Improving Understanding Between Blacks and Whites

Please answer in the comments...

Calling all blacks: "What is one thing that white people don't understand about you?"

Calling all whites: "What is one thing that black people don't understand about you?"

For the past several years I have been co-hosting the all black Zo What Morning Radio Show after more than twenty years ago I discovered my own “hidden” racism and didn’t like what I saw in myself.

I had two days before I heard the “Not Guilty” verdict come down at the end of the O.J. Simpson criminal trial where I was an adviser to the prosecution. If you remember, the reactions to that verdict were divided very much along racial lines. Blacks rejoiced, whites felt deeply cheated by the injustice.

I am white and although I, too, felt a deep sense of injustice, especially for Ron Goldman's and Nicole Brown's families, I had an additional reaction to the verdict and spoke to one of my good black friends about it. I realized that my feeling of things being stacked against justice was something he had probably known about.

I said to him, “I’m sick to my stomach over this verdict and felt that everything was stacked against a just verdict and realized that you must know what that’s like.”

He replied, “I’ve never known any different.”

I said, “Geez, I’m having trouble standing this after two days, why didn’t you tell me it was so bad?”

At the point my friend looked me straight in the eye and said, “Because you didn’t want to know!”

And he was right. 

Not only did I not want to know what it was like for my black friends, I didn't want to understand.

There are many things that contribute to the rift and chasm between blacks and whites, but certainly close to the top is feeling that white or black person on the other side doesn't understand you.  And I'm guessing, feeling that they don't even want to understand.

This blog and this reach out to our community and beyond is an effort to begin correcting that.

Please help us do that by answering the questions at the top of this blog and share your answers in the comments below, by first identifying if you are black or white.  And if you feel moved to do so, please also share what effect having the other side not understand that about you has on you.

Thank you.

God bless you... God bless eveyone.

Dr. Mark Goulston is a #1 best selling author of seven books, former hostage negotiation trainer, speaker, trainer, coach and renowned psychiatrist. He is regarded as an internationally renowned expert in the field of empathy and listening. As a result of his rich and diverse background and experiences, Dr. Goulston increases people’s ability to get through to anyone.