Thursday, November 07, 2013


So, as I've mentioned a few times, I have for many months now been cross-posting my Real Art stuff on facebook, which is what I did with yesterday's post on the link between racism and gun ownership in the US.  A nice discussion ensued, but an old high school friend of mine asked me a great question about my interest in race issues.

I'm wondering, what is it for you, personally, that has made you interested in this topic? I know you and I were raised in the same town/similarly.
She means we went to high school and church together, more specifically, a white suburban high school in Texas, and a Southern Baptist church.  My answer:
Lorena, for me, this started years ago when I was a Republican in my first few years at the University of Texas. That's where I encountered actual liberals who made actual arguments I had never heard before, and, being unprepared, I lost these debates, which I hated. I vowed that I was never going to be taken by surprise like that ever again, and started studying liberal views, as well as hanging out with lots of liberals--this was, after all, in Austin. Eventually, after getting what amounted to a fair hearing of both liberal and conservative views, I decided that, while not always right, liberals had the better arguments overall, often stuff that the right wing wasn't even trying respond to.

So studying politics became a life long passion. Over the years, I've come to the conclusion that race is almost always in the mix for virtually every political, economic, or cultural issue I've considered. I mean, it's just always there, again and again and again. So race isn't simply a subset of American politics, economics, and culture. Rather, it is always a dominant factor. Always. So we're never going to solve some of our most basic and chronic problems until we've got race figured out. That is, in order to consider America, you have to consider race, or you're not really considering America.

There's also the fact that, I, too, am sick of America grappling with the race issue. But instead of burying my head in the sand and pretending all is well, as many white people do, I want to freaking solve the damned problem. But because so many white people are in denial, the first step, as they say, is admitting that we have a problem. So I've decided to talk on facebook about race. A lot.