Monday, June 22, 2020

Conversation: It Doesn't Mean What You Think

For Example:

You may know or have felt the racial tensions happening throughout the country. Before CMSgt XXXXXX left, Capt Jeff YYYYY hosted a dialogue called “Continuing the Conversation” between Col ZZZZZZ, Mr. QQQQQQQQ, and Chief XXXXXX on current events, race, and the importance of open, effective communication in the workplace. I encourage you to listen to the conversation, and also read the letter from the Secretary of the Air Force titled “Equality” concerning this hard topic.

Furthermore, I would like to give some resources to facilitate that continued conversation. Winston Churchill once said, “Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.” I encourage you to sit down with your teammates and courageously listen to their stories about diversity and inclusion to include the hard topic of race. I would also encourage you not to say “I do not see color” or “I do not see race” because you are inadvertently saying, “I do not see you or how your differences enhance our team.” These conversations should not create a culture of shame but awareness. It will take an open heart, mind, and ears to have this conversation.

On the one hand, for a white person, in 2020, to "not see race" is to be pretty naive. I don't want to judge too harshly; in fact, this was exactly what I myself would have said thirty years ago. But today, such a person ought to acquaint herself with the crime statistics, or watch any number of YouTube/Twitter videos of random white people being set upon by mobs of blacks. To "not see race" is to be disarmed in a very hostile world.

But that said, how does Col X justify excluding the person whose perspective on "diversity and inclusion" is, "What about all that business about 'content of our character' and such? Wasn't the whole point of giving the political Left well nigh unchallenged control over race policy for 50 years precisely to get to a place where we 'do not see race'. But instead, we've arrived at a place where, for instance, the USAF's senior enlisted leader says that his primary identity is not that of an airman, nor even that of an American, but that of a 'Black man who happens to be the Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force' [emphasis added]".

Again, that's not my perspective, not anymore. My perspective is that racial differences, as such, do not "enhance our team"; rather they only ever leverage imagined grievances to obtain the power to lecture everyone else, who are expected to listen in silence.

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