posts 16 - 17 of 17
Posts: 13

1. I do agree mostly to Winona and Priya's assumption about race. We are constantly impacted by our perception of race, other people's perception of race, and stereotypes that are associated with a particular race. Race "inescapably" impact us---all of us hold preconceived notions about a race, and those notions may influence whether or not we reach out to them as a friend, or avoid them. Additionally, racism is also prevalent across society and can be seen in the form of systemic barriers that prevent a group from succeeding in America, making it much more difficult to do so. The United States was founded on the basis of colonization and slavery---the irony now that the country portrays itself as the land for everybody. Although, I would not use the metaphor of "cancer" to describe race because race is not a bad thing as cancer may suggest, it is because of biases that might make race such an uncomfortable topic.

2. Nick addresses some important topics in race. Nick is Jewish, half Native American and Jewish, and addresses the connection with race and achieving the American Dream. Nick, in his early childhood, had parents who would organize events to march for Native freedom and justice. Unfortunately, he witnessed an incident where he had seen police brutality and lots of damage and tear gas. He later understands why it's so important to fight back, having learned more about his identity as a Jewish boy. On the track with the American Dream, he says, "The American dream is not real because it is built on backs and integrated in our land." I love Nick's reference back to the American Dream because he reminds the reader of the US's beginnings, when they colonized and killed millions and millions of indigenous people, just to call their land "the land of the free."

3. I think more people should be familiar with the model minority myth. The myth is the belief that Asian Americans have achieved the American Dream, essentially saying that Asians are not like other races. As an Asian American myself, it's important to know about this myth because of its diverse range of consequences such as a disregard for the many ethnicities of Asia, its belief that Asians are not people of color, and its establishment that Asians are perpetual foreigners to the country. Additionally, due to the racism toward Chinese people during its prolonged immigration period, they did not have the right to own property or testify, and were deprived of many rights. This is important to know because as a direct contrast to the model minority myth, the Chinese did struggle to prove their way into America. Asian American modern history is also rarely talked about in history classes, although there is so so much to learn about.

4. So far, I think I like this book! The language is simple enough that this concept gets through easily and I think it's really interesting to analyze race from the perspectives of multiple people from multiple races.

Boston, MA, US
Posts: 16

I agree with Winona and Priya that race impacts everything all the time. Taking a look at our society, you can really see the effects of race everywhere. In cities, it's not rare to see racially divided neighborhoods and communities, resulting in redlining. Redlining impacts people's opportunities and living situations daily, as neighborhoods that are seen as poor or bad take away financial services from those from them. It doesn't matter how qualified someone is, all they can see is the person's race or ethnicity. In Boston, you can see how race impacts education, as systemic racism has made it more difficult for many POC majority neighborhoods to have access to good public education because of a lack of funding. You don't have to look hard to see the effects of race, as it has created so many divisions and inequalities.

I think that Alexa says some important things about race and identity. Alexa is Hispanic, and when she went to a school with a majority of Hispanic and Black students, she was discriminated against for being light-skinned. Alexa grew up in Mexico and it is a part of her identity, and yet these American-born kids were calling her white. Something that I found important from her story is that the kids that would bully her would call her white and rich, making the assumption that because she looked white, she must be rich. When Alexa switched schools, she didn't fit in with the white kids, the kids that apparently look like her, because she was Mexican. Alexa's entire story is about how a person can be excluded, even from where they're supposed to belong culturally, just because of their physical appearance.

One of the facts from the margin that I thought needed to be talked about more is that Texas' new history curriculum barely addresses slavery, makes the Civil War seem like it was a debate about state rights, and doesn't mention the KKK or the Jim Crow. This new curriculum is basically erasing hundreds of racism in America, and the generation being taught this version of history is going to have a false perception of America. I think that it's important that all the injustice and mistreatment that has been endured by countless numbers of people shouldn't just be swept under the rug, which is exactly what this curriculum is doing. Another fact from the margin is that America's first immigration law banned Chinese women from coming to America. Chinese men were coming to work on the railroads, however white Americans didn't want any Chinese children to be born in America, as they would then be citizens. White Americans were happy to accept Chinese immigrants for their labor, but they made a strong effort to not allow them to be citizens. I think that this needs to be talked about more because Americans wanted for American citizens to only be white so badly that they put a ban on only Chinese women, and I think that it contributes even more to the racist foundations that America was built on.

So far, I like this book because it's giving me a lot of new perspectives on how race impacts people's lives.

posts 16 - 17 of 17