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Still afraid for my loved ones

Shari Washington, Clinton, MD. Angry that in 2014 I still fear for my beautiful brown children and their children simply because of the color of their skin. I am shocked and appalled by the brutality and number of incidents brought to light as of late involving the denigration of black people, esp., black men.

I’m afraid you will hate me.

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.

I’m afraid I’ll hurt your feelings

Eileen Morgan, Durham, NC. #afterferguson I’m part of the “dominant” race with privileges that I did not earn. I’ve been listening and learning about racism a long time, but many times I still “goof up” and say stupid things that hurt the feelings of people of color. I’m really tired of this separation and am […]

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Anymore, afraid of what we represent.

M.W., 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 have […]

I’m afraid of muggers and police

Jose M Moreira, Brooklyn, NY. What I mean to say is, I am afraid that one person that has the concept of robbing, stabbing and killing me can snuff my life out probably slower than someone that is suppose to ‘protect and serve me’ might just take said life so much more quickly and amazingly […]

I’m not afraid of black people

David Norwood, USA. (Not sure what the rule is on contractions I first realized I wasn’t afraid of black people when I was in grad school in Denton TX. A friend and I had just been out at the clubs and were finishing the evening at Whataburger, as was typical in that place and time. […]

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What are you so afraid of?

Addam Walker, Beaumont, TX, I’ve experienced white woman crossing to the other side of the parking lot to walk past me, the sudden locking of car doors when I approach, the clutching of purses, and so on. It hurts to treated like some kind of criminal when you’re not. Oh well; such is life.

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Afraid of Not Being “Asian” Enough

Gwyn, Chicago, IL. My Dad was born in Japan to a Caucasian Father and a Japanese mother. He moved to America with his father and siblings and unfortunately had to leave his mother behind. He no longer speaks Japanese, but he still holds his heritage very dear to him, placing various objects from Japan around […]

I was stinky; I wasn’t afraid.

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 […]

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Why are we afraid of TRUTH?

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 […]

I wish I wasn’t so afraid

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 […]

I’m afraid of most black men.

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 […]

Judge people based on their character.

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 […]

Everyone’s too afraid to discuss race

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 […]

Pass black man, compulsively say hi.

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 […]

Subconsciously, I’m afraid. I hate it.

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 […]

Afraid children won’t look like me

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!!

I’m afraid of black men

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.

Mother’s warnings at four, instilled racism.

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 […]