Are Conversations About Race Helpful or a Distraction to Effective Action?

Wednesday, March 06, 2019 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Illustration: Roman Genn from National Review
A lot of people seem to think “having a conversation” is the gold standard of progress. This is especially true regarding the topic of “race.” 

In fact, casual conversations often have the unintended consequence of promoting ignorance and catering to “low information” people, especially on Facebook. This can only fuel false narratives—that cripple true progress. An ill-conceived “conversation” will take you off your “wall” of God's purpose (Nehemiah 6:2) and into distraction and inaction.

If each one of us is not prepared to deal with racism and bigotry (which is the actual “racial” problem in my view) within our spheres of influence, it is pointless to talk about “racial harmony.” Any real restoration project does not paint over damage and pretend it is not there. 

Talking can be a form of self-deception if we’re not prepared to act. As the Bible says, “Be a doer of the word.” James went on to say that only hearing (and I'll suggest talking) leads to self-deception. (James 1:22-25)

If Nehemiah had come off of the wall to go into a conversation, he would not have completed his assignment--and his people would have suffered. Besides, he knew that the invitation to attend a meeting in Ono would lead to his demise. (Nehemiah 6:2)

When you look at people, past and present, who are effective in making a difference, they don’t spend a lot of time in conversation with people who are not in a position to do anything, they act. Dr. King was a supreme example of this. 

Meeting or talking to strategize for action is the only conversation in which I am interested. If you have ever looked at a long Facebook thread about “race,” what you witnessed is mostly a “pooling” of ignorance and false narratives. Worse is putting wisdom and foolishness on the same moral plane.

As the old saying goes, "Talk is cheap."

Here is a great article  from Ebony Magazine pushing back against the conventional wisdom that “having a conversation” is always needed:

Here is a thought provoking article from National Review: