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Hi, Dorene!

Thanks for your contributions, too! Well, it sounds like you and Jennifer Selig are the same page for having a repeat discussion sooner than later. Let's bring this up at the next operations meeting!

All the best,
James

I think this is very relevant to our dilemma and our discussion: if only people would heed it.

http://www.alternet.org/environment/indigenous-elders-send-stern-me...

Absolutely spot on!  Thanks for finding and sharing this great piece.

I found this panel very interesting- first time I ever 'attended' an online event. and I did so with a Choctaw friend who had had the 'boarding school' experience which was mentioned...a way in which children were deprived of their language, their hair, their clothes, their culture, their very identity as human beings.

I enjoyed the introduction of the various themes, such as projection of the shadow, the power complex, American myths of innocence vs reality of complicity/guilt, colonisation and displacement, colonisers as terrorists to the native population, unconscious grief, dubious diagnoses of mental illness in cases of normal grief, criminalisation, and the significance of the fact that whites are a minority in America and the world.  Really it needed more time, each theme could have been a discussion in greater depth. Introduced me to some books I would like to read, also.

I very much liked when people spoke of their own direct experiences growing up, and their dreams....

Glenda, hi:

So glad you could be there with with us with your friend.

Yes, I agree that each one on the panel and the points they raised could have kept us in discussion throughout the afternoon! Hopefully we will be able to follow up soon with another and continue to explore and discuss.

All the best,
James

This must be simply synchronicity, but probably like some of you, I received the following email today from Psychotherapy Networker as I'm on their mailing list. Thought it would be of interest to the group here:

Dear Colleague,

Rich Simon, Psychotherapy Networker Editor In the November/December issue of the Networker, Fred Wistow writes, "Whenever a public outcry or riot's been triggered by yet another racially motivated assault on a black man or woman, politicians inevitably utter (and commentators then endlessly and faux-earnestly repeat), 'We need to have a national conversation about race.'" But how do we keep that conversation from just recycling familiar clichés and pieties?

In this issue, we featured two remarkable articles that not only get at the heart of what makes such conversations so difficult, but also provide an opportunity to take them to a different level. In my view, they're two of the most important articles we've ever published.

The first is "The View from Black America," Ken Hardy's unforgettable evocation of his personal experience as a black therapist and what it's like to grow up in the wall-less prison of our country's inner cities. The other is Wistow's "Black Unlike Me," his devastatingly honest account of growing up white in the racially segmented world of the presumed melting pot of New York City.

If you haven't already done so, we invite you to read both of these articles and share your reactions in the comments section---the more direct and personal the better. Together, let's see what kind of model our profession can offer for how to talk about the hard and uncomfortable realities of the power of racism in our society.

We look forward to hearing your thoughts.

Best,


Richard Simon
Editor, Psychotherapy Networker

PS, Here are the links again to full articles: The View from Black America by Ken Hardy: http://www.psychotherapynetworker.org/daily/posts/ethical-issues/th...
and Black Unlike Me by Fred Wistow: http://www.psychotherapynetworker.org/daily/posts/ethical-issues/bl...

Bonnie, hi:

Wonderful letter, thanks for sharing that and the articles. BTW, here is the quote from Dr. King that Jennifer Selig referred to during the discussion on Saturday:

"If the Negro needs social sciences for direction and for self-understanding, the white society is in even more urgent need. White America needs to understand that it is poisoned to its soul by racism and the understanding needs to be carefully documented and consequently more difficult to reject. The present crisis arises because although it is historically imperative that our society take the next step to equality, we find ourselves psychologically and socially imprisoned. All too many white Americans are horrified not with conditions of Negro life but with the product of these conditions-the Negro himself."

And here is a link to the complete speech, given to the APA in September of 1967:

http://www.apa.org/monitor/features/king-challenge.aspx

All the best,
James





Thanks again to everyone for taking part in the discussion on Saturday. If you missed the event, I've attached a downloadable audio recording to this message.

Stay tuned: I'm hoping we will continue the discussion very soon.

All the best,
James

Attachments:

NY Times Video  - Short video of black women talking about their experiences...

This is wonderful, Donna! Thanks.

Hi Donna - thanks for finding and sharing this amazing video for us to see and hear these ladies in powerful presence and voice...

DEC 10, 2015 – BLACK UNLIKE ME by Fred Winslow:

While reading Fred’s article, I did so looking for common threads we might share [on some level] in our human condition; regardless of our differences.  The first common thread is his comment, “When I do talk about race with people I know – white people – it’s to point out what’s staring us right in the face but what we somehow never quite see.”  After reading his article, I tried to open a skin color conversation and express my opinion with a colleague that I believed class status [poor, middle class, affluent] appeared to be more of a barrier for folks to experience a good enough life than skin color.  She promptly stated, “That’s the problem with white people, they just don’t see color as a problem.”  She basically expressed the same view as Fred without having read his article and this fact intrigued me.

I was raised in poverty, she in affluence.  I lived in an immigrant community with people from all over the world with different hair and skin color, cultural and family life values.  My folks stayed married to death, her parents divorced.  I stayed home till I married, she was kicked out.  She travelled the world and attended university before raising a family, I adopted children and carried out many of our inherited family traditions.

In todays standards my childhood environment would be considered the slums.  However, it simply never felt that way to me.  We lived in a brick terrace setting, always had food on the table and second hand clothes on our backs.   I shall always remain grateful, appreciative for my upbringing in that ‘old country’, lead by my elders, traditional family life - village people setting.  I did not see color as a problem for it was the norm in my multicultural, immigrant based community, but poverty certainly was a problem for many.  We had lots of anomie people gathered at the riverbanks and today these folks are called the working poor and homeless.  However these people were adults and I remember when I first heard in the late 80’s that their were over 10,000 homeless children living in a Toronto area [Yonge Street]; this fact shocked me for this definitely is a huge cultural shift and change that is totally unacceptable.  We ought to be taking good care of our young and the elderly!

That’s as far as I can go today.  Peace + Love Linda

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