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But should black Americans have unfiltered conversations in public?

In his 1963, speech Message to the Grass Roots Malcolm X said black people should stop airing their differences in public. “Instead of airing our differences in public, we have to realize that we’re all the same family. And when  you have a family squabble, you don’t get out on the sidewalk. If you do, everyone calls you uncouth, unrefined, uncivilized, savage. If you don’t  make it home, you settle it at home; you get in the closet, argue it behind closed doors and then when you come out on the street, you pose a common front, a united front. And this is what we need to do in our community…”

In response Holmes says: “We have to be able to have an honest conversation with each other, about each other, without offending each other. Both sides bear a little responsibility. Sometimes we get a little too offended. We don’t have thick enough skin. So, why would the other side be honest if every time they do say an honest word we get defensive? We attack and it then we attack. Whether its politics, policy issues, social – whatever it may be – this is how we talk to each other and treat each other. We cannot have an adult conversation in this country. … This culture we have we can’t sit down disagree, have an honest conversation, get up shake hands and say let’s have a beer.”

Do you agree? Is it time for blacks to start having unfiltered conversations in public? Will these conversations help others better understand our culture and community or will they continue to perpetuate the negative stereotypes that currently exist?

TJ Holmes: “We Cannot Have An Adult Conversation In This Country” [POLL]  was originally published on

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