The “Race” Conversation is always a difficult one to have. A lot of us are tired of it, some even doubt that it is helpful, some deny its existence as simply a social construct that the sooner we can dismiss, the better off we will be, but others just want us to keep it in mind because whether we like it or not, there are certain things that people say that “sound racist.”
A few years ago, this video by JSmooth aka Illdoctrine definitely got some play because of its brevity, clarity and practicality by parsing out the conversation about what someone said versus any further implication as to what someone is. Check it out:
Now just last week, JSmooth spoke at a TEDx talk at Hampshire College — an eleven minute session entitled, “How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love Discussing Race”, which is a wonderful bookend to the previous video. Jay is articulate and intelligent here and a line that caught me (via the transcript, which you can see here) was an appeal to understand a mutual brokenness, in both the speaker and the hearer and in the social construct that is race.
if I could have one wish it would be that we would reconsider how we conceptualize being a good person, and keep in mind that we are not good despite our imperfections. It is the connection we maintain with our imperfections that allows us to be good.
Here’s a video of the talk, enjoy.