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Derald Sue to Washington Post: "Why Americans Fear Talking About Race, and How You Can Lead the Way"

Teachers College Professor of Psychology and Education Derald Sue spoke with Washington Post editor Sydney Trent about how to have honest conversations about race. To read the interview featured in “Inspired Life”, click here.

The first step to having an honest dialogue on racial issues is that people have to understand themselves as racial, cultural beings, Sue writes in his new book about microaggressions, "Race Talk and the Conspiracy of Silence: Understanding and Facilitating Difficult Dialogues on Race," published last month by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 

In 2010, Sue, an international expert on microaggressions, published Microaggressions and Marginality: Manifestation, Dynamics, and Impact, which explores covert bias, prejudice, and discrimination with hopeful solutions for their eventual dissolution. "Race Talk" shares strategies for having smooth, productive conversations about race: “The first step to being able to honestly dialogue on racial issues is that people have to understand themselves as racial, cultural beings,” Sue says. Then he details some ideas about what to do next, including:

  • Start to get out of your comfort zone.
  • Join a social justice organization, attend a workshop. Read books by people of color.
  • Try hard not to get defensive. Stay open.
  • If you are a person of color, allow white people to be human, too.

"You weren’t born wanting to be a racist," Sue Concludes. "You took this on, through a painful process of conditioning, just like I as a person of color have been culturally conditioned in ways that have been harmful to me. . . . We need to work together to overcome these shackles of cultural conditioning.”

Published Monday, Mar. 9, 2015

Derald Sue to Washington Post: "Why Americans Fear Talking About Race, and How You Can Lead the Way"

Teachers College Professor of Psychology and Education Derald Sue spoke with Washington Post editor Sydney Trent about how to have honest conversations about race. To read the interview featured in “Inspired Life”, click here.

The first step to having an honest dialogue on racial issues is that people have to understand themselves as racial, cultural beings, Sue writes in his new book about microaggressions, "Race Talk and the Conspiracy of Silence: Understanding and Facilitating Difficult Dialogues on Race," published last month by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 

In 2010, Sue, an international expert on microaggressions, published Microaggressions and Marginality: Manifestation, Dynamics, and Impact, which explores covert bias, prejudice, and discrimination with hopeful solutions for their eventual dissolution. "Race Talk" shares strategies for having smooth, productive conversations about race: “The first step to being able to honestly dialogue on racial issues is that people have to understand themselves as racial, cultural beings,” Sue says. Then he details some ideas about what to do next, including:

  • Start to get out of your comfort zone.
  • Join a social justice organization, attend a workshop. Read books by people of color.
  • Try hard not to get defensive. Stay open.
  • If you are a person of color, allow white people to be human, too.

"You weren’t born wanting to be a racist," Sue Concludes. "You took this on, through a painful process of conditioning, just like I as a person of color have been culturally conditioned in ways that have been harmful to me. . . . We need to work together to overcome these shackles of cultural conditioning.”

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