You know it’s difficult to talk about intercultural and interracial issues when you avoid talking even to yourself, in private, for fear of being offensive.
Certainly I jest, but only sort of. There’s a couple of things I’ve noticed over the past nearly two weeks, and I have a couple of solutions to start.
1. There’s something to this thing of completely acknowledging and exposing the unconscious possibly racist/stereotpyed thoughts. I carried around most for the past two years, with fear of being ‘outed’ as an awful bigot. And now, after only 6 weeks of displaying them publicly, they’ve either stopped, are more sensitive, or have become embracing of all cultures themselves (as in equal opportunity thinking!). I think this is a good thing, and will try recreate the evolution in writing in the coming weeks.
2. There’s a need for a new language. I’ve realized that the language that many are using derives from the existing construct of division. Rather than trying to establish more strictly defined groups or categories of identity, I hope one day there will be a new paradigm that moves beyond the language of discrimination and strict categories to language that somehow captures the essence of the unversalities among all.
3. There’s a lot of anger out there (in the blogosphere, and therefore presumably the world) and there are very serious and harmful individual acts of hate and institutional discrimintion.
All of this has sent me into a paralysis. The thoughts come so fast that as soon as a post comes in, I’ve already discovered something new that makes it seem naive. The anger and real life tragedies make a positive approach seem ineffectual. So where to start? One is that I’ll be adding a page for ‘definitions’ that will help to create a new language. Second, as I get caught up on feeling it’s not enough, I’ll be adding a call for ‘Guest Bloggers,’ that will feature stories of others that relay an experience or instance of intercultural interaction, including an “a ha” moment where the light went on for what was learned.
Finally, I will continue to look for the meaning and purpose. For now, I suppose it’s the “power of one”…racism and prejudice may carry on, but not by me, and also to learn some lessons and skills and experiences that I can share with my child, so that hopefully his generation won’t have so much pain. Here’s hoping that the ‘good guys,’ the people predisposed or living a lifestyle of anti-racism outnumber the naysayers. It’s a start, and I accept that it starts with me.