“I'm a black man supervising a white woman, and we're supposed to be dealing with racial disparities. There's a tremendous amount of opportunity in this and a whole lot of pitfalls.”
In Episode 2 of How’s Work? with Esther Perel, a Minnesota lobbyist and his ex-staffer express long-simmering frustrations about the rupture that came between them following George Floyd’s murder. He is a black man, she is a white woman. She felt undervalued, underpaid and undersupported by her closest friend while he suffered the injustices of a system organized around white privilege.
What seems at first like a requiem harmonizes into a more hopeful duet once filters lift and true feelings are voiced. Still, dissonance lingers in Race, Gender and Money as black vs white experiences in America counterpoint the narratives.
What to listen for in this episode of How’s Work? with Esther Perel:
- One person may individualize relationship dynamics while another sees them in a larger social context. How to reconcile divergent versions?
- Even with our closest relationships, taboos around directly talking about race can stifle free and open discussion.
- Any productive exchange across diverse groups means examining our own assumptions about the other.
- A fight focused around one issue may mask a deeper, yet riskier, issue we’re not ready to address.
- From imaginary confrontation to real dialogue: Take note of sadness, loss and missed opportunity, and sort fiction from fact.
- What we do — and don’t do — as bystanders in unjust situations shapes our “conscience accountability.”