Imagine if we could talk about race the way we talk about cultures.
💭If we felt curiosity instead of indifference.
💭If we acknowledged more readily when something is foreign to us, rather than insist it’s the same.
💭If we got excited at finding out the similarities between us, rather than resentful that we even looked for them.
💭If we questioned why we use certain names for certain products or organizations without calling each other names.
💭If we valued learning a people’s history the way we value learning a people’s language.
💭If we truly understood “a different perspective” rarely means I am absolutely right and you are absolutely wrong.
💭If we saw race as part of our and each other’s identity (as we do culture); neither irrelevant nor all-defining.
💭If these deeply personal conversations brought us closer together rather than farther apart.
I don’t like to ponder hypotheticals, only possibilities that we can take action on. So I propose we:
💥Ask questions instead of avoid.
💥Accept that we won’t relate to some things and not strain to find them relatable or deny them.
💥Get excited at discovering similarities we never imagined.
💥Think critically and re-evaluate how we have done things and what we call things without calling each other names.
💥Devote real attention to studying history from multiple sources with broad perspectives rather than accepting any account without question.
💥Acknowledge that different experiences breed different perspectives and not assume either of us is right or wrong too quickly.
💥Remember that being vulnerable in a “new land” or difficult topic takes courage, but also comes with an expectation of mutual respect.