It’s Not About Race!
John Metta

This is why I sat in a discussion group on race and was angry that a white man was telling me we should “rise above emotions” and “get to the heart of the matter” by talking about race intellectually and avoiding emotions… “Yeah, using the Socratic method to talk intellectually would probably be a good way for us to discuss systematic racism.”

What is the likelihood of people listening to emotional arguments? Regardless of race.

Tell ya what…you keep your emotional arguments. I hope that works out well for you. I really do. In my world, if you don’t have numbers and if you can’t control your emotions and hold your anger in for 5 minutes while we talk (white folk get angry too you know) then I know I’ve stepped into a monologue and it’s time for me to go. Again, I don’t care what color the person is.

Nobody wants to listen to an emotional rant from a person who plugs their ears, knowing they’re right and justified in their righteous anger, because this is what you end up ‘reasoning’ with. Who wants to reason with an emotional cannon laden with tripwires waiting to unleash on the next victim that passes by?

Race is an issue. Religion is an issue. Islam is an issue. Catholic priests preying on boys is an issue. For profit prisons are an issue. Blacks being the largest portion of male inmates in prison is an issue. The Israeli/Palestinian conflict is an issue. North Korea is an issue. Apartheid is an issue. Genocide, ethnic cleansing, Jim Crow and white cops shooting unarmed blacks is an issue. Black on black violence in Chicago is an issue where 77% of the gunshot victims are black, (site here).

So tell me, of all the issues going on…which issue has a higher likelihood of being resolved, or at least improved upon, using an emotional rant? This isn’t a rhetorical question, I really want to know…just leave topics of forks and chopsticks out of it because that’s when I stop listening.

I’m curious, genuinely curious, how far do you get in your discussions with others bringing your emotion to the discussion table? Does it get you closer to your goals? Do you find that people listen better than when you’re using reason, numbers and the Socratic method? Personally, in my life, when talking to whites, I’ve found the exact opposite occurs when I’ve historically been emotional when talking to others. It’s taken me years, fucking YEARS to realize I need to shut the fuck up, listen, and then respond calmly, logically, honestly and with questions.

That’s right…white folk gotta bite our tongue just as much as black folk do. Even more so, since we’re dealing with more white folk than you are. And we both know, that if you say the wrong thing, just ever-so-slightly to white folk, they get all up in arms and offended and emotional and shit…and we don’t want that happening now do we precious.

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