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Monday
Jan022012

How to Talk so People (or Racists) Will Listen

This video is around four years old, and you might have seen it already. I've seen it before, but I still thought it was terrific when I stumbled on it a few weeks ago.  Mr. Smooth explains a concept here that is so simple that it often escapes us at the crucial moments that we need to remember it the most.

Everyone has prejudices and stereotypes stuck in their brain about how the world works and who people are.  Prejudice isn't the problem because it's always going to be there.  The biggest problems arise when it comes to matters of race, multiculturalism, politics, or even "tastes great, less filling" because people forget how to talk to each other.

We're trying to go for the kill when it comes to discussing controversial topics.  "The kill" is not the end game. Attacking someone with a zinger might feel good, but, forgive me for bursting that bubble, but it achieves nothing. In the end turning a discussion about race or politics into an exercise in promoting one's own feelings of self righteousness is of no value.

The end game is not feeling good about yourself, you know? It's compassion, harmony, a pluralistic understanding of humanity. I will go so far as to say that watching what you say and how you say it is at the core of achieving that. Let me add here, though, that living in a more compassionate world is likely going to make you feel good about yourself.

Watching this video might be the most important three minutes you spend today.

Unless you're a heart surgeon or a pilot or something.



How to Tell People They Sound Racist