Patrick Kenyon, Hamilton, OH. There is a black family living next to me. They would play the stereo loud at night and wake my kids up. They would bang on the walls, leave knives in the front yard, trash etc. After a short while I knocked on their door and asked them to stop banging [...]
Bria Williams, Keswick, VA.
Sarah Butler, Weymouth, MA. I am not blind to the similarities of then and now. A newspaper cover connected the past and present for me with the headline “Three Negros Shot in Cold Blood by Police”.
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 [...]
Barbara Young, Stockton, CA. I’ve realized my own white privilege for some time now. But being the white female half of an interracial marriage, I suddenly experience America in a new frightening way. My husband is a 6’4″ 300 lb black man. I have a plan worked out in my mind of how I can [...]
Arlinda Vaughn, Dayton, OH. My partner is a tall, dark muscular black man (with a PHD). When he lived in Texas, the police arrived at a gas station that he was in and tased him 8 times without warning or discussion. My brother (with a degree) has been regularly pulled over. Once, a police officer [...]
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 [...]
Michael Kelley Los Angeles, CA I am a White man and when I am out running errands, some Black or Hispanic person will invariably ask if I am the Police. It’s funny that they still think it even though I grew my hair out because I got tired of being asked this question.
V. USA I’d rather not share my name right now due to the sensitive nature of the incident. While working undercover, I decided to duck into a burger joint to get a bite. It was cold and drizzly outside. I was wearing a hoodie. I am Latino. It was about midnight. I admit that I [...]
Karin Callahan Submitted via: NPR’s Talk of the Nation
Astrid afKlinteberg Gloucester, MA As a criminal defense attorney I am reminded constantly that I am privileged because I am white. I’ve represented many minority clients who where initially pulled over because the cop ran a ‘routine’ plate check on the cars they were driving, or in which they were passengers. There have been several [...]
Ronald E. Davis Omaha, NE I bought my first home in 2003 in a small middle class neighborhood in Western Omaha, Nebraska. My house is situated on a hill and I share a street with young and established families of various sizes. The demographics of the area are predominantly white. Over the years there has [...]
Kathy Mercado Temecula, CA I do not know what it is like to be pulled over by the police because of the color of my skin. I do not know what it is like to be called degrading names because of my ethnic background. I do not know what it is like to be profiled [...]
JJ JONES Roanoke, VA I am a happy person by nature. But as each day progresses I see the results of a group of Americans that just don’t get it by my standards. So I ask myself “what can cause them to be more like me?”. I believe if this group, who have failed so [...]
JC Ousley Houston, TX In 1998 I bought a new red corvette despite my mother’s plea, she said the car was trouble for a black man. On the day the car was delivered, I was driving to my parent’s home to show off my new vette when I was pulled over by three Chicago police [...]
Laura Moog Portland, OR I witnessed two 11 or 12 year old boys, one white, one black, hurling racial epithets at each other in the park this week. Then their Moms got involved and things got physical. All of the police officers who responded to the scene were white and male. I have always held [...]
Nikai Mutagaana Freedom, PA Is this still a free country? Then why are so many African American young people getting shot by police for being where they “don’t belong?” I get sick thinking about my childrens safety when they are not at home. I am very stressed about my son going away to school. These [...]
Alexander Hileman Commerce City, CO People are afraid in parts of the USA to be seen with white people. I was down in Texas, and a couple of black kids asked us if we wanted to play some basketball. We said yes and we played for about an hour and a half until they said [...]
Hassan Hodges Ann Arbor, MI
Michael Greene Philadelphia, PA Kudos to Ms, Norris for bringing the kindling for when it comes to race there have been, are, and will be fires figurative and literally of every imaginable combustion. Growing up I watched and was part of the Civil Rights Movement from the first time I was stopped and frisked by [...]
David San Francisco, CA Policing blackness is when other African Americans determine what views are acceptable and then deintergrate or cast out fellow African Americans who do not share the same view.
Glenn Dixon Ft. Worth, TX Those were the words that opened my eyes to the state of racism in America. At the time, I was sitting in the back seat of a police car next to another guy, both of us in handcuffs. The question came from a Fort Worth police officer who was curious, [...]
Peter Gwynn Washington, DC Police and everybody else, despite any amount of training and good intentions, are still just people and will be influenced by patterns around them. I live in northeast Washington, DC. I don’t know how likely it is that I or a member of my family will be beaten, robbed, killed or [...]
Tanisha Henderson Raleigh, NC There is perception and then there is reality. What do you do when those lines cross and the reality is you have to live like the perception is true? Case in point: Miami-Dade Police handcuffed and choked a 14 year old boy because he gave them “‘dehumanizing stares,’ clenched his fists [...]
Eric Chesapeake Beach, MD 1974, I was 14 years old; my dad was in the Army, we were moving to Ohio from Weaver, Alabama. The house we lived in we rented. The owner was selling the house and the realtor was in the driveway talking to my dad one day. The neighbor came over to [...]
Victor Bradley Nashville, TN This is both a reference to the broader stereotyping which has pervaded the Black experience in America from the slave trade to today, and the specific stereotyping in the criminal justice system.
Arnie Gundersen Burlington, VT I am white, teaching in the “whitest” state in the Union. Yet Burlington has a huge immigrant and black community. While driving, my students were frequently pulled over by police throughout the state and in other states. They had a term for it – “Driving While Black:!
Joshua D. USA 2 advanced degrees and zero crimes later, life still sometimes feels like a high-speed chase. Especially when it’s dark and those flashing lights come on.
Justin Galvin Portola Valley, CA
SM Boston, MA When I was 22, I received my first speeding ticket, which I deserved as I was speeding. It was a speed trap on a major US highway on the way back to Boston. I accepted the ticket without contest, but since it was my first speeding violation I choose to appear in [...]
Cynthia Moore Northborough, MA My sweet kind misguided fearful grandmother called the police to report a potential dangerous intruder in the house when my black boyfriend first came to visit where we lived downstairs. The doorbell rang and the police asked me to step outside. They then went inside and confronted him. I thought I [...]
Kimberly Allen Greenville, MS
Anne Palmer-Stein San Rafael, CA I read an article in the newspaper about a 19 year old African American youth (my white son’s age at the time) who rode his skateboard the wrong way in traffic. The police followed him home and beat him up on his doorstep. Afterwards, when his mom spoke up about [...]
Albert Seloover Weatherford, TX Submitted via: NPR’s Talk of the Nation I was the first white man to have African Americans as room-mates at Carswell AFB, in 1961, in the air police squadron. I thought nothing about it, but almost every one else, thought it was outrageous. I was from Illinois, and maybe that made [...]