Pandas with sombreros may be one of the best ways to describe America’s complicated mashup of cultures—and the landmines that lie beneath the path of those seeking to understand others.
Attendees at the 2018 Midyear Meeting of the National Association of Bar Executives laughed as two plenary speakers described the bamboo-eating bears, captured in a hand-painted restaurant mural. Adorning the wall of a Chinese restaurant for years, the bears gained new headwear through the talents of a hired artist when the eatery became a Mexican restaurant.
Is that funny? Offensive? Do you laugh but suspect you shouldn’t?
There is no single right answer, Keith Cutler and Dana Tippin Cutler explained—which makes navigating culture, diversity, and inclusion all the more challenging.
The well-chosen Cutlers are Missouri trial lawyers and co-hosts of Couples Court with the Cutlers, a nationally syndicated TV program that uses “real talk” to analyze relationship disputes. Together, they try to uncover the truth of the problem.
Using instant poll software from menti.com, the Cutlers tried to uncover the truth of attendees’ own sentiments about race and other challenging issues. But as they began their program “Real Talk: Microaggressions and Other Nasties,” the Cutlers reassured listeners.
“This is not another program,” Keith Cutler said, “where we beat up on white folks and make them feel guilty. This isn’t ‘up with the people and down with the man.’”
Dana smiled and added, “No, this is not ‘Keith and Dana’s mini march on Vancouver.’”