posts 16 - 29 of 29
9oclock
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 15

1. I agree, race and racism was created by whites and for the progression of whites. Racism was implemented into our systems, institutions, and social culture by whites and for the prgression of whites. It is the foundation of our political, educational, economically, and social culture.

2. 1. Jennifer discusses the transition of being surrounded by primarily her own ethnicity as a young child to mainly black and brown kids in school to predominantly white kids in school. In her memories she highlights an important factor of racial identity- the nuance of privilege between ethnicities, skin tones, and wealth. It is crucial to embrace the nuancity in order to address the issue of racial marginalization correctly. To understand the tones of racialized oppression is to understand racialized oppression. It allows us to find the core, the root of white supremacy, and in hand, to create a sustainable and truly equitable solution.

2. Encompassed in her explanation that her music is indeed not white, Queen Esther shares a wide variety of race wisdom. From the historic and current colonization by white people and their market of non-white people's inventions and cultures. To the (not so ) historic medical abuse of black people. To the age old practice of institutions rewritting history to benefit the authority of the white race. To white people's practice of exerting thier privilege to tell those they have subjected and othered what is white. White people love to dictate non-white things and individuals as white. Queen Esther directs towards white people, "You owe Black people for everthing"- in a short phrase illuminating the general moral inferiority of white people. The coverage of this short piece is exemplary.

3. Vic touches on an important subject for us, race in school. Through an in school example, Vic describes their progress in personal liberation of the grasp of white supremacy. By describing it as being "caught in White respectability politics", Vic shows the reader that it is the most beneficial to break the ice, and to break it shamelessly.

3. 1. On page 22, it is shared that black women "were denied the rights to their own bodies". Along with black men, black women have been neglected and abused in the name of science and medicine. It is important that more people should know this history so that the modern day can be contextualized, so that the continuation of this issue today can be addressed.

2. Post Tramautic Slave Syndome was described in a footnote on page 26. It briefly define Post Tramautic Slave Syndrome as " a theoiry that explains the etiology of many of the adaptive survivial behaviors in African American communites". It is crucial to understand how black people today continue to be affected by slavery in order to better saunction healing and respect.

4. I appreciate many aspects of the book. My only criticism being that I find that some of the voices they are illuminating should not be accredited. I believe it would be sufficient to share the prospectives of those who do not fully know racism/ the harms of whiteness if their responses where publically critiqued in the book. Faulty understandings of race in said responses can influence the reader's own understanding.

9oclock
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 15

Originally posted by YellowPencil on October 04, 2021 00:30

  1. I agree with Winona and Priya’s assumptions on race. I strongly agree with the first statement “race and racism inescapably impacts everything around us” because from how we individually and society view and treat each other to the advancements of humankind, race and racism impacts them all. Like for example, the computer I am using. The computer itself is maybe made with the exploitation of groups of less privileged people. For example the lithium in the laptop batteries may be mined by children and adults in Congo. Because of colonization and the existence of race, they live lives with less opportunity. Moreover, the technology company that made the computer, Microsoft, has a African-American employee rate of 4.9, another example of race. The camera on my computer also mostly likely takes pictures of white people better than colored people. This also supports the second statement “race is a cancer that impacts every part of our lives.”

2)


1a) Queen Easter is black woman who enjoys playing country music. But people don’t see country music as African American culture but of whiteness although it has African like many other music genres in America. Others see her as straying from her culture but she is actually reclaiming it. She explains how African Americans are robbed of their inventions and their inventions are put under White Americans names without acknowledgment of them.


1b) I found this account very impactful because it shows Queen Easter’s strong feelings of unfairness. She explains how the roots of her culture was stolen and relabeled as something White American, her people being exploited, but in the end society doesn't say sorry or give back but responds by trying to delete that part of history and continuing to treat her and other African Americans poorly.



2a) Alexa is an undocumented Mexican in the US who was rejected scholarship opportunities because of her undocumented status and struggled with her identity during highschool because of her lighter skin tone compared to other around her.


2b) Alexa’s account stood out to me because it showed how rigged racial categories affect people. Others called her rich and white even though she was born in Mexico and didn't get the opportunities of a white, rich, documented citizen. There was anger towards her because of her lighter skin tone and assumptions based on that. To add on, even though she has the grades and the qualities of a good student she was rejected scholarship just because of her undocumented status.



3a) Vic is a Chinese American that used to be very careful of what she said and to not disrupt the system and an optimistic view on White Americans. But later discovers that she has to speak up on what she finds wrong and “shake things up”.


3b) Vic’s account is important because many people are passive about racial issues and are accepting of the current situation. Vic gives encouragement and awareness to those who may fall into being passive in their beliefs and opinions on this topic.



3)


1a) In Justin Z’s account there was a footnote on Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome, which is the theory that there are adaptive survival behaviors in African communities that’s the product of generations of oppression.

1b) This is important because Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome explains behaviors that negatively affect African American interpersonal relationships like mother-son and also mental health of African Americans. Knowing of Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome could help those affected by it and be more aware of it and possibly not pass it down to the next generation.



2a) In Queen Esther’s account, there was a footnote on how Texas in 2015 changed their curriculum to address slavery, KKK, and Jim Crow.


2b) It is shocking to me how a whole state could just decide to change how history is taught and decide to take important but darker parts of our US history out. I think it was a selfish decision for the state, because although it may make the state look better, it is overall a stupid decision to just not educate the next generation about these important issues and wrongdoings of our past.


4) I deeply enjoyed reading this book!! It was very engaging and informative at the same time and a book I actually wanted to read more of.


5) In response to Kazuma, I especially liked your claim that “people pass on racist ideologies to the next generation like it’s a recipe. It is hard to move on from the negative effects that come with Race when Race is something that is seemingly going to go on forever.” I definitely agree, because like a recipe that changes over time, in addition to racist ideologies, new problems emerge as we move on generations and time. As we are trying to fix our pre-existing problems like racisms in our government and workplaces, new problems emerge as our civilization advances. For example, when technology first came out, people wouldn’t think of it being racist. But now technology is a tool that could be used to spread racist ideologies and also in some ways expanding the problem even further. We now have AI machines such as twitter algorithms that prefer white faces over black faces and etc.

Post your response here.

5. I disagree with Kazuma and YellowPencil. While agreeing on the intense difficulty to derid a country reliant on racism of racism, I disagree with the implication that there has been no and will be no progress. I find this belief uneffective- estinquishing hope of progress, in hand diminishing motivation to try. It discredits the progress black Americans have brought about for themselves, and for many others. It discredits the benefits of technology, the strides that have been made in the recent past due to technology.

niall5
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 15

Racism In America

I do agree with Winona and Priya’s points, given just how deep racism is etched into the fabric of our modern society. Unfortunately, race and racism are a much larger part of some people’s lives than others in this country, but that shows us the privilege that comes with being seen a certain way by society. As they tell us, the United States itself was founded on slavery, and those views, while not explicitly held today, still affect the laws of this country and our racial wealth gap. The racism they talk about is systematic racism, the most dangerous I believe, because it does not require anyone person to be explicitly racist, just the system to be set up in a way that does not allow equal opportunity to everyone, regardless of race.


Personal Stories


  1. The first story that I found significant was Justin’s, because of how he makes us question the stereotypes we all hold, and how those can be truly harmful. Justin tells us that he is defined by others as just being black, ignoring who he is as a person. He struggles with having the burden of educating society on his back as someone who is already disadvantaged by our current system. This has significance in a multitude of ways, but the first that stuck out to me was the racial profiling and stereotyping he talks about on the first page. He explains, “When White people first see me, I realize that they’re only gonna see a Black face” (Winona+Priya 26). These immediate stereotypes take away from the fundamental humanity of each person and force people to be seen as categories rather than complex individuals. His second point is that to fight back from this requires all people to stand up and recognize their implicit bias, not just those who are on the losing end of it.


  1. I found Nick’s story, on page 29, quite impactful. Nick tells us that his father is Jewish, and his mom, Native American. Nick starts off describing his vivid traumatic memory from when he was a child, of police brutality and fear at a Native American protest. He goes on to conclude that America is deeply racist and that his Native American people are not going to be pushed around one bit. I found this story noteworthy because it gave me pause to realize just how much we have taken from the Native American community, over the hundreds of years of brutal colonization and western expansion of this land. This brutalization is masked by the deep ignorance that almost every person in America falls victim to. This ignorance is what can be the real killer. Describing just how ingrained this mindset is, he tells us, “The American dream is not real because it is built on our backs and integrated into our land” (Winona+Priya 29). This tells us that not only did Europeans take the land of the Native Americans, they also built a nation on their backs, with forced labor and relocation, as well as countless massacres of innocent people. The ignorance we have to this struggle today, and the way we glaze over the people who used to live here in our discussion of the founding of America, compound those problems in the present. Refusing to recognize a deeply violent and racist history allows the inequities forged in that time to run rampant in the modern-day.


  1. Lastly, I found Melina’s story important because of its perspective on a white woman that is learning her own responsibility to spread the understanding of racism in our country, and her acknowledgment of her own ignorance in the past. Melina tells us how she grew up largely blind to racial inequities. She describes learning from these mistakes and growing to understand how skin color and race can affect your opportunity in this country, and how other’s views can have a big impact on your life as a person of color. This story gets at the issues of standing up for your community regardless of your ingrained privilege or lack thereof in our current society, and also the impacts of intersectionality on racism in this country, and how it is blind to treat racism as a single issue and not a confluence of other inequities. Melina describes to us “The Big Three,” and how, “They’re all connected, and together, they create a system of power that’s been built up over generations” (Winona+Priya 36). This “Big Three” she describes, explains the confluence of race, gender, and class, and how those who suffer from discrimination of one of the three do not do so in a vacuum. The effects of racism don’t act alone, but can be compounded by also lacking wealth, or not being cis. This effect is called intersectionality, and it's vital to understand how racism affects real people in this country.


Side Notes


  1. A footnote on Queen Esther’s story (Winona+Priya 23) tells us how racially blind curriculums can truly affect the minds of young learners. It describes a history curriculum that pretends the Civil war was over state’s rights while minimizing the impacts of Slavery and Jim Crow on black Americans. This rewriting of history can be immensely dangerous, as it casts our racist past into a softer light, one that convinces people that racism was just an issue of old times and that it no longer matters. But this is obviously not true. Whitewashing and erasing our history is just one of many issues that show that racism is not nearly over affecting this country and the people in it.


  1. The second noteworthy footnote I found was on Justin’s story (Winona+Priya 26), was about how Justin make the careful decision to talk about an African country, Senegal, where he went to study, as a single country and not as the faceless mass we tend to group as “Africa.” This view of African countries as part of one whole, while at the same time treating European countries as singular and diverse in culture, ignores the humanity of these countries, and in doing so, ignores the diverse pasts of Black Americans in this country. This causes people to group “Africans' ' together on international issues as well, and not see them as individuals, rather as a part of a collective “other,” a truly dangerous mindset.

Overall I find this book really interesting! It is so important to hear the histories and experiences that each and every one of us has here in America. Recognizing this diversity only makes us stronger.

Stuart_05
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 7

How does racial identity play into how people see us?

1.I agree with Winona and Priya’s notion that race is linked to every part of our daily lives. It impacts where we live, who we socialize with, what we watch on tv, even what we eat. I think this is especially true because race and class are very connected. Because people of color, particularly Blacks and Latinos, have been subjected to racism, oppression, and segregation, most have not achieved the same economic success as whites. As a result, many live in low income communities, which are racially segregated, have limited access to quality education, food, and health facilities. This type of environment impacts people of color’s perspective of the world. While the majority of white Americans may be color blind to the realities of racism, a person of color lives these harsh realities everyday.

2.Queen Esther ends her personal essay by claiming, “You owe Black people for everything.” p. 24 in her testimonial, Queen Esther describes the achievements and contributions made by Africans. While people are surprised that she is a black country music singer, Queen Esther explains that virtually all American music can be traced to African music traditions. Queen Esther also includes the important inventions made by African Americans, such as the refrigerator, caller id, and potato chips. Queen Esther also describes the achievements made in the field of gynecology at the expense and victimization of African American women.


I think what is noteworthy from Queen Esther’s passage is that as an educated young woman, I was not aware of the many notable achievements made by African Americans. It is troubling to think that most of my education has been taught through a white dominated lens.


Justin E. indicates in his passage, “Only a White person, I’ve learned, can talk to another White person and get farther than I can get. Because either they’re gonna stop listening to me, I’m gonna get angry, or both.” p. 27 In Justin’s testimony, he describes how people are defined by their circumstances. Specifically, he talks about how slave trade defined Africans as slaves. However, the slave trade is what happened to Africans, it should not define their worth as people. Unfortunately, as an African American, Justin will always be defined by his skin color, unless he speaks out.


Justin’s passage underscores both the challenge and importance of speaking out. He references the frustration of trying to have honest race conversations, because, oftentimes, they result in an argument. However, it is important to have these conversations and take “baby steps” so there is common understanding.


Melina’s goal is to tear down systems which she calls, “The Big Three: Patriarchy, Capitalism, and White Supremacy. They’re all connected, and together, they create a system of power that’s been built up over generations.” p. 36 In her testimonial, Melina describes that as a white woman of privilege, she has a responsibility to have open and honest conversation with other white peers about recognizing their privilege. As a victim of sexual assault, Melina also feels a responsbility of providing more women opportunities in a male-dominated world. Meina also indicates that growing up with white privilege provided her with the economic resources to succeed. This is not the same opportunity afforded to other people, particularly people of color. As a result, people of color continue to be oppressed.


Melina’s passage is significant because it acknowledges that there are multiple systems that keep people down. A male dominated society reduces the opportunities for women to move up and succeed. A society in which white supremacy rules doesn’t allow for anyone else reach the top. In addition, growing up without having any resources reduces your chances for success. However, those who have the ability and resources must speak out and work to tear down these systems.


3.Vernon Francois, a celebrity hairstylist for many Black celebrities, says, “For me, cultural appropriation is when an aesthetic of one culture is borrowed by another and it is celebrated in a way that was never done for its originator.” p. 40 Cultural appropriation is considered both insulting and harmful, as native populations (in this article Hawaii) feel their culture and heritage is changed and dominated by White America. I think people should be aware and respectful of other cultures and that trying to “steal” a hairstyle, using a fake accent, or wearing certain types of clothing is both inappropriate and offensive. “It is a peculiar sensation, this double-consciousness, this sense of always looking at one’s self Through the eyes of others. One ever feels his two-ness - an American, a Negro, two souls,two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings.” p. 43 This quote by W.E.B. Du Bois, references the internal struggle of African Americans. While they may see themselves as one thing, they are always defined by their color, and treated as such. This is a struggle they can never escape. I think this passage is important so that it reminds us that our words and actions matter. Therefore, we should always be mindful of how we treat other people.

4.I found this book to be very interesting. I enjoyed reading different perspectives on race, class, and gender. It was surprising to see the various stereotypes and prejudices that people of color have about one another. It was also surprising to see that many young people of color had not socialized with anyone outside of their ethnic group, which highlights the reality of segregation, even among diverse cities in the U.S.


Stuart_05
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 7

Originally posted by niall5 on October 04, 2021 06:47

I do agree with Winona and Priya’s points, given just how deep racism is etched into the fabric of our modern society. Unfortunately, race and racism are a much larger part of some people’s lives than others in this country, but that shows us the privilege that comes with being seen a certain way by society. As they tell us, the United States itself was founded on slavery, and those views, while not explicitly held today, still affect the laws of this country and our racial wealth gap. The racism they talk about is systematic racism, the most dangerous I believe, because it does not require anyone person to be explicitly racist, just the system to be set up in a way that does not allow equal opportunity to everyone, regardless of race.


Personal Stories


  1. The first story that I found significant was Justin’s, because of how he makes us question the stereotypes we all hold, and how those can be truly harmful. Justin tells us that he is defined by others as just being black, ignoring who he is as a person. He struggles with having the burden of educating society on his back as someone who is already disadvantaged by our current system. This has significance in a multitude of ways, but the first that stuck out to me was the racial profiling and stereotyping he talks about on the first page. He explains, “When White people first see me, I realize that they’re only gonna see a Black face” (Winona+Priya 26). These immediate stereotypes take away from the fundamental humanity of each person and force people to be seen as categories rather than complex individuals. His second point is that to fight back from this requires all people to stand up and recognize their implicit bias, not just those who are on the losing end of it.


  1. I found Nick’s story, on page 29, quite impactful. Nick tells us that his father is Jewish, and his mom, Native American. Nick starts off describing his vivid traumatic memory from when he was a child, of police brutality and fear at a Native American protest. He goes on to conclude that America is deeply racist and that his Native American people are not going to be pushed around one bit. I found this story noteworthy because it gave me pause to realize just how much we have taken from the Native American community, over the hundreds of years of brutal colonization and western expansion of this land. This brutalization is masked by the deep ignorance that almost every person in America falls victim to. This ignorance is what can be the real killer. Describing just how ingrained this mindset is, he tells us, “The American dream is not real because it is built on our backs and integrated into our land” (Winona+Priya 29). This tells us that not only did Europeans take the land of the Native Americans, they also built a nation on their backs, with forced labor and relocation, as well as countless massacres of innocent people. The ignorance we have to this struggle today, and the way we glaze over the people who used to live here in our discussion of the founding of America, compound those problems in the present. Refusing to recognize a deeply violent and racist history allows the inequities forged in that time to run rampant in the modern-day.


  1. Lastly, I found Melina’s story important because of its perspective on a white woman that is learning her own responsibility to spread the understanding of racism in our country, and her acknowledgment of her own ignorance in the past. Melina tells us how she grew up largely blind to racial inequities. She describes learning from these mistakes and growing to understand how skin color and race can affect your opportunity in this country, and how other’s views can have a big impact on your life as a person of color. This story gets at the issues of standing up for your community regardless of your ingrained privilege or lack thereof in our current society, and also the impacts of intersectionality on racism in this country, and how it is blind to treat racism as a single issue and not a confluence of other inequities. Melina describes to us “The Big Three,” and how, “They’re all connected, and together, they create a system of power that’s been built up over generations” (Winona+Priya 36). This “Big Three” she describes, explains the confluence of race, gender, and class, and how those who suffer from discrimination of one of the three do not do so in a vacuum. The effects of racism don’t act alone, but can be compounded by also lacking wealth, or not being cis. This effect is called intersectionality, and it's vital to understand how racism affects real people in this country.


Side Notes


  1. A footnote on Queen Esther’s story (Winona+Priya 23) tells us how racially blind curriculums can truly affect the minds of young learners. It describes a history curriculum that pretends the Civil war was over state’s rights while minimizing the impacts of Slavery and Jim Crow on black Americans. This rewriting of history can be immensely dangerous, as it casts our racist past into a softer light, one that convinces people that racism was just an issue of old times and that it no longer matters. But this is obviously not true. Whitewashing and erasing our history is just one of many issues that show that racism is not nearly over affecting this country and the people in it.


  1. The second noteworthy footnote I found was on Justin’s story (Winona+Priya 26), was about how Justin make the careful decision to talk about an African country, Senegal, where he went to study, as a single country and not as the faceless mass we tend to group as “Africa.” This view of African countries as part of one whole, while at the same time treating European countries as singular and diverse in culture, ignores the humanity of these countries, and in doing so, ignores the diverse pasts of Black Americans in this country. This causes people to group “Africans' ' together on international issues as well, and not see them as individuals, rather as a part of a collective “other,” a truly dangerous mindset.

Overall I find this book really interesting! It is so important to hear the histories and experiences that each and every one of us has here in America. Recognizing this diversity only makes us stronger.

In regards to your response to question 3, I liked how you brought up the concept of intersectionality. I learned about this term last year in English, and how it involves a lot of overlapping factors. This is relevant to the article because race, as we know effects so many other things apart from one's identity.

niall5
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 15

Originally posted by saucymango on October 03, 2021 21:34

I) Overview

I agree with the vast majority of Winona and Priya’s statement that the concept of racism is a disease that infiltrates every institution and affects every aspect of the lives of people of color. Their need to highlight the ubiquitous nature of racism emphasizes the greater danger it holds because it makes it that much easier to accept racist acts and beliefs as “normal” when it is present everywhere around you.

I would add on that race wasn’t simply created to divide people, but to justify the abuse of divided people. It was mentioned in both the Brief History of Whiteness and a side note on page 32, that Black, Brown and Asian bodies were (and are) only desired for labor. Biases from Darwin’s Theory of Race and general misconceptions were part of the reason why people could accept exploitation, but I think the racism that lasts till today was purposely created after the need to justify the exploitation of people of color, thus coming from a place of manipulation rather than pure ignorance. This begs the question of how conscious was the decision to create racism, and is it more dangerous if it is intentional or unintentional


II) First Person Stories

  1. The first story that I found insightful was Justin’s, who speaks to the need to conform to the whiteness around him, especially by codeswitching. It relates back to a line from the Brief History of Whiteness, where being “white” is the norm and every other race is “not white.” From Justin’s story, he talks about how exhausting it can be to constantly attempt to fit in or explain things to white people why you don’t, as those are essentially your two choices. It is always a burden on the oppressed when white people worry about being uncomfortable for even one minute, while people of color are oppressed every minute. This causes a significant mental strain which shows how racism becomes the root of other issues that are less visible and the hardships when these issues intersect that we should all be more aware of.
  1. Queen Esther’s piece made me question a lot of my own biases and where they came from. They discuss how history and reality are contorted when it comes to the accomplishments of Black people. While people have started to understand that “American” music all have African roots, we have yet to recognize that numerous technological advancements have also come from Black Americans, such as our refrigerators, traffic lights, caller ID, etc. I think they effectively summarize their entire piece with the statement that White people essentially want to erase all of Black “history, their culture,[...] and just leave this stripped-down husk of a person. A Black person.” This makes it easier to paint the narrative that Black people are inept and slavery was only terrible because it took away their ability to be successful. Thus, even though we do not explicitly argue that Black people are inherently inferior to white people, we continue to promote stereotypes that they are less intelligent, lazy, or only good for athletic activities. We must recognize the achievements and strength of Black people instead of only their pains and challenges.
  1. Finally, Rylee, Parker and Marley brought up an important perspective. They talked about their struggles as Pacific Islanders, which are often overlooked in the discussion about racism, such as the blatant ignorance towards their culture and daily lives, disrespect towards their culture, and erasure of their history. Their issues and stories emphasize the need to, during the fight against racism, not only uplift people of color, but at its root, take down white supremacy. If we only focus on certain groups, it may lead to harm for other groups (i.e. when white women fought for the right to vote, they exacerbated racism against black women by arguing white women are superior and should have more rights). This is the fault of how our system is currently set up; therefore, the entire system needs to be reformed to ensure equity for all.

III) Side Notes

  1. Of the more than five hundred treaties signed with Native Americans, approximately five hundred of these treaties have been broken as explained in the footnote on page 29. The lack of US credibility is shocking when you also consider our direct violations of treaties with North Korea, Libya, Iran, and so many more countries. This factoid emphasizes the need to hold the US government accountable because the government can do whatever it wants to appease the performative activists, but at the end of the day, continue to enforce racial discrimination. We must continually pressure the US into matching their actions to their word, which must go beyond "condemning actions" and "offering their condolences."
  2. There is a quote on page 22 that notes how Black women’s rights to their own bodies were taken away, and further abused to bear children that were predetermined to become property of owners of enslaved people. Most of us learn in school how an enslaved person’s status is passed onto their children, but it was taught as if it were the same as a monarch passing the throne down to their children. There is a severe lack of humanity in determining unborn infants as free tools, torturing Black women to know that they are bringing a child into hell and with the pain that many of the slave owners had raped Black women, resulting in their pregnancies. I’ve heard many say that enslaved people were treated much worse than what textbooks say, but I don’t think we’ve even understood the full extent of the horror in things that are mentioned in textbooks.

IV) Overall, I found this chapter to be a helpful read. It really built upon ideas I've heard a bit about, but never looked deeper into, as well as contextualize many issues and make them easy to understand!

I like how you mentioned how racism was a tool for the economic gain and exploitation of workers. I think this is an important fact to realize, that racism was constructed to give white people not just racial hierarchy but also economic hierarchy.

android_user
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 8

1. After reading Winona + Priya’s views on race I would have to say I agree with them, that race does greatly influence and affect the society we live in today. I always knew it did, but the examples that she provided us in the introduction were incredible to even think about. I had no idea that only camera quality was tested on white people and how even the beauty standard when it comes to make-up involves the recipient of the make over haver “whiter” or more “European” features. I agree with their statement when they say that race impacts everything, and that and that everything is impacted by race because there are so many other examples of this that don’t involve TV shows or art galleries. One of the more known examples being the history of Trans-Atlantic slave trade in the Americas. The trade divided people of color from Africa and indiginous people from the white Europeans and forced the people of color into slavery. Because of this a whole group of indiginous people were wiped out and killed by either their masters or the viruses they brought over, and Black people are still facing the effects and active racism that has carried into the twenty-first century from the 15th century because of the role racism played in the past.

2.

  1. Alexa spoke of her life coming from Mexico and how her lighter complexion caused problems for her with other people of color, but also allowed her more privileges than they were able to receive. She spoke of how being white or light skinned is automatically connected to being rich or financially well-off, and she even made the point of saying that she did realize the privileges she had because of her lighter complexion. Alexa did have problems with her identity when she started being called white by other people of color and that left her in tidal confusion. I think this story is important to share because I’m sure there are a ton of people facing many of the same situations of poverty, non-citizenship, and even identity crisis that could benefit from her understanding of it.
  2. Vic shared her experience about molding her self-image into being a perfect non-threatening person of color to make white people more comfortable around her. She later realized that it wasn’t her job to make white people more comfortable or more educated when it comes to learning about other people’s racial identities, and she tried to state her views on it during a paper in school. Her thoughts got gas-lighted and blown off saying it was just a rant, and I think it’s important that this story should be shared because I know a few BLS kids have shared similar experiences with their sense that they have to act “more white.”
  3. Chef Tu shared his story of people believing his food wasn’t authentic Vietnamese food and how it made him upset if anyone said that. He went on to say that Vietnam was a hot-spot for many travelers and ethnicities, who brought their own recipes that later made Vietnamese food culture. People from Cambodia, France, Portugal, China, and Japan all influenced what is now Vietnamese food, and that food wasn’t just one thing. I think it’s important to point out this story because it really shows the integration of cultures in VIetnam and the influences it had on so many Vietnamese people who still cook with recipes that were influenced by different cultures.

3) Honestly some of the most interesting facts that I found were at the beginning of the chapter in the introduction. I really found the fact of the beauty standard being more European really interesting because most women do use makeup and follow the beauty standard by watching white makeup influencers like James Charles or Kylie Jenner. Another fact that I found crazy was the fact about the word “Eskimo” originating in Russia, and the word mainly being used in a derogatory way towards the Yup’ik people in Alaska calling them “raw meat eaters.” The word Eskimo is still heavily embedded into our society today: in the movies we watch, in books we read, and even in the notion of an “Eskimo kiss” that we grew up learning about from our parents.

4) So far I really like this book because it’s helping me open my eyes more to the constant problems people without privilege have, and it’s really helping me see my privilege more clearly. I really enjoy being educated in learning about how society treats people of color and how some races are more impacted than others.

android_user
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 8

Originally posted by Stuart_05 on October 04, 2021 07:20

1.I agree with Winona and Priya’s notion that race is linked to every part of our daily lives. It impacts where we live, who we socialize with, what we watch on tv, even what we eat. I think this is especially true because race and class are very connected. Because people of color, particularly Blacks and Latinos, have been subjected to racism, oppression, and segregation, most have not achieved the same economic success as whites. As a result, many live in low income communities, which are racially segregated, have limited access to quality education, food, and health facilities. This type of environment impacts people of color’s perspective of the world. While the majority of white Americans may be color blind to the realities of racism, a person of color lives these harsh realities everyday.

2.Queen Esther ends her personal essay by claiming, “You owe Black people for everything.” p. 24 in her testimonial, Queen Esther describes the achievements and contributions made by Africans. While people are surprised that she is a black country music singer, Queen Esther explains that virtually all American music can be traced to African music traditions. Queen Esther also includes the important inventions made by African Americans, such as the refrigerator, caller id, and potato chips. Queen Esther also describes the achievements made in the field of gynecology at the expense and victimization of African American women.


I think what is noteworthy from Queen Esther’s passage is that as an educated young woman, I was not aware of the many notable achievements made by African Americans. It is troubling to think that most of my education has been taught through a white dominated lens.


Justin E. indicates in his passage, “Only a White person, I’ve learned, can talk to another White person and get farther than I can get. Because either they’re gonna stop listening to me, I’m gonna get angry, or both.” p. 27 In Justin’s testimony, he describes how people are defined by their circumstances. Specifically, he talks about how slave trade defined Africans as slaves. However, the slave trade is what happened to Africans, it should not define their worth as people. Unfortunately, as an African American, Justin will always be defined by his skin color, unless he speaks out.


Justin’s passage underscores both the challenge and importance of speaking out. He references the frustration of trying to have honest race conversations, because, oftentimes, they result in an argument. However, it is important to have these conversations and take “baby steps” so there is common understanding.


Melina’s goal is to tear down systems which she calls, “The Big Three: Patriarchy, Capitalism, and White Supremacy. They’re all connected, and together, they create a system of power that’s been built up over generations.” p. 36 In her testimonial, Melina describes that as a white woman of privilege, she has a responsibility to have open and honest conversation with other white peers about recognizing their privilege. As a victim of sexual assault, Melina also feels a responsbility of providing more women opportunities in a male-dominated world. Meina also indicates that growing up with white privilege provided her with the economic resources to succeed. This is not the same opportunity afforded to other people, particularly people of color. As a result, people of color continue to be oppressed.


Melina’s passage is significant because it acknowledges that there are multiple systems that keep people down. A male dominated society reduces the opportunities for women to move up and succeed. A society in which white supremacy rules doesn’t allow for anyone else reach the top. In addition, growing up without having any resources reduces your chances for success. However, those who have the ability and resources must speak out and work to tear down these systems.


3.Vernon Francois, a celebrity hairstylist for many Black celebrities, says, “For me, cultural appropriation is when an aesthetic of one culture is borrowed by another and it is celebrated in a way that was never done for its originator.” p. 40 Cultural appropriation is considered both insulting and harmful, as native populations (in this article Hawaii) feel their culture and heritage is changed and dominated by White America. I think people should be aware and respectful of other cultures and that trying to “steal” a hairstyle, using a fake accent, or wearing certain types of clothing is both inappropriate and offensive. “It is a peculiar sensation, this double-consciousness, this sense of always looking at one’s self Through the eyes of others. One ever feels his two-ness - an American, a Negro, two souls,two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings.” p. 43 This quote by W.E.B. Du Bois, references the internal struggle of African Americans. While they may see themselves as one thing, they are always defined by their color, and treated as such. This is a struggle they can never escape. I think this passage is important so that it reminds us that our words and actions matter. Therefore, we should always be mindful of how we treat other people.

4.I found this book to be very interesting. I enjoyed reading different perspectives on race, class, and gender. It was surprising to see the various stereotypes and prejudices that people of color have about one another. It was also surprising to see that many young people of color had not socialized with anyone outside of their ethnic group, which highlights the reality of segregation, even among diverse cities in the U.S.


I really agree with your point about Justin in that it is important that we keep having honest conversations about race, and to educate people of privilege to see the experiences that others have to go through.

hotchocolate
Boston, Massachusetts , US
Posts: 14

Originally posted by Lion03 on October 03, 2021 22:43

  1. I agree with Winona and Priya's statements that race impacts every single aspect of your life. These impacts occur whether you realize it or not. It effects things like where you live, how you're treated, and what opportunities you have access to. Racism is a prevalent idea that has existed since the beginning of life. The idea of treating someone less than based on their skin color has been a key role in society for centuries and centuries. I agree with Winona and Priya because being treated based on race is something that is so deeply rooted in American culture that it can impact you in ways that you don’t even realize

  1. a) Nick: Nick’s story was about being Native American and Jewish and growing up with the struggles surrounding that. He talks about the way natives were treated and protesting at an early age. He also talks about how even at three years old police tear gassed him which created a long lasting fear of police for Nick. I think this is important because I can connect it to things that happen today and how police still treat people. In 2020, we saw this similar thing happen at the Black Lives Matter rallies and protests. The fear of police for people of color is still so common today because of systematic rules that were put into place that the police were founded on.

b) Queen Esther: Queen Esther’s story was about being a black country singer. She talks about how her instruments were from Africa and how no one gives Africans the recognition they deserve for all the inventions they’ve created. I think this is noteworthy because it just shows how the foundation of America was built on the backs of African American slaves and that the don’t get the recognition they deserve. She also talks about all the tools and technology that enslaved Africans brought to this country. I think its important to give recognition and credit where credit is due. If we are unable to recognize all that they have done for this country, than how can we accurately depict the correct history and colonization of America.

c) Justin E: Justin talked about his experience of how he really “knew he was black”. He continues to talk about being called a slur and how the slave trade has become apart of his history. He talks about how in history black people are portrayed as only being slaves. I think this is important to recognize because it puts an emphasis on things like the history textbooks we use today and how the school curriculum only shows the “white-washed” part of history to make it seem better. This is an ongoing issue in schools today and is just now finally beginning to be talked about.


  1. a.) The footnote on Justin E’s page really stuck out to me. This footnote points out the fact that Africa is a continent with many different variations of Africans and that there are many different physical genetic variations. It also talks about Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome. I did not know about this and I think more people should find out about this. People should know about this because it shows the impact that race has on adaptation to survival and how it can be passed on through generations which is interesting.

b.) The footnote on Queen Esther’s page also stood out to me. It talks about how just 6 years ago, the history curriculum in Texas was changed in order to take out education of slavery and does not mention the KKK or Jim Crow laws. I think more people need to know about this in order to change the curriculum. The education of slavery and Jim Crow laws is essential because without it, then how would we learn from our mistakes.


4. I like this book so far because it isn’t like the other school books that we read. It catches my attention by talking about peoples experiences on a personal level. It takes on a new perspective which I enjoy.

I like what you said about Nick's story and how he grew up like many others do fearing police brutality on the basis of racism and appearance, not even crimes committed. This reminds me of the stories I hear that are so close to home where a family of color has to raise their children from a young age being cautious around police officers and that even though if they are violating your rights and pull you over for instance because you are a person of color, don't protest because they'll do much worse if they have the chance. It's scary to think how even young children are at risk of police brutality and how do we make them understand it's for their safety? Why can't we put a stop to this fear? Just the fact that police and security believe that using violence at peaceful and just rallies/protests is wrong and ends up hurting more people. Even the violence being used at the Mexican border on families and young children who are helpless and are people who don't deserve this treatment. Why is it so hard for everyone to welcome others and empathize and realize that fighting for the wrong things isn't worth our time?

Camm230
South Boston, MA, US
Posts: 8

How does racial identity play a role in how people see us?

1) Yes I agree with Winona + Priya’s assumption that race plays a role in our society to a greater point than we might realize. Unfortunately it can be seen that it is almost taught to children, from the opening story in chapter 1 when the little boy yelled "No way! Your an Indian?! I thought they where extinct!". This shows that boy a child instantly knew she was different and by that comment thinks she could be considered "rare" or "exotic" because of the way she looks. The child sees the difference in how she looks and instantly separates into an "us" vs. "them" mentality, and the boy doesn't know this he probably doesn't even think twice about his comment, and he doesn't seem to be punished or anything after he screamed this. Although it is slowly improving a lot of the books we read in elementary school are about white children, and some of the books we read about different cultures often have stereotypes with exaggerated features, so we can't really blame the boy for being uneducated rather it's the system that failed that we continue to have an "us vs. them" mentality. In a few of our classes identity boxes people talked about where they grew up affect their racial identity, how because they where seen as "different" they tried to suppress that difference and ignore it, but now are becoming more aware of that and how messed up the system is that they felt the need to suppress a certain part of there identity. So I agree with the authors view on race because it can clearly be seen in our own lives.

2) 1)Jennifer: she grew up in a majority Vietnamese community, and that was all she knew and her conservative father who wasn't around much, was very racist and told her not to hang out with the black students. Which she did and eventually realized how separated each of the races where and after being the target to a slur realized the privilege she grew up in. Eventually she realized the close minded way she grew up and is trying to make up for it. I think this is important because it's worth raising the question, Who's fault is it? This racist way of thinking was engraved into her as a child when her mind was developing so can it be her fault she eventually thought this way? Or the father, however my assumption is he grew up in a similar house hold with similar beliefs, so where do we draw the line and assign the blame or at this point is it even worth to a assign the blame because of how embedded into out society it is?

2)After moving to the U.S. from mexico she, moved to a bunch of different schools for different reasons, the first being that one of the children's parents was a drug dealer so her parents felt unsafe with her attending the school, then at her other school she was bullied for being to light skinned, then at the next school there where to many white ppl. This post was important because with everything that people said to her she started to believe what people say when people said she was to "light skinned" she started to think maybe she wasn't really Mexican even though she moved from Mexico, than she felt isolated in a school with mostly white people. It shows how society can make you question ones own identity, even though she moved from mexico, she was convinced she was to light skinned, then she went to a school with mostly white people and she wasn't light enough. So even though when she had an idea of her identity when she first moved from mexico it was changed a lot based on the people she was with.

3)Justin: After growing up in Chicago he was light skinned and top of his class in a majority latinx, black school. Then got a scholar ship to a private school where he had to deal with a lot of arrogant white people asking about how he grew up, and had to deal with people who wanted to have conversations about race but didn't want to be uncomfortable which doesn't go hand in hand. This is important because we can see what code switching is which everyone does at some point or another, however doing it to much can make one question your identity, or make one feel isolated. Which Justin does to an extreme extent, because he felt he had to.

3)a) Race has no scientific backing, it is purely based on how one looks. People can be from different countries, have completely different cultures with different lifestyle, food, religious beliefs, but because one looks alike they are considered in the same race, however people who look different but are from the same country, culture, religion can be considered to be from different race because they look different.

b) this is an important distinction to make, because I didn't know this so I'm assuming not many do so it is important to make not of.

4) So far I really like the book, it has some really interesting perspectives, and is written in a way that is easy to understand, and considering it is written through the perspective of a high school student it is easy to read as a high school student.

Camm230
South Boston, MA, US
Posts: 8

Originally posted by no name on October 03, 2021 21:12

1) I agree with Winona + Priya's statement of how race affects everything as in the dozen examples in the introduction to chapter 1. Whiteness is a concept built on exclusion and purity. We see this in America and in history, Europeans now like to think "wow racism is horrible in America thank god we don't have racism here" when they literally imported racism into America. White supremacy is in every aspect in life too, a cancer it's undertones are everywhere and in everyone. White Europeans and Americans are so scared to lose their power privilege and comfort that they fall back onto the ideology of purity, they are terrified of small numbers. We see this in France where they literally rebranded the anti-Semitic conspiracy theory of the Frankfurt School with Islam(if you are interested look up Islamo-Leftism France). This is so powerful that is converting once liberal white people to subscribe to dangerous extremist ideas.

The recent conservatives panic during the Haitian border crisis. You see these photos and videos of people just trying to survive and there are border patrol whipping them on horseback. Many of you may know Tucker Carlson, Fox News anchor scum and white nationalist, selling watered down Nazi rhetoric to your family members. Here is a clip of him calling Iraqis "semiliterate primate monkeys" along with many other horrible things. Anyway his converge of recently of immigration he doesn't even hide his white nationalist take. He talks about the "Great Replacement" and Democrats using demographic change to win election. The great replacement also called the white genocide is that white people are getting "bred" out of existence, this also connects to the Fourteen Words "We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children". This is why the Right has been so successful over the years because they sell watered down ideas to you whether it be Blue Lives Matter or All Lives Matter they slowly sprinkle white supremist ideas crumbs over time.

PS: I have been in many political circles past two years, and if anybody is obsessed with demographic stats, run away they are must likely a white supremacist .

2) Melina talks about how much effort it took just for her internalized white supremacy to be recognized. She stresses the importance of the education because the ones who can do the most are the most privileged. What I think is important are the big three, the foundation of the modern day system: capitalism, patriarchy, and white supremacy. These three concepts have had centuries to evolve and when a new obstacle crosses their path they adapt -- for example capitalism into neoliberal capitalism.

Justin started out in a low income Latino neighborhood, but transition to a wealthier private school. When he tried to join a club with "more difficult race conversations", they were fake because they didn't want to actually experience any discomfort. For me what stuck out was the "you can't say something's racism, if it is not" because I went through the same thing. When someone says a offensive joke and you call them out they say "relax it's just a joke" or "you are making a big deal out of nothing" even when your identity is the exact target of the joke. I recently learned the term for it, racial gaslighting.

Jennifer is the last one. She went from more diverse to a white dominated school, which was a huge shock for her. She felt like an outsider which many in their identity presentation said. This was important because I experience the opposite I went from a white dominated school space to diverse one, which made me realized how much of a bubble I was in. Most likely the people of color in this discussion board will agree we all had a phase of wanting to be white when we were younger.

3) Page 45 the first footnote

African Americans were freed by the US government and neglected. More people should know this because it is yet again another lie told to prop up the US as the beacon for freedom and liberty.

Page 47 second footnote

Estimated 1.5 million people fled during the Vietnamese of which around 3%-13% died. This should be know that these people were died not because of communism or whatever but by US imperialist aggression.

Page 49 footnote

Sharing soul stories(stories of racial background) brings you much closer than ego stories(like flexing college application or something). This is true it feels much more personal and emotional than telling someone that you got an internship for the summer.

4) I don't dislike any part of the book, I really enjoyed reading the excerpt.


I really like how in the beginning you brought in so many outside sources in order to respond to the prompt, and how you put all the footnotes and stats in your response, and your response was easy to read, it is clear from the beginning that you are passionate about this topic and the politics behind it.

curioushuman
US
Posts: 7

How does racial identity play into how people see us?

1. I agree with Winona and Priya's assumption that “race and racism inescapably impact everything around us" and "even the very existence of the United States demanded their presence.” As stated in the book, race is a social construct and has no scientific basis. With race, the idea that whiteness is the “ideal” or “superior” was created to keep those who were in power already and possessed those white qualities to stay in power. Given the fact that the US was founded on the backs of Native Americans who were killed and had their land stolen as well as Africans taken from all over the continent on ships and enslaved by Europeans, it would be foolish to argue their statement that the existence of the US doesn’t demand their presence. I would also agree that “race is a cancer that impacts every part of our lives.” There is no escaping race. From birth there are stereotypes and certain thinking ingrained in the back of our brains stemming from the smallest things, such as representation in media, from characters in movies to the songs we hear on the radio. Race was invented with the purpose of justifying slavery and has been used ever since to justify criminal acts and general mistreatment toward people of color. It is now so deeply rooted in our systems and especially in the US, where the concept of race has been around for longer than the founding of our country, that it is impossible to escape the lasting effects of slavery and racism and the history of oppression that non-Europeans and non-whites experienced. We can look at our Constitution and know that it was not written for those who are not white and even still meant for men, which by itself, demonstrates the issues surrounding race.


2. 1) Queen Esther is a Black country singer who lives in New York City who reclaims her Blackness through playing the banjo and not straying from it, contrary to popular opinion. She talks about how Whiteness was created to create Blackness and to erase the enslaved Africans’ history, culture, etc to make them just a Black person and deny them of their right to be human. She also mentions the way J. Marion Sims did not believe Black people could feel pain and violated Black womens’ bodies and now we have the field of gynecology. She also mentions how in some parts of the country are rewriting textbooks because they aren’t comfortable with the idea of slavery and instead of learning from history, try to erase it. I found this to be extremely important because it shows how white fragility provokes the erasure of the experiences of people of color and there are so many contributions that Black people have made to this country that most people have just never even heard of.

2) Nick’s family was involved in the American Indian Movement, his mom being Native American and his dad being Jewish, they had a certain bond through sticking together while facing persecution. He voices frustrations about the way that Native Americans have been constantly ignored and mistreated throughout history and are forgotten about even today. I found this very important because Native Americans are continually forgotten about and the erasure of their culture and presence in our society, as well as the fact that they were here first. I resonated with the fact that it is extremely aggravating to carry the burden of educating people, specifically white people, about your race / ethnicity / culture when they should not be relying on you / people of color and instead doing research to educate themselves.

3) Vic lives in Seattle, Washington and has faced a lot of denial of her experience as a woman of color because she is a cis Asian woman and is done sugarcoating things for white people. When her class watched Apocalypse Now and she noticed that the white students in her class didn’t even flinch when a Vietnamese person was being shot, yet when a pig died they had a reaction. It was also concerning and problematic how the teacher called her essay on the racism of the movie a rant because it invalidates her opinion and experience as a person of color, specifically being Asian American, and dismissing someone’s ideas simply because you disagree is very harmful, especially as a teacher who is supposed to provide for their students an environment they can flourish in. I found this really critical and even though it is terrible, a good example of how people of color are dehumanized and their struggles are made light of. The difference in the reaction of the deaths of these different characters in the movie show how even a pig was valued more than a Vietnamese person and that is just a really awful thing.


3. 1) One of the factoids that really stood out to me was Queen Esther quoting Zora Neala Hurston, “I feel most colored when I am thrown against a sharp White background.” I can relate with this quote a lot because I often find myself to be the only non-White person in a White space and it can be very uncomfortable how we are forced to think about race all the time, especially for people of color. In a space where it is very diverse and there are both people who look like me and people who don’t, it makes me more comfortable and less anxious of the racial divides in our society at that moment, however when I’m in a space with mostly white people, I constantly think about how I am different or worrying how people might think of me based on my race, or their preconceptions of what my race is.

2) Another piece of information I found of importance is the one in Justin’s section, which talks about how Africa is a very large continent with a lot of genetic and physical variation within even just sub-Saharan Africa than any other populations on Earth. Many people think that Africa is a country or that all Black people or Africans look or act the same. It also points out that the idea that race is biological is false and only harmful, leading to negative events, such as the eugenics movement in the early 1900s which sought to eliminate “undesirable traits” through forced sterilization. Not only was the science wrong, but it was a completely horrible thing to do. More people should know about this because it could give them a whole different perspective on race and how we view ourselves and each other regarding race.


4. I have really enjoyed this book so far because it has taught me a lot of things so far and deepened my understanding of things I have previously learned about. I like how it is written in such a way that is easily read and we can really learn about the experiences of many types of individuals. It is a great way to amplify voices of people who are normally ignored/silenced and gives them a way to speak out about injustices they have faced or see in society.

girlboss16
Boston, Massachussetts, US
Posts: 16
  1. I do agree with Winona and Priya´s statements about the role of race. Racism is so deeply rooted in our modern society. Unfortunately, it is a much larger problem in some people's lives more than others. The United States, as Winona and Priya had stated, was built off of racism. Extremely problematic many years ago, people of different backgrounds faced severe segregation, oppression, slavery simply for their complexion. Inescapably, lots of black people and other racial groups continue to be affected by these timeless, hurtful feelings people have. It is important to know the privilege you have while others face these harsh realities day to day.
  2. 1. a. Jennifer L grew up in a Vietnamese community. Her and her sister were raised by her single mother and for a while they lived in a shelter. Jennifer´s first time seeing a white person was in high school. Her dad, although not totally in the picture, unfortunately made a very bad impact on her view towards other people. He would tell her to stay away from black people because they were ¨dirty.¨ Her sister also continuously uses the n-word. Jennifer would ask black people to stay away from her and she also asked her teacher to segregate the classroom. In high school, Jennifer experienced being called a slur, which gave her time to self reflect. She became more vocal, educated on race, and became the leader of the Asian Student Alliance at school.

b. I think this is important to note because Jennifer finally realized her privilege and realized how her family was in the wrong. She mentioned how she gets to be viewed as smart, as the model minority, as well as her realization that she won't have to face police brutality because of her light skin tone. Though this wasn't worded perfectly, Jennifer has a point. In situations where people you know - even family members - are being racist, it is important to speak up by using the privilege you have.

2. a. Alexa moved to the United States from Mexico not realizing she would never see her family again. Like Jennifer, Alexa also hadn't seen a white person until she reached high school. She realized she was different because although all of the students were Hispanic in general, she was light-skinned whereas they were dark-skinned. Her classmates would call her white and rich, which wasn´t true considering she was actually the only student who was born in Mexico and not in the U.S.. This made her feel extremely uncomfortable and she started to question her identity.

b. It is important to recognize the stereotypical connection between skin color and socioeconomic status. Because of her lighter skin tone, Alexa´s classmates called her rich. There is a stereotype that if you´re white you´re rich, and if you´re a person of color you´re poor. However, this is not always the case. Not every white person has a mansion with happily married parents and money to spare. An example of this is also in Jennifer L´s story, where she mentions her father associated black people with being dirty. Dirty and poor typically are words that can be categorized together. These racist assumptions are not true. Sure, there are rich white people and poor black people, but it is very insulting to say this is the only case.

3. a. Liz is a black female who typically travels alone. In 1999 when visiting the Cezch Republic, people started taking photos of her. She was the first black person they had ever seen and she decided to leave her trip early, feeling as if she couldn't enjoy her time with this weirdness. Similar occurrences happened in Australia, as well as in America. No one was taking her picture in America, but she could constantly feel eyes on her.

b. This points out two things. One is that people in foreign countries are rarely exposed to diversity, which is surprising considering this happened to Liz in 1999 which is fairly recent. And two, it is important to not point out people's physical attributes. As a non-black person, we have no idea how it feels to be laid eyes upon in a discriminatory way. This proves racism is still underlying.

  1. 1. A factoid I was interested in is the way in which Chinatowns were formed. In the past, Chinese people were prohibited by law to testify in court, to own property, to vote, to have families join them, to marry non-Chinese, and to work in institutional agencies. In order to survive, Chinese people joined together in towns which are known as Chinatowns. These towns are made up of Chinese Americans, Vietnamese Americans, and other Asian ethnic groups. To this day, we can notice that there are still predominantly Asian residents as well as Asian establishments. It is important to understand the history of Chinatowns.

2. As of 2010-2014, Milwaukee was known as the most racially divided city. As of 2015, the average white person resided in a 71.5% white neighborhood while the average black person resided in a 64% black neighborhood. I believe that these divisions are a result of segregation from many years ago. Many groups of people were separated into different neighborhoods either because they wanted to or because they were forced to. These neighborhoods were separated by skin color. Over the years, these people generally married people from their own neighborhood, having children who would grow up in these same areas and participating in the division of skin color. I believe people stay in these neighborhoods because it's what they know (conformity), what they can afford, and/or because they want to stay/aren´t able to leave. Of course some people do move out of the area they grew up in, but I feel as if segregation unfortunately occurred too recently for every single neighborhood to be extremely diverse; and for that matter, segregation is still happening.There are many factors into why people live where they do.

  1. I really do enjoy reading this book so far. Some of these stories have already greatly impacted my perspective and I am intrigued to read more. Each story is so captivating and it's important to read about other people's situations that you could never relate to; or maybe you could!
girlboss16
Boston, Massachussetts, US
Posts: 16

Originally posted by Stuart_05 on October 04, 2021 07:20

1.I agree with Winona and Priya’s notion that race is linked to every part of our daily lives. It impacts where we live, who we socialize with, what we watch on tv, even what we eat. I think this is especially true because race and class are very connected. Because people of color, particularly Blacks and Latinos, have been subjected to racism, oppression, and segregation, most have not achieved the same economic success as whites. As a result, many live in low income communities, which are racially segregated, have limited access to quality education, food, and health facilities. This type of environment impacts people of color’s perspective of the world. While the majority of white Americans may be color blind to the realities of racism, a person of color lives these harsh realities everyday.

2.Queen Esther ends her personal essay by claiming, “You owe Black people for everything.” p. 24 in her testimonial, Queen Esther describes the achievements and contributions made by Africans. While people are surprised that she is a black country music singer, Queen Esther explains that virtually all American music can be traced to African music traditions. Queen Esther also includes the important inventions made by African Americans, such as the refrigerator, caller id, and potato chips. Queen Esther also describes the achievements made in the field of gynecology at the expense and victimization of African American women.


I think what is noteworthy from Queen Esther’s passage is that as an educated young woman, I was not aware of the many notable achievements made by African Americans. It is troubling to think that most of my education has been taught through a white dominated lens.


Justin E. indicates in his passage, “Only a White person, I’ve learned, can talk to another White person and get farther than I can get. Because either they’re gonna stop listening to me, I’m gonna get angry, or both.” p. 27 In Justin’s testimony, he describes how people are defined by their circumstances. Specifically, he talks about how slave trade defined Africans as slaves. However, the slave trade is what happened to Africans, it should not define their worth as people. Unfortunately, as an African American, Justin will always be defined by his skin color, unless he speaks out.


Justin’s passage underscores both the challenge and importance of speaking out. He references the frustration of trying to have honest race conversations, because, oftentimes, they result in an argument. However, it is important to have these conversations and take “baby steps” so there is common understanding.


Melina’s goal is to tear down systems which she calls, “The Big Three: Patriarchy, Capitalism, and White Supremacy. They’re all connected, and together, they create a system of power that’s been built up over generations.” p. 36 In her testimonial, Melina describes that as a white woman of privilege, she has a responsibility to have open and honest conversation with other white peers about recognizing their privilege. As a victim of sexual assault, Melina also feels a responsbility of providing more women opportunities in a male-dominated world. Meina also indicates that growing up with white privilege provided her with the economic resources to succeed. This is not the same opportunity afforded to other people, particularly people of color. As a result, people of color continue to be oppressed.


Melina’s passage is significant because it acknowledges that there are multiple systems that keep people down. A male dominated society reduces the opportunities for women to move up and succeed. A society in which white supremacy rules doesn’t allow for anyone else reach the top. In addition, growing up without having any resources reduces your chances for success. However, those who have the ability and resources must speak out and work to tear down these systems.


3.Vernon Francois, a celebrity hairstylist for many Black celebrities, says, “For me, cultural appropriation is when an aesthetic of one culture is borrowed by another and it is celebrated in a way that was never done for its originator.” p. 40 Cultural appropriation is considered both insulting and harmful, as native populations (in this article Hawaii) feel their culture and heritage is changed and dominated by White America. I think people should be aware and respectful of other cultures and that trying to “steal” a hairstyle, using a fake accent, or wearing certain types of clothing is both inappropriate and offensive. “It is a peculiar sensation, this double-consciousness, this sense of always looking at one’s self Through the eyes of others. One ever feels his two-ness - an American, a Negro, two souls,two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings.” p. 43 This quote by W.E.B. Du Bois, references the internal struggle of African Americans. While they may see themselves as one thing, they are always defined by their color, and treated as such. This is a struggle they can never escape. I think this passage is important so that it reminds us that our words and actions matter. Therefore, we should always be mindful of how we treat other people.

4.I found this book to be very interesting. I enjoyed reading different perspectives on race, class, and gender. It was surprising to see the various stereotypes and prejudices that people of color have about one another. It was also surprising to see that many young people of color had not socialized with anyone outside of their ethnic group, which highlights the reality of segregation, even among diverse cities in the U.S.


I really admire your way with words. Your opening statement about how you agree with Winona and Priya is something I agree with. Race most definitely is integrated into everyday life, however it can be more harsh and challenging for certain groups of people.

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