I Don’t Want To Have a Conversation About Race…
Politicians and media networks always jump at the chance to “have a conversation about race in America.” Though, I’m not sure one has ever started and certainly couldn’t have ended. In fact, if anything, it’s hurting America.
Forget a conversation, let’s have an understanding.
I’m an African-American (also Arab, bi-racial) who happens to be a conservative. It’s only relevant because it pertains to my qualifications on tolerance. See, I get to hear the harmful rhetoric from liberals who believe I’ve bleached my skin color in exchange for a lower tax rate and I get to hear conservatives, most of the time in ignorance, speaks to matters they do not understand.
Honestly, it’s led to a lot of pain. Not just for me, but for so many young African-Americans who don’t see the barriers of their parents and have all the aspirations that every child deserves to dream.
It curls my stomach when we start having these “conversations on race” because I’m forced to watch ignorance on display. If you were going to have an intelligent conversation with someone on a subject, wouldn’t you first make yourself familiar with the common facts? This isn’t done by most conservatives or most liberals.
I work in politics, but I have never made a paycheck based on being a black conservative. I have plenty of associates and colleagues who do that, but it’s never been my thing. It disgusts me they become like our political opposition, reducing their point to a talking point or sound-byte that then becomes a shareable image on Facebook or something white conservative quip on Twitter. It’s a faux-gotcha moment and it does nothing to win hearts and minds.
I want to change that. We can change that.
Here’s what I want to do. I have a ton of conservative friends and a ton of white friends. It may not comfort you to be lumped in and categorized that way and this is just the beginning of breaking down that comfort barrier. Strap in.
I’m going to be sending out a weekly newsletter entitled, Understanding Black People.
We’re going to tackle the following subjects:
- The N-word
- “Being Black”
- Uncle Tom
- The Projects
- Political Parties
- Policies: Section 8 housing, food stamps, over-criminalization of drugs, implications of felonies on society, pell grant, and others.
- Black Men and Fatherless Homes
- Resilience of the Black Mother
- An Optimistic Future
Sure, my main target audience is the white conservative, but this information will be useful for anyone who didn’t grow up in a predominately black neighborhood. You’ll be better equipped to make your same argument or adopt another. Understanding is at the core of respect and finally ending this race-bait culture we’ll all held hostage to. Now I don’t mean to belittle my fellow conservatives. They have true hearts for equality. They more routinely see a person for their content of their character than most. They, we as a movement, however have a problem when it comes to relating and understanding very basic circumstances that surround and engulf the black community. I hope liberals decide to subscribe too. It’ll do us good to all be in this together and neutralize it away from political ideology and political parties.
This will not be a one-way lesson. I’ll be collecting your feedback each and every week and highlighting the best. I don’t want to change your principles, just the approach so many are taking when trying to share theirs.
I won’t be doing this alone either. I’m enlisting the help of several of my friends, black, white, liberal, and conservative. By the end of this, I hope there is a greater appreciation and understanding of the black community. We’re not going to sugarcoat anything either. We’ll talk about the good stuff and the damning.
Read my latest: Tough Truths Are Tough, where I tackle Trayvon Martin, George Zimmerman, and President Barack Obama.
I hope you’re interested. Please sign up for this newsletter below:
This doesn’t sound too silly does it? I want to honestly move the ball forward. I think if we’re united on definitions and in the spirit of reconciliation and friendship, we can achieve many things. Let’s defy the politicians and the cable news channels who use race as a bait to divide us.
First issue hits Monday, July 29th.