Race is such a sticky thing to talk about. I almost don’t want to discus it for fear of looking like “that white woman who likes to hear herself talk.” I may put some people on the spot in this post, and if you don’t like that, I apologize. The questions:
—What’s the racial/ethnic composition here at YAR? I don’t know most of you yet, so maybe you’re not all white Anabaptists.
—For those of you who aren’t white, how should white people talk about racial issues? What’s actually helpful? I feel discouraged when I read or listen to a discussion on race and then realize all the participants are white. If white folks decide how to “fix racism” primarily by themselves, I doubt we’ll find anything lasting. It’s not enough just to talk about treating everyone right—we have to make sure everyone’s participating in the conversation.
—For those of you who aren’t white, how much do you see racism in yourselves? How do you overcome that? Is it different than for a white person, perhaps because you’ve been on the receiving end of it? How do you decide what is offensive?
—How do we as Christians decide when and which causes and passions to pursue? I can’t do it all. I don’t want that to be an excuse to do nothing. How can someone who may not currently dedicate the better part of her time to racial equality still make it a priority?
—For those of you who aren’t white, what’s the most effective way to knock down media consumers’ perceptions? For example, if a black doctor opens a practice in a very white community, should the feature story in the newspaper mention s/he is black? Would running a head-and-shoulders photo accomplish the same thing without saying it overtly? Does this give the impression it’s unusual for black people to be highly educated?
Just some of the many questions. Perhaps because I have more questions than answers I like being a reporter. I let other people know stuff. ;-)