Questions Please

I made it.  Yes, this entry is posted late on Monday… but Monday all the same.

Last time I talked about the fringe at both ends of the race continuum that hinder constructive dialogue.  They are the hate mongers that will do anything to keep sides polarized as they promote their extremist position. 

Before we can make any headway we in the middle territory have to be willing to test our beliefs and assumptions.   We have to be willing to admit that we probably have faulty thinking and be willing to open our mind to information that flies against everything we have heard or believe.

Confession:

I can’t do this.  I am really struggling.  This issue is so complex that I just sit here totally overwhelmed wrestling and wondering how to address the topic and make some sense.  I have sat here for nearly two hours and I only have a couple of opening paragraphs to show for it.

I need help. It is taking everything within me not to turn off the computer and say I quit.  But I can’t.  I have to try.  I won’t guarantee it will make much sense but I will try.

 

Ok, my meltdown is better so I need to move forward. 

I was planning to begin by asking the questions that blacks would have of whites.  Then it dawned on me… how in the world would I know?  I can guess.  But then that would be pretty presumptuous wouldn’t it? 

I haven’t lived in a world where my skin was the minority.  I wasn’t raised with the warnings or messages regarding white people.  I have been told that most blacks are taught not to trust white people.  It would make sense why they are taught that but I how would I know?

Although I don’t know a lot of things, of this I am sure.  Both blacks and whites have been taught a lot of stuff that is wrong.  We are saddled with history and messages that corrupt the way we think and undermines our ability to find common ground. 

My guess is the black culture has unfairly categorized whites just as whites have unfairly categorized blacks.  If my assumption is accurate then it means that there is a stronghold of racism in the black community toward whites as there are strongholds of racism in the white community toward blacks.

Now don’t everybody get all prickly because I am talking like this.  If we’re prickly then we get defensive and then we emotionally clam up and close off.  When we close off no new information is absorbed to pierce our thinking.

The sad reality is that when we are all brainwashed with faulty or misshaped information our minds are branded with beliefs that are in error.

There are two phrases that I use often in regards to the power of the mind and the way we think. 

1.  Actions follow beliefs:  if we believe something then our actions reflect that belief.  If one believes that blacks or whites can’t be trusted then we will never let our guard down to allow trust to take root.

2.  We look for evidence to validate our beliefs:  To validate what we believe we look for evidence to support the way we think.  If not careful we will take one piece of information and make broad generalizations to reinforce what we believe.

The spiral circles downward.  People have to stop the insanity by first looking at themselves and testing their beliefs.

So I would like to hear from some of you.  What questions do you have?  What beliefs do you struggle with? 

I think I will do better responding to some of your questions than trying to tackle the broad issue in general.

I think it would be great if we got some questions from both sides of the issue. 

Hopefully some of you will be bold enough to speak up. 

See you Thursday.

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