A racial conversation with Danny Morrison

Logan Odneal, Reporter

In a collaboration with Bakersfield College, the Danny Morrison Show went live on Facebook with Chain Cohn Stiles’s senior partner, Matt Clark and author of “A Language of Healing for a Polarized Nation” and self-described rabble-rouser, Bob Prater, to discuss white people’s role in the ongoing racial conversation, on Aug. 25.
Morrison presented “Seven Series” a list of questions for the panelists to give their opinions on. Followed by a discussion on Jacob Blake, scenarios, and then a quick game of word association.
In the “Seven Series” Morrison asked several questions to the panelist; If the death of George Floyd has changed their opinion on the Black Lives Matter moment, when the panelists became aware of their white identity, if the panelists believe white supremacy is systematic, if the panelists have seen something racist and not said anything, how are Black people exploited in American society, and if reverse racism is real.
Prater answered that he became aware of white identity as a boy. “A phrase that I heard many times as a little boy was [that] I’m free, white and 21 and that is a dog whistle for racism and that’s how I grew up and so you’re white don’t act like that,” Prater said.
Clark said he was raised in a different generation and was told as a child that everyone is equal and to respect differences. He said part of it is because of his sister who suffers from down syndrome.
When questioned about reverse racism, Prater said it is not a thing and while there can be racists African Americans, there are so many more racists white people.
When asked if someone has to be in a position of power to be racist, Clark said “You may have to be in a position of power to effectively exercise your racism if you have some objective in mind but no, I don’t buy that you [have] to be in a position of power to harbor racist feelings.”
When talking about Jacob Blake, an African American man who was shot seven times in Kenosha, Wisconsin, Prater felt very strongly that the officers should fully be arrested and charged.
Clark talked about how police officers are hard to discipline because of police unions. He mention a local event were a police officer driving twice the speed limit with no lights or sirens, hit and killed two pedestrians in a crosswalk. Under oath, the officer said that he didn’t turn the lights and sirens on because the big gulp cup in the cup holder was in the way. It cost Kern County eight million dollars to settle and the officer still has his job.
Morrison then presented Clark and Prater with a few scenarios asking what they handle racial issues. Both panelists answered had similar answers when presented in each scenario.
The event concluded with a quick game of word association. Morrison asked the panelists to respond with their first thoughts to a racial political slogan or policy.