Straight talk on race relations [video]

The world is watching as the U.S. grapples with relations between the races in the wake of high-profile stories of black males being shot by police officers.

Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the assistant secretary for the Bureau of African Affairs at the U.S. Department of State, recently sat down with Reuben Brigety, former U.S. ambassador to the African Union and current dean of George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs, who asked her candid questions about race relations in the U.S.

Why is the U.S. having the conversation now?

“We need to start to empathize with all sides, because empathy is what is going to cross the bonds and the barriers that separate people.”

Here’s why she worries about her son when she gets a late-night call:

“It’s not OK for any policemen to be brutal. But what I can say about the United States is that we have institutions. We have a system where grievances can be addressed.”

What’s ahead?

“We have come a long way in our country. I’m not hopeless. I know that we can address these issues.”