Check out these research-based suggestions for having useful conversations about racism over at Vox.
So how do we have a better conversation around these issues, one that can actually reduce people’s racial prejudices and anxieties?
The first thing to understand is how white Americans, especially in rural areas, hear accusations of racism. While terms like “racist,” “white privilege,” and “implicit bias” intend to point out systemic biases in America, for white Americans they’re often seen as coded slurs. These terms don’t signal to them that they’re doing something wrong, but that their supposedly racist attitudes (which they would deny having at all) are a justification for lawmakers and other elites to ignore their problems…
The innate resistance and defensiveness to conversations about bigotry don’t mean that you should never talk about racism, sexism, homophobia, or other kinds of hate. But those conversations may have to be held more tactfully — positioning people into a more receptive position to hear what these problems are all about.
One key issue is that people want to feel heard before they can open their minds to other people’s points of view.