See me, not just my skin

Jeffery J Jaekley
Bolivar, MO

Race matters. It shapes our identity, yet it is not the whole of our identity. There are elements that are common to the experience of any racial group, yet these are not universal to all members of that group. I’m bi-racial–white and Native American. Among whites, I’m often the darkest person in the room; among persons of color, the lightest. I’ve been called the n-word and subjected to racial profiling and I know persons of color who’ve never had a racial slur directed at them or been profiled, yet I’ve never heard of a person of color in America who hasn’t experienced racism. Racism permeates our culture because we tend either to ignore the issue or not look past the surface. We need to learn to see race as part of a person’s identity, and respect them enough to let them tell their story.

 

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