It's colloquially call it the "Color Line". It is more truly a gash, a gaping wound through America's heart. And this wound has been festering for almost 400 years.
We are changing. Within the next 20 to 30 years, Americans of color will outnumber white Americans. Today, Americans of color outnumber their white counterparts in 20 of our 25 most populous cities and in all of our top 10. In the mid-1960s, 35% of the world population was white. Within the coming decade or so that number will drop to 11%. As time moves on, healing takes on greater and greater urgency.
Why is it that it took less than 20 years to go from, “Don't ask, don't tell” to the acceptance of gay marriage throughout much of our country, yet why, in the white man's 400 year presence on these shores have we only been able to make progress erasing the 'color line' in fits and starts? Why has it been so difficult to change? And why does it seem we have been losing ground these past years?
Why can discussions about race, diversity, and injustice be so difficult and why can they engender so much defensiveness, animus, and guilt? How did we get here and what can we do to heal?
Why do so many white Americans (of whom I am one) feel a subtle tension when we are talking with our peers, colleagues, and even friends of color, as if we are concerned we might say or do something that will give offense?
Why is it that with increasing frequency, we who work to serve those in need in culturally diverse communities, find some of our best efforts met with suspicion, antagonism, and rejection?
Perhaps of greatest import, what can caring, concerned, well-intentioned, good folks do to help heal our 400 year old wound, so we can all move forward? What can we do to be part of the solution?
Dr Klusky has some answers . . . and many more questions. Come join the discussion