Even once we develop the desire to engage in more open conversations about race, it can feel difficult or awkward to know how to start. One way to do that is by taking the focus off the individual and talking more generally about how racism is entrenched within our American society. We have been socialized into this way of thinking and being. Our media and news, Hollywood, justice systems – everything reinforces negative stereotypes.
Next, you can take things to a more personal level by sharing your own experiences of debunking racism from your life. What are some misinformed beliefs and ideas you previously held that you now realize are incorrect? What information helped change your thinking?
Then, let the other person know that our collective challenge is to undo this thinking and being. We can do this by informing ourselves and by developing relationships with people of other cultures:
Seeking to be inclusive, not exclusive
Building new, equitable systems, not discriminatory and oppressive systems
Loving all, not just a few.