Racial conversations are never easy. They challenge our assumptions and make some feel uncomfortable.
Jeff Chang is the author of Who We Be: The Colorization of America and executive director of Stanford’s Institute for Diversity in the Arts.
He writes about the real need for discussing race in America in the Guardian. He expresses disappointment at the many false starts America has had trying to sustain such conversations. In his view, the culture war has only served to widen the racial divide.
From Barack Obama’s audacity of hope to the burning despair that accompanied Darren Wilson’s non-indictment this week, the “race conversation” has become less a reality than a rhetorical device. Every time toxic, tragic events – a killing, a fire, a riot – reveal the unequal ways that different Americans experience resegregation and state violence, we talk about having a productive conversation, but we never really have it.
Polls finds Blacks and Hispanics see Ferguson as exposing racial issues in the country. but 47 percent of whites think race is getting too much attention.
So why is race such a non-conversation starter and what makes this issue so important? Jeff Chang shares some interesting thoughts in the Guardian.