posts 1 - 15 of 33
freemanjud
Boston, US
Posts: 246

Reading:

From Winona Guo and Priya Vulchi, Tell Me Who You Are: Sharing Our Stories of Race, Culture, and Identity (2019).


Winona Guo + Priya Vulchi state that “race and racism inescapably impact everything around us. Even the very existence of the United States demanded their presence.” (12) They go on to say “race is a cancer that impacts every part of our lives.” (13) Their inquiry + book starts from the notion that this is true and proceeds from that assumption.


  1. Do you agree with Winona + Priya’s assumptions or do you want to challenge some part of what they believe about the role of race? Why or why not?
  1. Identify 3 first-person accounts from this first chapter in the book (number them!) that says something that, in your view, is important about race and identity. Name each person you select and share with us

(a) a brief summary of what each person said and

(b) why you think it’s important/significant/noteworthy (your choice).


  1. IMO, among the cool things about this book are the eye-opening factoids/information details that appear in the margins, as if they are footnotes OR side-references, OR commentary. Select at least 2 of those and lift them up in the post by

(a) briefly summarizing the factoid/information and

(b) why you think more people should know about this.


  1. If you like or dislike this book ….so far….say so! Tell us why you feel the way you do about it.
  1. And...respond to at least one person whose post preceded yours. (If you are first to post, you can revisit this part later….and do a second post with your response to that other person!)

Be sure to divide your post into paragraphs (and you can incorporate any numbering (see #2 above). Paragraphs are your friend and they make your post much more readable. Thank you in advance for making this reader-friendly.


Nightshade
Posts: 10

How does racial identity play into how people see us?

1. I agree with Winona and Priya’s opinion about the effects of race. It’s definitely important to acknowledge people’s culture and celebrate our differences, but the way “race” has been used and its origin has been harmful. They’re categories that put people’s identities into boxes and facilitate prejudice. There’s a way to acknowledge our individuality, backgrounds, and common cultures without looking at people and seeing only their skin color or features.


2.

1. Queen Esther talked about all the inventions and contributions African Americans have made to the United States. We rarely learn about these inventions in history class. Hamilton invented national banks. Edison invented the light bulb. Alexander Bell invented the telegram. We know all that. Not once have I heard about Nearest Green’s whiskey invention. We don’t learn in class about the medical abuse of black women who were enslaved. This is the kind of acknowledgement I’m talking about. What’s stopping us from learning about contributions by people of color? It’s really important to spread this message because we KNOW people from all over the world, not just the British colonists, made the U.S. what it is today. We just don’t acknowledge it.


2. Nick talks about his Jewish grandfather standing up for the Native Americans in his community. This part of his testimony really stood out to me because his grandfather mentioned that he was doing this because of the persecution Jews faced themselves. So when others are being discriminated against and harassed by police, of course he’s going to stand up for them. This is such an important ideal because as we’ve talked about before, being a bystander is complicit. We all need to learn how to use our privilege to stand up for those who need help.


3. Marley, Rylee and Parker discussed the assumptions people made about them, the history of oppression for Hawai’ians, and the cultural appropriation that occurs in the U.S. of Hawai’ian culture. This stood out to me because I looked down, and I was wearing Hawai’ian shorts. As guilt washed over me I realized how often I must be completely ignoring my use of other cultures without acknowledging it. In order to stop this, I need to acknowledge it and become conscious of this every time I do it. This is true with virtually all types of prejudice and biases. It’s only the first step, but it’s a necessary one.


  1. One factoid that I found really disturbing was one where it talked about how in Texas they’ve virtually eradicated discussing slavery in history classes because they’re “uncomfortable” with it. This is awful because we need to know all about our history, the ugly, the beautiful, and the horrific. How will we learn from it otherwise? I’ve realized as I’ve learned about events like the Holocaust and Social Darwinism that I’ve had thoughts that echo some of the horrifying beliefs people have had centuries ago. One of the biggest ways we can call ourselves out on thoughts that hurt others and ourselves is by learning about the disastrous effects they can have.
  1. Another factoid talks about how U.S. undocumented children have to be treated fairly and given the same opportunities for school. This was interesting because it followed Alexa talking about not getting into a boarding school after she told them she was undocumented. This proves that in order to end prejudice, we must not only end institutional prejudice but also internal bias and social bias. Otherwise, the U.S. will never truly have opportunities for all as leaders have claimed it does time and time again.

I love this book so far. Having a space for people to share their views and experiences accessible to so many people - privileged or not - is necessary for us to come together as a community, country, and world to fight inequality. The stories are so well described and they’re a reminder of the billions of people out there with their own stories. The book makes self reflection a necessity to understand the stories on a deeper level.

hisoka
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 8

How does racial identity play into how people see us?

  1. I strongly agree with what Winona and Pirya say because whether we like it or not we all have internalized racism because that was what our country was built on, and it is a topic that is still widely talked about today. Even if you yourself aren’t racist there was probably a point in time, because of the stereotypes you were taught growing up, that you judge someone because of their race, probably not to the full extent but there was probably some bias to your interaction.
    1. Justin’s story was about him growing up in a latino community in Chicago and having good grades and getting into a private school which doesn’t normally happen with latinos. He also spoke about how even though he was darker than some of his family he was the Whitest, so he experienced a lot of code switching with his white and poc peers. I feel like this is important because I grew up in a similar situation where I went to a predominantly hispanic elementary school then went to a more white predominant high school and started to (not personally) experience racial bias, and racism. Another thing I wanted to note was being considered “White” back home/with other poc because of your situation, and also being the gateway into low income culture with your white friends, the constant treatment switch can make you feel like an outcast and make it really difficult to know who you are.
    2. Nick’s story is about his experience with the American Indian Movement since his father was the first lawsuit the movement made. He grew up with a Native mother and a Jewish father who both attended and led protests for political prisoners. He talks about how natives are starting to be forgotten which is the last step of colonization, and Natives nations make up 7 of the 11 poorest places in America. This I feel is another important story because Natives need to be talked about just as much as Black, Latino and Asian people do because they are facing the same inequality and prejudices as everyone else, they are being forced off their own land and even used as mascots because people forget they are human too and not just some tv cartoon.
    3. Melina talks about how she wasn’t really educated on her privilege and her “color-blindness” so she took a college class and was taught a lot. She then got to a point where she could start to teach other white people about their privilege and what they can do. And I feel this story id the most important because it is what everyone need to do to no longer make the last two stories a problem. If people decide to educate themselves they can learn that they were wrong, apologize then not repeat that behavior again. And when one person learns they can teach it to others just like Melina.
    1. The first factoid we get is about how racially divided cities are and that in Chicago a white person can live in a neighborhood that is 72% white and a black person can live in a neighborhood that is 64% black. I feel this is important because where you grow up and the people you hang around with greatly affects how you see others and how you think. So if you grow up in a predominantly white neighborhood you tend to have a more negative light towards poc and vice versa.
    2. The second is that Texas schools have adopted a history curriculum that doesn’t talk about Jim Crow laws or the KKK. This ties back to my last factoid and also speaks volumes into hw white people think they did nothing wrong. It is so easy to twist information to make someone think differently about something, and in this case it is raising a whole generation of kids thinking none of this ever happened.
  2. I loved this book because it gave us first hand experience from many different people from widely different backgrounds. Not only is this eye opening and gives you more knowledges about the subject it also gives you people to relate to so you no longer feel like the only one or invalidate what you have experienced.
hisoka
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 8

Originally posted by Nightshade on October 01, 2021 20:57

1. I agree with Winona and Priya’s opinion about the effects of race. It’s definitely important to acknowledge people’s culture and celebrate our differences, but the way “race” has been used and its origin has been harmful. They’re categories that put people’s identities into boxes and facilitate prejudice. There’s a way to acknowledge our individuality, backgrounds, and common cultures without looking at people and seeing only their skin color or features.


2.

1. Queen Esther talked about all the inventions and contributions African Americans have made to the United States. We rarely learn about these inventions in history class. Hamilton invented national banks. Edison invented the light bulb. Alexander Bell invented the telegram. We know all that. Not once have I heard about Nearest Green’s whiskey invention. We don’t learn in class about the medical abuse of black women who were enslaved. This is the kind of acknowledgement I’m talking about. What’s stopping us from learning about contributions by people of color? It’s really important to spread this message because we KNOW people from all over the world, not just the British colonists, made the U.S. what it is today. We just don’t acknowledge it.


2. Nick talks about his Jewish grandfather standing up for the Native Americans in his community. This part of his testimony really stood out to me because his grandfather mentioned that he was doing this because of the persecution Jews faced themselves. So when others are being discriminated against and harassed by police, of course he’s going to stand up for them. This is such an important ideal because as we’ve talked about before, being a bystander is complicit. We all need to learn how to use our privilege to stand up for those who need help.


3. Marley, Rylee and Parker discussed the assumptions people made about them, the history of oppression for Hawai’ians, and the cultural appropriation that occurs in the U.S. of Hawai’ian culture. This stood out to me because I looked down, and I was wearing Hawai’ian shorts. As guilt washed over me I realized how often I must be completely ignoring my use of other cultures without acknowledging it. In order to stop this, I need to acknowledge it and become conscious of this every time I do it. This is true with virtually all types of prejudice and biases. It’s only the first step, but it’s a necessary one.


  1. One factoid that I found really disturbing was one where it talked about how in Texas they’ve virtually eradicated discussing slavery in history classes because they’re “uncomfortable” with it. This is awful because we need to know all about our history, the ugly, the beautiful, and the horrific. How will we learn from it otherwise? I’ve realized as I’ve learned about events like the Holocaust and Social Darwinism that I’ve had thoughts that echo some of the horrifying beliefs people have had centuries ago. One of the biggest ways we can call ourselves out on thoughts that hurt others and ourselves is by learning about the disastrous effects they can have.
  1. Another factoid talks about how U.S. undocumented children have to be treated fairly and given the same opportunities for school. This was interesting because it followed Alexa talking about not getting into a boarding school after she told them she was undocumented. This proves that in order to end prejudice, we must not only end institutional prejudice but also internal bias and social bias. Otherwise, the U.S. will never truly have opportunities for all as leaders have claimed it does time and time again.

I love this book so far. Having a space for people to share their views and experiences accessible to so many people - privileged or not - is necessary for us to come together as a community, country, and world to fight inequality. The stories are so well described and they’re a reminder of the billions of people out there with their own stories. The book makes self reflection a necessity to understand the stories on a deeper level.

I agree with you on how disturbing it is that Texas is eradicating the discussion of slavery because it is something we need to talk about and learn from whether or not someone is uncomfortable about it because whether we like it or not it happened and people are still being affected by it greatly to this day and we can't keep pretending like it's not.

gato927
West Roxbury, MA, US
Posts: 13

How does racial identity play into how people see us?

1. I strongly agree with Winona and Priya's beliefs on the roles of race, especially in America. Growing up, there were some things that I heard, that never really occurred to me to be labeled as racist. Internalized racism is something that I have just become aware of in the past couple of years. Recently, issues in America have opened my eyes to a world of problems that I was too privileged to understand. The United States was built primarily on the ideas of white supremacy, and that has carried into 2021 where there is still systemic and institutionalized racism everywhere. I think their assumptions are correct because race is the basis of America and it affects everyone's lives, whether they know it or not.

2.

1) The first person whose story stuck out to me was Justin's. Justin grew up on the southwest side of Chicago, which is primarily Latino, and has a twin brother. He described his school life and how in his elementary and middle schools him and his brother were always the smartest kids. He describes how at school everyone, especially the teachers, would pay close attention to him because they knew him as a "well spoken Latino". He also describes how living in the southwest side of Chicago has affected how other people, mostly kids at his school, see him. I think that Justin story is an important example of systemic racism, because of going to school with rich, white kids, Justin realized his social inequalities more. For example, richer kids would ask him things like "do you ever hear gunshots?". I think that Justin's story is important because he describes his life and how institutional and systemic racism have affected his life in school.

2) The first sentence in Justin E.'s story had me hooked immediately. In his passage, he describes how he defined himself through his ancestors being part of the slave trade. When he went to Senegal, he learned more about the slave trade and how it does not define the people of Senegal, it is just another part of their history. I think that something that is noteworthy from his text is the phrase "The oppressed shouldn't have to do it all. The oppressor needs to help out." This sentence is short but powerful. I've noticed in life today, it's mostly black people talking about racism, and white people responding with something along the lines of "Well, I am not racist, so...". This sentence is representative of life in America today because it is true. White people do not do a good enough job of supporting people of color, and Justin touches upon that and how categorized America is.

3) The stories of Riley, Parker, and Marley were extremely eye opening about American views towards Hawaiians. The girls talked about their experiences living in Hawaii, and how people would stereotype them by asking them questions like "do you wear a coconut bra?" or "do you ride a dolphin to school?". I think that their stories are significant especially to American culture because Hawaii is labeled a part of the United States, when it shouldn't be. Until recently, it never dawned on me how Hawaii probably never wanted to "join" with the States. I also never considered Hawaiians as indigenous people, because I always categorized them as Americans. I think their story is important because it allows for more people, especially me, to understand the hardships Hawaiians have faced by being a part of America.

3.

1) In Vic's story, there is a footnote that goes more into detail about the history of Chinatowns. It explains how Asians were discriminated against in America, and many Asians banded together to create communities that allowed them to survive. These communities were called Chinatown. This is important to me because I never knew the history of the word Chinatown. I know Chinatown as a stop on the Orange Line, but I never knew it had a significant meaning, and I also didn't know why almost every city had one. I think more people should know about this so they can be educated more on the topic and gain a better understanding of the significance behind a major area in their city.

2) In Liz's story, she talks about how she normally travels alone, and there is a footnote that talks about hair care products in hotels. When I think about traveling, hair care is one of the last things I think about. Yet, for other people, especially Black women, that is an important aspect of their trip. The footnote talks about how almost all hair care products do not comply with Black hair. I've never experienced a situation like this, nor have I thought about other people having to either. I think this comment is important because it is a simple way for people, especially white people, to understand privileges that they have that Black people do not.

4. So far, I have thoroughly enjoyed this book. I think it is an easy and relatable way for people to understand the importance race has on identities in America. Reading this chapter was a great way to understand how many people of different races and ethnicities feel while living in America, and how much privilege and white supremacy exist today. Listening to other people's stories allows me to put myself in their shoes and listen to their stories, so I can understand what they've experienced and how they feel.

gato927
West Roxbury, MA, US
Posts: 13

Originally posted by Nightshade on October 01, 2021 20:57

1. I agree with Winona and Priya’s opinion about the effects of race. It’s definitely important to acknowledge people’s culture and celebrate our differences, but the way “race” has been used and its origin has been harmful. They’re categories that put people’s identities into boxes and facilitate prejudice. There’s a way to acknowledge our individuality, backgrounds, and common cultures without looking at people and seeing only their skin color or features.


2.

1. Queen Esther talked about all the inventions and contributions African Americans have made to the United States. We rarely learn about these inventions in history class. Hamilton invented national banks. Edison invented the light bulb. Alexander Bell invented the telegram. We know all that. Not once have I heard about Nearest Green’s whiskey invention. We don’t learn in class about the medical abuse of black women who were enslaved. This is the kind of acknowledgement I’m talking about. What’s stopping us from learning about contributions by people of color? It’s really important to spread this message because we KNOW people from all over the world, not just the British colonists, made the U.S. what it is today. We just don’t acknowledge it.


2. Nick talks about his Jewish grandfather standing up for the Native Americans in his community. This part of his testimony really stood out to me because his grandfather mentioned that he was doing this because of the persecution Jews faced themselves. So when others are being discriminated against and harassed by police, of course he’s going to stand up for them. This is such an important ideal because as we’ve talked about before, being a bystander is complicit. We all need to learn how to use our privilege to stand up for those who need help.


3. Marley, Rylee and Parker discussed the assumptions people made about them, the history of oppression for Hawai’ians, and the cultural appropriation that occurs in the U.S. of Hawai’ian culture. This stood out to me because I looked down, and I was wearing Hawai’ian shorts. As guilt washed over me I realized how often I must be completely ignoring my use of other cultures without acknowledging it. In order to stop this, I need to acknowledge it and become conscious of this every time I do it. This is true with virtually all types of prejudice and biases. It’s only the first step, but it’s a necessary one.


  1. One factoid that I found really disturbing was one where it talked about how in Texas they’ve virtually eradicated discussing slavery in history classes because they’re “uncomfortable” with it. This is awful because we need to know all about our history, the ugly, the beautiful, and the horrific. How will we learn from it otherwise? I’ve realized as I’ve learned about events like the Holocaust and Social Darwinism that I’ve had thoughts that echo some of the horrifying beliefs people have had centuries ago. One of the biggest ways we can call ourselves out on thoughts that hurt others and ourselves is by learning about the disastrous effects they can have.
  1. Another factoid talks about how U.S. undocumented children have to be treated fairly and given the same opportunities for school. This was interesting because it followed Alexa talking about not getting into a boarding school after she told them she was undocumented. This proves that in order to end prejudice, we must not only end institutional prejudice but also internal bias and social bias. Otherwise, the U.S. will never truly have opportunities for all as leaders have claimed it does time and time again.

I love this book so far. Having a space for people to share their views and experiences accessible to so many people - privileged or not - is necessary for us to come together as a community, country, and world to fight inequality. The stories are so well described and they’re a reminder of the billions of people out there with their own stories. The book makes self reflection a necessity to understand the stories on a deeper level.

I agree with your comment about undocumented children having to be treated fairly and given the same opportunities in school. I think there is a lot of internal bias, especially in Boston, because most immigrant children are not given the same opportunities to succeed like white children are given. There is extreme systemic racism here too, and I think that reading Alexa's story allowed me to understand how much privilege I have to go to BLS.

mango04
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 13

How does racial identity play into how people see us?

  1. I agree with Winona and Priya’s remarks because I believe that the four dimensions of racism, such as internalized, interpersonal, institutional, and systemic, significantly shape the difference in American experiences based on what skin color and features you may have. I believe race should be acknowledged, and like @Nightshade said, there is a way to acknowledge and celebrate one’s race and racial history without solely focusing on skin color and features. Until the past few years, I had not been aware of the extent to which race plays a role in the lives of everyone. Before, my privilege blinded me to the realities of the world and the many forms that racism comes in. I now know that whether you are willing to accept it or not, racism is not just interpersonal, but also in the form of your mind’s racial biases and prejudices and in the form of the many institutions and systems considerably disadvantageous to people of color.

  1. 1. Alexa: In Alexa’s excerpt she touched upon her personal experiences of code-switching, or alternating between different dialects and ways of speaking among different groups of people. She admitted that she used to use the N-word often and was unaware of its meaning and background. Alexa then went on to talk about how she was bullied by other Mexican kids in school for being light-skinned, and went on to talk about how based on her lighter skin, kids assumed she was rich. She was able to connect color to socioeconomic status. I thought that her account was noteworthy because she was able to speak on her own experience with discrimination based on her lighter skin color from people from her own ethnic group. Her experience acts as a reminder that colorism is a real issue derived from ideas of white supremacy, and it needs to be addressed more in conversations about racism. I also found her connection between skin tone and socioeconomic status significant because it brought to light internalized racism that the “whiter” you are, the more money you’ll have.

2. Justin E.: In Justin’s writing he describes how he feels being Black and his connection the African slave trade define him. He ends his passage calling upon white people to listen and learn from the experiences of people of color, so that they can help educate more white people on the issues of racism in America. I thought Justin’s account was important because he calls for white people, or the oppressors, to assist in the efforts of people of color, or the oppressed. He says that in his own experiences, a white person can get farther in educating another white person on the experiences people of color face, than he, an actual person of color, can. This is significant because it shows how Justin and many other people of color feel that unfortunately white people have the ability to influence conversations on racism, when in the end they can’t possibly understand its true impacts.


3. Ed: Ed begins his excerpt by stating that his grandfather was an enslaved person that was freed when he was ten. He then talks about his time in school and how not many people believed that he could make it to college, let alone be a meteorologist. He explains how there is little representation of Black meteorologists on TV and in science fields in general. He recalls a destructive storm that hit Dallas, Texas and neither Hispanic nor African-American communities were given aid or covered. When he finally convinced his managers to let him help inform those Black and Hispanic communities, he realized his big responsibility as a person of color working in weather. Ed’s story of having to force his managers to allow him to aid Black and Hispanic communities is significant because it shows how white-washed the news can be and how he used his identity and experiences to relate to and help those communities. He was able to recognize the racism and prejudices within the news covering of the storm, and chose to use his knowledge to provide equitable aid.


  1. 1. One factoid that I found very eye-opening was the second one on Queen Esther’s excerpt (page 23) that mentioned how in 2015 schools in Texas developed a new history curriculum. This curriculum barely touches upon slavery, disregards the role slavery played in the Civil War, and doesn’t mention the KKK or Jim Crow Laws. I found this especially terrifying because it means that kids my age will not learn about America’s dark past, making them less likely to help in the much needed fight for change. I believe more people need to know about this deprivation of our country’s history because it is important to recognize the U.S.’s past, so that it will never be repeated again. I think there should be more debate over this because it does not only a disservice to our country’s history, but also does a great disservice to the African-American population.

2. Another factoid that I found specifically eye-opening was the first one on Justin E.’s excerpt (page 26) that talked about how many people still are unaware that Africa is a continent, not a country, and that there is more genetic and physical variations within sub-Saharan African populations than there is anywhere else in the world. I had never learned about the eugenics movement in the U.S., so after further research I was able to conclude just how horrendous and damaging the ignorance is surrounding the false idea that race is instead biological. Not only do I think more people should know about this part of U.S. history, but I also believe more people should be educated on the many genetic variations within the continent of Africa to avoid these types of abuses in the future.


4. I really enjoy this book so far because it is allowing me the opportunity to listen to real stories of people of color. I think this book provides such an accepting forum that lets people share their experiences, relate to others experiences, and recognize and understand how to use their privilege to help. Books like this one should be read and discussed more often because they create a better sense of understanding and connectedness that we need in my generation to move forward and join the fight against racism.

mango04
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 13

Originally posted by Nightshade on October 01, 2021 20:57

1. I agree with Winona and Priya’s opinion about the effects of race. It’s definitely important to acknowledge people’s culture and celebrate our differences, but the way “race” has been used and its origin has been harmful. They’re categories that put people’s identities into boxes and facilitate prejudice. There’s a way to acknowledge our individuality, backgrounds, and common cultures without looking at people and seeing only their skin color or features.


2.

1. Queen Esther talked about all the inventions and contributions African Americans have made to the United States. We rarely learn about these inventions in history class. Hamilton invented national banks. Edison invented the light bulb. Alexander Bell invented the telegram. We know all that. Not once have I heard about Nearest Green’s whiskey invention. We don’t learn in class about the medical abuse of black women who were enslaved. This is the kind of acknowledgement I’m talking about. What’s stopping us from learning about contributions by people of color? It’s really important to spread this message because we KNOW people from all over the world, not just the British colonists, made the U.S. what it is today. We just don’t acknowledge it.


2. Nick talks about his Jewish grandfather standing up for the Native Americans in his community. This part of his testimony really stood out to me because his grandfather mentioned that he was doing this because of the persecution Jews faced themselves. So when others are being discriminated against and harassed by police, of course he’s going to stand up for them. This is such an important ideal because as we’ve talked about before, being a bystander is complicit. We all need to learn how to use our privilege to stand up for those who need help.


3. Marley, Rylee and Parker discussed the assumptions people made about them, the history of oppression for Hawai’ians, and the cultural appropriation that occurs in the U.S. of Hawai’ian culture. This stood out to me because I looked down, and I was wearing Hawai’ian shorts. As guilt washed over me I realized how often I must be completely ignoring my use of other cultures without acknowledging it. In order to stop this, I need to acknowledge it and become conscious of this every time I do it. This is true with virtually all types of prejudice and biases. It’s only the first step, but it’s a necessary one.


  1. One factoid that I found really disturbing was one where it talked about how in Texas they’ve virtually eradicated discussing slavery in history classes because they’re “uncomfortable” with it. This is awful because we need to know all about our history, the ugly, the beautiful, and the horrific. How will we learn from it otherwise? I’ve realized as I’ve learned about events like the Holocaust and Social Darwinism that I’ve had thoughts that echo some of the horrifying beliefs people have had centuries ago. One of the biggest ways we can call ourselves out on thoughts that hurt others and ourselves is by learning about the disastrous effects they can have.
  1. Another factoid talks about how U.S. undocumented children have to be treated fairly and given the same opportunities for school. This was interesting because it followed Alexa talking about not getting into a boarding school after she told them she was undocumented. This proves that in order to end prejudice, we must not only end institutional prejudice but also internal bias and social bias. Otherwise, the U.S. will never truly have opportunities for all as leaders have claimed it does time and time again.

I love this book so far. Having a space for people to share their views and experiences accessible to so many people - privileged or not - is necessary for us to come together as a community, country, and world to fight inequality. The stories are so well described and they’re a reminder of the billions of people out there with their own stories. The book makes self reflection a necessity to understand the stories on a deeper level.

I completely agree with your opinions on Texas's eradication of slavery from its history textbooks. I think that learning all of history is crucial in society's ability to move forward, not backward. Once history and its effects are made known and taught, the disastrous aspects are less likely to happen again. In summary, I believe in the phrase: "Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it." This is not to say that the horrors of slavery will happen again, but rather along the lines that the descendants of enslaved peoples are less likely to be given the reparations, which I believe they deserve, because there are some who are not even aware of their ancestors' history.

runningdog96
Posts: 5

How Does Racial Idenity Play into How People See Us?

  1. I strongly agree with the notions that Winona and Priya present within their book. We live in a country which was founded not only on racism, but on the backs of enslaved people, and the status of enslaved people was irrevocably tied to their race. Thus, racism impacts everything within America because it’s an idea that the country was founded on. Race acts as a way categorize people, and thus to establish the superiority of some over others, as we have seen throughout history and into present day. As @Nightshade and @mango04 stated,it’s important to differentiate race from culture, and it is most certainly important to celebrate culture.We simply created race as a way to categorize people, while culture has always been around, we simply decided to give it a name.
  2. 1.Vic, from Seattle Washington, discusses her journey with not only being herself, but also working to stop apologizing to white people for not being white, and speaking up. She first discusses the gentrification and segregation of neighborhoods and buildings, such as SROs. These were hotels designed for immigrants from China, who at this time we all men (as a result of America’s immigration law). If they had nowhere else to live, they would be crowded into these hotels, with many men living in one room. Then, Vic goes on to describe her own realizations; that she did not need to apologize to White people for being white, and started to speak up on subjects such as racist films at school. This was a particularly interesting story, because while most of them discuss finding one’s identity and learning to accept it, Vic’s story highlights specific denial of one’s identity, as well as detailing specific instances where she felt she needed to simplify racism for white people or educate them herself. This is a particularly important concept for white people to be made aware of- it is not the job of people of color to educate them on their own trauma. It is on white people to educate themselves. It was also particularly eye-opening to hear about Vic’s classmate’s not flinching when it came to the killing of Vietnamese people, but being visibly upset when an animal is killed. This is completely dehumanizing, and most definitely an indicator as to how America teaches history to children- it always shows itself as the hero.


2. Melina discusses her journey as a white woman, first outlining her experiences with friends attempting to prove they aren’t racist by saying things like “my best friend’s Black”, then talking about a class that opened her eyes to racism and how it affected her afterwards, using a specific example of when she realized she started to change in her journey and going on to talk about her work to dismantle systems of racism and educate others. This is a noteworthy story because it provides an example of what White people should be doing to help dismantle racist systems. It is important to become educated (by means other than people of color), then use what has been learned to dismantle their own internalized racism and white supremacy.It’s important that people do educate themselves, as without that education, these systems will be continually upheld.


3. Rylee, Parker, and Marley discuss their experiences as Hawaiians in America, talking about the questions they and how often their culture is appropriated without people realizing it. Parker also discusses some of the history of Hawai’i, which is not often taught in schools, and the overall struggle of being Hawaiian because people often do not think of it as different from being from somewhere like Illinois, when being Hawaiian is a race. This stuck out to me because it really opened my eyes to how little we are taught about Hawai’i and cultural appropriation of Hawai’i. Many people assume that because it’s a part of the U.S, they can’t culturally appropriate when that simply isn’t true. This story brings to light the lack of education surrounding Hawai’i and the normalized cultural appropriation within American culture.


3. 1. A factoid I found eye-opening was on page 43, in Liz’s story. It notes that hotels don’t offer shampoos that work with Black hair, and has a quote by W.E.B Du Bois surrounding one’s sense of identity. The hotel note was an interesting one, because as a white person, I never really noticed that before. It’s such a small thing, but it truly shows how we live in a society where being White is the “norm”, and everything else is “other”. It’s a simple thing for hotels to offer different types of shampoos for different types of hair, yet most don’t because we live in such a white-dominated society. This also relates to the Du Bois quote, as people of color often are seen as the “other”, or are forced to give up parts of their identity in certain situations (an example of this could be code-switching) in order to seem more white, as this will get them more respect.

2. One page 32 (Vic’s story), one factoid talks about the restrictions put on Chinese people, including their being banned from marrying non-Chinese people. This is interesting, as the idea of interracial marriage has always been a slightly “controversial” topic, especially amongst white people. Because white is seen as the superior race (especially at the time of the Eugenics movement), marrying anyone other than a white person was looked down upon. I feel that this perpetuates into today, and as seen with this law, many measures were taken to keep people marrying within their own race or ethnicity.


4. I very much enjoyed this book, and I feel that @gato927 sums my reasoning up very well. They state that it is a “great way to understand how many people of different races and ethnicities feel while living in America, and how much privilege and white supremacy exist today”. This was very well said, and why I enjoyed this book so much. It was extremely eye-opening for me, and I think much more influential than a book with facts, or a more academic-seeming book on the topic. With statistics, I feel that people often zone out. But, if real human experiences are described, people tend to listen and relate much more, which I feel can very much help show how white privilege exists, as well as how potentially how we can work to dismantle it.



etherealfrog
Boston, Massachusetts , US
Posts: 11

1. Winona and Priya believe that racism impacts everything around us, which I agree with. So much of our lives can connect with racism in terms of our institutions, our laws, and the existence of our country as it is today can be traced back to racism in some way. The concept of race itself has inherently racist roots, because race is a human construct to divide and categorize people. Culture, ethnicity, and race should not be equated in the way they often are— culture and ethnicity have to do with tradition, history, heritage, and more, but race is defined as being division by physical characteristics. However, we cannot pretend that race doesn’t play a major part in our society. Just because it’s a made up category to divide people doesn’t mean its effect isn’t real.


2. One account that I think covered some really important information was Queen Esther. She talks about being a Black country artist, and about how even though country music is often presumed to be a genre only for white people, all American music has its roots in Black culture. She then talks about how so much of our modern knowledge and technology was either created at the expense of or by Black people. I think it’s important to acknowledge the history of things we take for granted in our lives today. One disturbing example Queen Esther mentioned was how the field of gynecology exists because of a doctor who experimented on Black women without anesthesia. I knew a bit about this, but it’s not talked about nearly enough. The same goes for things that Black people invented but were not given credit for, such as Jack Daniel’s whiskey. Learning history through a white lens erases the impact people of color have had on our country today.


Nick’s account was an important perspective because he shares the history of two different cultures. His mother is Native American and his father is Jewish. He talks about how his grandfather told him that the act of standing up with people who are persecuted is what makes a person Jewish. He has also been directly faced with discrimination even as a child when the police threw a tear gas canister into his family’s car at a protest. He feels strongly in favor of fighting back against injustices towards Indigenous people. One of his most important points, in my opinion, is about the “American dream”. He believes (and I agree) that the American dream only exists because of colonization and erasing the history of Native people. I strongly agree that we should remember and acknowledge that the land we are on once belonged to Indigenous people. He also talked about how some people seem to believe that the Native Americans just disappeared after America was colonized, even though millions of Native people still live here today. I think it’s really important that non-Indigenous people learn about Indigenous people not as a thing of the past, but as a group that has existed, does exist, and will continue to exist.


Rylee, Marley and Parker talked about being Hawaiian and the stereotypes a lot of the rest of the country has about Hawai’i and Hawaiians. They talked about how people don’t think that it’s possible to appropriate Hawaiian culture because it’s part of the United States and they think this makes it acceptable for anyone in America. They also talked about how the United States illegally annexed Hawai’i and the people already living there were not allowed to do anything related to their culture, and they haven’t received reparations. I think their account is significant because a lot of times, people in the United States just think of Hawai’i as just being a place for vacations, and they don’t know about the history of the land. They also forget that living in Hawai’i doesn’t make a person Hawaiian, because Hawaiians have lived in Hawai’i long before it was annexed and made a part of the United States. I also think it’s really important to realize that cultural appropriation applies to Hawaiian culture as well, as Rylee said.


3. One detail I think is important was on page 16, the book defines “ally”. It says that an ally is a person who tries to recognize their privilege and stands with oppressed people. I think an important part of allyship that more people need to realize is that as an ally, you are supposed to listen to and appreciate the groups you’re standing with, but not speak over them. Allies should be allies because they actually care, not because they want to feel good about themselves or earn “woke” points.

On page 26, there is a footnote about Justin saying “Senegal” as opposed to just “Africa”. I think this is an important thing to mention because a lot of the time, people make the assumption that all of Africa is the same. Because we’re often taught more Eurocentric history in this country, a lot of people don’t learn about the differences in African regions and countries in the same way we do with Europe, which is an issue.


4. I like this book a lot so far. I like that it’s written in short accounts from different people, because I find it’s easier to connect with the stories if they’re directly from real people, and I also like that it shows a wide range of experiences.


etherealfrog
Boston, Massachusetts , US
Posts: 11

Originally posted by runningdog96 on October 03, 2021 15:49

  1. I strongly agree with the notions that Winona and Priya present within their book. We live in a country which was founded not only on racism, but on the backs of enslaved people, and the status of enslaved people was irrevocably tied to their race. Thus, racism impacts everything within America because it’s an idea that the country was founded on. Race acts as a way categorize people, and thus to establish the superiority of some over others, as we have seen throughout history and into present day. As @Nightshade and @mango04 stated,it’s important to differentiate race from culture, and it is most certainly important to celebrate culture.We simply created race as a way to categorize people, while culture has always been around, we simply decided to give it a name.
  2. 1.Vic, from Seattle Washington, discusses her journey with not only being herself, but also working to stop apologizing to white people for not being white, and speaking up. She first discusses the gentrification and segregation of neighborhoods and buildings, such as SROs. These were hotels designed for immigrants from China, who at this time we all men (as a result of America’s immigration law). If they had nowhere else to live, they would be crowded into these hotels, with many men living in one room. Then, Vic goes on to describe her own realizations; that she did not need to apologize to White people for being white, and started to speak up on subjects such as racist films at school. This was a particularly interesting story, because while most of them discuss finding one’s identity and learning to accept it, Vic’s story highlights specific denial of one’s identity, as well as detailing specific instances where she felt she needed to simplify racism for white people or educate them herself. This is a particularly important concept for white people to be made aware of- it is not the job of people of color to educate them on their own trauma. It is on white people to educate themselves. It was also particularly eye-opening to hear about Vic’s classmate’s not flinching when it came to the killing of Vietnamese people, but being visibly upset when an animal is killed. This is completely dehumanizing, and most definitely an indicator as to how America teaches history to children- it always shows itself as the hero.


2. Melina discusses her journey as a white woman, first outlining her experiences with friends attempting to prove they aren’t racist by saying things like “my best friend’s Black”, then talking about a class that opened her eyes to racism and how it affected her afterwards, using a specific example of when she realized she started to change in her journey and going on to talk about her work to dismantle systems of racism and educate others. This is a noteworthy story because it provides an example of what White people should be doing to help dismantle racist systems. It is important to become educated (by means other than people of color), then use what has been learned to dismantle their own internalized racism and white supremacy.It’s important that people do educate themselves, as without that education, these systems will be continually upheld.


3. Rylee, Parker, and Marley discuss their experiences as Hawaiians in America, talking about the questions they and how often their culture is appropriated without people realizing it. Parker also discusses some of the history of Hawai’i, which is not often taught in schools, and the overall struggle of being Hawaiian because people often do not think of it as different from being from somewhere like Illinois, when being Hawaiian is a race. This stuck out to me because it really opened my eyes to how little we are taught about Hawai’i and cultural appropriation of Hawai’i. Many people assume that because it’s a part of the U.S, they can’t culturally appropriate when that simply isn’t true. This story brings to light the lack of education surrounding Hawai’i and the normalized cultural appropriation within American culture.


3. 1. A factoid I found eye-opening was on page 43, in Liz’s story. It notes that hotels don’t offer shampoos that work with Black hair, and has a quote by W.E.B Du Bois surrounding one’s sense of identity. The hotel note was an interesting one, because as a white person, I never really noticed that before. It’s such a small thing, but it truly shows how we live in a society where being White is the “norm”, and everything else is “other”. It’s a simple thing for hotels to offer different types of shampoos for different types of hair, yet most don’t because we live in such a white-dominated society. This also relates to the Du Bois quote, as people of color often are seen as the “other”, or are forced to give up parts of their identity in certain situations (an example of this could be code-switching) in order to seem more white, as this will get them more respect.

2. One page 32 (Vic’s story), one factoid talks about the restrictions put on Chinese people, including their being banned from marrying non-Chinese people. This is interesting, as the idea of interracial marriage has always been a slightly “controversial” topic, especially amongst white people. Because white is seen as the superior race (especially at the time of the Eugenics movement), marrying anyone other than a white person was looked down upon. I feel that this perpetuates into today, and as seen with this law, many measures were taken to keep people marrying within their own race or ethnicity.


4. I very much enjoyed this book, and I feel that @gato927 sums my reasoning up very well. They state that it is a “great way to understand how many people of different races and ethnicities feel while living in America, and how much privilege and white supremacy exist today”. This was very well said, and why I enjoyed this book so much. It was extremely eye-opening for me, and I think much more influential than a book with facts, or a more academic-seeming book on the topic. With statistics, I feel that people often zone out. But, if real human experiences are described, people tend to listen and relate much more, which I feel can very much help show how white privilege exists, as well as how potentially how we can work to dismantle it.



I also thought the factoid about hotel shampoos was really interesting. It’s not something I ever thought about before, because I never had a reason to worry that hotel shampoo wouldn’t work on my hair. I like what you said about how it just shows how white is the “norm” in our society, which is absolutely correct. It’s unfortunate that in a country that has so many different ethnic groups, people of color are still seen only in their relationship to whiteness.

etherealfrog
Boston, Massachusetts , US
Posts: 11

Originally posted by gato927 on October 02, 2021 21:52

1. I strongly agree with Winona and Priya's beliefs on the roles of race, especially in America. Growing up, there were some things that I heard, that never really occurred to me to be labeled as racist. Internalized racism is something that I have just become aware of in the past couple of years. Recently, issues in America have opened my eyes to a world of problems that I was too privileged to understand. The United States was built primarily on the ideas of white supremacy, and that has carried into 2021 where there is still systemic and institutionalized racism everywhere. I think their assumptions are correct because race is the basis of America and it affects everyone's lives, whether they know it or not.

2.

1) The first person whose story stuck out to me was Justin's. Justin grew up on the southwest side of Chicago, which is primarily Latino, and has a twin brother. He described his school life and how in his elementary and middle schools him and his brother were always the smartest kids. He describes how at school everyone, especially the teachers, would pay close attention to him because they knew him as a "well spoken Latino". He also describes how living in the southwest side of Chicago has affected how other people, mostly kids at his school, see him. I think that Justin story is an important example of systemic racism, because of going to school with rich, white kids, Justin realized his social inequalities more. For example, richer kids would ask him things like "do you ever hear gunshots?". I think that Justin's story is important because he describes his life and how institutional and systemic racism have affected his life in school.

2) The first sentence in Justin E.'s story had me hooked immediately. In his passage, he describes how he defined himself through his ancestors being part of the slave trade. When he went to Senegal, he learned more about the slave trade and how it does not define the people of Senegal, it is just another part of their history. I think that something that is noteworthy from his text is the phrase "The oppressed shouldn't have to do it all. The oppressor needs to help out." This sentence is short but powerful. I've noticed in life today, it's mostly black people talking about racism, and white people responding with something along the lines of "Well, I am not racist, so...". This sentence is representative of life in America today because it is true. White people do not do a good enough job of supporting people of color, and Justin touches upon that and how categorized America is.

3) The stories of Riley, Parker, and Marley were extremely eye opening about American views towards Hawaiians. The girls talked about their experiences living in Hawaii, and how people would stereotype them by asking them questions like "do you wear a coconut bra?" or "do you ride a dolphin to school?". I think that their stories are significant especially to American culture because Hawaii is labeled a part of the United States, when it shouldn't be. Until recently, it never dawned on me how Hawaii probably never wanted to "join" with the States. I also never considered Hawaiians as indigenous people, because I always categorized them as Americans. I think their story is important because it allows for more people, especially me, to understand the hardships Hawaiians have faced by being a part of America.

3.

1) In Vic's story, there is a footnote that goes more into detail about the history of Chinatowns. It explains how Asians were discriminated against in America, and many Asians banded together to create communities that allowed them to survive. These communities were called Chinatown. This is important to me because I never knew the history of the word Chinatown. I know Chinatown as a stop on the Orange Line, but I never knew it had a significant meaning, and I also didn't know why almost every city had one. I think more people should know about this so they can be educated more on the topic and gain a better understanding of the significance behind a major area in their city.

2) In Liz's story, she talks about how she normally travels alone, and there is a footnote that talks about hair care products in hotels. When I think about traveling, hair care is one of the last things I think about. Yet, for other people, especially Black women, that is an important aspect of their trip. The footnote talks about how almost all hair care products do not comply with Black hair. I've never experienced a situation like this, nor have I thought about other people having to either. I think this comment is important because it is a simple way for people, especially white people, to understand privileges that they have that Black people do not.

4. So far, I have thoroughly enjoyed this book. I think it is an easy and relatable way for people to understand the importance race has on identities in America. Reading this chapter was a great way to understand how many people of different races and ethnicities feel while living in America, and how much privilege and white supremacy exist today. Listening to other people's stories allows me to put myself in their shoes and listen to their stories, so I can understand what they've experienced and how they feel.

I really like what you said about how white people believing they don’t have to do anything about racism because they think they’re not racist. Saying you’re not racist proves nothing. If you’re white and can do anything to support people of color, you should not be leaving it for someone else to do.

giraffes12
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 12

How does racial identity play into how people see us?

1. I completely agree with Winona and Priya’s assumptions about what they believe about the role of race. The United States was built on slavery. It was built on the atrocities committed by Europeans against Native Americans. This country was built on racism. I also agree with the statement made about how the patriarchy, white supremacy, and capitalism are like the big three, and that they are all connected very deeply going back generations. I don't think it's possible to get rid of just one of them because of what Winona and Priya said, they're like cancer, everything in the United States can be connected back to at least one if not all three of them.

2.

a. Ed talked about how he was one of the only people of color working in weather. This is important because it's really not something that I hear people talk about, and honestly not something that occured to me, that the people we see on TV telling us the news and the weather are almost always white. It's important to acknowledge that so we can work to fix it, and open up more opportunities for people of color in the weather field.

b. Rylee spoke about how wearing aloha shirts is something that is just so normalized in American society, in my elementary school we definitely had like parties where we would wear them and have parties and stuff. Only as I got older I realized that that was complete cultural appropriation. Also, I feel like whenever people bring up cultural appropriation, especially with Hawaiian culture, other people are always saying things like, "oh come on, not everything is cultural appropriation!" But, it is! So many things from so many cultures have been appropriated in this society.

c. Melina said a few things that really stuck with me, and I'm going to quote one here because it's a great point. "It used to be that fair skin was an indication of your class status, because you didn't have to be in the fields working in the sun. Now, having tan skin as a White person is an indication of your class privilege, because you can go on vacation, of you can go to a tanning bed." This is important because I think a lot of white people don't understand this about tanning, they don't even understand the implications of it, which is why I think this quote is outstanding.

3.

a. In the margins of page 26, it talks about how a lot (and I mean a lot) of people don't understand the diversity and variation of people in Africa. I am ashamed to say that I really thought Africa was one country until probably around 5th grade, when we were taught limited world geography. The American school system is terrible at teaching kids geography, especially when it comes to Africa. My elementary school (a mostly white school with mostly white teachers) made it seem that Africa was one country that it's only significance is that that's where the slaves came from. This is horrible and complete erasing of history, culture, and diversity, and to this day it makes me angry every time I think about it.

b. Another one I found important was on page 15 where it talks about the "model minority" myth. I think a lot of people struggle to find what is wrong with this myth, because some people would think, "isn't it good that people think they're smart?" But in the margins it brings up a great point, that the myth perpetuates the false idea that if anyone works hard enough they can achieve what they want. It's a "racial wedge" used by white people to minimize minorities struggles.

4. So far, this book is incredibilly interesting. I read the entire chapter in about thrity minutes in one sitting because I couldn't stop reading it. It's very eye-opening, and I like how each person's account gets right to the point. I love having pictures of each person so I can imagine them saying what they wrote. Overall it's a great book so far!

giraffes12
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 12

How does racial identity play into how people see us? Response

Originally posted by hisoka on October 02, 2021 20:31

  1. I strongly agree with what Winona and Pirya say because whether we like it or not we all have internalized racism because that was what our country was built on, and it is a topic that is still widely talked about today. Even if you yourself aren’t racist there was probably a point in time, because of the stereotypes you were taught growing up, that you judge someone because of their race, probably not to the full extent but there was probably some bias to your interaction.
    1. Justin’s story was about him growing up in a latino community in Chicago and having good grades and getting into a private school which doesn’t normally happen with latinos. He also spoke about how even though he was darker than some of his family he was the Whitest, so he experienced a lot of code switching with his white and poc peers. I feel like this is important because I grew up in a similar situation where I went to a predominantly hispanic elementary school then went to a more white predominant high school and started to (not personally) experience racial bias, and racism. Another thing I wanted to note was being considered “White” back home/with other poc because of your situation, and also being the gateway into low income culture with your white friends, the constant treatment switch can make you feel like an outcast and make it really difficult to know who you are.
    2. Nick’s story is about his experience with the American Indian Movement since his father was the first lawsuit the movement made. He grew up with a Native mother and a Jewish father who both attended and led protests for political prisoners. He talks about how natives are starting to be forgotten which is the last step of colonization, and Natives nations make up 7 of the 11 poorest places in America. This I feel is another important story because Natives need to be talked about just as much as Black, Latino and Asian people do because they are facing the same inequality and prejudices as everyone else, they are being forced off their own land and even used as mascots because people forget they are human too and not just some tv cartoon.
    3. Melina talks about how she wasn’t really educated on her privilege and her “color-blindness” so she took a college class and was taught a lot. She then got to a point where she could start to teach other white people about their privilege and what they can do. And I feel this story id the most important because it is what everyone need to do to no longer make the last two stories a problem. If people decide to educate themselves they can learn that they were wrong, apologize then not repeat that behavior again. And when one person learns they can teach it to others just like Melina.
    1. The first factoid we get is about how racially divided cities are and that in Chicago a white person can live in a neighborhood that is 72% white and a black person can live in a neighborhood that is 64% black. I feel this is important because where you grow up and the people you hang around with greatly affects how you see others and how you think. So if you grow up in a predominantly white neighborhood you tend to have a more negative light towards poc and vice versa.
    2. The second is that Texas schools have adopted a history curriculum that doesn’t talk about Jim Crow laws or the KKK. This ties back to my last factoid and also speaks volumes into hw white people think they did nothing wrong. It is so easy to twist information to make someone think differently about something, and in this case it is raising a whole generation of kids thinking none of this ever happened.
  2. I loved this book because it gave us first hand experience from many different people from widely different backgrounds. Not only is this eye opening and gives you more knowledges about the subject it also gives you people to relate to so you no longer feel like the only one or invalidate what you have experienced.

Your 3, a, response really is very important here as well, because Boston is also one of the most segregated cities in the country. I think that's why so many people really value which neighborhood you come from, because they're all so different here. It definitely plays a part at our school, there are many white people who are now going to a (kind of) more diverse school than they did before. I'm glad that we talk about it at school though, because it's very important.

freud
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 13

How does racial identity play into how people see us?

  1. I agree with their point that race has basically permeated every aspect of society. When considering this view point you have to think about purpose, cause and effect. Race was created for the purpose of classifying people into a hierarchy that worked for white people's advantage. That created hierarchy caused slavery in America, subsequently creating the basis of our economic system, which bleeds into so much else. It’s almost impossible to list every single impact that race has had in our society because it’s so deeply ingrained into American systems of government, education etc.
  2. A. Queen Esther makes a very important point about so much of Black people’s culture being erased. She’s a black country artist, or a Black Americana, and so many people find that to be contradicting but that’s not how she sees it. She thinks that Americana is so very black because it acknowledges how all roots of American music are based in African music traditions. She also shares how so many inventions created by Black people were literally just stolen. Things like the filaments in light bulbs, Jack Daniel’s whiskey, gynecologist tools and so many more should be credited to Black people. This is an important observation because an increasingly common argument racists will make is, “Well without white people we wouldn’t have anything.” When in reality, without Black people we wouldn’t have anything.

B. Vic gives a compelling testament about her experience as an Asian woman. She talks about how she was, “caught in White respectability politics.” She went to a predominantly white school and grew up being seen as a “safe,” person of color because of how careful she was about what she said to White people. However, as she grew older she became frustrated with having her experiences denied and stopped trying to be an educator. She makes a point about how in a film she watched in class about the Vietnamese-American War, white people were more shocked by a pig dying than a Vietnamese person. I think this point is really important because I think a similar thing happens with how White people view police brutality, especially against Black people. Many will blame it on being “desensitized,” myself included, but we really need to consider if we’re just too used to the idea of a Black person being killed.

C. Rylee, Parker and Marley talk about their experiences of how Hawaiians are treated by Americans. Rylee makes a point about how extremely normalized cultural appropriation of Hawaiian culture is, and this is something I have never even thought about. To me, a Hawaiian shirt is just a type of clothing and has no connection in my head to the actual state of Hawaii and that’s not okay. Hawaiians were forced to be as American as they can possibly be, by having their culture stripped from them, but had their culture stolen and commercialized. This is an important pattern to recognize and also connects to the interconnectedness of race and capitalism. Culture of other races is seen as “exotic” and is then commercialized to be sold to white people.


  1. A. On page 26 there is a footnote explaining something called Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome, which was developed by Joy DeGruy. It’s basically a theory which explains a lot of survival behaviors in African American communities, and it’s an effect of multigenerational oppression of Africans from chattel slavery. Chattel slavery was built on the belief that African Americans were inherently inferior to white people. This is really important because this phenomenon would explain so much of the internalized racism that Black people face. Multigenerational trauma is truly a horrifying concept, but it really puts into perspective how much of an impact history has on people today.

B. On page 43 a footnote makes a point about how hotels don’t offer shampoos for black hair and how resort activities often offer things like lying by the poolside in the sun. This is so significant because it points out how luxury is something that’s only given to white people. The idea of vacation itself has roots in colonialism, and the way that White people enjoy cultures in other places often has roots in racism.


  1. I love this book so far because it gives such a raw and personable look into racism that people of color face. It’s written colloquially and in a tone that reminds me of conversation, so it allows me to connect with it more on a personal level. Spending too much time reading analyses of social concepts prompts readers to never think about real world application, when that is so important.
posts 1 - 15 of 33