In this five-part series, Christian Williams, City of Goodyear, AZ, opens up about his experience with race.
Disclaimer: Race is controversial topic with many diverging opinions. Knowing that, I feel obliged to start with this disclaimer. The opinions, in this column, are mine and mine alone. My opinions do not reflect those of my organization, my race, my gender, millennials, or <insert anything else you want>.
By Christian Williams – Twitter
I experience racism even today. I have learned from experience that you can’t counter the ignorance of racism with anger.
Anger is only going to make you upset. By getting angry and yelling at someone, I am feeding into what they think I am. I’d rather prove them wrong.
I remain aware of racism – aware, but not, paralyzed by racism. I know I can accomplish anything through hard work. I am aware that I may have to work harder than others and may face a unexpected challenges because of my race.
I urge those who face discrimination to be aware, stay composed, and when possible, communicate and share your perspective.
We don’t talk enough about race or interact with people who are different than us. I enjoy hearing different perspectives and it is healthy to dialogue about issues from our varying perspectives. I challenge you to meet and talk with someone who is different than you (not just racially).
Tips for Discussing Race
- We must acknowledge that racism exists.
- We must share our opinions, and talk about our issues and frustrations.
- We should seek to understand why someone carriers a certain opinion.
- There is a time and place to discuss race (maybe at your “third place”).
Some people will not be open to the discussion. You cannot force them into a conversation. You can only encourage them to have an open dialogue.
We cannot desegregate ourselves if we don’t acknowledge what is segregating us. Segregation is more than policies by a government, it is how we treat each other in our neighborhoods.