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Race Talk and the Conspiracy of Silence: Understanding and Facilitating Difficult Dialogues on Race

Race Talk and the Conspiracy of Silence: Understanding and Facilitating Difficult Dialogues on Race

Derald Wing Sue

ISBN: 978-1-118-95872-8

Jan 2015

304 pages

In Stock

$55.00

Description

Learn to talk about race openly, honestly, and productively

Most people avoid discussion of race-related topics because of the strong emotions and feelings of discomfort that inevitably accompany such conversations. Rather than endure the conflict of racial realities, many people choose instead to avoid the topic altogether, or remain silent when it is raised. Race Talk and the Conspiracy of Silence: Understanding and Facilitating Difficult Dialogues on Race puts an end to that dynamic by sharing strategies for smoothing conversations about race in a productive manner.

A guide for facilitating and participating in difficult dialogues about race, author Derald Wing Sue – an internationally recognized expert on multiculturalism, diversity, and microaggressions – explores the characteristics, dynamics, and meaning behind discussions about race as well as the hidden ""ground rules"" that inhibit honest and productive dialogue. Through emotional and visceral examples, this book explains why conversations revolving around racial issues are so difficult, and provides guidelines, techniques, and advice for navigating and leading honest and forthright discussions. Readers will develop a stronger ability to build rapport with people unlike themselves, and discover how not talking about race impacts society as a whole.

  • Overcome and make visible the fears associated with race talk
  • Learn practical ideas for talking openly about race
  • Facilitate and navigate discussion with expert strategy
  • Examine the hidden rules that govern race talk
  • Understand the benefits of successful conversations

Discussions about race do not have to result in disastrous consequences, and can in fact be highly beneficial to all parties involved. It's important that people have the ability to converse openly and honestly with their students, colleagues, children, and neighbors, and Race Talk provides the path for achieving this goal.

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Preface xi

Acknowledgments xvii

About the Author xix

SECTION ONE: THE CHARACTERISTICS, DYNAMICS, AND MEANING OF RACE TALK

CHAPTER ONE What Is Race Talk? 3

Race Talk Represents a Potential Clash of Racial Realities 7

Race Talk Pushes Emotional Hot Buttons 11

Race Talk Evokes Avoidance Strategies 13

Why Is Successful Race Talk Important? 16

CHAPTER TWO The Characteristics and Dynamics of Race Talk 18

What Are Characteristics of Race Talk? 21

How Do Societal Ground Rules (Norms) Impede Race Talk? 23

Why Is Race Talk So Difficult and Uncomfortable for Participants? 27

Conclusions 33

CHAPTER THREE The Stories We Tell: White Talk Versus Back Talk 35

Race Talk: Narratives and Counter-Narratives 37

Telling on Racism: Unmasking Ugly Secrets 38

SECTION TWO: THE CONSTRAINING GROUND RULES FOR RACE TALK

CHAPTER FOUR “The Entire World’s a Stage!” 55

The Politeness Protocol and Race Talk 57

The Academic Protocol and Race Talk 64

CHAPTER FIVE Color-Blind Means Color-Mute 74

Color-Evasion: “We Are All the Same Under the Skin” 78

Stereotype-Evasion: “I Don’t Believe in Those Stereotypes” 82

Power-Evasion: “Everyone Can Make It in Society, If They Work Hard Enough” 86

Myth of the Melting Pot 89

SECTION THREE: WHY IS IT DIFFICULT FOR PEOPLE OF COLOR TO HONESTLY TALK ABOUT RACE?

CHAPTER SIX “What Are the Consequences for Saying What I Mean?” 95

Ethnocentric Monoculturalism 99

Power and Oppression 105

CHAPTER SEVEN “To Speak or How to Speak, That Is the Question” 112

Communication Styles 115

Nonverbal Communication 118

Nonverbal Communication in Race Talk: Sociopolitical Considerations 121

Being Constrained and Silenced: Impact on People of Color 123

Conclusions 127

SECTION FOUR: WHY IS IT DIFFICULT FOR WHITE PEOPLE TO HONESTLY TALK ABOUT RACE?

CHAPTER EIGHT “I’m Not Racist!” 131

Cognitive Avoidance—Racism Denial 133

Emotional Avoidance—Fear, Guilt, and Other Feelings 138

Behavioral Avoidance—Helplessness and Hopelessness 142

Emotional Roadblocks to Race Talk 144

CHAPTER NINE “I’m Not White; I’m Italian!” 147

What Does It Mean to Be White? 148

The Invisibility of Whiteness: What Does It Mean? 152

The Fear of Owning White Privilege 154

Fear of Taking Personal Responsibility to End Racism: Moving From Being Nonracist to Becoming Antiracist 159

SECTION FIVE: RACE TALK AND SPECIAL GROUP CONSIDERATIONS

CHAPTER TEN Interracial/Interethnic Race Talk: Difficult Dialogues Between Groups of Color 167

Interracial/Interethnic Relationship Issues 169

Race Talk: Fears of Divide and Conquer 171

Sources of Conflict Between People of Color 174

CHAPTER ELEVEN Race Talk and White Racial Identity Development: For Whites Only 186

Developing a Nonracist and Antiracist Racial Identity 189

White Racial Identity Development and Race Talk 202

SECTION SIX: GUIDELINES, CONDITIONS, AND SOLUTIONS FOR HAVING HONEST RACIAL DIALOGUES

CHAPTER TWELVE Being an Agent of Change: Guidelines for Educators, Parents, and Trainers 209

Talking to Children About Race and Racism 213

Guidelines for Taking Personal Responsibility for Change 214

CHAPTER THIRTEEN Helping People Talk About Race: Facilitation Skills for Educators and Trainers 226

Ineffective Strategies: Five Things Not to Do 230

Successful Strategies: Eleven Potentially Positive Actions 234

References 245

Author Index 261

Subject Index 267