Discussing Differences

as Doug mentioned recently, Detroit Synergy is a great organization looking to unite our fragmented region… this past weekend i took part in Detroit Synergy’s “Discussing Differences” event which is a group dialogue consisting of Blacks, Whites, Asians and Hispanics from both the suburbs and the city… it was an edifying, encouraging and exciting experience as we all got to interact with people we might never interact with otherwise… the event was for 4 hours on a Saturday morning, but we all left feeling like we could use another couple hours just to talk… luckily, we’ll be meeting again this Saturday to continue our discussions on race, faith/religion, sexuality, education and everything else that effects our region… i know that i’m not alone when i say that i’m looking forward to this coming Saturday morning when we can again connect with others with different backgrounds and creeds within our region to develop understanding and growth amongst each other…

the invites for this particular event are closed, but if you’re interested in getting involved in future similar events, become a member at Detroit Synergy and they’ll let you know all the happenin’s… it’s free and no commitments are required… check ’em out here

2 Comments so far

  1. William C. Plumpe (unregistered) on March 16th, 2006 @ 3:32 pm

    Dear Baliad,
    I’m Caucasian and have lived in Detroit for almost twenty years (I grew up here, went to U of M and came back). I have not only attended some of the “Discussing Differences” one night seminars but also went through the extended training. While I am not therefore an expert I do have some definite views on diversity. Like anything else it is good up to a point and is not a be all and end all but only a vehicle for change. I was somewhat miffed at the extended seminars because they seemed to concentrate on “diversity is good in all situations and Caucasians should feel guilty no matter what and minorities should be able to vent to their hearts content”. This is OK for an introduction but when I brought up more complicated issues,namely that minorities at some point should stop playing the victim and work on something they can help themselves with or at least spend less time beating me with a stick and do something more constructive and less victim like it appeared that I was rebuffed and in fact admonished not to follow the “Do unto others as they do unto you” rule. It seemed that the new rule was judge people by what they say or what they should do not what they actually do. This just seems backwards to me and allows minorities to play the stereotype to the hilt and I’m not supposed to judge them by their actions???Please explain if possible. Thanks.


  2. baliad (unregistered) on March 17th, 2006 @ 7:02 am

    i respect your willingness to say what many are not willing to say out of fear that they’re not being PC… i am Filipino and my wife is white/Canadian…

    you said, “minorities at some point should stop playing the victim and work on something they can help themselves with or at least spend less time beating [white people] with a stick and do something more constructive and less victim like”… i can’t say that i disagree with that statement… i believe that many minorities seem to dwell on their minority status to the point of self-oppression… it is almost as if minorities try to work from the standpoint of “we don’t need anyone’s help”… but the truth is, we all need each other and we’ll all get further along when we work together… i think it would benefit minorities to ask whites who support their causes for help and not only that, but honor the whites that do help them… that’s one problem i have with the NAACP, they don’t honor white people… why should minorities honor white people??? for the same reason that anyone should honor anyone, based on their contributions, not on their skin color… if minorities want people to honor them on everything but their skin color, then they should do the same… if you want respect, you get it by giving respect… do unto others as you would have them do unto you… the Golden Rule should go into effect here, i agree… but often times, people are waiting to be done good to before they’re going to do the same good to others (this applies to our society as a whole)…

    all in all, i’m saying that i agree with you… to a certain extent… this is a deeper issue than mere logical argument… people have strong emotions about these things… and emotions aren’t logical… furthermore, those emotions go to the very core of people and sometimes even define people themselves… i imagine that you or i do not know what it’s like to have everything we do g through a filter of possible racism before the actual action is even known… minorities have seen their ancestors go through some pretty severe persecution, and while i’m not suggesting that you or i are responsible for that persecution, we cannot expect that history will not affect the present… we must be sensitive to their past and how it affects their present…

    so, while you asked for me to explain, i don’t think i’ve done that… but those are my thoughts in regards to what you’ve said…



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