Won’t speak up, fear of judgement.

Shaniah Bartlett, Burlington, VT. I feel that on my college campus, I am not invited to speak out when it comes to race. Sure, they have the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, but I only see one race in the office. We have plenty of diversity events on campus, and I have attended several. I […]

Why is your English so good?

Basundhara Mukherjee South Burlington, VT I was born in India, lived in Saudi Arabia, and grew up mostly in a small town in Vermont. English is in my blood, just like Bengali. When someone asks me why my English is so good, it reminds me of the ignorance that still, unfortunately, exists in this country. […]

Disabled doesn’t mean helpless or nothing

Chris Gajewski, Barre, VT. I was hurt eleven years ago due to me making the worst choice a person could make. I got behind the wheel of a car one too many times while being intoxicated. After learning to walk and live again, I slowly began to repair my broken life. I clawed my way […]

Because of my badge, I’m racist?

Justin Walker, Bennington, VT. As a police officer I quite often get the “you only stopped me because I’m black” or some variant of that excuse. Well I work the nightshift and it is impossible for me to to who I’m pulling over until I get to the car. Until I get to the car […]

So you must be Muslim? Arab?

Ahmed B. Middlebury, VT When your name is supposed to be an indicator of your ethnicity, religion, the language you speak, and everything else. And when you can’t change it, because you don’t have citizenship yet.

Otosan, please teach us your language.

Jaimie Scanlon, Brattleboro, VT. My husband is bilingual Japanese-American. His mother, raising three boys in Iowa in the 1960s, made sure her sons grew up speaking, reading, and writing her own mother tongue. Now all three men are completely bilingual and realize the value of the gift she gave them. Before our kids were born […]

Pull up your pants young man!

Jennifer Roberts, Burlington, VT. White or black, with your super sized pants hanging off your skinny boxer baring a$$, your large stiff ball cap set perfectly askew at some angle only you understand, loitering much of the day by the bus stop downtown, yelling f-bomb laced obscenities at some “b!tch” on the other end of […]

You’re just like a normal couple.

Kathleen J Gagnon, New Haven, VT. We were at another couple’s house, for dinner. The meal was excruciatingly boring, but the man of the couple was my Army officer husband’s CO, or Commanding Officer, so I pasted a smile on my face and got through the evening. When it finally ended, we thanked our hosts […]

Class can make white privilege invisible.

Kayla Bernier-Sontag, Brattleboro, VT. Smith College I’m a student at Smith College and my six word story is about my observations in social justice education–the intersectionalities of class and race make it hard to explain the importance of white privilege.

Many people groups, but one race

Melissa Beth Burlington, VT The more we focus on NOT being racist, the more we are teaching children of this society that they must see people as skin color. Children must be carefully taught to be racist. We are not born treating others differently because of their appearance. They see the emphasis in entertainment, at […]

Pulled Over. Charge? Driving While Black!

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:!

My dad’s prejudices live in me.

Ray Johnson, VT My father had some reasonably strong prejudices against some groups, specifically African Americans, Jews and the Japanese. We butted heads over the issue when I was young, but despite the fact that I know that his generalized negative views against various groups are wrong, some of the things that he said when […]

Because I’m white, I’m racist?

Jackson Macdonald Burlington, VT Although I am white i got to a school that is split almost evenly white and black. We are a very diverse school. However I feel whenever I make a comment to a black student or a student of any other race I’m told I’m a racist. I don’t try to […]