Our lack of racial empathy is appalling

Is the racial empathy gap in America growing? It seems so. At least judging by the chatter of comments surrounding the trial.


Dean Obeidallah says if we don’t get past the knee jerking defensiveness when discussing race, we will likely be burying more Trayvons.


And when I say we lack racial empathy, I’m not talking about feeling sorry for a race because of their “plight.” I mean true empathy — “the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.”


Racial empathy means being able to honestly contemplate what it would be like to be a member of a different race.


Psychologists have noted that this type of empathy fosters conflict resolution. Opening yourself to understanding why the other side believes what it does can help you find common ground.


By Dean Obeidallah, Special to CNN