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Letter: Where's the conversation if you are neither black nor white?

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Aug. 3, 2009 - As "Conversations in Black and White: A Dialogue in Race Relations" (a program at the Missouri History Museum on July 22 cosponsored by the St. Louis Beacon), unfolded before me, I marveled at the respect and openness given to each speaker. I was happy that a productive conversation was actually taking place and that blacks and whites were listening to one another as they shared their experience on race. But as the conversation progressed, a small voice inside me whispered, "Where am I in this conversation?"

Living as a minority among the minority, I am not sure if I even register. Should I consider myself lucky to sometimes come up as an "Other"? Blacks, Whites and Other. What happens when Other doesn't come up at all?

I wanted to fully celebrate this event, but I am left to wonder why race relations in St. Louis are still centered on black vs. white when we are a multi-cultural society? The focus needs to be broader and more inclusive, because the issue is not about color, but about understanding and tolerating differences among the different culture groups.

So where am I in this conversation? Am I the interloper, the guest, the participant or other?