Anyone who has not seen this movie… I dunno how available it is from rental places or Netflix, but it is worth watching (so is last year’s Crash, btw).
It’s basically the conversation a bunch of ethnically diverse men have during a weekend retreat over racism. It is emotional at times and rational at times. All of the Teacher Education Program TAs watched it today, but we didn’t have much time to discuss what we saw.
One thing I wanted to say was that I completely understand how one of the men felt when he said that he is tired of having to explain things all the time to white folk. It makes me think about how guarded I am all the time in an unconscious way and how when I go and visit my family down in California and we go to a Chinese restaurant and everyone is Chinese, I can almost literally exhale and just relax. Not that I feel much discrimination up here in the Northwest.. not explicitly so, but it is always there, like a shadow from a moving cloud which sometimes becomes very oppressive and other times is hardly noticeable.
I also remember talking to an African-American friend of mine once about how we just know. We were able to communicate a feeling that we had without even saying anything somehow… The conversation went something like:
Him: You know that feeling when… and it is always there… but in the background, sort of?
Me: Yes, I do.
And I’m sorry, but that is about as best as I can explain it to white folk.
But I do still have to wonder how much of the feeling is something I’m bringing to the table? In high school when I was rebuked by white girls, was it because of me or my race? That nagging thing… race is always a factor. I’d like to believe that it was me… or maybe not.. I don’t really know which is worse.