Susan Crandall, Albuquerque, NM. I was infected with racism early breathing it in almost with my first breath. I was injected with racism early along with my immunizations, this one, though, making me prone to its infection, instead of immune. Although my mother tried to teach me otherwise, racism lives in the voice floating up […]
Annette Harris, Upper Marlboro, MD.
Amelinda, New Haven, CT. I am as white as they come… Blonde hair, blue eyes; English, Swedish, Irish, German, French heritage… I grew up in Nebraska, surrounded by the ‘whitest’ people you can imagine. The first ‘black’ person I saw was a professional photographer when I was a toddler, and I was absolutely shocked (I […]
Bob Johnson, Colverdale, CA. It saddens me to see so may people using accusations of racism against them as an excuse not to take responsibility for their own actions and lives. You cannot improve yourself by hating or blaming others. Of all the races, whites are by far the most conscious and careful about not […]
Johnny V. Miller, Syracuse, NY.
Dana Tuohey, Syracuse, NY. Community Member I believe that racism is more harmful now to society than ever. I believe this is so because we have convinced ourselves that slavery and the civil rights movements were “victories” for the minorities of our society and we no longer owe it to the other races to continue […]
Barry Irving, Syracuse, NY. …white people are bred from the notion color superiority and first privilege. They don’t see others as equal and that is a distortion that is age old. So when addressing race, the new descendants of old Racism think that they have no blame whatsoever. Even though Their social attitudes are in […]
Vicki R. Brackens, North Syracuse, NY. Community Member
Robert L. Hewitt Sr., Chambersburg, PA.
Keith Rhodes, Albany, NY. We can make this world a better place for all people one person at a time. Know that your actions become your qualities. Perform the actions that you wish to be the qualities of all who observe you.
Liz Wright, Englewood, CO.
Lenin Gamez, Brentwood, CA. I am Hispanic, my wife and son are white. We have experienced racism from people belonging to different ethnic groups.
Alex Small, Norchich, VT.
James E Washington, Rochester, NY. The ego thrives on identification and separation. We seems to be a nation that thrives on dualism, having an “other” a “they or them” as a means to distinguish ourselves from. White, Black; Rich, Poor: Republican, Democrat; Christian, Jewish; Fat, Skinny; on and on. The problem appears to be “ego […]
Malcom, USA. Racism is bad and we should stop it in fact we WILL stop it!
Sanpreet Samra, Canada. Awareness and understanding are the way to fight racsim and this is done by educating everyone.
Kalie Marsicsno, Hanover, NH. I grew up with the misinformation that the civil rights movement had ended successfully, rather than learning that racism and systematic oppression still dominates our daily life.
We are excited to share our partnership with PBS to capture the reactions from “AMERICA AFTER FERGUSON” — a PBS television special moderated by Gwen Ifill. This PBS town hall meeting, moderated by PBS NEWSHOUR co-anchor and managing editor Gwen Ifill, explores the many issues brought into public discourse in the wake of Michael Brown’s death in Ferguson, […]
Mike Padden, Chicago, IL. The conversation would be much if improved if the inflammatory and innacurate term “racism” were substituted with the much more accurate and potentially productive term “prejudice”.
Lawrence Cohen, Long Beach, CA.
Kathleen E Lo Pinto Vignolini, Long Branch, NJ. No other group, except maybe the Jews, have had such a long period of discrimination against them. From Slavery, to post Civil war (the North won the battle, but lost the war!) of Jim Crow, “separate but equal” led to Segregation both de facto & legalized, all […]
Thunder Shi, Milwaukee, WI.
Fred Kester, East Lansing, MI. We may not be personally responsible for the injustices of the past, but we are still responsible for creating a society where there are opportunities for all and where justice prevails.
David H Willis Jr., Lansing, MI. Culture is the collective shared belief system for a group of people. Different cultures can respect, value and grow by sharing. Racism occurs when this breaks down.
Victoria Long, Seattle, WA. I have experienced racism at a young age, but no matter what they said, I forgave them in the end.
Courtney Jones, Denver, CO. People hide behind the stereotypes, racism, politics, and labels to avoid CONNECTING with others. Are we afraid people have more in common with us than we allow our differences to believe? My pride in my race contributes to my Life & community. It takes nothing from you & we all gain […]
Sheryl Huntsville, AL There are genuinely good people that would discourage racism towards minorities any day, but who unfortunately are extremely ignorant, so their perception of other races are still innacurate and stereotypical. For example, a friend of mine–Black–started working at a law firm. He and his White co-workers were talking about politics one day, […]
Tim Buer USA My maternal family was from the South. The N-word and racial slurs were part of normal conversation. Those old tapes still roll. My thinking has changed a lot for the better, but I’m not there yet.
Bonny Hanan Cottonwood, AZ I am not a racist and I know this sounds bad. However, I grew up in a very small town that was largely controlled by racism even in the recent past. It was so bad that Black people didn’t live here for very long when they did try to move in. […]
Alia Laurence Orlando, FL When I was 18, we found out that we were not simply Cherokee and various shades of European pale. (My father always considered being part Cherokee his ‘greatest shame’.) We found out we were also part African. Specifically, African-American of Malagasy descent. Not that this should’ve come as a great surprise […]
David Smith Washington, DC Racism works both ways.
Rickey Hill Jackson, MS The dominant discourse on race amounts to racecraft. In so many ways, racism and racial domination never get discussed. Consequently, racism and racial domination get trivialized. See Karen E. Fields and Barbara J. Fields, Racecraft: The Soul of Inequality in American Life (2012)
Nina New York City, NY IT IS A CONTINUAL PROCESS TO UNPACK THE DANGEROUS THINGS I WAS TAUGHT AND TO UNDERSTAND HOW IT AFFECTS HOW I SEE OTHERS AND LIVE MY LIFE.
Brandon Aspen, CO The purpose of saying something racist is to invoke. By allowing people to express that they were hurt by these words gives them (words) more power. The more we try to educate to not say these things because they hurt the more we lose traction in this battle. We need to teach […]
Rogina Vaughn Vallejo, CA Why does it seem the sore will never heal? We waste so much time being rascist, however in death, our skin color doesn’t matter!
Hannah Lindberg Denver, CO One person is all it takes. To start a rumor, it only takes person. It is said that racism is taught, and it only takes one person to teach another, and that person to teach another. On and on, through generations, the seed grows until it becomes a beast, an inhumane […]
Courtenay M. Miami, FL I live in a city where racism is alive and well. Many say “You’re in Miami, there is no racism”, or “People don’t treat people like that anymore,” and the most used response I hear is “Maybe it was a misunderstanding.” If someone mistreats you, how can you debate with them […]
Deborah Washington Brookline, MA Institutional racism still exists. It makes racism anonymous. “nobody’s fault”. Those who carry it out use systems as a scapegoat, like systems don’t represent the thinking of groups of people.
Andrea Franklin Savannah, GA Claiming to not see race too often results in also claiming not to see racism, discrimination, violence, and oppression.
Christopher McBride New York City, NY Brooklyn Seeing that exhibit really brought about a strong reaction emotionally from myself. As a musician, seeing the visual art side of things was really powerful.
Susan F. Bohrer Merced, CA I started a tutorial program and later worked as a social work intern in a middle school where 70% of the students lived in poverty; 80% belonged to minority populations. From the teachers I learned that college was for other kids, and from the students I learned that it didn’t […]
Laura Silver Spring, MD It really bothers me when people dismiss affirmative action on the grounds that it is making up for racist past. Racism lingers and affirmative action is necessary to counteract racism today.
Robert Robillard Roanoke, VA I teach at a white flight private school that now aims to be diverse. Another element that must be as true in Tuscaloosa as it is in Roanoke or Richmond, is that black families who have the means (not just money but social capital), frequently get their best and brightest into […]
Lillian Muriel Birchette East Point, GA Racism and oppression are means to establish and maintain servant and ruling classes. Racial differences are easiest to discern and objectify. For example: Europeans in the colonial Americas; in Africa; and in India, etc. When there are no discernible physical differences, oppression occurs strictly regarding socio-economic status, e.g., feudal […]
Anatole Vauchez New York City, NY Manhattan Racism was bad. A stupid idea to think that black people are inferior.
Kim Robinson South Africa Race exists. Race is a social construct. To assert that because race is not a biological phenomenon and therefore, there is no reason to discuss racism or that discussing it perpetuates racism is an insult to the people that experience unfair racial discrimination and live with the legacy of unfair racial […]
Abby Memphis, TN Anything I say, African Americans can call racist, but anything they can I can’t say call racist. That’s causing racism.
Stella Katz New York City, NY I’m Hungarian/American, raised working-class in New York City. I believe that race is a conceit (created to justify the exploitation of one group by another) and racism is the practice of that conceit, robbing us of our shared humanity by creating a hierarchy of false distinctions.
Ernest Nelson San Bernardino, CA
Anonymous Orangeburg, SC Often the discussion about racism is constructed as a problem with race. As if the problem isn’t with the majority’s racist attitudes, the problem is the existence of minorities. “I don’t see you as Black” translates as “I don’t see you as Black, because if I did, I’d have to either apply […]
Ann Lewis Richmond, VA Racism is a system of oppression that only People of Color can experience; there is no “reverse racism” or racism against white people, because there is no system which intentionally oppresses them. If you are white, you can experience prejudice or even discrimination based on your race, but you will never […]
Catherine Marenghi Marblehead, MA My family is white, and I was pleased to find no slave owners in my past — but I found a slave. The American Revolutionary War was fought with the help of slave soldiers: Hessian (German) soldiers were forcibly taken from their homes an sold as slave soldiers to King George […]
Marsha Leibson: entry of for a 4th grade student Miami, FL Submitted for a student who just encountered the term. His class is working on the Civil War.
Bob Boise, ID I honestly believe that racism and prejudice has become worse in the last couple of decades because it has become a two-way street. Ethnic “minorities” have pre-judged whites just as whites pre-judge them. Can’t we move on. I have met so many wonderful persons of diverse backgrounds and races …. and yes, […]
Marsha Leibson: entry of for a 5th grade student Miami, FL This is a fifth grade student’s work. His name is Alex. He has a good understanding of what he thinks racism is.
Byron Parrish Boston, MA The idea of race is a fiction. There is no basis in biology for saying there are different races. Our ideas of race are a social construct, historically made up to support the unequal privileges and disadvantages that occur because of racism. However, racism is a real aspect of life in […]
Syeeda Tatum-Hensen Milwaukee, WI I applaud Ms Norris for starting this dialogue. it is long overdue.
Monica Wesner Rutherfordton, NC I am white and see it everyday in this little Southern town. I know they are lying because whenever they say the word “black” they lower their voices and look both ways, as if they were crossing the street. Some are bound and determined to vote President Obama out just because […]
John Philadelphia, PA Being racist towards white people, setting double standards or heavily restricting white people where POC are given the ability to say and do anything, even if it is offensive will only perpetuate racism. It doesn’t matter if you think it is justified or not. Human nature is the same, regardless of skin […]
Amber Chavis, Durham, NC.
Mary Clark Baltimore, MD People who feel that the current state of race relations are not that damaging/not that big of a deal/brought on by deserving behavior of minorities need to make conscious efforts to become aware of what perpetuates racism and race division in our society and the very large part that privilege plays […]
Megan Linton Baltimore, MD
Linda Johnson Bay Shore, NY
Diane Tepfer Washington, DC
Chelsea Lowe Boston, MA In 1959, my mother was engaged to marry a man who wanted a black best man at their wedding. Even though my grandfather had made a point of drinking from “colored” fountains when the family drove south to Florida, this was–you could say–beyond the pale. “I can understand an old family […]
Flora Anderson Bradenton, FL
Mary LaCour Clark Shreveport, LA Will we ever get past racism?
Glenn McIntosh Wilmington, NC IT IS QUITE OBVIOUS THAT ALL OF THE ANTICS THAT THE REPUBLICANS ARE DOING ARE RACISM AT IT’S WORSE. CASE IN POINT IS HERE IN NORTH CAROLINA WITH THE REPUBLICAN GOVERNOR AND REPUBLICAN CONTROLLED LEGISLATURE ENACTING NUMEROUS LAWS THAT IS GOING TO MAKE IT DIFFICULT TO VOTE.
Yuka Brooklyn, NY Least sympathy-eliciting kind of racism ever! It’s like complaining about being rich, smart AND hot! (Image: screenshot of Google image search for “Asian women”) HAHAHAHAHA I want to kill myself.
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, […]
Karen Davis Portland, OR First sorrow, family unable to love, second sorrow, learning of racism, still shocked 60 years later. How can this be? I don’t understand it any better today than I did then.
Ed Milkow Los Banos, CA I think it’s time we moved away from the language of racism. It feels false to most people, and ends more conversations than it starts. Very few people would recognize themselves as racist, and, in fact, it has been my observation that racism – the thought that a group of […]
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 […]
Megan Schubert New York City, NY Include that in background checks.
Matthew Middletown, NJ I am a 6th grade student at Bayshore Middle School and some of my friends get made fun of by their race. I think that racism is very cruel and it should be stopped. It doesn’t matter what race you are, you should always be treated fairly.
Patrick Nolan Jacksonville Beach, FL As an educator having taught in urban school districts for more than twenty-seven years I have had the pleasure of teaching students from numerous cultural and ethnic backgrounds: We’re all one race–Human–and the variety we present is astonishing and awesome. My students have taught me that external factors have nothing […]
Anne Souvignier New Orleans, LA
Jonscott Williams Gilbert, AZ I am “openly Black”, though I have been described by some Whites as someone who “happens to be Black”, as if that’s some sort of compliment. Being openly Black I find that anytime one mentions race/racism/race relations in almost any context one will be accused of “playing the race card … […]
Christine Boston, MA I was shopping with a dear friend and her two children. She needed to use the restroom so I gladly took her precious chubby baby in my arms while I waited with the other boy in his stroller. It could not have been 5 minutes before some nasty woman came up to […]
Darcel Reyes Yonkers, NY I am a nurse and the concept of cultural competence is taught in nursing school and addressed in mandatory inservices in healthcare organizations. I am now a doctoral student and find that the topic is being researched to death. But white cultures get a pass on cultural competence. We only have […]
Tisha Johnson Submitted via Twitter: @TheShenme
Ana Lazo Hyattsvelle, MD Racism may hurt,as death itself, but it can not kill you, because we don’t live by that.
Shareef Ali Oakland, CA Indigenous genocide, human bondage and global imperial conquest are not made moot by just changing attitudes. We have to change this whole system.
Marilyn Wann San Francisco, CA Thanks!
Rev. Jeffery Harrold Ann Arbor, MI
Stacey Van Buskirk Ann Arbor, MI If you choose to treat everyone equal, racism would not exist in your world. The only person you can control is yourself. You can control how you react and how you act in terms of racism. Treat everyone equal and ignore people who treat you less than that. One […]
Savannah Ann Arbor, MI As a white person, I can’t wait until tomorrow to become a better ally or to fight against racism or oppression. Injustice exists now, so I must act now. To wait, to see activism or allyhood as a secondary priority, is to forget that the lack of urgency is a result […]
Ashley Z. PA One of my white friends once asked me if anyone had ever been racist to me. I said no, but I tried to explain that racist was too strong of a word. I’ve certainly felt racial tension, and that awkwardness when people feel they’ve said something that might offend me but it”s […]
Mena Sawyer Fairbanks, AK Assignment for class 342 Why are we so afraid to speak about race? If we never talk about it and pretend that it is not there, nothing will ever change. On the other hand, am I ready to be confronted?
Lisa Schlosberg Ann Arbor, MI Understanding Race Project- University of Michigan The facilitators of a race and ethnicity activity asked us to walk from one side of the hall to the other if we had ever been followed around in a store while shopping. The lone black girl of our group took a step forward, […]
Raoul Martin Ann Arbor, MI Understanding Race Project- University of Michigan “Racism ends where race is unnoticed” because people from the same race tend to form isolated groups and it is the fractionation of human that causes fear and hate. As a student in a university ethnically diverse, I often observe people from the same […]