2 thoughts on “Hey look, it’s Jay Smooth saying super smart stuff about racism

  1. I find this approach very much worth listening to and practising, and have transcribed a few quotes.

    ‘…considering how we receive that critique, and how we might be able to take a suggestion that we may have said or done something racist, and take it in stride, and not completely freak out…’

    ‘We are grappling with a social construct that was not designed to make sense. And, to the extent that it is the product of design, the race constructs that we live in in America were shaped specifically by a desire to avoid making sense. They were shaped for centuries by a need to rationalise and justify indefensible acts. So when we grapple with race issues, we grapple with something that was designed for centuries to make us circumvent our best instincts. It’s a dance partner that’s designed to trip us up.’

    ‘…we need to move away from the tonsils paradigm of race discourse toward the dental hygiene paradigm of race discourse…’

    ‘…seeing “being good” as a practice…’

    ‘Beyond the persistent conversational awkwardness of race there are persistent systemic and institutional issues around race that are not caused by conversation. And they can’t entirely be solved by conversation. You can’t talk them away. But we need people to work together and coordinate and communicate to find strategies to work on those systemic issues…’

    ‘…we can shift away from taking it as an indictment of our goodness, and move towards taking it a gesture of respect and an act of kindness when someone tells us that we’ve got something racist stuck in our teeth.’

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