Dave Parnell, Carrollton, TX. Our kindergarten daughter wanted to go to her friend’s Halloween party. I saw that the address and the protective father in me did not feel safe letting her go. But I called and the black man I spoke to certainly heard the fearful white father on the other end of the [...]
Kari Pennington, Chicago, IL. I never have to worry that my brothers, my husband, or my white friends will be violently harassed, assaulted, or killed by the police, the court system, neighborhood watch vigilanties, or any other person or institutions. It happens so rarely to white men that those fears for their safety never keep [...]
Dawn Fleming, Lansing, MI.
Kelly Nicole Kerstetter, Bowling Green, OH.
Tim Brown, Millington, TN. I grew up in a very large Southern white family of absolutely insufferable racists. While researching our family’s genealogy, a cousin of mine found that the US Census listed many of our not-so-distant ancestors as “mulatto”, a term generally reserved to describe people who were half white and half black. We [...]
David, Submitted via: NPR’s Talk of the Nation. The potential for violence from an angry black man is so much higher than any other source it’s scary. An unarmed black man is a threat unless proven otherwise.
Erin, St. Louis, MO. In my world today I associate power with people who are white. All my teachers and school leaders, white. My parents, white. The police in my area, white. All forms of power and authority in my life are white and this is how its been since I was little. Fear those [...]
Tim Lumpkins St. Louis, MO
Julian Henderson Holland, MI
Mary Lambert Merrick, NY I lived through the Civil Rights Movement. I once walked out of a store in SDouth Bend IN and was confronted with a full scale KKK march. I remember the riots of 1968–I lived in a mixed race neighborhood and we often sat on ourporch and watched the fires buring a [...]
Joan Pleune New York City, NY Brooklyn I was a 1961 freedom rider. When I look at Brooklyn today through a lens of race, life seems better for only a handful of lucky souls.
P Morehead City, NC I am a white female and I am not racist at all. But sometimes I find myself with thoughts or fears that feel a little racist. Where is this coming from? I don’t want to have those thoughts or fears about other people because of their race. That is wrong.
Charon Winterson Tucson, AZ I’ve always had a fear and hatred of Mexicans and I feel bad for it.
Lee Anne Bell New York , NY As a white person in this country I am disgusted by the lack of public will to challenge institutionalized racism. As a student of our ugly racial history, I know that we will never move forward as a country until we acknowledge and atone for our racial past. [...]
Armando Caracas, Venezuela The people feel the injustice but hope and faith were always in their minds and day by day and life
Rashawn Love New York City, NY Brooklyn Only when people stop stop see the difference in each can we build a foundation that can’t be broken by fear of others,the hate of the unknown, and the greed of personal gain.
Laurie Johns Tuscaloosa, AL I am white. I attended integrated public schools in Montgomery, Alabama from 1st through 12th grade graduating from Sidney Lanier High School in 1983 as part of a white minority of around 30%. I believe having an integrated school experience allowed me to know and be familiar with black people and [...]
Adell Richardson Seattle, WA
Cleo Brown SC I and others in our late 50s and up are members of the last generation of children to grow up under the “Jim Crow” legal system that required EVERY white person to discriminate against EVERY black person, whether or not they were racist. This extreme inequality left a residue that caused us [...]
Roland Groce, Jr. Seattle, WA All 52 years of my life has been affected by white privilege and racism. My son is bi-racial, now graduated from college and approaching grad school at a racist institution (University of Washington). I am concerned that at the UW, Asian people have taken over and continuing to carry out [...]
David Mooney Seattle, WA Humanity will evolve faster when we alleviate our fear of each other.
Elsie Pettit Nashville, TN
Christina Hermann Mentor, OH My dad was in the military so we knew and were friends with people of other races from other countries. Like any other community you’re friends with whomever you get to know and have a connection with. However like everyone else I was exposed to media and fed a culture of [...]
Luke Brad Bobo Ballwin, MO We may be different hues, shapes, etc. on the outside but we share a common humanity – we have many of the same fears, same dreams, same wants, same concerns, etc.
Lori Blachford Des Moines, IA
Caitlin Sullivan Seattle, WA White people, even the most overtly racist ones, hate being called racist. As long as that’s true, maybe there’s hope for change, or at least a conversation. When white people say racist things and are not called racist, they often continue. But when that label is used, they are often shocked [...]
Pamela Jole Franks Phoenix, AZ It seems to me that at the bottom of all racism is fear and a desire to have someone to blame for our problems.
Christopher Gelinski Vancouver, WA
John King Catonsville, MD A wall made of no real human substance but fear. A wall where differences find a comforting place to self-justify. A wall behind which no growth occurs. A wall for the sake of a wall only.
Nancy H Long Springfield, IL I drove through North Carolina over Memorial Day weekend last year and passed a house with its lawn covered in KKK crossed and Confederate flags. I wanted to stop and take a photo, but I was afraid someone would see and object. I actually feared for my life. It may [...]
Linda Robinson Philadelphia, PA All of us are shaped by the culture and historical period in which we developed as children. That culture almost becomes a part of our DNA – it’s that imbedded in us. The white slave-traders of centuries ago in Africa were shaped by the cultural idea that dark-skinned peoples of Africa [...]
Ginny Adams North Platte, NE I learned this from my parents while growing up in Detroit; 60* years later I still find myself struggling not to react this way.
Fred Moolten Canonsburg, PA Please forgive the provocative title. I don’t mean it literally, nor am I even sure what is meant by “racial profiling”. What I do know is that I and many other members of the white majority who consider ourselves fair-minded, face a dilemma that demands attention. Recently, I have read eloquent [...]
Cole Chandler Waco, TX It is difficult to stand in solidarity with one another and overcome our fears of one another when we continue to segregate ourselves in our supposedly integrated society. We are not even diverse, much less reconciled. What a tragedy.
Will Parksley, VA As the victim of two assaults by African-American youth, both violent punches to the back of my head, one after I had made a conscious decision not to cross the street because I wouldn’t have done that if they were white children, I have learned my lesson. I know this is racist, [...]
Sarah Day Waynesboro , VA I have an adopted child and a biological child. My son looks Hispanic, Arabic, you choose. I fear for him, have seen him pulled out of line at airports for scrutiny I have never faced. Some say he has advantages but I see no evidence of that anywhere. The world, [...]
Constance Morton Henderson, NV I am multi-racial, but what you see when you look at me is my connection to Africa. But my ancestors came from the British Isles as well as walked tall and proud on their Native American soil. Why cannot I celebrate my rick heritage with pride in your presence? If we [...]
Shawn Vinson Norfolk, VA I am a Black woman and mother of four daughters. Honestly, I am grateful that I do not have a son. I am relieved that I do not have to sit my son down and explain to him why he must be careful when simply walking in certain areas, he must [...]
Christine Brown Baltimore, MD I live in an urban multicultural neighborhood and upon reflection I realize I have not truly embraced this neighborhood as my home. I question my own distance not to my direct neighbors but the neighborhood at large. When walking through the neighborhood I avoid group of teens or greet with a [...]
Suzy Spradlin Oakland, CA My beautiful bi-racial granddaughters have helped me shed the fears of difference. I recommend the experience!
G. Thompson Washington, DC From the historical raping and pillaging of peaceful countries to still being the #1 profile of serial killers and perpetrators of school shootings, there remains one group worthy of fearing.
Mark Foster Atlanta, GA How can one seriously suggest the Zimmerman-Martin story emblematic of the black male experience while ignoring the predatory culture of black against black in neighborhoods thoughout our Country.
Kate Butler Ft. Collins, CO
Louis Moore Anchorage, AK
T. Brodnax Atlanta, GA Two words in my six could easily be changed: “I” to “we” and “avoid” to “fear”. The “I” is obviously more personal, the “we” more descriptive of the world in which I think we live.
Richard Bacon Chicago, IL Mid 1970s living in perfectly nice middle class neighborhood in NE Dallas Texas. The desecration, by busing, of the neighborhood school (which was mediocre anyway) caused about half the families with school age children to move out in one summer. My best friend moved. Those of us who stayed were dispersed [...]
Linden Gibson Raleigh, NC I will never get used to being looked at by total strangers as a threat to their safety just by walking down the street. I see the fear in the averted looks, how they step aside or suddenly have something important to say to a companion, or seem to need to [...]
Erika Malinoski Oakland, CA When I was in college, I ran psychology experiments on volunteer college students, and I was always perfectly comfortable running the experiment late at night alone in the building except for the participant. Until I went to do the exact same thing I’d done a hundred times with a Black participant. [...]
Marissa Allegra ’16 Ann Arbor, MI The human race is known throughout history to have segregated, alienated, and judged others on the basis of being different. Whether this deals with religion, country of origin, cultural choices, or most significantly, one’s race, we rely on pre-conceived notions of a person based on the superficial. We wish [...]
Marissa Allegra ’16 Ann Arbor, MI Understanding Race Project- University of Michigan The human race is known throughout history to have segregated, alienated, and judged others on the basis of being different. Whether this deals with religion, country of origin, cultural choices, or most significantly, one’s race, we rely on pre-conceived notions of a person [...]
Margaret Koike Salinas, CA I live in an area with extremely high gang violence, including shootings, murders, and armed robberies.
Chris Todd Big Pine Key, FL As a nurse, working with black nurses, I realized there was a bigger gulf with regards to socioeconomic class than with race. My coworkers, regardless of race, wanted their kids to go to college, not get pregnant out of wedlock, not get in trouble with the law. But my [...]
Kokujin Cameron Salt Lake City, UT When I was in kindergarten and in class, I had to use the restroom. The teacher had forgotten and I was unaware but there was a girl using the restroom already. The bathroom is part of the classroom and has it’s own corridor which leads down a hallway to [...]
Jay Bailinson Napa, CA In lived in Oakland CA. during preteen and early teen years. I belonged to a Boys Club sponsored by the Chinese Presbyterian Church in Oakland’s China town area. I played on sport teams in a church leagues sponsored by this church. I was one of two white boys on the team [...]
Lantien Chu Lander, WY I am Chinese and get profiled as Native American, followed in stores, refused for rentals. Kids have asked me if I wear a coolie hat or when I’m going home (to China). I’ve lived in my small Wyoming town for 30 years and my kids (Eurasian) were born here. I try [...]
Anonymous Berkeley, CA This is the struggle I have inside ever time I am walking alone at night and come across a man or group of men, often men of color. Should I cross the street to be safe and be “that girl” that crosses the street in fear of the black man? Or should [...]
Amanda S. McPherson, KS The people in my life have know idea how motivated by prejudice they truly are; I often fear I don’t either.
Paul Houston, TX Most early rap music with which I’m familiar was about innocuous subjects. When gangsta rap hit the scene and sprouted a sub-culture (or at least the perception that there is a sub-culture) of lawless, violent, rage-filled mostly black youths who self-identify through dress and mannerisms, I started becoming fearful of people who [...]
Michael Trigoboff Tigard, OR Even Jesse Jackson said a few years ago, “There is nothing more painful to me … than to walk down the street and hear footsteps and start thinking about robbery, then look around and see somebody white and feel relieved.” http://www.usnews.com/usnews/opinion/articles/960318/archive_010008.htm Young black males commit crime way out of proportion to [...]
Ernest Leon Tyree Jr Dravosburg, PA After spending 12 years in the military I learned a lot about fear and the power it holds. One the most powerful motivators is fear which is unfortunate, that being said the person who holds the power has a great responsibility to know that people fear them and to [...]
Colleen Stanturf Davis, CA With a disproportional number of black men in prison, the cycle of violence really has not been broken since slavery days. Whites violate blacks in so many hidden ways, that the fear of retaliation for the wrongness is squeezed into a systematic, subconscious projection of black as predator. That IS the [...]
Todd Richey Atlanta, GA We tell our Black Kids that all strange Whitemen are Jeffery Dahmer. We need to have this conversation.
Charles Wright Hernando, MS I think fear is the basic emotion that fosters racism. The comfort zone gets compromised by all the stereotypes, then the consequent anger over the fear that is created forms lifelong common beliefs that evolve into hatred. BAH!
Jeffrey Deffenbaugh Kensington, MD I grew up in what was the most diverse zip code in the country at the time in the sixties, 20895. I went to school with people of all colors and nationalities. I never learned how to hate. It’s all about how you’re raised isn’t it? I had great parents and [...]
Robin Smith Newburgh IN Submitted via: NPR’s Talk of the Nation
Myra Evans Cleveland Heights, OH Submitted via: NPR’s Talk of the Nation
Johnny Barmore Cincinnati, OH Submitted via: NPR’s Talk of the Nation
Rayne Madison Submitted via: NPR’s Talk of the Nation
Eric Van Meter Submitted via: NPR’s Talk of the Nation
Robert San Francisco, CA Fear of outsiders is not the same as hate for outsiders. Urban cultural stereotypes popularized and promoted by the very individuals in that culture have played an important role I creating fear. It’s not the reason but it is irresponsible of us not to talk about it.
Pamela McGuire Submitted via Twitter
Deborah Williams Clearwater, FL Fear affects all of us. Bad people are out there but it’s not based on skin color. When you walk by, take a moment to look that fear in the eye. Smile and say HI! You will see that 99.9% of the time your fear was unfounded.
Brenda Cave-James Endicott, NY Submitted via: NPR’s Talk of the Nation