…to wish away the resentments of white Americans, to label them as misguided or even racist, without recognizing they are grounded in legitimate concerns – this too widens the racial divide, and blocks the path to understanding.
I have friends and family members who are racist. They know I don’t approve of their beliefs and, for the most part, keep their racially intolerant comments to themselves to avoid a confrontation. I wish there was something I could do that would enlighten them and cause them to abandon their fearful backwards view of people who are not like them. I haven’t figured out how to do that so I try to accept them and focus on the good qualities that they also possess. I DO label them as misguided and racist, though. Even if their beliefs are “grounded in legitimate concerns” as Barack Obama has pointed out, the beliefs themselves are wrong.
He's right about it blocking the path to understanding. My path is definitely blocked and I don’t understand them. I guess this means I’m widening the racial divide which I totally don’t want to do.
Anyone who can offer some advice or can share their own experiences of how they deal with racial issues in their lives, please share!