Sam Harris, Islam and the N word

"Nigger" probably the most emotionally charged word in the US, which is understandable given the history of slavery and the echos of generational trauma that still remain. The problem is that not everyone understands what that word means. My father's generation thinks it's just "a bad thing to call a black person", which is true but it's also so much more than that. Others think it's a simple signifier of "who is a racist", which is reductive and clouds the increasingly complicated and important issue of institutionalized racism.

I think what we really want is conversations about race to become more common and less volatile. I for one want people to stop being afraid to be perceived as "racist" or called a "racist". We need to accept that kind and compassionate people can unconsciously express racism. The real question is, do we meet these people with love and education or shout them down without giving them a chance to accept our feedback about their unconscious slights?

This shit isn't simple, but I'm happy to champion Sam's persistence in speaking his mind on the topic, especially because it takes balls to directly address this boiling sociopolitical potato.

/r/samharris Thread