Film will not lead to reconciliation

Film will not lead to reconciliation

The documentary "Racial Taboo" — screened at the University of Illinois, Parkland and local churches this year — is billed as "a white man's journey to racial understanding" and a useful tool for racial healing.

However, I found the "Racial Taboo" screening at Stone Creek Church more disturbing than helpful to the cause of racial reconciliation.

After brief historical review, "Racial Taboo" focuses most of it attention on a list of white concerns about the ways that blacks think, speak, move, dress, talk, lead and behave that make white people uncomfortable.

Subsequently, black discussants are called upon to explain various forms of "blackness" to film director Brian Grimm — and the rest of us.

Yet, "Racial Taboo" ignores the impact of slavery on whiteness and leaves unexamined slavery's impact on white thinking and behaviors today regarding black people.

"Racial Taboo" ignores how other immigrant groups fit into America's racial hierarchy, or how they deploy their social mobility within our racially stratified society.

Most disappointingly, "Racial Taboo" fails to explain how racial dialogue alone serves to address the troubling indicators of 21st century black America where blacks continue to lag behind whites in the areas of educational attainment, employment, home ownership, family wealth attainment, degree completion, incarceration and criminal justice and more.

So, until more critical discussions are hosted where the filmmaker can be directly engaged at "Racial Taboo" screenings, I would deeply discourage its use again locally in the service of racial healing.

NICOLE ANDERSON COBB

Champaign

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