of black people.
But Africans Sold Other Africans…
Some did. Does that excuse the white people who bought them? Also, it was a small number of Africans that engaged in the slave trade.
White People, Reassess Your Political Views
Let’s stop pretending that one party is all for the betterment of black people.
The democratic party has a “rich” history of conspiring with the KKK and fighting against all historic laws aimed toward improving rights for black people.
The republican party is filled with lawmakers and power players who refuse to acknowledge that systemic racism continues to rip at soft tissue of black progress.
If you want to make a difference, stop voting for politicians that practice liberal policies.
Keeping children in poor performing schools (rather than approving vouchers), continued dependence policies and the funding of Planned Parenthood is not exactly helping black people.
White People, Don’t Lecture, Ask Relevant Questions
For whites to lecture black people on how to behave is very condescending. There’s no way of knowing what it’s like to be African American unless you’re walking in their shoes. White people lack the proper insight to comment on black issues (other than asking questions to gain knowledge). It’s dangerous to make judgments without doing your homework.
Black People, If You Want Your Concerns To Be Taken Seriously, Learn How To Effectively Communicate With Others.
Stop Complaining about White Privilege…
For the love of god, give it a rest.
I haven’t been able to participate in a forum that includes liberal black people without eventually receiving a comment about white privilege.
This concept is stale, overused, overhyped, and frankly, insulting.
Take it from a white guy – we stop listening after you tell us how privileged we are.
It’s arrogant to for you to assume that you know what it’s like to be white (and vice versa). Many of us come from humble beginnings, and there’s no magic carpet to success (no matter what skin you’re in).
White Privilege doesn’t pay may bills. When it does, I’ll happily acknowledge its power.
Stop Acting Like Black People Are the Only People Who Have Suffered or Been Enslaved
Every continent has practiced slavery. It is not a black only phenomenon. Mass murder has occurred everywhere. Jews experienced the Holocaust. Armenians experienced genocide.
Consider Your Voting Options
Look into your voting choices. Black people have historically voted 80-90 percent for democrats. How has that worked out for you so far? Does the funding of Planned Parenthood help black people or does it help keep the number of black lives down? Did the liberal welfare system help create economic opportunity and encourage black people to have intact families? It’s hard to converse with someone who thinks that handouts are the answer.
Stop Engaging in Insults
If you disagree with someone who happens to be white, explain why. Argue based on logic. We (white people) don’t need to be constantly reminded of our “privilege.”
Stop Asking for Reparations and Blaming White People Who Are Alive Today
The problem with reparations is that it doesn’t address issues like fatherless homes, poor education, gun violence, and teen pregnancy. Handing money to people is not going to fix anything.
White people have grown tired of being blamed for everyone’s problems. Is the ugly past of race relations the result of people who have been alive for 20 years, 30 years, etc.?
Would it be fair to tell black people today that it is their fault that some black Africans sold other Africans?
If we are ever going to live peacefully we need to ask questions and putt the butt hurt aside.
Black and white people need to ask relevant questions to gain further insight into each other. All people need to be respectful. We cannot avoid the conversation of race and expect to find solutions.
No conversation equals no understanding.