That white people are going to have to learn to stop centering themselves or their comfort in conversations as well as to not define the terms of engagement to people of color, by insisting on gentleness, by insisting that anger not be a part of the conversation, by insisting that NVC is the way, even when it silences and controls the conversation and advantages those that have always had the upper hand in oppressive social dynamics.

Well, white people aren’t going to have to “learn” anything; they have the predominant economic and population position in the US, and will always have that. Or at least, will have it until well after they’ve thrown dirt on most of our graves. The moment you acknowledge that there’s a power dynamic in play there, then it logically follows that the group with less power is not in a position to demand anything from the group with more power.

But, it seems to me that the real issue that you allude to is when you refer to “conversations”. It seems quite obvious to me that the only way to resolve differences between identity groups is through conversations, and the problem is that the vast majority of whites and blacks in the US *never* converse with each other whatsoever. Period.

A “conversation” after all, is not a bunch of political ideologues of different races sitting in front of TV cameras ostensibly hashing things out; it’s certainly not in a staged event, like the suggested (but never happened) “come over for a beer” meetup that Mr. Obama suggested after the Gates incident. It’s real people getting to know one another and what challenges they see as predominant in their lives.

You can’t solve a problem unless you understand it, obviously.

I think about this quite a bit; I live in an “island” gated subdivision of in a sea of low-income black and latino. Now, that doesn’t mean that the subdivision is white; in fact, my neighbors, going around the block in order, are Pakistani, us (mixed American/Syrian Muslim), White, Vietnamese, Mixed White/Filipina, a Danish family on corporate assignment, Nigerian, white, and Cuban — and that’s typical of the neighborhood — but it does mean that when I walk around in the local stores, most people are low-income minority.

And that leads me to wonder, what challenges they have, that I don’t see? But, between all the political posturing and virtue-signaling, sadly, I never will.

Pity, that.

Written by

Data Driven Econophile. Muslim, USA born. Been “woke” 2x: 1st, when I realized the world isn’t fair; 2nd, when I realized the “woke” people are full of shit.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store