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Responses to our ‘racism’ episode

Responses to our ‘racism’ episode
In this episode we discuss some of the responses we received to last week's episode ("Racism, Black Lives Matter, and Figuring Stuff Out"), from hate mail to not-hate mail. Ali also unveils his life plan for the next few years, and Taimur goes on a bit of a rant about "legibility".

Some of the key points from the discussion:

Communication has become somewhat dependent on preconceived notions of how ‘nice’ people judge someone to be. Taimur argues that it’s increasingly the case that if you want to have a discussion about sensitive topics, you have to spend time establishing that you are a ‘nice’ person and if you don’t do that, a lot of what you are saying might be interpreted less charitably.

Given that there is an element of ‘I believe this therefore I’m a good person’ and ‘I’m a good person therefore I believe this’, the identity as a morally good and righteous citizen of the world has become tied up with how we judge others. The issue with this form of identity politics is that it gets so tied up within particular beliefs and your own moral values that if you hear an opposing viewpoint you assume that person is a ‘bad person’.

When there appears to be a morally correct response, it becomes difficult to talk about this topic without fear of some sort of repercussion if you unintentionally say something wrong. This is perhaps where the excuse of perfectionism around race has arisen - people need to be more confident in discussing these issues and learn if they make a mistake rather than be fearful of speaking about the topics at all.

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