THE ROB REPORT: Without a Story, It’s Just a Fact by Rob Chatfield

A study published in 2011 by the Journal of Ethnic and Racial Studies shows 46% of European countries do not collect data based on origin of race. 

In 2018, France removed the word race from its Constitution. 

These are interesting, but largely forgettable facts. Logic, reason, and facts by themselves do not stoke human emotion. Facts need context and need to strike a chord to become memorable.  Facts – when presented as stories – can become instantly memorable.

Can you imagine changing the FOUNDING article of the U.S. Constitution? Yet that’s exactly what France did when it took the mantra that France “shall ensure the equality of all citizens before the law, without distinction of origin, race or religion” and threw race out of the equation in 2018.

This was done by unanimous vote!  From the far left to the far right and every faction in between, the French decided race is an outdated, meaningless, social construct.  Understand there are 577 members in the French National Assembly, representing 9 different political parties whose last unanimous vote required large grocery stores to donate unsold, edible food to charity after learning the grocers previously poured bleach on this food to prevent scavenging.

Race was first introduced to the French Constitution in 1946 as a direct response to racist theories expounded by the National Socialist German Workers’ Party (better known to most as Nazi Germany). Over 500,000 French citizens were killed during the largest race-based atrocity in modern history and they’ve determined race no longer matters. What does that say about the United States?

I added context to facts and may have piqued your interest, but these facts are missing a vital ingredient to make them memorable:  THE STORY.

Our brains are hard-wired to receive facts in the form of a story. Storytelling creates empathy and helps humanity better understand issues. All cultures throughout all times of humanity use some version of storytelling to teach universal truths. So, this tale is not yet complete…

Eli Steele was born profoundly deaf into a mixed-race family. He married a woman who came from yet another culture. Eli was bullied throughout his youth for being different, and when he learns that he must declare a race for his first-born child – or leave that decision to a committee of “experts” – Eli decides to take a stand. 

Learn the story of Eli Steele in Outside the Box, this month’s featured project. You will never see racial identity or identity politics the same way again. If you agree, please include a link to this video in your own social media feed so we can finally dispel the notion that tribes matter more than individuals. You can find the link to the full video on