Normalizing Race Talk: Using the topic of race as a relationship builder, not buster

Chapter 45 of Waking Up White: and finding myself in the story of RACE by Debbie Irving

Make a list of five ways to shut a conversation down. Next make a list of five ways to keep a conversation going.

  1. What a rude thing to say!
  2. Remarks like that are offensive to me.
  3. I’m very uncomfortable when people use racially charged words.
  4. I thought we were supposed to be nice to each other!
  5. Please don’t talk like that around me.


  1. Can you say more about that?
  2. I’ve never experienced things like that.
  3. Do you personally know a person of color who has behaved like that?
  4. Tell me about why you think so.
  5. Can you help me understand where you’re coming from?

If you would like to join me as I blog about my experiences with race, please read the book. It was life changing for me.

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