Sunday, November 12, 2017


Marking the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Supreme Court landmark civil rights decision in Loving v. Virginia -- which struck down the 1660s  (300 years old!) anti-miscegenation law (prohibition against interracial marriage) in Virginia -- PBS NewsHour interviewed, on June 15, 2017, Sheryll Cashin, Georgetown University Law Professor and the author of Loving: Interracial Intimacy in America and the Threat to White Supremacy. The case was brought to the Supreme Court by the  Virginia couple, married in 1958, Richard and Mildred Loving, about whom the 2016 movie, Loving, was made. 
Cashin said some things in that interview that I thought very apropos of our work. For example, she defined “Cultural dexterity as “the ability to enter a situation where you are outnumbered by a different group and experience that with comfort, even wonder. An enhanced capacity for dealing with people of a different group. It is the opposite of colorblindness, it is the ability to see and understand difference and accept it rather than demanding that someone else assimilate to your cultural norm.” 

Isn’t this also demanded of us therapists, that we see, with wonder, and accept difference, and not expect patients to acquiesce to our agendas?
Cashin hopes that a critical mass, of particularly white people, will accept the loss of centrality of whiteness and join with growing populations of people of color to fight together for the common good. Cashin believes racists today are a minority and that there is a growing population of people who embrace diversity.

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