Question Guide for Race  to Engage: July 4 Edition

What is the relationship, if any, that you see between progress on racism and patriotism?

Your objective is to open this conversation – which might happen with one people or a few – in a way that is neutral and gives them room to express their opinion, which might very different than yours.

Here are some sample questions within the topic: Progress on Racism and Patriotism

  1. What is the relationship for you between racial progress and patriotism? In your mind, are these mostly connected, or mostly in very different parts of your brain?

  2. Martin Luther King and to some extent Lincoln thought about the struggle against racial oppression in patriotic terms.  Is this how you normally think about racial progress and patriotism? Why or why not?

  3. Do you hear other people connecting racial progress and patriotism? What do you hear and how to you react? If you don’t hear this, why do you think that is?

  4. What are the things that we should particularly celebrate on our national progress on race? Are there things concerning race/racism that we should feel “not so great” about as a nation?

  5. What are some things from non-white people’s history that can help us all feel more patriotic around our national progress on race?

  6. Is there any remaining work that we as a society still need to do? Is there any remaining work that we as white folks need to do?

  7. How does the state of race relations now make you feel about the nation? Are these things related for you?

 

Reminder: This is NOT about arguing

Your objective is not to argue with them, but to try to understand how they see this issue. If they ask for your opinion, you might give it, but try to avoid participating in an argument about who is right, even if they want to do that.

 

One helpful hint: Often you can make a conversation go deeper by asking a question about an experience that they have had that reinforces their opinion. For example, I would be interested in hearing about an experience you had that further confirmed how you see this

Ngozi Robinson