The group that I attend was recorded tonight by CBS news and promises to be broadcast nationally tomorrow night. The group conversation was fine/okay, but they wanted a few of us to stay for an interview afterwards, and they asked me to be one of those people.
Thinking of Jeff from MORE's encouragement to speak to the media at the last demonstration I went to, and kinda high off a presentation I gave last week that was received well, I agreed, even though strangely, with my media production history, I find myself fairly retiring these days. Wary of public speaking or setting down too many of my thoughts for fear of getting it wrong.
In the end, it's probably better to put your foot in your mouth than be forever hushing yourself, so I did that tonight (ate some foot), and my mind has been spinning since with the things that I wish I had said instead of what I did. Thus the need for a blog post. (which will likely lead to more foot eating later).
QUESTION: What brought you here tonight?
My answer: something rambling about my childhood and attempts to re-engage in the race dialogue since I came back to St. Louis. Yuck.
MY HINDSIGHT ANSWER(s):
- I feel that our country's (ie white power) inability to face race, have a truth and reconciliation process (reparations?) around past genocides and slavery has crippled me emotionally, and severely damaged pretty much everyone I grew up with. It's personal.
- I am desperate to find positive steps forward, because for us to pass these divisions and injustices intact to the next generation is unthinkable.
- Continuing racism has also contributed to making our national political debates on social issues utterly moronic. The natural coalitions that should be forming around so many issues I care about are hampered and hamstrung by racist undercurrents. It is so easy to manipulate people's fears, and the inability of white folks to speak with the bare minimum of coherence about race issues without getting completely freaked out makes clear communication about so many issues just impossible. Coded language, dishonesty, cognitive dissonance do not make for healthy debate or coherent advocacy.