Over the weekend, I published a “conversation” with a woman named Jenée Desmond-Harris about her article setting forth “rules” on how to talk about race. I talked to her on Twitter after Bill Saletan from Slate publicized her article as something that would “challenge” white people. Desmond-Harris works for a web site run in part by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. about race, and her “rules” were basically things that white people need to not say to black people. I wondered aloud if there were rules on how to talk to white people about race, and since there apparently aren’t, I did a piece of my own, which you can read here.
I poked back through Desmond-Harris’s Twitter timeline a little further and realized that she has explicitly said that we don’t need a national conversation on race, so much as we need a national agenda on race in which some people (read: whites) just need to listen:
“Let’s be honest, some people need to listen.” Or, as she obviously meant: “Let’s be honest, some people need to shut up and just listen.”
So she doesn’t want a national conversation, she wants a national lecture.
Hey, at least she’s honest about it.
That said, she’s not really the best person for Bill Saletan to have consulted in regards to having a “conversation.”
P.S. I also found this in her timeline:
Raise your hand if, upon listening to your college-age daughter start to lecture you about how you’re wrong about how young people need to behave to succeed in life, you’d be tempted to tell her that if she knows so much, she probably knows how to pay for her own damned college education. *raise*