Thursday, November 6, 2008

A Brief Race Relations Primer for a New Era

It's been very moving to see everyone's response to Obama's election: Jesse Jackson with tears streaming down his face, Oprah jumping up and down like a teenage girl at a rock concert. We're all a little giddy. But, alas, wild enthusiasm can occasionally lead to serious foot-in-mouth disease and other similar disorders. So here are two little guides to help us avoid making missteps in the throes of our giddiness.

A few gentle reminders for us white folks: "No We Can't, White Folks: Five Things White People Shouldn't Do."

And a few gentle reminders for black folks: "No We Can't, Black Folks: Five Things Black People Shouldn't Do."

I have one more thing to add to both lists: Listen to each other.

Oh, and one more: Respect each other.

And this: Give each other the benefit of the doubt. See the best in others rather than expecting the worst.

And finally: Love each other! Be excellent to each other!

Beyond a doubt, we have made progress, but we still have a long way to go. So let's get going! I'm no expert on this stuff, but I believe that much of what we have yet to accomplish can be achieved only on a personal, person-to-person level. Love and respect can't be legislated into existence. They have to be lived. And now is the time. This is a new day in the USA!

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