Racism and Tornados

In a couple of days, I will graduate from learning about racism. I will complete the course with the choice of continuing to stay informed or not. I can run on the moving sidewalk, stand still, or forget about it all together. I will no longer be graded on the quality of my newfound knowledge, but the true evaluation will be how I use it to make a difference. A letter grade in a course is meaningless if I choose to stay silent in situations where my words will matter. I am more aware of my salient identities than I … Read more

Doing Race

Were you aware that you “do race” each and every day? Four years ago, I would have maintained a colorblind stance. Quite frankly, up until a couple months ago, I was colorblind. I believed noticing race meant I was racist and because this is the ultimate fear of White Americans, I chose to remain silent, and, in a sense, ignorant. Today, I confidently admit I was very mistaken. Noticing race is imperative. Looking back, I was feeding into the societal norm of colorblindness. I am sure you have all heard someone say at one point or another, “I am not … Read more

Rich, Black Folk

340 acres of freshly cut grass. 10,000 square foot mansion. Prep schools and carpool. Luxury cars on every street. Are you thinking the people that live in this community are rich? Do you think they’re white? So do I. However, rich, black people do exist and are even are part of the 1%. But, it’s a very lonely few. In 2013, to be considered part of the 1%, it requires a household net worth of ~$7.9 million. Only 1.7% of those who make that requirement are black. But, does this privilege of wealth give African-Americans equal opportunities in the job … Read more

The Concept of White-Washing

“I have nothing against Black people. My coworker is Black and he speaks and dresses very well. He acts White. It’s the ones that walk around with their boxers out that I don’t like.” We’ve all heard someone say something like this at some point. One of my best friend’s Dad used to make comments like this all the time, and while it always made me somewhat uncomfortable, I never understood the extent of just how horrible that was. The article we read this week by Sue (2010) mentions this in the section about the false image of America as … Read more

The First Encounter (of Many)

You never think it will happen to you, until it does. I am biracial. I was raised more so with my Greek heritage than anything else, but the pigment in my skin lets others know that I am different. I grew up in a predominantly white neighborhood, school, and most of my friends were white. There were micro-aggressions that I faced along the way (i.e., getting made fun of from elementary through high school for my hair), but nothing severe enough that I found myself pretending to be sick, so that I wouldn’t have to face the prejudiced bullies at … Read more

We’re One in the Same?

In class this week, we discussed the perspective that some have of “variety is the spice of life” and to how this can quickly turn into the equally troublesome perspective of being “color-blind.” Being so celebratory of multiculturalism can easily turn into race erasure. Regarding diversity in race as simply variety or something to keep life interesting is diminishing of the serious struggles that people of all races have had to endure, past and present. After discussing these topics in class, I looked introspectively at my own experiences with these concepts. This brought back my feelings and understanding of a … Read more