As reported by CNN today (Holder: U.S. a 'nation of cowards' on race discussions), Eric Holder, the nations first black attorney general, gave some counsel we should take to heart. In giving "a blunt assessment of race relations in the United States", he "called the American people 'essentially a nation of cowards' in failing to openly discuss the issue of race."
He also suggested that Americans of all races use Black History Month as a "time to have a forthright national conversation between blacks and whites to discuss aspects of race which are ignored because they are uncomfortable. The attorney general said employees across the country "have done a pretty good job in melding the races in the workplace," but he noted that "certain subjects are off limits and that to explore them risks at best embarrassment and at worst the questioning of one's character."
I got to thinking about how this could also be appropriately applied to discussions within the Church about blacks and the priesthood ban.
"It's a question of being honest with ourselves and racial issues..."It's not easy to talk about it. We have to have the guts to be honest with each other, accept criticism, accept new proposals."
So in that spirit, here are some very good "conversations", each dealing with issues of race and the priesthood ban. Do yourself a favor and take the time to read not just the posts themselves, but also the conversations that take place in the comments section:
Blacks and the Priesthood, a Request to the Media--Times and Seasons
Teaching About Racism (Including the Priesthood Ban) in Sacrament Meeting--Juvenile Instructor
More Unbridled Speculation — the Priesthood Ban--Mormon Matters
Commemorating the Revelation--By Common Consent
Nobody Knows: The Untold Story of Black Mormons-a documentary about African American Latter-day Saints, headed by Margaret Young and Darius Gray