Conversation killers

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  • #2261

    Thomas M.
    Member

    Why can people of differing races not have a conversation that does not end up in a discussion of race?

    User Detail :  

    Name : Thomas M., Gender : M, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Disability : Old and White, Religion : Scientologist, Age : 57, City : Boyne City, State : MI Country : United States, Occupation : proffessional, Education level : Over 4 Years of College, Social class : Upper middle class, 
    #25726

    Jennifer30863
    Participant

    They can. It sounds as if you may not have had many experiences that uphold this fact, but in *my* experience, it’s more the norm than otherwise. I think this has as much to do with *me* as it has to do with anyone with whom I’m conversing. What I mean is, I don’t think about my ethnicity in reference to someone else unless that someone else brings it to my attention. Even then, I am very choosy about the circumstances under which I will deeply discuss race, so when someone else brings it up, usually my input is of the most cursory variety. Some people are much more concious of their ethnicity, and that of others, and so they end up talking about it a lot.

    User Detail :  

    Name : Jennifer30863, Gender : F, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : Black/African American, Religion : Christian, Age : 31, City : Saint Paul, State : MN Country : United States, Occupation : Non-profit, Education level : 4 Years of College, Social class : Middle class, 
    #32947

    Augustine23627
    Participant

    I had conversations with people of at least three different races (including my own) today and the subject of race didn’t come up. It is very rare in my experience for this to happen. If you treat racial differences as unimportant (as ultimately they are), they become unimportant. If I am talking with a very close black friend, I feel comfortable enough discussing the ‘hot button topics’ (e.g., OJ Simpson, the Confederate flag, the ‘n’ word), but strictly speaking, these are cultural issues, not racial. But in casual conversation, I don’t bring these things up, precisely because they are that — ‘hot button topics’.

    User Detail :  

    Name : Augustine23627, Gender : M, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Catholic, Age : 41, City : Columbia, State : SC Country : United States, Education level : Over 4 Years of College, Social class : Middle class, 
    #47659

    Wayne-C
    Participant

    I do quite frequently. I actually have a couple of White friends (well, I think they are my friends). Not co-workers or acquaintences — friends. We rarely discuss race when we get together since we’re too busy discussing other things — how’s the family, how’s the job, what did your kid do that was funny, did you see that movie — wasn’t it awful. But my White friends also aren’t in denial about the extent of racism that exists in this country.

    User Detail :  

    Name : Wayne-C, Gender : M, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : Black/African American, Religion : Baptist, Age : 41, City : Parsippany, State : NJ Country : United States, Occupation : Marketing, Education level : Over 4 Years of College, Social class : Middle class, 
    #41248

    Lucy22429
    Participant

    Not only can people of different races have conversations about topics other than race, but these conversations occur everyday.

    User Detail :  

    Name : Lucy22429, Gender : F, Age : 27, City : San Jose, State : CA Country : United States, Social class : Middle class, 
    #32227

    benny23369
    Participant

    because aside from heavily moderated sites like this one, people don’t talk about it nearly enough. people don’t talk about it nearly enough because there isnt so much social intercourse between races outside of the occasional party. people with race on the mind will see this as an iceburg that must be broken through before loose, race-blind conversation can commence. their hearts are in the right place. if you address the topic sincerely, you can chew your arm off politly after a good twenty minutes and everybody is satisfied. i’m always open to twenty minutes of discussion in a party environment if the issue is a contentious one.

    User Detail :  

    Name : benny23369, Gender : M, Race : White/Caucasian, Age : 65, City : lablanc, State : AZ Country : United States, Education level : 2 Years of College, Social class : Middle class, 
    #24897

    Danielle27238
    Participant

    Why can’t they? I have conversations about race with people of other races all the time. It depends on the individuals and what they’re comfortable talking about. It’s not an instant conversation killer all the time, and sometimes things need to be talked about.

    User Detail :  

    Name : Danielle27238, Gender : F, Race : Black/African American, Age : 17, City : Greensboro, State : NC Country : United States, Occupation : student, Education level : Less than High School Diploma, 
    #19727

    V27400
    Participant

    Maybe I’m nosey but I feel comfortable asking my African American friends things that aren’t PC. I also ask my South American friend things about his heritage because I’m interested. Just like I’ve asked my Cuban friend what Castro’s deal is. I work in a very culturely diverse environment and these friends are a wealth of information about other races. How can I appreciate other races unless I have some clue about where they are coming from?

    User Detail :  

    Name : V27400, Gender : F, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Agnostic, City : Carmel, State : IN Country : United States, Occupation : IT, Education level : 2 Years of College, Social class : Middle class, 
    #19435

    Akina
    Member

    Perhaps because of differences in history, Jamaicans are not as preoccupied with race relations as Americans (of all races) seem to be. I attribute my ability to transcend racial boundaries that American people of my race (black) are unwilling or unable to, because of my background in Jamaica, where race is not a major concern. So upon benig faced with issues of race/identity, to many African Americans’ dismay, in assertion of my identity (“Tell me who you are?”), black is not in my response, my race does not define me. I tend to view Americans primarily as Americans…. not African, Asian, White American or whatever. I am comfortable in my skin around people of other ‘races’, and I am more than capable of holding conversations with & sustaining meaningful relationships with people of all races (my best friends at school are white, native American, Caribbean); without race preoccupation,(& given that race has no relevance or bearing on the conversation at hand). Also at times because of plain old race fatigue I just stay clear of race! Point: It’s important to remember people within any cultural group are not homogenous, and try not to be put off by others for whom race is a pressing issue, and their race is inseparable from their identity. Just as my experiences affect my outlook, I suppose these people of whom you speak are speaking from some experience, and in order to understand those who race is important to, this aspect must be accepted in order for any discourse to be meaningful and not superficial.

    User Detail :  

    Name : Akina, Gender : F, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : Jamaican/West Indian, Religion : Christian, Age : 19, City : Kingston, State : NA Country : JAMAICA, Occupation : Undergrad student, Education level : 2 Years of College, 
    #45469

    Tubbs
    Member

    I think the reason for the race discussions is that people of differing races generally have little or no experience dealing on any substantive level with people of other races. So, when people are finally put in the position of actually having a face to face discussion with someone of another race they feel the need to bring up anything and everything that they’ve wondered about the other group. I don’t think it is a conversation killer because I try to be patient enough to discuss and explain and that usually results in a spirited discussion (if nothing else it presents an opportunity to clear up misconceptions). However, I do feel that people that propose these discussions are ignorant and/or rude (that doesn’t mean we can’t talk with one another). I wish that these people would read a book on the subject instead of showing their ignorance. Instead of thinking of it as a conversation killer perhaps you should view it as an opportunity to teach.

    User Detail :  

    Name : Tubbs, Gender : M, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : Black/African American, Religion : Agnostic, Age : 28, City : Silver Spring, State : MD Country : United States, Occupation : between jobs, Education level : Over 4 Years of College, Social class : Middle class, 
    #33696

    Christine
    Member

    I think it is often for the same reason that people come to Y? Forum: because people want to know different things about different races. If you can ask and answer these things intelligently, I think it is great to be able to discuss our differences. I don’t think it is a bad thing because it helps everyone understand each other better. That is a big step to this society becoming hate-free and understanding.

    User Detail :  

    Name : Christine, Gender : F, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : Black/African American, Religion : Baptist, Age : 19, City : Houston, State : TX Country : United States, Occupation : Student, Education level : 2 Years of College, Social class : Upper middle class, 
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