It’s Not About Race!
John Metta

John —

Thank you for this thoughtful and thought provoking article.

My response, posted via my Tilting Windmills page on FB for use as a discussion starter of my own, is this:

I encourage you to read this one all the way through. I offer the because I clicked on it thinking, “Looks like click bait to me” and discovered a very thoughtful piece of writing.

Note in particular how and when this writer uses absolute qualifiers. They typically follow a general statement which establishes context for the absolute. For example, consider the following sentence from the essay:

“This culture is so normative that most white people never have to think about it or even know it exists, because everything they do naturally fits the norm.”

Yes, the writer says “…EVERYTHING they do naturally fits the norm.” Yet he precedes it with “This culture is so normative that MOST white people NEVER have to think about it or even know it exists…” [emphasis added].

It is perhaps reflexive for many of us to focus upon and react to the “everything” statement defensively with an almost immediate reaction of “I’M not like that” — and then to dismiss the statement as inaccurate or even hyperbolic. Yet the writer did not say NO white person has to think about it. He said MOST white people.

Structurally this presents a perspective I find well worth considering — or at the very least worth not disregarding out of hand.

Understanding what is “normal” and how people generally perceive things that are outside of those norms is, I think, key to understanding the challenges or race within our culture. Key to our listening and ultimately coming to understand perspectives that are different than our own.

For my part I find it unlikely I can “get to the heart of the matter” by “rising above the emotions” of that matter. Indeed I find it difficult have an “intellectual discussion” without understanding the emotions of the issue.

John Metta found a way to have an intellectual discussion that includes the very real emotions of race.

I thank him for that.

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