In fourth grade, I learned about racism and the problems we face today but then I still felt like I didn’t understand. To me a person was a person. Some people looked different but they were still people. However, I didn’t think that the problems were that bad. I ended up using some stereotypes myself. […]
R.E.A.L. Talk, High Tech Middle Media Arts, 7th Grade Trailblazer Last year when the police brutality shootings started, my parents talked to me about what happened, they were really surprised and I was to. I wondered why these policemen would do such a thing when we have come so far with racism. I run into […]
Andre Conway, Beachwood, OH. I am an 18 year old`African American man. Even though I am happy about being black, at the same time I am terrified of getting pulled over because of who I am. All the killings that are going on in our country just by police officers are crazy. Black people are […]
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 […]
Ismail A., Minneapolis, MN. My name is Ismail and I live in Minneapolis. I am Somali and I live with my family in an apartment building. A lot of different people live in my building, Latinos, Asians, Africans, African Americans and white people. The manager of the building is mean to the Somali people. She […]
Dee Oh, TX. Why isn’t it racist for other people to say that because I’m white, I’m a racist? I am attacked solely because of my skin color from black people. Only from black people. Why isn’t that racist? I add to a conversation that statistically, more blacks are killed by other blacks than by […]
Jasmine Balsalobre, Oviedo, FL. My appearance does not determine my morals, my passions, my hobbies, my opinions, or my relationships, so how can it determine my value as a person? Why do I get to feel safe when I see a police officer while others, similar to me in all but skin color, fear for […]
Mr. Jones, Charleston, SC. New neighbors moved in about 6 months ago. 1st introduction while I was sweeping driveway “are you the maintenance guy”. I have a vacation home in a “upscale neighborhood” just 30 houses and only african american for 5 years. Neighborhood HOA even hired local police to do daily drive-thrus as well. […]
Anthony Villarreal, Adrian, MI. Former Police and Criminal Justice Major people automatically think I’m going to correct them on every little wrong I see them do.
Alf Newlin, NJ. These six words popped in my mind while watching the national coverage about Ferguson as well as from a multi year experience centered around a community’s effort to materially improve community friendly public safety. Oddly the demographics for the referred to community are so very different than those communities currently in the […]
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 […]
Sue Blanshan, Okemos, MI. My family lived in segregated Georgia when I was young. A playmates mother called the police to report a black man smelling her clean laundry on the back yard clothes line. The police came and chased him three blocks and shot him by our house in the alley. He died there. […]
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.
Suzanne Rogers, Sherwood, AR. I was born with white privilege. I didn’t know true racism until I was married. I didn’t know that supposedly “good” people could be blatant racists. I learned my own white privilege wasn’t because my parents went to college and worked hard. It was simply because they were white. No one […]
Paul Meyer, Chicago, IL. I am a bigot toward bigots. My so-called best friend in third grade gives me, a Jew, a Nazi ring saying, “my father wants you to have this.” My fiancé when I’m 33 hurls slurs toward hispanics. Others throughout my life condemn my race or other peoples’ races. I just disown […]
Charlie, USA. I brought my car in for an oil change (in the predominantly black area I live in) and they told me that it’d be an hour before they could get to it. ‘No big deal,’ I though, ‘There’s a shopping center across the street.’ As I made my way down the sidewalk, a […]
Rinard, Holland New Tech High School, Holland, MI. Yes I feel there is an issue and a relationship gap between black men and police. It’s unfortunate what has been going on in our nation lately. I agree black lives matter and I can see how one may think they don’t given the recent sad events. […]
Anonymous, Eden Praire, MN. Prejudice robbed me of my child. 15 years ago my only living child was stolen from me by her white daddy and took overseas when she was 6 because I didn’t live up to his standards of what he thought was a good mother. To keep her away from me he […]
Lance Bergstrom, Seattle, WA. Three Black guys attacked me and a friend one night. I got punched so hard I passed out and fell down. When I tried to tell the police that they were Black my friend told me not to say Black. Very bizarre night to say the least.
Ariel Foreman, Raleigh, NC. I just moved to North Carolina from Virginia. I’m scared to travel on highway 14 between Home and Raleigh especially at night…because it’s heavily monitored by police. I should not be scared of a group that’s suppose to protect me.
Otis L Courtney, Eden Prairie, MN. Being black in America means having to function as if race does not matter.
Jonathan Pineda, San Francisco, CA. I’ve been living in the Mission District all of my life, due to the gentrification going on and many natives being pushed out and tech workers moving in, police presence has increased dramatically. Also due to the gang injunction which has done nothing except give police officers an excuse to […]
Danielle Rosati, Hauppauge, NY. I am tired of being blamed for blacks feeling not good enough. If you feel a certain way it’s within yourself. And only you can change that. I’ve been pulled over for no reason !! Arrested .. I have felonies .. I’ve been hit and beaten by cops!! You want equal […]
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 […]
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 […]
Judy Vasquez, Murrieta, CA. I am a caucasion female, brown hair with brown eyes and my husband is proudly Hispanic/Mexican. We were pulled over at a checkpoint one evening on or way home from a family event and when the officer looked in the car, he asked me, “Ma’am, are you being held against your […]
Bria Williams, Keswick, VA.
Taylor Jackson, Tuscaloosa, AL. The race card might come off as confusing since I am a white man and my race card has a different race in it, but I hear that phrase all the time these days and that is really sad that this generation has come to this when bad things happen around […]
Malcolm Green Jr., Riverside, CA. When black people are getting shot by the cops, black lives matter. But when black people are killing other black people in the streets, neither life matters. The victim dies and there is no promise that the shooter will be caught. People cry for about 4 days then forget about […]
Lois Norder, Atlanta, GA. One of the experiences that forced me to shed my naïveté about race. TND in Urban Dictionary: Police jargon to be used for the really shi**y area of town which is usually primarily ococupied by races of “color”.
Alexander Fontenot, Shreveport, LA.
Heidy Avila Murillo, Baltimore, MD. My marriage is biracial, I am Hispanic and my husband is a Caucasian born in Maryland. This year after obtaining my US citizenship, my husband and I decided to have three days vacations in Canada. We visited Niagara Falls, Toronto city, and since I love Diego Rivera’s artwork, we decided […]
David, Detroit, MI. To the cops, I am “white”. To many others I am “not” black. I don’t try to pass and I don’t try to compensate for it by “acting” black. I am very direct about these issues though. I am a black guy. How much more direct can I be? I’m not adopted. […]
Jaden Grigg, 8th Grade Holland New Tech High School, Holland, MI. Because I am white, people believe I’m racist. But that’s not the case. In the news, it shows how white people (and police) are killing people who are not their race (mainly African-Americans). With all of this in the news, they automatically think that […]
Joe M., USA. retired police officer…
Carn Paggot, Cincinnatti, OH.
Jonathan Osmundsen, Washington, DC. I appreciate some of the coverage that’s focused on the Baltimore riots, and issues that influenced an explosion of pent up anger. That frustration is valid, those wrongs must be corrected. Here’s the “but”… I’ve not heard one NPR story that mentioned the burning of a 60-unit building by rioters, which […]
Worokya Duncan, Ed.D., Saint Albans, NY. It grates on my nerves that white folks get to be stupid, and it turns into the fault of that one person or one family. One Black person’s idiocy turns into the fault/problem of all Blacks in America. How does the country STILL rationalize criminalizing people/bodies/colors that have been […]
Moira O’Connell, Morristown, NJ. I lived in East Orange during (and after) the 1967 Newark riots. I remember standing on my front porch at around 7 years old watching tanks come down my street (186 4th Avenue) heading into Newark. My parents used to act as shills — going into apartment buildings to confirm there […]
Corey, USA. 93%-95% of African-Americans voted for Obama in 2008 and 2012. Is it a coincidence that Obama is African-American? African-Americans can call each other “n*****” and freak out when white people use the word in a non-insulting way. They call white people crackers and they don’t care. If someone commits a crime towards an […]
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 […]
David Nesbit, Dover, DE. I’m conflicted because I see everyday what happens to people who look like me but at the same time I depend on these folks who, in general, are responsible for me driving home in uniform and keeping my county work ID on me just to have the respect that I deserve. […]
Anonymous, Madison, WI. I’m from Madison, WI, where Tony Robinson was killed by police. I’ve been studying at UW Madison in the Legal Study field and I planned to join MPD after college. This was before the big spike in Black Lives Matter protests. Everyday this weekend I see calls to counter the police, and […]
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 […]
Brooke A. Brown, Williamsport, PA.
Prudence Runyan, Philadelphia, PA. In the late 90s a colleague and I needed to go about 90 miles away to a client meeting. We each took our own cars, as it was the weekend and we were heading off in separate directions after the meeting. He planned to follow me, as he hadn’t been there […]
Pedro Morel, Providence, RI.
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 […]
Ephron McCullough, Perris, CA. Said the MALL COP to the young BLACK man. The security camera said different! I’m FREE, because I was INNOCENT! NOT GUILTY! HAH!! Check your camera angle! Black Man – 3 Police – 0
Christopher Allen Cummings, USA. The notion circulating among a few of my black friends is that as a black man I should feel represented in some way by Michael Brown’s demise. Yes I know I wasn’t there and facts are still pending, but I think there’s enough evidence to show that Brown wasn’t innocent. It’s […]
Renee Chapman, Colbert, WA. I have seen race used as an excuse for bad behavior or saying something is happening to someone because they are Mexican, Asian, and Black etc. I had a personal experience with it when neighbors aggressive Rottweiler killed my 6 mo. old puppy, police were called and neighbor was really angry. […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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
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 […]
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 […]