Why is race so difficult to talk about?
We’ve heard it said: “You can’t even have a conversation about race in this country without being called racist.” Damned if that will stop us from trying. We’re obviously not afraid to tackle the tough subjects of issues relevant to men. We had an in-depth, sometimes ‘vehement’ discussion of pornography going on for weeks. We like to come at topics of importance from multiple angles—not to moralize, not to tell you what’s good – but to help figure it out together, as our community shares insights through comments, reactions posts, across social media and throughout the web universe. So we’ve asked several people to give us their views on men and race. We don’t think you’ll find them racist. We think you’ll find them fascinating.
In “White Boy in a Black Land” Tom Matlack travels to Kenya and confronts his own views on race both here and abroad. “Am I a racist? I hope not. But if I’m not a racist and you’re not and neither is anyone else this country, how can we collectively end up with a million black men in prison and such stark and persistent racial differences in terms of education, wealth, and life expectancy?” Jackie Summers writes a reaction piece, “Black Boy in a White Land” that starts out, “I had no idea I was black, until my first day of first grade.” Once Jackie realized that the color of his skin had meaning, he found there was an elephant in the room everywhere he went. We asked Steve Locke to write on race and he refused. He had the courtesy of telling us, “Why I Don’t Want to Talk About Race.” So we printed his email. And Damon Young, in “Eating While Black”, talks about a peculiar type of “race neurosis” that makes it difficult to see actions as separate from the color of his skin. An example—“It makes you hesitate to help an elderly woman struggling with her bags at the supermarket because you’re aware that she might think you’re trying to rob her.”
We would like nothing better than to have all of you join in the conversation and give this topic the importance it deserves.