I’m so with you, but I think we need to try a strategy change. There are all kinds of ways to educate and confront. I think we on the pro-equality team need a meeting.

I was taught that confrontation was the best strategy. About everything. In my house. In my neighborhood. In my college classes on diversity. In my graduate classes on diversity. In my alcohol and drug counseling classes.

So slowly one by one I keep unlearning the confrontation methods because researchers tell me they don’t work. You can’t confront a person with an addiction out of their problem. Guiding the person towards having reasons to find motivation for change coupled with support over time has some solid evidence behind it though.

Now there is evidence that the way we’ve been doing anti-racism needs improvement. The years of online confrontation have taken their toll. “Calling out” is likely to backfire. Is is white fragility or does every person shut down when someone says, “You’re a fill-in-the-blank?”

If we retire telling people they are racist when they clearly are, both institutionally and personally. Or sometimes, we don’t say the person is racist who is denying any personal racism, but not understanding institutional racism, could we improve our track record.

Instead of past methods, what if we try these conversations they recommend? I don’t know if we could do the miraculous thing you do when you empathize with someone who is clearly espousing racist thinking. But empathy works to change minds.

And like you said, there are troll-like people who still need confrontation so their ideas don’t seem acceptable, but the actual conversation with them is obnoxious. So I say we write for the lurkers per your suggestion.

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