Have That Awkward Conversation About Race – And Yes, Whiteness Too

Have That Awkward Conversation About Race – And Yes, Whiteness Too

KUOW 94.9 FM
Seattle, Washington

Jamala Henderson, Morning Newscaster/Reporter

Protests over high profile police shootings have renewed calls to discuss police treatment of African-Americans – and talk about race relations in general. But how do we have those difficult and often awkward conversations? KUOW’s Jamala Henderson put that question to University of Washington Professor Ralina Joseph. Highlights from the interview:

How do I talk about race with family and friends?

I tell them you need to just start talking. It needs to be a conversation about what does your family look like? What does your family talk about? What are the silences that you have? There’s not one simple answer. The answer is honestly engaging in dialog engaging in conversation.

What makes race so difficult to talk about?

Some people refuse to name people by race and ethnicity for example in thinking that that’s a progressive move that shows to them they’re colorblind and they’re above labeling people.

But I think that’s actually part of the problem. Pretending that people are all the same, that we don’t see difference, doesn’t actually make disproportionality go away. It just means that we don’t actually have the tools to be able to talk about describe race…

Read the interview here. Listen to the interview here.

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