• Dr. T

Who are you in this 'Race' race?

Updated: Apr 2

Even though our website has been quiet of late, I continue to engage in conversations with members of my community, near and far. Here are some things that have been said:

“You don’t understand”

“You can’t understand”

“You are white, therefore the problem”

“I am white, therefore I must fix the problem”

“I am black and deserve a reckoning”

“I am black and do not understand why this is happening”

“You do not deserve a seat at the table because you are white”

“White people have no business on the diversity and inclusion platform”

“I am white and have all the answers”

“I am black and have all the answers”

“Racism is rampant, and we will never forgive or forget”

“Racism is not rampant, and we if we open our eyes we will see the truth”

“It’s all Trump's fault”

“We cannot unite because of racists”

“We cannot unite because I am always called racist”

“We will never unite until Trump is gone”

“We will never unite with Biden and democrats in the White House”

“I refuse to look at the good things that are happening because this country is racist”

“It’s all Obama’s fault”

“I’m done”

“It doesn’t matter anymore”

“I will never heal”


Read those statements again. Remember the ones you identify with. Remember the ones you want to argue for and against, and remind yourself these are honest, candid opinions and have no place in others’ judgment. Instead, be curious. Ask why, and seek to understand.

If we approach all difficult conversations this way, we come closer to healing.

Who are you in this ‘Race’ race?

Communities in crisis:

There are different types of crises that we all face in our lives. Keep reading for an academic explanation:

1. “People are in a state of crisis when they face an obstacle to important life goals–an obstacle that is, for a time, insurmountable by the use of customary methods of problem solving. A period of disorganization ensues, a period of upset, during which many abortive attempts at a solution are made.” (Caplan, 1961, p.18)

2. “Crisis results from impediments to life goals that people believe they cannot overcome through customary choices and behaviors” (Caplan, 1964, p.40)

3. Crisis is a crisis because the individual knows no response to deal with a situation (Carkhuff & Berenson, 1977, p.165)

Crisis Formation

1. A negative event occurs which leading to a feeling of subjective distress

2. This distress leads to an impairment in functioning

3. Coping skills fail to improve functioning

The term “cognitive key” refers to your belief about the negative event, which influences how well you will be able to cope with the event. Changing your perspective and help improve your ability to cope.

Basic Formula for Crisis Intervention

1. Alter the perception of the negative event and offer coping strategies

2. Distress is lowered

3. Functioning returns to pre-crisis levels

Crisis as Danger and Opportunity

Crisis can be thought of as both of a danger or an opportunity. There’s a myth that says that the Chinese word for “crisis” means both danger and opportunity. While this is not exactly accurate (any more than the word “opportunity” contains the word port), the sentiment is true

If an individual in crisis is able to muster their coping skills, supports, and resources, they will find themselves able to come through the crisis and be more prepared to work through future crises. On the other hand, if they don’t seek that support their functioning will decline further and they will find it harder to deal with things.



In other words, how we approach crisis management in our lives determines our ability to cope and overcome. From the list of opinions presented earlier, how many of them do you think indicate personal or social crises? How can you differentiate between emotions, lack of coping skills, or a genuine crisis?

Healing only takes place with willing participants. Expecting a neighbor to change their opinion to suit yours is the antithesis of what is needed. {Insert here your favorite media source} – has been talking to households for years about who and what is to blame for wrongness in this world, and you believe it to be true. I’ve written before about the media’s un-conversation skills. They do not care about us. They are there to persuade us on how to think and feel about X, Y, and Z in order to influence mob opinion.

The media industry is mostly entertainment and if you approach it that way, you may find yourself free to think critically again.

In life, there is an expectation of decency, collaborative spirit, and fundamental goodness. Sadly, we are witnessing less of that and more of antagonistic behaviors, lack of respect, and unwillingness to budge on personal opinions.

Who are you in this ‘Race’ race?

I present this perspective for your consideration: there are millions and millions and millions of good and decent people in this world - that is where I choose to exist. I recently said this to a colleague who was dismayed at my perspective because we live in such an 'awful and messed up country’. Why cannot both perspectives be acceptable?

Make a commitment to be on the side of healing.

God Bless!

To effectively communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others.

Tony Robbins

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