How Do We Begin A Dialogue about Racial Justice?

Posted by on August 29, 2016 in Connecting Classrooms 16-17, Dialogue Blog | 16 comments

How Do We Begin A Dialogue about Racial Justice?

The Campus Engagement Through The Arts/Coffee Talks project is dedicating this school year to cultivating multiple dialogues on racial justice in the United States.  The Department of Justice Community Relations Services has created a useful Dialogue Guide for conducting dialogues on race.  They make and important distinction between debate and dialogue.

“Unlike debate, dialogue emphasizes listening to deepen understanding. Dialogue invites discovery. It develops common values and allows participants to express their own interests. It expects that participants will grow in understanding and may decide to act together with common goals. In dialogue, participants can question and reevaluate their assumptions. Through this process, people are learning to work together to improve race relations.”

Here at the college, there is a strong belief in the Socratic method of posing questions to deepen our understanding.  I propose that we collectively brainstorm a list of questions that might be useful for beginning the dialogue.  In the spirit of brainstorming, let’s offer questions without self-censorship or judgement of others.  Please use the “Add Your Thoughts” box below to contribute as many questions as you like and to respond to others’ questions.

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Ranita MitraHepsibahisBsmartdeaLJobrakhiBiplab Acharjee Recent comment authors

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Martin Japtok
Martin Japtok

What can we do so that white people begin to be willing to explore the depth and extent to which racism continues to structure all of our lives?

civilized

If the teachers are teaching hate in colleges, there is not much we can do but leave every thing in Gods hands, the white just can’t take it that the blacks “who are supposed to be slaves” are actually taking over, they are becoming leaders, and presidents…

G Turner

This dialogue is essential. It’s helpful, I think, to ask.. What makes you angry, and why? From there, the biggest emotional issues can be addressed. We can soften hard edges with mutual understanding for our fellow humans. Then mechanics of resolving problems could be discussed. How can we resolve issues together, as humans?

civilized

Yesterday at Palomar college a teacher came to give a speech in my class, he was talking about do black lives matter? According to the way he was talking, I believe that he believes that black lives do NOT matter, I did not hear him saying any good things about black people, my question is, are schools now been trained to hate black people? Are all black students going to be failed in schools and colleges so that they can end up on the streets? Palomar college STOP teaching and Practicing hate for other race, every life matters, just because… Read more »

Deborah Dozier
Deborah Dozier

Dear Civilized, As a Palomar professor of many years, I will say that Black lives matter and deserve rich and open discussion when we talk about racial justice in the United States in these days of mainstreamed hate. I teach for the American Indian Studies and American Studies Departments. You might want to take my American Studies 100 class, starting October 17th. One text for the class is the story of how accusations by a White-socialite-Navy-officer’s-wife of gang rape against Native Hawaiian men and the subsequent litigation by civil rights lawyer Clarence Darrow eventually toppled the White oligarchy and brought… Read more »

G Turner

Deborah, I remember Banned in the USA from my youth! It was shocking at the time and I think that’s one of the reasons we loved to listen to it. I find that free speech is a concept greatly misunderstood by many. I wish I could take your class!

C. Kearse
C. Kearse

If we could just begin by empathizing and acknowledging that racism exists and that there are still citizens who are targeted just because of how they look. If we could just agree that not everybody has it good and in fact some are privileged while others are not. If we could just agree that people are looked down upon automatically because of the color of their skin. If we could just acknowledge that some of us are considered “okay” (as in she’s ok) just because we are well spoken or intelligent even though we happen to be Black. If we… Read more »

Deborah Dozier
Deborah Dozier

All lives do matter. However, when I see that phrase, I cringe. I cringe because I know it is almost always a racist meme. It is used to divert attention from the communities that are singled out for abuse by LEOs, financial markets, agencies, fraternities, social organizations, Donald Trump’s real estate business, and every red-lined and covenanted white-flight refuge in this Nation. It is a diversion to put the focus on the abusers and minimize the voices of the abused. It is important to remember that the Grand Dragon of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, Tom Metzger, lived… Read more »

C. Kearse
C. Kearse

Many fear that (or those) they do not know. We must begin to get to know one another.

jjenkins
jjenkins

Why do we, as a nation and a species, continue to believe in the race myth? Since we know that race is fiction, why do we continue to treat it as a fact? What economic, political, and psychological benefits, if any, do we we gain as a result of believing in this myth? These questions, I believe, go beyond the we-are-all-the-same discourse and attempt to get at the “hearts and minds” of race thinking.

Martin Japtok
Martin Japtok

Civilized, who teaches hate? If that is so then we need to know who that is so that one can talk to the person of see whether there was a misunderstanding. I can understand if you are hesitant to mention names here, but maybe you can let one of us know in office hours, Your analysis of some “whitelash,” as Van Jones has called it, is correct, I believe, but I do think there are things we can do, and at a college particularly, there are many avenues and opportunities for engaging people in thoughtful dialogue. That won’t always yield… Read more »

Biplab Acharjee

I had been never familiar with such situation, so I don’t have any Idea about it. But Feeling really good to read the story. Thanks!

Jobrakhi

Thanks for the argument and solution Sir. I will always remember your article.

BsmartdeaL

Excellent described and well written by the author. Thanks for such wonderful informative post.

Hepsibahis

Thank you

Ranita Mitra
Ranita Mitra

Thanks for the grate Article. It is really thought full