posts 31 - 33 of 33
West Roxbury, MA, US
Posts: 29

  1. I agree entirely with Winona and Priya’s assumptions. Their statement that stood out to me the most was “race and racism inescapably impact everything around us. Even the very existence of the United States demanded their presence” (12), which I couldn’t agree more with. Honestly, after reading all the personal accounts later given by many people who experienced this first hand, it’s impossible to think otherwise. Every story told in this book proves how when some are oblivious to the role their race plays, other races are harmed. For example, the POC in this book account for times in their lives when they felt that their culture wasn’t appreciated because so many Americans are conditioned to believe that white culture is the “right” culture. I’m putting the word right in quotes here because I completely disagree with the statement. It’s appalling that white Americans have put down so many other cultures for celebrating their cultures differ from their own.

  1. 1) Alexa, a girl, who was born in Mexico and moved to America, shares her story about being a girl growing up in a majorly Hispanic gifted program. She also brings up the issue of how much less money women are given than men in the workplace. She mentions that a white woman makes seventy-eight cents for every dollar a man makes, and a Hispanic woman makes fifty-six cents. This was a noteworthy point because we all know that there is a vast gap between the amount men and women make, but hearing that depending on the women’s race, she could be making even less is so incredibly infuriating. This proves how much of a need to fight for this issue; there still is, because of the patriarchy, even though women have been given the right to vote, we still get paid significantly less than men, and POC women get even smaller wages than white women.

2) Vic, an Asian woman who struggled with gentrification her whole life, talks about her experiences trying to speak up against blatant racism. When watching a film about the Vietnamese-American War, her classmates didn’t flinch when Vietnamese soldiers were being shot up but did when a pig was killed. White American students cared more about the death of an animal than human lives. To me, this really stuck out because it can be inferred that the reason the students didn’t flinch was either that they didn’t believe in the soldiers’ humanity or that they were conditioned to believe that the killing of Vietnamese people was okay, both are extremely concerning thoughts.

3) Vineela and Tyler are an interracial couple who had difficulties getting permission to date from Vineela’s mom. Vineela’s mom didn’t like the fact that Tyler dropped out of school or that he wanted to be an actor, but after finally agreeing to meet him, her opinions completely changed. She showed up to the date wearing a flannel shirt, Tyler’s favorite and even talked to Vineela’s mom more than her. This story is a great example of the ways people can stereotype a certain group of people to make them seem “different” in a bad way but then can change their perspectives after actually getting to know the people they previously disliked.

  1. 1) One interesting factoid that I found was mentioned in Alexa’s story. It said that in a Supreme Court decision, it was decided that the children of undocumented workers have the right to attend public primary and secondary schools. This relates to when Alexa talks about how she was rejected from a school because of her documentation status. This shows us firsthand how awful institutional racism can be; the school that rejected Alexa didn’t care that she was an incredibly bright student who excelled in her schoolwork but instead denied her access because she wasn’t an American citizen.

2) Another factoid I found interesting was one mentioned toward the middle of Nick’s story. The fact reads that over five hundred treaties were made with American Indian tribes, and yet five hundred were broken. Americans violated the treaties they initially agreed to when first stealing American Indian land. Then, telling us that they never meant what they agreed to in those treaties, they only wanted to sign them and take over the land as soon as possible, not caring about the many American Indians they violated in the process.

4. I am extremely enjoying this book for far. It is fascinating learning about all the different ways race and culture have affected how people live. It’s important to highlight these stories so we can learn from them, and when we do, it’s truly eye-opening. I like that the book puts readers into the shoes of these people. And because of that, we can hear and try out best to understand these people’s stories. These accounts have truly highlighted a feeling of connectedness. When discussing such a complicated thing as racism, such a validating and accepting forum such as this book is a good reading source because it gives the perspectives of people from all different races and backgrounds.

West Roxbury, MA, US
Posts: 29

Originally posted by Bumble Bee on October 03, 2021 21:12

  1. I agree with Winona and Priya’s statements. Racial profiling is a huge problem that can prevent someone from getting a job, renting an apartment, or make them a suspect in a crime they didn’t commit. Boston in particular is a highly segregated city in part due to its history of red lining. Racism is deep rooted in the foundation of our country as @runningdog96 said. Our country was built on a foundation of racism. Colorism discriminates against races even further. This is where lighter skinned black people discriminate against darker skinned black people. In reality race doesn’t exist. This is a scientific fact yet people are still discriminated against based on “race”.

1. The first person I want to talk about is Justin E. He talks about growing up in a predominantly white neighborhood and experiencing racism for the first time. Then he talks about going to Senegal, West Africa. He notices how slavery was a part of the Africans he talked to’s past, not something they are defined by unlike in America. Lastly he talks about how the oppressed shouldn’t have to do all the educating. The oppressors, or white people, should be educating each other. I thought that last sentiment was extremely important. The oppressors are the ones who caused the damage so they should be the ones to fix it. His take on how slavery defines black people in America was so powerful like the line, “Black people are only introduced in our history as slaves. That’s all we are.” This brings to light an important note about the education system and the bias that fills our history books.

2. The next people I want to talk about are Rylee, Parker, and Marley. They are Hawaiian. They describe a bunch of stereotypes people have towards Hawaiians. Rylee talks about how any other culture can say they are being culturally appropriated except for Hawaiians. They talk about how Hawaiians don’t think of themselves as Americans since they were overthrown and illegally annexed. They also express their love for Hawaii. Their story is important because it brings to light how many stereotypes there are for Hawaiians. Many people assume they are “uncivilized” and ride dolphins to school. It also shows how different being from Hawaii is than being from a different state. It’s not just a fun vacation destination, real people have lives there. Even though it is a part of the United States (due to unethical means) the people have their own culture and way of life. The history of Hawaii should not be ignored and the girls’ stories show you why.

3. The last person I want to talk about is Chef Tu. He is a chef from an island of Vietnam. He talks about his frustration when non Vietnamese people say his food doesn’t taste authentic, or people say he isn’t Vietnamese enough. He has trouble identifying with one group since he is so much more than just one. He loves food because it builds bridges between cultures. He talks about watching his mother cook and how important handing down recipes is to him. His story brings a different perspective to ethnicity which is through food. He shows how all people are connected by explaining the similarities in cultures’ food. When he talks about not feeling like he fits into one culture in particular it’s a notion that a lot of people can relate to. People can’t be grouped into boxes because everyone has a different history and life experience. Nobody has the right to tell him that he isn’t Vietnamese enough.

1. In Justin E’s story there is a blurb that talks about two major things. One is that Africa is a continent and not a country. There are more genetic and physical differences within the population of Sub-Saharan Africa than among any other population. The second is that it talks about the U.S. eugenics movement which forced certain people to be sterilized in order to eliminate “undesirable” traits. First of all, a lot of people refer to Africa like it’s a country and they should know how diverse the continent is. Second, we can’t hide from the past, no matter how awful it may be. People need to know about bad events like the U.S. eugenics movement to gain a better understanding of the deep rooted operation of Black people in America and so that we don’t repeat history.

2. In Liz’s story a short blurb is added about the inequalities of travel. It’s pointed out that most hotels don’t offer shampoos that work with Black hair, and the main highlight of a resort is sunbathing by a pool. This was a complete privilege check for me, similarly to @dinonuggets, since to be honest I hadn’t noticed that. If I didn’t realize that then others might not either which is why this information should be spread. One of the privileges of being white is the ability to change your skin color and suffer no loss of status. Tanning is a form of racial tourism, white people can pretend they are “exotic” and then go back to their lives of white privilege. This needs to be talked about more.

  1. I really like this book so far. I love hearing about different people’s unique experiences but all surrounding a similar topic. The stories put names and faces to racial identities. They show the diverse spectrum of humans on our planet. It brings to light many injustices that often don’t get the proper attention. It mixes history and current stories to illustrate how identity has changed over time. I think the book is extremely well written and enjoyable to read. It makes you think, which I appreciate.

I completely agree with your second bullet point. The completely untrue and very hurtful stereotypes Hawaiians were given demonstrate how fabricated stereotypes can be. It's sad that people actually still believe that Hawaiians ride dolphins to school and are "uncivilized" because those simply aren't true at all. And it is presumptions like those that can be so damaging to a whole background of people.

Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 21

Originally posted by flowerpower on October 03, 2021 22:55

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


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.

I think it's especially important to highlight the abuse of black womens bodies from experimentation. We barely ever hear about this and it could be because it's too humanizing, when people hear this story their jaws drop (id assume). If more people new about the specific abuses that specific people faced maybe they would feel more empathy. Stories cause connection. Hearing about these things and realizing they were real people too, their pain was real and unfair. Maybe if people thought about this more they wouldn't be so cruel.

I agree with this as well, and we shouldn't limit it to just black women. I mentioned this in my own response, but the The Tuskegee Study of Untreated Syphilis in the Negro Male, or Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment was a horrific action taken by the US government that led to the spread of syphilis in the community and the deaths of at least a hundred. EVEN THOUGH a cure was soon developed after the study started, the patients weren't allowed to recieve it, they weren't even told it existed or that they had syphilis. They were left untreated and the effects of syphilis on the human body are deeply disturbing. Stories like this need to be way more well known.

posts 31 - 33 of 33