Truth Hurts

Hi all.  I am sure some of you may be getting tired of the verbal rampage I have been on the last couple of weeks.

Today is going to be it for the topic (for the time being).  I have no illusions that I have even come close to addressing the topic little lone make an impact.  I can only hope that I am a bit more open and sensitive.  Hopefully I have made you think as we muddled through the issue also.

Ok, are you ready to do some deep wading?  Put on your high waters and let’s go.  Also, you don’t need to worry about any emotional outbursts from me today.  I am over my crisis.

In the last blog entry I shared that I thought everyone on all sides to the race issue have been bombarded with lies or misinformation.  How do people that have been conditioned with lies or misinformation find common ground to bridge a gap?  Especially a gap as volatile as race.  It will not just happen on its own, it must be intentional.

First there has to be the desire to bridge the gap and secondly we need to be willing to find truth.  We begin to discover truth by identifying the lies and points of misinformation we have been fed.

I think there are lots of people who have the “want to” in bridging the gap but few are willing or able to step into the murky dangerous waters of discovering truth.  It is not the place for the casual or faint of heart.  As mentioned in an earlier blog… one needs to have skin of armor to thwart the painful darts of ignorance.

So where is truth?  I am reminded of the movie A Few Good Men… “I want the TRUTH!”,  ”You can’t handle the truth!”

Maybe that’s reality.  Maybe we can’t handle the real truth.  Searching for truth means that I have to be willing to be wrong.  And… I don’t like being wrong.

Okay, enough of the philosophizing.  What are the beliefs that I have that may be in error?  The first thing is to discover what I really believe.  That is not as easy as one thinks.  Then and only then can one begin to invite truth into the picture.

The complexity is this: set beliefs are usually based on some measure of truth.  That’s why blanket statements will get you in trouble pronto.

A couple of examples (this is where I get in trouble):

  1. Some blacks may believe that whites are determined to keep them from progressing. Yes, there are some whites that want (and will always want) to keep blacks from progressing.  This is a truth that someone can legitimately build a belief on.
  2. Some whites may believe that blacks use the “race card” for everything and are not willing to look at their individual responsibility. Yes, there are some blacks (in my opinion) that readily use race to avoid personal responsibility for actions.  This too is a truth that someone can build a belief on.

So here you have an example of two beliefs that widen the racial gap and each have a kernel of truth to them.  The interesting thing is that although these beliefs are on opposite ends of the continuum, the path to truth is the same.  The same questions and assumptions apply to both sets of beliefs.

The first step of finding truth is being willing to ask yourself some hard questions.

Personal Questions

  • Can I accept that my perspective may be skewed?
  • Am I willing to momentarily set aside my default assumptions?
  • Am I open to data that may impact my assumptions?
  • Am I willing to assume the positive side of the belief if the information leads me there?
  • Am I willing to look honestly at both sides of the issue

There are two sides to each issue that need honest scrutiny.  For example, those of us that are white need to honestly be open to the fact that the percentage of whites who are locked on keeping blacks from progressing may be higher than we believe.  Conversely we need to believe that fewer blacks may have that belief than we think.

Now if you are black the challenge may be the opposite scenario.

The point is each of us individually must push against the gravity of society that forces us into beliefs that widen the gap.  The fringe groups in their emotional hysteria give the impression that the majority of people believe the way they do.   They are vocal bullies promoting their position.

Making an impact on social gravity requires intentional effort and I really believe we can make progress.

Hopefully one of these days when I see a young crying girl I will feel more comfortable reaching out to the hurting child.

I really appreciate you tolerating my discourse of the past few days.

See you Monday.  We’ll tackle some truths that are more upbeat.

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