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A video making the rounds on social media shows a frank conversation between a white caller and a black guest on C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal,” during which the caller asks the woman how he can stop being prejudiced against people of color.
The North Carolina man called in Sunday and spoke to Heather McGhee, the president of public policy organization Demos. In the video, McGhee can be seen nodding her head thoughtfully as the man speaks.
The unidentified man told McGhee, in part: “I’m a white male, and I am prejudiced. And the reason it is, is something I wasn’t taught but it’s kind of something that I learned.
“When I open up the papers, I get very discouraged at what young black males are doing to each other and at the crime rate. I understand that they live in an environment with a lot of drugs — you have to get money for drugs. It is a deep issue that goes beyond that. But when, I have these different fears, and I don’t want my fears to come true, you know, so I try to avoid that, and I come off as being prejudiced, but I just have fears. I don’t like to be forced to like people. I like to be led to like people through example. What can I do to change? You know? To be a better American?”
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McGhee responded by thanking the man.
“Thank you so much for being honest and for opening up this conversation, because it is simply one of the most important ones we have to have in this country,” she said. “You know, we are not a country that is united, because we are all one racial group that all descended from one tribe in one community.
“That is actually, I think, what makes this country beautiful, but it’s our challenge.”
She told the man that people of all races and backgrounds hold fears and prejudices. She said that for him to acknowledge his was “one of the most powerful things that we can do right now in this moment in our history.”
McGhee offered the man several ideas on how he could get rid of his fear of black people. She told him not to form opinions about people of color from the news, which she said over-represents crimes committed by people of color, but to get to know black families, to join a black or interracial church if he is religious and to read the history of the black community.
She also urged him to start conversations about race within his own community.
McGhee said the United States is still a very segregated country.
“Millions of white Americans live in places where they rarely see anyone of a different race,” she said. “This fear and set of ideas that we only get from the worst possible news; it’s tearing us apart.”
She said Americans must foster relationships across race, gender and age.
“We have to get to know who one another actually is. And we are always, I think, as Americans surprised when we build relationships across race,” McGhee said.
As of Wednesday, McGhee’s conversation with the man had been viewed more than 2 million times on Demos’ Facebook page. See their exchange below.
Conversations like this one between Demos President Heather McGhee and a caller striving to learn how to confront his prejudices are the key to coming together and solving problems in this country.Posted by Demos on Wednesday, August 24, 2016
Below is the local information and resources you will need in the wake of an emergency:Hillsborough CountyHillsborough County Emergency ManagementPhone Number: (813) 272-5900Website: http://www.hillsboroughcounty.org/emergency/Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan: http://hillsboroughcounty.org/DocumentCenter/View/16617Hurricane Preparedness Guide (Find shelters, transportation guides, etc.): http://www.hillsboroughcounty.org/index.aspx?NID=660Hillsborough County Schools: http://www.sdhc.k12.fl.us
Pinellas CountyPinellas County Emergency ManagementPhone Number: (727) 464-3800Website: http://www.pinellascounty.org/emergency/bulletin.htmPinellas County Citizens Information CenterPhone Number: (727) 464-4333, call (727) 464-3075 for general questionsPinellas County Schools: http://www.pcsb.org/
Pasco CountyPasco County Emergency ManagementPhone Number: (727) 847-8137Website: http://www.pascocountyfl.net/Index.aspx?NID=365Pasco County Schools: http://www.pasco.k12.fl.us/Hernando CountyHernando County Emergency ManagementPhone Number: (352) 754-4083Website: http://www.hernandosheriff.org/em/Hernando County Schools: http://www.edline.net/pages/Hernando_County_School_Board
Sarasota County Emergency Management
Phone Number: (941) 861-6000
Sarasota County Schools: http://www.sarasotacountyschools.net/
Manatee County Emergency Management
Phone Number: (941) 748-4501
Manatee County Schools: http://www.manateeschools.net/pages/SDMC
Polk County Emergency Management
Phone Number: (863) 534-5600
Polk County Schools: http://www.polk-fl.net/
Information and resources from The American Red Cross
How to become Red Cross Ready
Another good way to stay informed is by downloading the FREE Red Cross Emergency App
State Of Florida Emergency Management: http://www.floridadisaster.org/index.asp
State of Florida Evacuation Routes and Zone Maps: http://floridadisaster.org/publicmapping/
State of Florida Emergency Management FAQ: http://floridadisaster.org/faqs.htm
Florida Department Of Insurance Hurricane Season Resources: http://www.floir.com/Office/HurricaneSeason/hurricaneresourcepage.aspx
American Red Cross Tampa Bay Chapter: Disaster Services 24-hour phone number: 1-877-741-1444
FEMA Florida: http://www.fema.gov/states/florida
FEMA contact info: http://www.fema.gov/contact-us
Salvation Army of Tampa Bay: http://www.salvationarmyflorida.org/tampabay/
Boys & Girls Club of Tampa Bay phone number: (813) 875-5771
Duke Energy Outage Maps: https://www.progress-energy.com/#Florida
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