Post-racial society?

AMY: I work in the foster care system as a therapist.

SAMIRA: Wow, that must be a tough job.

AMY: It is. Sometimes you put parents through all the training to prepare them to take in these kids and it still doesn't work out.

SAMIRA: And then there's all the issues around transracial adoption I imagine.

STEVEN: Why would there be issues? What does it matter what color they are.

SAMIRA: Because they're going to have a different experience.

STEVEN: Love is what matters. (silence as everyone looks at his quizzically) You think I'm an idiot.

SAMIRA (carefully): I think that's an idealistic and naive way of looking at it.


SAMIRA: Because love is not enough, those kids are going to experience the world differently than their foster parents.

AMY: Yeah, like if you're a white parent who adopts a black child. The realities your child is going to face, the constant worrying about whether your teenager is going to get stopped and attacked for no reason...

STEVEN: If everyone just held their hands up when they got stopped by cops, they wouldn't get shot.

AMY: How did we get on...

SAMIRA: That's not really the way it works.

STEVEN: Isn't it? When I get stopped, I just hold my hands up. Nothing has happened to me yet.

SAMIRA: You're white.


AMY: They don't see you as a threat?

STEVEN: It just seems so simple. Don't argue with the cops and you won't get hurt.

(Samira and Amy look at each other. There is silence.)

AMY: So what do you do Steven?

STEVEN: I'm a dentist.

SAMIRA: That's very cool.

STEVEN: Yeah, I enjoy it. It's a tough market though.

AMY: Really?

STEVEN: Yeah, a lot of people are looking to get into it here. But this is where I went to dental school so I just kind of stayed.


STEVEN: Yeah. What do you do Samira?

SAMIRA: I work in diversity training. 

AMY: Do you find most people are willing to be challenged on their assumptions?

SAMIRA: Most people I work with, yes. They brought me in in the first place, after all. In general, doubtful.

STEVEN: Dentistry isn't very diverse.

SAMIRA: I can imagine.

STEVEN: We try though! There are so many scholarships out there for minorities. There just aren't qualified candidates.

SAMIRA; Did you just pull a Mitt Romney's "Binders Full of Women"?

STEVEN: The candidates just aren't there, what are you going to do?

AMY: Uh, they probably are.

SAMIRA: Why would they want to be the token is really the question? You take a scholarship, end up in a classroom dominated by white guys, and have to deal with all the casual racism? Is it really worth it?

AMY: That's the only way it's going to change though.

SAMIRA: But you're going to get so tired along the way. It's gonna wear you down.

STEVEN: Anyway, I gotta head out. Nice meeting you guys. Have a good one.

(Steven exits)

AMY: Was it something we said?

SAMIRA: Do you think he realized I'm not white?

AMY: Who knew you could still find people that naive in this city.

SAMIRA: Ha. You find them in every city.

Asha SundararamanComment