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

Fostering Racism

For our final project for Contemporary Racism, we were placed into groups, asked to pick an interesting topic concerning race, do individual research, and record a podcast with our group. My group chose to look at racial disparities in the American foster care system, a subject about which I had no prior knowledge. At first, I was uneasy about choosing a topic that I knew nothing about, feeling as if my unfamiliarity would provide me with some sort of handicap.  However, in retrospect, the experience was a very appropriate way to conclude my time in Contemporary Racism; it allowed me … Read more

Checking the Box

Many job and college applications include a question that reads something like, “Have you ever been convicted of a felony?” While this may seem like a simple question, used to filter out people who have committed crimes, it actually has huge racial implications and is therefore a very problematic question to have on an application. Whether companies and colleges realize it or not, this question traces back to laws in the criminal justice system that are made to purposely keep White people at the type of the hierarchy. In her chapter on mass incarceration, Michelle Alexander (The New Jim Crow; … Read more

The Limitations of Language

In Eduardo Bonilla Silva’s book chapter “The Style of Color Blindness: How to Talk Nasty about Minorities Without Sounding Racist,” he makes a caveat that in his analysis he is not calling white individuals racist, but rather addressing the individual in a racialized power system.  In the effort to explain academia’s understanding of racism to my friends who do not study these things, I always find myself in a dead end. My friends who are not aware of the continuing impact of race in America or do not understand the depth of the problem, often follow colorblind norms, as in … Read more

Black Lives Matter, But So Do Black Female Bodies

This past week, the New York Times published information regarding Donald Trump, the leading Republican candidate for the next presidential election’s, stance on abortion. Trump, like other conservatives, sees abortion as “murder” according to the New York Times; and, taking it back decades, he is in support that abortion should be illegal to all, and he says that women who engage in illegal abortions should be punished by the United States government. I think it is important, when considering the abortion discussion in the United States, to consider, who these laws most directly impacts. Policies that deal with abortion, drugs, … Read more