To begin, I agree with Winona and Priya's assumptions that race impacts everything. In this day and age, race is a huge part of our identity and how people see us. Stereotyping based on race is something that everyone does, and it can have harmful consequences. However, I disagree with their point that race is a cancer, because for some people, race is a source of pride. It's the consequences of seeing difference as a bad thing that is the cancer.
Three people I thought had important views on racial identity are the following:
1. Alexa - She was born a very light-skinned Mexican. She went to a mostly Hispanic school, and they told her she looked white, even though she was born in Mexico, unlike them, who were from America. She says that she gets treated better because she is light-skinned, although she feels like she's too colored for her white friends and too white for her friends of color. I think this is important because a lot of people go through this, where they're torn between two sides of themselves. I can honestly relate to that, albeit in a different way, but it's still there. I feel like people talk a lot about how people of color are treated by society but not enough about how they treat themselves.
2. Queen Esther - She is a country singer, and gets a lot of questions about why she sings country if she's black. She discusses many times history has overlooked black accomplishments and struggles for white people's convenience. She mentions someone I learned about a couple years ago, the white doctor who did medical experiments, without anesthesia, on enslaved women to find out more about female anatomy. This is important because black people are left out of history for the things they accomplished too much, and we need to educate ourselves about these things if we can't find them in history books.
3. Justin E. - Justin makes a point in his statement about how African Americans are introduced in history by slavery and nothing else. Therefore, kids in America know nothing about black history until they learn about slavery, and even then only how it affected white people back then. In American history, slavery defines black people, and that's just not right or true. He also says that, in order to make real progress on the issues of racial stereotyping and racism, white people must help and teach each other how to treat other people of different races.
One footnote I thought was interesting was one under Justin E.'s statement. It pointed out the fact that Justin said "West Africa" instead of just "Africa" as if it were a country instead of continent. I think people need to know more about this because a lot of people think of Africa as a country with one culture and one story, when it's full of different cultures, languages, traditions, and people. Another was under Vic's story about her experience in Chinatown in Seattle. It discusses the history of "Chinatowns" all over the country, and how they were formed as a result of Chinese immigrants not being able to own property, to vote, to testify in court, and a lot of other basic human rights that were kept from them. I think more people should know about this because I think Chinatown, even here in Boston, is a place of mystery for a lot of people, and when they hear "Chinatown" they think of different stereotypes that shouldn't be the first thing that pops into their minds.
I really like this book so far, and I think it's interesting how they use different stories from different people to prove the point they make in the introduction. I don't know if it's going to be formatted like that for the rest of the book, but I'm excited to find out.