See me, not just my skin

Jeffery J Jaekley
Bolivar, MO

Race matters. It shapes our identity, yet it is not the whole of our identity. There are elements that are common to the experience of any racial group, yet these are not universal to all members of that group. I’m bi-racial–white and Native American. Among whites, I’m often the darkest person in the room; among persons of color, the lightest. I’ve been called the n-word and subjected to racial profiling and I know persons of color who’ve never had a racial slur directed at them or been profiled, yet I’ve never heard of a person of color in America who hasn’t experienced racism. Racism permeates our culture because we tend either to ignore the issue or not look past the surface. We need to learn to see race as part of a person’s identity, and respect them enough to let them tell their story.

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One Response to "See me, not just my skin"
  1. eric kurfman says:

    Jeffery, excellent!! It is so difficult for people who have never been in the “minority” to figure out what you are trying to say. I am white, but lived in Japan for 19 years. Always feeling like the “odd man out” no matter where you go can really wear on a person.

    Now I live in the States and people assume I will act a certain way because of the color of my skin, but I do not and then THAT makes me weird…honestly, sometimes that is the most difficult “stereotype” to deal with.

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