posts 16 - 20 of 20
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 14

How Race Affects Our Views on the World

To begin, I would like to challenge the statements made by Winoa and Priya because I disagree with the terminology that race is a cancer. In fact, I don't truly think this is even a rational way of looking at racism in America. Race is just something that exists. While I understand that it's rules and boundaries with racist intentions, at this point saying "race is a cancer" is similar (in my mind) to saying 2 + 2 = 4 is a cancer, or gender is a cancer. I think that racism, sexisism, and transphobia are cancers, but these constructs can still be worked around, instead of the attempt to tear them down completely. I this because race has simply become a fact in America. I think we need to de-stigmatize the seperation between races, and acknowledge differences within racial and ethnic groups. However, asking people to simply forget about it and not notice one's feature is unreailistic, in my opinion.-

I would now like to bring up something that Vic talked about. In her passage, she talks about how she was careful in high school to act like her white peers. She talks about how she was careful to be quiet, and when she pointed out racism in Apocolypse Now in an essay, her teacher called a rant and she "slid back into her shell". I think this is an example of how rather than discarding the idea of race, we should accept it, but admonish the bigotry displayed by her teacher. I think her race and backround had an impact on how she viewed the film, and rather than attempting to have everyone have the same viewing expirience, we should embrace the differences people have.

The first sample I would like to talk about is concerning chinese immigration laws. The first immigration law ever banned Chinese women from immigrating to the United States. This is because citizenship extended to anyone born in the US, and the government only wanted laborors. I think more poeple should know about this because it shows the discrimination asian immigrants were shown even when first entering the country. The second sample I would like to talk about is the diversity with the continent of Africa. A lot of Americans talk about Africa as if it was a country, however the different ethnic groups within it vary an -insane amount. More people should know about this because a lot of poeple see African Americans as all coming from the same place. However this is completely incorrrect and is an assumption that needs to stop.

Finally I would like to say that I enjoyed the book. While I didn't agree with every single thing said in it, I thought the writing was witty and the charecters interesting. I also think it was eye opening, as it gave the expirience of individuals, not just data on a graph.-

freddie gibbs fan
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 19
1. I agree with their assumptions, it was interesting and horrifying to hear how whiteness was really created to divide people - I hadn't heard this before. Once Europeans realized they had the upper hand and could exploit brown people, they began to see themselves as more unified into one race which was not the case before. Could we replace race fully in our society? Winona and Priya talk about it like it could be and I don’t disagree. How is it descriptive, to know if someone is black? Or Asian? It tells you next to nothing about someone, you have no idea where they are from (Asian and Africa are the two largest continents) and it only serves to create divides between whites and non-whites. I think Ethnicity could replace race when describing someone's heritage because it is something that could accurately describe more than just race.

2. I wanted to highlight what Justin said because I found it interesting in how he talked about the differences between a mostly black and latino community and then a mostly white community and the difference that wealth makes to how people treat each other. The white community in the prep school was focused on academic worthiness while the mostly black and latino school was much more a tight knit community of first generation immigrants trying to make it. Nobody cared what your grades were or how much you made so relationships seemed like they were more genuine. I can also compare BLS to the mostly white prep school as BLS is similarly focused on grades and it makes me question how my life would be different if I didn’t have the privilege of attending a more wealthy school.

3. Under Alexa’s story there is a reference to code-switching, when you might change how you act depending on who you are around at that time. Alexa said that she code-switches between talking to white kids in her class and black and latino kids. This resonated with me because I have had to somewhat change how I act in the past for similar reasons (Not based on race). I think more people should be aware of this because it is something I think everyone does at one point and understanding it can help us to better understand ourselves.

4. Overall I like the book because it sheds light on racial topics often not covered in school. This discourse is important to have because generations before us may have not talked about this and racial divides and aspects of our society are everywhere.

Boston , Massachusetts , US
Posts: 13

Race has always affected the way people treat you and the way you treat other people, whether it be subconsciously or consciously, our implicit bias will affect the way we treat people initially unless we work to go against it. The concept of race that has been taught to us has been so deeply engrained into our minds beginning at birth. This is exemplified within the evolution of stereotypes, racist stereotypes have been around since race was conceptualized. However, now there are so many stereotypes we interact with on a daily basis these things get highly internalized and will alter your perception of others and how others see you.

Posts: 21

How Does Racial Identity Play into How People See Us?

I agree with Winona + Priya’s ideas about the role of race because it is a cancer in our society that impacts everything. The United States was created on a fountain of racism starting with the colonization of the native people that happened when European settlers destroyed their land. As the Europeans came and settled to form the US they introduced slavery into our new economy, a system that was justified by racism and the idea that people of color were less than white people so it was okay to enslave them. Even after slavery was abolished other laws were created, which still impact our legal system today, to make sure black people and other people of color could never be equal to white people. Winona + Priya’s idea that the existence of the US demanded racism is true because, without it, our country would be completely different.

I think Justin's story about growing up as a first-generation Latino kid in the southwest side of Chicago. In his story, he talks about his experiences between his neighborhood and the private school he went to. He also talks about the idea of code-switching and how he didn't realize he was doing it until he found himself switching to his new private school. How he connects the idea of witness to education is an interesting reflection on race because it isn't a new trend. He said that even though he is darker than some of his family they still see him as the whitest because of his education and how smart he is. A race problem in this country is the privilege white people have when it comes to the quality of their education. A majority of private or "better" schools are made up of white people, creating a better environment for them to get a better quality education. Also, school districts in higher-income neighborhoods, which are usually predominantly white, get more funding creating better school systems. It's important to recognize that the race problems in the US affect all aspects of life, especially education which sometimes determines the rest of your path in life.

One of these facts is Plyler V Doe which was a law passed by the Supreme Court stating that children of undocumented workers have the right to the same education as the children of the US or permanent citizens. I had no idea this was a law until I read the commentary. I think others should also learn about it because it gives a background on the education equality the US has for citizens and noncitizens alike. Another fact is about the more than 500 treaties that were made between native Americans and the US, and how about 500 of them were broken. This is an important fact because a lot of the legal interactions made between the US government and the Native American population aren't widely spread since the government doesn't like to admit to the fact the country is on stolen land.

So far I enjoy this book because I think it's important to learn about race, especially through true stories. I think it also helps to bring to light true stories of race and how race has affected our entire county and how the country has benefited from it. These first-person stories are important to understand and learn from because real people are hard to ignore. People can ignore status all the time, but when a real person tells you a first-hand story, especially when dealing with race, it's hard to ignore that.

Boston, MA, US
Posts: 18

Racial Identity

1) Winona and Priya point out that race is a deeply ingrained aspect of (particularly American) society — and I very much agree. As they said, “Even the very existence of the United States demanded their presence.” I agree because of my knowledge of African American history as well US History. You truly do have to go back to the very beginning, The othering of black slaves from their intendured white counterparts justivifed the creation of both whiteness and blackness. The collective identity that white people created for themselves gave them a labor force, privilege, and a sense of superiority that has remained even to this day. As they said, “race IS a cancer that impacts every part of our lives”. From American economics, culture, inventions etc… Black Americans and other POC have had their part in our country's development stricken from history textbooks. Even today, “race” a made up concept justified by made up science has created major implications for the lives of non-white humans. Racial ideology permeates and plagues our society, harming, mentally, physically, and emotionally, millions of people.

2) One person in from the first chapter of Winona and Priya’s story that really stood out to me was Justin E. from Kansas. At the end of Justin’s piece, he speaks about his experience when it comes to education and informing white people about the history, experiences, and feelings of BI-POC. In particular, he says, “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.” I think that Justin’s story and words in particular resonated with me because I too have felt both tired and angry at the fact that it takes white people to educate white people. While I appreciate allies, it goes to show the ignorance of white people, and their willingness, or lack thereof, to listen to POC. It's a common theme, and an unfortunate one. I think the most important lesson I pulled from Justin, was not only our shared experience of not being heard, but also the aspect of resilience. Keep trying to educate others even though it should not be solely your responsibility.

3) Eye Opening Information:

  1. (pg. 16) The margin gives the definition of “ally” and speaks about what qualities and actions it takes to be a good ally, such as listening and supporting.

  • I think people should go and read this in depth definition because many white people and even POC not belonging to certain marginalized groups fail in their responsibilities as allies. To be an ally takes constant work to oneself, one’s perceptions and beliefs, and to one’s actions.

  1. (pg. 23) The margin speaks about the modifications to the texas history curriculum, and how it has watered down the truths of our country's racial issues.

  • I think people should know about this because there has been growing controversy over what should be, and what shouldn’t be taught (especially in southern schools). There is a famous saying: “we learn from the past to not repeat it in the future”. I think that the education system needs to be not complacent in the erasure of POC experiences and history.

4) I like this book so far, I think it clearly puts into words how I’ve felt about racial issues myself and I think it works to simplify the experiences of POC for white audiences to understand. I think however, there are some stories that are a bit shocking, especially the ones from Non-Black Americans. I also think that the novel needs to define and help readers to understand that there is a clear difference between race, ethnicity, and nationality in the margins. But, as I said, overall, I like the story.

posts 16 - 20 of 20