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We should speak less and listen more

By Cal Thomas, Tribune Content Agency on

Which of the following would you consider the most unusual and least likely to occur?

1) President Trump calls Speaker Nancy Pelosi to invite her to lunch.

2) Rioters and looters agree to pay for the damage they caused to businesses and individuals.

3) Conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh appears on “The Breakfast Club,” a nationally syndicated radio program that features discussions on progressive politics and black culture.

Number three is the correct answer and it was a fascinating moment. While it appeared that the hosts and Limbaugh were occasionally talking over each other, the conservative had to earn at least some respect with his forceful denunciation of the killing of George Floyd and his belief that the police officer who killed him should be charged with first, not third-degree murder.

The Breakfast Club hosts, DJ Envy, Angela Yee and Lenard Larry McKelvey, known professionally as Charlamagne tha God, focused mainly on what they called “white privilege” as the source of misery in much of the African American community. Limbaugh countered that the three were examples of how one can overcome obstacles, including discrimination.

 

Charlamagne reiterated his accusation of white privilege and added “white supremacy.”

What is important in this continuing debate is not each “side” getting in its talking points but listening to how the other reached the conclusions that created their worldview.

Saying things that only reinforce one’s stereotypes and ideology doesn’t solve the problem, and who doubts there is a problem?

I have written this before, even recently, but the main problem is not only racism. It is that we don’t know each other. The late Republican Congressman Jack Kemp used to say that as a professional football player he had showered with more African Americans than attend the Republican National Convention. Black people who knew him called him a friend.

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