The importance of talking about race in our time

Interracial conversations on race are needed. If you speak on race in a homogeneous setting, you will undoubtedly leave the conversation unchanged, even if you're speaking to others of the same race with different views than your own. 

We are all prejudiced in one way or the other. This is an evolutionary trait geared towards aiding us in making quick life or death decisions. This tendency to form prejudices at an early age and keep them throughout our lives in spite of evidence to the contrary is a natural behavior, however this does not mean it can't be combatted.

We can condition ourselves to being more open to others and more critical of our own previously-held beliefs by simply acknowledging that many of those beliefs have been passed down to us and are not rooted in reality, rather in racial bias. This is true of all communities. We all judge others for their backgrounds and appearance, it's part of being human. The sooner we come to terms with that the sooner we can move past it and have honest discourse about our differences and our common ground. 

Recently Melissa Francis, a Fox News host, was allegedly too emotional to continue on with an important conversation on race and how 45's words affect marginalized populations when he utters excuses for organizations such as neo-nazi's, the alt right, the KKK and other white supremacist groups. Rather than listening and learning why this behavior is offensive and akin to racism itself, she shut down her guests from continuing the discussion claiming to be too overwhelmed with emotion for fear of being judged for saying the wrong thing. 

While it is important to understand why some people feel tense and targeted when speaking on race, it is equally important to not stop the conversation as soon as it gets sticky, or else, how will we ever understand each other? In taking this action she not only took away the voice of her guests but her own voice as well. She took away her own opportunity to explain her views, and robbed herself of the chance to learn the perspectives of others.

Think of all the misnomers and stereotypes that would be erased from the collective conscious if we simply give each other the opportunity to express our feelings and the experiences that have caused them freely.

Ultimately, the key is to listen. Don't make the entire conversation about yourself. Take the time to take in new information and remember, you're not the only one being affected by race relations and may not even be the one being most affected by race relations. So by all means let's open ourselves up to honest conversation on race and do our best to put ourselves in the other person's shoes.

Fox News co-host passionately weighs in