Talking to Family and Friends About Racism

Talking with family and friends about racism is one of the hardest things to do if you are on opposite sides of the issue. There is a myriad of ways this can be done. Contact us at Visible Unity for more information or to participate in our programs to learn more.

  • Begin by sharing a personal experience of yourself or a friend of color
  • Ask them what they think about what you shared – Listen to their answer carefully and seek to understand their point of view (This isn’t the time for debate, even if they are in left field.)
  • That may be all you do the first time. You might have to do this a few times. If they would be able to handle it, you could also invite a person of color to come and share their experiences.
  • Then next time, ask their thoughts about something that is going on in your area (another shooting or killing, insurrection, etc.)
  • Respond with a question that seeks to point out issues they are not seeing or not informed about.
    • Do you realize that….
    • Did you know that…
    • How did you arrive at …
  • Just remember, we are all socialized on a racist platform. Plus, depending on one’s life experiences, their racist thinking may be entrenched. So, patience and grace are needed.

Note:

  • Be a Non-Anxious Presence.
  • Be open and honest. You still stumble and they will too.
  • Allow for questions.

Later on, add:

  • Talk about the taboo words, their original intent and current use today.
  • Have books to expand views and lives of others.

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