Matt Waldman’s RSP Cast: Conversations About Race In America Part II

Carey, Chris, and Mike of the Deep Cover Pod join Matt for a long conversation about race in America after the events at the U.S. Capitol. We rolled the tape and ultimately decided to release it in multiple parts. 

If you’re black or truly a friend or family to black people, the summer of 2020 was an especially painful time. I shared some of my personal feelings several months ago at this site and on my podcast. I also made suggestions about how to have conversations about race in America and introduced the possibility that this would be an ongoing subject at my site.

Fast-forward to January and the world witnessed a group of mostly white men, many bearing symbols long-associated with white supremacist behavior storm the U.S. Capitol. Whether they want to acknowledge it or not, our public witnessed the unadulterated double-standard of how black and white people are regarded in this country when juxtaposing it with this summer’s BLM marches.

So my friends CareyChris, and Mike at the Deep Cover Podcast decided to join me for a free-flowing conversation based on a private conversation that Mike and I had from prior weeks. The main thing: How do they feel about being black men in the United States at this point in our history?

If you missed last week’s portion of the conversation, you can listen to it here. Today, I release the second part of the conversation. Please keep in mind that when we talk about people of a specific race, we’re not implying “all” and instead implying “certain Black/White/Hispanic/Asian, etc.”

  • The sandwich shop incident.
  • How White people in this country appear when it comes to privilege: Ignorant that there is an inherent divide or “It’s always funny until it happens to you.”
  • “The Thank You and Fuck You” microcosm that’s deeply rooted in this country and why it makes racism difficult for white people to grasp its nuance.
  • The inaccurate stereotyping of North/South with regards to racism.
  • White people need to develop an emotional connection to what’s happening or else the denial of what’s happening will continue.
  • “I’d rather work in the field…you mean they had to leave their babies?” Mike’s visit to an old plantation and the basic lack of understanding about our history.
  • “You don’t have to prove you’re not racist/I’m not telling you that you’re racist.” Carey’s thoughts on what white people should understand so they aren’t triggered by a genuine conversation about racism.
  • You can’t be afraid of respectful confrontation and emotion when having these conversations.
  • The value of integrating yourself into a black community on some level in your life.
  • Being prepared as a white person that you’ll have to prove that your intentions are genuine because historic mistrust is real and often valid.

I had several underlying takeaways after this segment of the conversation. One, our nation as a whole hasn’t gained enough nuance about racism, and the highs of where we’ve made progress don’t erase the lows that continue to systemically harm black people to this day. Two, the main ways white people can ruin a conversation about race is the desire to prove they aren’t racist, the fear they’re being told they are racist, or the thought that they have to defend white people as a whole.

These outcomes have generated a baseline level of suspicion that I don’t think white people keep in mind when wanting to engage in a conversation about race.

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