Lynne Shotola, Waukegan, IL. I’m a white woman. It was a Sunday night right after Ferguson. I had spent a host, sticky day doing chores. When I went to take the used cat litter out to the dumpster, I very obviously swerved out of the path of a black man. All I could think was [...]
C. Denise Johnson Pittsburgh, PA TRUTH is… we are all part of the collateral damage of institutional racism. That’s why some of us are resistant to change and others want more change. When the foundation of your society is predicated by elitism, sexism and racism, you end up with a schizophrenic nation afraid to look [...]
Travos MS For the most part I if I see someone of a different race I don’t know I get really scared and nervous…as in, more afraid than I already would be! I guess I’d like to be friends with a lot of different people, all it takes is hello, right? But I hate that [...]
Maureen C. Kenosha, WI I work in a library with a lot of African American patrons, and I tense up when black men come in, especially if there is a group of them together. I saw my father work harmoniously with his African American colleagues, have had many black friends, and still feel anxious when [...]
Charon Winterson Tucson, AZ I’ve always had a fear and hatred of Mexicans and I feel bad for it.
Michele Wiemer Brooklyn, NY We have been in our neighborhood for coming on ten years and in that time it has changed from ‘Bed-Stuy’ to ‘Clinton-Hill’ to ‘Fort Green East’ as the realtors slowly remade and gentrified neighborhoods. Each economic surge carved out new districts and displaced our neighbors. The most recent insurgence of peoples [...]
Charmaine Brown Waldorf, MA Thank you for doing this project.
Pamela Priest Denver, CO I’m white, grew up in Michigan. Had black kids tease me in 7th grade because I was poor and couldn’t afford the extra penny for chocolate milk. they said, “Are you afraid you’ll become black like me?” Was chased home from the bus stop in 6th grade by them. Yet none [...]
John Swissler Jr. Madison, WI It is usually said that the two topics you never raise in polite conversation are religion and politics. But my experience is that most people can have a far more useful conversation about either of those than they can about issues surrounding race. Gunnar Myrdal is still right: it remains [...]
Emil Caruthers Kettle Falls, WA
Chris Santa Barbara, CA As a father who lost a child, my heart breaks for travon’s parents. Injustice doubled.
LSSteph Washington, DC I’m a white woman, ever since I read this article back in college by a black man discussing his revelation that he always instinctively looks down or away when encountering a white women because he didn’t want her to be afraid of him and how he no longer does that, I say [...]
Ian Cyr Springfield, VA I read once, that those of us who are white and in our late 20’s and early 30’s (and probably those outside that age range) have been put in a difficult position by society. We’ve grown up being taught one thing – tolerance, equality, etc., while at the same time, growing [...]
Louis Moore Anchorage, AK
Carla Schissel Atlanta, GA
Alexandria Jones Columbus, OH As a biracial woman (African American and Caucasian) who married a Caucasian man I’m afraid that our future children will not resemble me and I will have to constantly explain/prove to other people that my children are mine!!
Mark Smith Submitted via Twitter: @MESmitty
CA Pittsburgh, PA I don’t know why. And I don’t mean just in a dark, desolate alley- where I’d be afraid of any man. I am just more afraid of black men. It makes me feel ashamed of myself.
Anonymous Orleans, MA I have no problem with anybody doing anything no matter who they are as long as they’re not hurting anyone else. I’m white though, and feel like people who don’t know me will just hate me because of the history of white prejudices towards others.
C.N. Hart Los Angeles, CA EDUCATED, BLACK FEMALE
Royce Wood Submitted via: NPR’a Talk of the Nation
Carmen Davis Portland, OR I was a very young child from the Midwest traveling with my mother by train to Detroit in the 1940’s. There was an African American couple on the train with a wonderfully packed picnic basket. As a very gregarious child I was eager to explore the car. My mother told me [...]