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Reply to "The 'Promised Land': Why We're Still Waiting"

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Although can there be no meaningful dialog before that relationship is balanced/equal, that in fact leads up to that?
NO! It is exactly that unbalance relationship that leads to a stalled, halted or forsaken "dialogue."

Arguably, people could say Dr. King and Pres. Lydon Johnson started a "dialogue." For sure, a number of common folk or community leaders, mostly educators and religious leaders have had "dialogues." But hardly any thing that can be regarded as a serious "dialogue" where it counts, in the halls of power.

As for Clinton's deal, you can research and look for opinions about that "conversation". I started to mention it but since you did: What Impression Did You Have In Terms Of What It Set Out To Accomplish? Given this conversation you and I are having and my mention of Power Relationships, if that Clinton "Race Conversation" wasn't going to negogiate anything, wasn't going to produce something binding then is was of little, if any meaningful value. Why would you believe otherwise, since apparently you do?

Here's a few links on that:

What Happened to the National Race Dialogue?
An interview with Angela Oh (a president Advisory Board member)


Why Talk About Race: Welfare and Crime Demand More Than Feel-Good Chat

Not Enough Conversation?

Getting Beyond Racism

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I wondered whether a non-black American audience would ask those kinds of questions in the USA? Really, can anyone tell me?
I take this to be something that amounts to, in my estimation the type of questions that ask, essentially, "What's It Like To Be Black?" Now that may be a rough interpretation but, first, yes; those are the same type of questions and about the extent of any such "dialogue." And that's the problem and reason why the imbalance is inherently problematic.

Again, going with my crude, rough translation that characterizes that line of questioning... Where are there White people subjecting (and I use that word purposely)... subjecting themselves to questioning about "What's It Like To Be White?" Where is the conversation about White History? If all things and people are equal, so should the questioning be equal. To be frank, there is a serious problem with that idea -- equating having a race "dialog" with asking Black people about "their history" and, essentially, "What Is It Like To Be Black?"

That accomplishes what? What does the Black person/people get out of that [unequal] exchange??
And, if or since that's an approach, a singular, One-Way Street approach (some) Whites have and, apparently, view that as an accomplishment (for whom?), then what really is the purpose of the dialogue in the first place? What are the basic expectations going in for both Blacks and Whites? And what comes from that type of approach?

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So to me, any dialog is a bit like fishing, I am throwing out the morsels of what I know...
A Dialog isn't about "knowing" (whatever that refers to; "knowing" what??). It's about telling.

A Dialog is about an equal exchange and equal a la reciprocal telling. The talks are held, a Dialog is made by the telling of both sides of the story, so to speak. If there's some reason to talk about "What's It Like To Be Black?" then, likewise, there is a reason to talk about "What's It Like To Be White?" I don't think you understand that.

So, when it comes to something like Affirmative Action, instead of just talking about how they (certain Whites) feel like AA is "discrimination", in reverse or otherwise, some actual talk about why they would view it as such, especially with American History being what it is, and how exactly they feel they are or could be "discriminated" against should be talked about, at length. And even more than that, "What's It Like To Be White?" is a question about the life and thoughts of people who are so "discriminated" against in America or however it is they perceive the whole, entire experience.

Again, "Dialog" isn't about "knowing" per se (I mean, people should "know" what their experiences are and should be able to speak about them honestly and without pretense)... Dialog is about telling. TRUTH TELLING... and Telling On if even only talking about One's Self. One's own beliefs about one's self, first, foremost, primarily and perhaps only. The problem is this concept of a "race" conversation or dialog is how it becomes A Talk About Black People. Now, if you can't understand how something is seriously wrong with that concept, I don't know what I can say to help you.

As noted, Black folks don't have a problem coming to the table. And, in truth, the overall problem of "race" is a problem that resides with White people. So, it would seem to me, if there was/is an earnest attempt to have a Dialog then it is White people who should be fielding the bulk of the questions and doing the bulk of the talking - about themselves. Not Black people. Not what they think about AA. About what they think about themselves.

Instead, the whole process, the whole concept is inverted as if it is Black people who have "a problem" and a need to talk about. Otherwise, this idea about "knowing" something about Black people's history would not be an issue. It's not a dialog when you ask me about "my history." It is something else entirely. In the vain of a Conversation On Race, if any, that can only have a small space. IMO, it is Whites who have the biggest story to tell. And all I'm requiring is equal parts.

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Also, I still have no idea of what your idea of a "dialog" is.

I'm not being facetious when I say I don't exactly know either.
Then that necessitates an honest assessment. You have to figure out whatever it is your idea is and be honest enough to say whether its truly a dialog you seek or is it something else. A Black & White conversation about Black people, even a conversation about Black history, is not a dialog. It can be a conversation, perhaps even a welcomed and maybe even a productive, positive one... but it is not, cannot be a dialog.
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