We are told, incessantly, that we should have a dialogue about race. Indeed we should. I have been seeking just such a dialogue for years. But finding a dialogue partner of another race, particularly a black person, is exceedingly difficult.
It isn't too hard to fathom the reason. A recent article in the Philadelphia Magazine (I think) entitled "Being White in Philadelphia" is illustrative of the problem. The article explored race relations from the white perspective. It was pretty mild overall. For example, after leaving her phone in a lab, a college student e-mailed her fellow students asking if any had taken it or seen who did. Most responded that they did not, but a black student was offended as she thought she was being accused of stealing.
Granted the article was a monologue and not a dialogue, but it created quite a firestorm. Philadelphia Mayor Nutter wrote a lengthy condemnation that included a threat to curtail a constitutionally protected freedom.
More recently a white basketball analyst, (Gottlieb?) surrounded by four black analysts, quipped that he was offering the "white perspective" when it was his turn to chime in. The Twittersphere erupted and naturally called for his head. To his immense credit, Charles Barkely defended Gottlieb and said that none of the black analysts were offended by Gottlieb's joke. Even so, Gottlieb issued an apology.
So we want dialogue, do we? You first.