1. Now this is timely, thank you! Well actually a bit late, but still helpful.

    I was recently in an awkward conversation with a couple of people who were not getting along. Race seems to be an issue, but the apparent racist parrots the diversity line, making himself seem less offensive. Everything the other person did offended him. He rejected all offers only wanting his own position. My responses tended along the line of surprise and curiosity. What was the reasoning for rejecting such an offer? That would only elicit a slow and complicated reasoning, often making him seem even more racist.

    Nothing changed until I asked as an aside, “Wouldn’t that last offer have been to your benefit? Wasn’t she being kind?” Was I showing him that it was safe to consider her offers? Had I been unconsciously modelling feeling safe with her all along? Maybe there was a comfort in being asked such a question in private.

    I am reminded of something I think you said in a podcast, about the three things needed for conflict resolution – safety, safety and safety. I had not helped his feeling of safety when I questioned his motives earlier.

    In any event, the reference to kindness seemed to turn the conversation. Was this enemy being kind?

    That conversation and your article here has me reconsidering how I might respond differently in apparently racist situations (which seem to be happening with increased regularity). Calling them out as racist is hardly comforting and increases the tension and rigidity. How to soothe a racist? Could be the title of an article.

    • Oh Marilyn – great insights! And love the potential title – are you going to write it? Let’s go! Yes yes and yes to safety! Thank you for your share, so whole-heartedly agree – how can we hold another in love and at the same time hold each other accountable to love and respect? Not an easy road, Marilyn. So glad we are on it together. 🙂

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