“Micro”aggression, Larger Problem

Microaggressions are defined as seemingly harmless, everyday comments or actions that send degrading messages to certain individuals because of their race or their group they identify with. All White people are guilty of microaggressions, and most of the time we (White people) don’t even know that we said them or perpetuated them, because that hasn’t been our experience. Well, it is time to acknowledge our mistakes no matter how small or insignificant they seem to us; because it is a huge issue that plagues the lives of people of color and weighs down upon them more and more every day, … Read more

Advice for a White Ally

It starts with you. If you want to be an agent for positive change, your actions must be self-motivated. You have to start with yourself. Whether you’re aware of it or not, you’ve incorporated biases that frame your perception of people of color. It’s difficult to come to terms with this, because no one wants to think they hold prejudices. But we all do. And we often exercise these prejudices without knowing. We make fundamental attribution errors, linking others’ actions to their social identities rather than their individual identities. We’ve evolved to think like this because it saves time and … Read more

Two Sides to Every Story, I Wish I Knew Yours

Everyday we are surrounded and presented with racial tensions, whether we notice them or not. Black oppression dates back to the 1800’s, yet it is still more prevalent in 2018 than ever before. After reading a portion of Michelle Alexander’s book, The New Jim Crow, I have become more familiar with how history intersects with our present day racial divisions. Evidently, the life experiences of blacks and whites are very different, as well as the stereotypes that surround each group. The stereotypes of black individuals dates back to the time period of slavery, which still affects how many individuals view … Read more

The Blurred Line Between Old-Fashioned and Modern Racism

When we were first learning about the differences between old-fashioned, modern, and aversive racism, the definitions made sense to me. I saw that there were differences between the three, each different speeds at which we move down the moving sidewalk of privilege. But now I’m a little less certain about the differences between old-fashioned and modern racism. I agree that in practice they’re different, but I’m less sure that within the person harboring these prejudices, the sentiments are different. Many people once believed (probably not long ago) that we lived in a post-racial society and that those racists that do … Read more

Holding the Smog-Breathers Accountable

My mom was born in South Africa, and when I was in the fifth grade, everybody asked why I was not black. I remember thinking how ignorant these kids were, and wondering why they thought everybody born in Africa was automatically a person of color. There were times where I felt bullied, and I was uncertain about my identity. Here I was being told that I should be black, when the color of my skin was white. As a child, I did not see why there was so much importance placed on the color of ones skin. My mom always … 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