A Conversation With a Cop

I recently met a police officer two years older than me. I started talking to him and having friendly conversation before learning that he was a cop. Naturally, upon finding out about his career, I asked him his thoughts on the current Black Lives Matter movement and police brutality. His response was “Yea, it’s a shame that it was a few bad cops. I work with hispanic people and stuff. I’m definitely not racist.” This is where we can …

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Proud to be American?

In the NY Times 1619 project, Nikole Hannah-Jones hosted a podcast called “The fight for a true democracy” where she mentioned a story about Isaac Woodward.  He was a  27 year old Black man who had just returned from fighting in WW2. While on his way to see his wife, the bus driver stopped and Isaac asked him if he could use the restroom, he said no. They argued and ultimately, Isaac still went to use the restroom. After …

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Am I the Stereotype?

What is a stereotype? Social psychology defines a stereotype as “any thought widely adopted about specific types of individuals or certain ways of behaving intended to represent the entire group of those individuals or behaviors as a whole.” Stereotypes are generalizations made about people and the groups in which those people belong to based on their appearances and behaviors. Do you know of any stereotypes made about you? Your skin color? Your religion? Your ethnicity? Your people? Not only …

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Paradox of White Fragility and Institutional Power

‘Race talk,’ as Daryl Wing Sue describes it, by itself violates many of the standards and norms that society fights to uphold. Race talk invites emotions into the space and it invites topics deemed too impolite for small talk into a conversation. As a result, race talk is consistently pushed into designated spaces. Aside from society, a key influence on the success of race talk is the awareness of power and privilege that those in the space holds…specifically I …

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Monochromatic Colorblind Casting

In the performance world of theater, television, and film, casting without regard to actors’ race or the race of the characters they’ll be portraying is known as “colorblind casting.” It’s a common practice now on Broadway, with Filipina Lea Salonga portraying white French character of Éponine in ?Les Misérables? and Puerto Rican Lin-Manuel Miranda portraying the white founding father Alexander Hamilton, among many other people of color being cast to portray traditionally white roles. The same thing is happening …

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White History Isn’t History

This past summer I watched Hamilton the musical for the first time. I was in awe of the Black and Brown people playing our founding fathers and the history that the show made, but I was also aware of its historical inaccuracies. This was the thought that was running through my head as I listened to the podcast for the 1619 Project. I am not a historian, but I’ve always prided myself in trying to find the “truth” about …

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“But that’s not racism!”

The word “racism” evokes strong emotions in people, and for many, it’s just about the worst thing one can be called. As language evolves and words take on new meaning, the gravity of the word “racism” hinders people’s willingness to accept new meanings and uses for the word. The term “systemic racism” faces this problem, as there are those who, before understanding its meaning, assume that it is an indictment of the United States and believe that it implies …

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