Thursday, August 29, 2013

A Black Man and a White Man Discuss Race

Today I did something that I very, very rarely do - I confronted a friend about race on Facebook. This wasn't just any friend, either. This was a person who used to be one of my closest friends - someone who Kristi and I both have known and loved for a long time. In fact, it's fair to say that without this person Kristi and I may never have gotten married. But now this is someone whom I'm considering unfriending.

So yeah - this hurts.

This friend is a black man and has long been a voice for inclusion and diversity. He celebrated his blackness, and that was pretty cool. But lately, his posts have become more polarizing and less inclusive. He's always been focused on race, but usually in a very educational and philosophical manner. But then something happened. His posts started to get more confrontational and one-sided and divisive. But he's my friend and he's entitled to his opinion.

But today he linked to a story about some New Jersey teens who did a great thing the right thing and paid for some merchandise, even though the store was closed. Great story. But he interjected race into it and it just made my blood boil. I am firmly of the belief that there's enough racial tension in this country and that inserting race into everything is one of the things that's tearing out country apart.  So I called him on it. This is that conversation: (click on the image to enlarge it)

...and that's where I left it.

I don't mind having an honest conversation about just about any topic, but what infuriated me was his complete unwillingness to even slightly admit that he might be wrong in interjecting race into this. Well, that and his condescension.

Friends, I meant everything I said in the discussion. If we want to live in a world where race doesn't matter, then let's all let it not matter... together.

And for my friend, I pray that someday you'll see how hurtful you've been and how you're actively involved in setting the clock backwards on race relations, especially since you're in a position to influence young minds.

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