I had very little concern about recording our podcast for the class. I didn’t foresee any problems talking with my classmates about race. I usually feel pretty comfortable in class, so I didn’t see why the podcast would be any different. Then, the day came for us to record. We sat down in the little room, put the microphone out, hit record, and everything changed. Suddenly, I became hyperaware of the fact that I was being recorded. My views, opinions, and thoughts whether they were right, wrong, insightful, or downright offensive were going to be captured, and it was terrifying.
The initial panic of the realization passed after the first couple of minutes, and I was able to settle into the podcast somewhat comfortably for the majority of it. Still, I wondered why I had gotten so nervous when we started. After all, there was no one forcing us to turn in the first version of our recording. We had full power to edit out anything we didn’t want in the podcast. It wasn’t like it was being broadcast live. Also, everything I said at the beginning of this post was true. I was comfortable talking to these people, and I had been learning about these concepts for 4 months, so I should have been prepared to talk about them.
I’m reminded of Tatum’s piece “Breaking the Silence” from the very beginning of the semester. I felt the “paralysis of fear” that she describes when we went to record the podcast. As I said before it didn’t last long, but when it was present, it was intense. In this way, I’m also reminded of my own white fragility. There I was in probably one of the safest environments possible to be talking about race, and I still was scared. Overall, I’m happy with how the experience went. I think we put together a pretty good podcast, and we were able to spark some interesting class discussions with it. However, I think the most valuable thing I learned from the podcast is that I still have a lot of work to do moving forward if I want to be able to talk to people about race. The podcast was a good first step, but I need to make sure that I continue to develop my communication skills.