Race Forum


Do you have any stories to share about race?

Is there a side of this story that you don't see represented in this exhibit?

Here's a place to talk about it!

Post your own story
Read some stories

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I think that some t.v. shows are racist because they only have one race in it. But there are some with all races like American Idol.

posted on Sun, 01/28/2007 - 3:31pm
Gene's picture
Gene says:

Some people think too many TV shows and movies show Arabs as terrorists. (Some people think they don't do it enough.) In today's Wall Street Journal, an Arab-American author argues that TV shows simply reflect reality. If a group doesn't like the way they are portrayed in fiction, then they should work harder to change reality.

posted on Wed, 02/07/2007 - 10:34am
chlostar`'s picture
chlostar` says:

true true I think that is an issue!! I am soooo mad that people still execpt racisim on t.v. that is horrible

posted on Fri, 02/16/2007 - 9:03pm
Anonymous Racist's picture
Anonymous Racist says:

Even American Idol is questionable when it comes to racism. Sanjaya Malakar is soooooo hated on the show, not only because of his poor ability to sing, but also because of his ethnic heritage.

posted on Mon, 03/19/2007 - 1:56pm
Gene's picture
Gene says:

I have to disagree. Six of the top 12 finalists, and 11 of the top 24, are minorities. Two winners from the previous five seasons were minority. (In fact, I'm going to go out on a limb here -- the ultimate winner will be a minority woman. Shocking prediction, I know!) I would not say that Sanjaya is "hated on the show." Perhaps some viewers and some websites pick on him, but the judges and guests have had only nice things to say about him personally. They have, however, criticized his singing -- but let's face it, he deserves it.

posted on Mon, 03/19/2007 - 4:40pm
Gene's picture
Gene says:

Looks like I was right! The winner, Jordin Sparks, is of mixed heritage. (While researching that, I ran across a cool website for multiracial teens.)

posted on Tue, 07/10/2007 - 1:44pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

u r so right.go u!

posted on Tue, 04/03/2007 - 3:43pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I think that is SO true.

posted on Tue, 04/03/2007 - 9:09pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Thank goodness for reality T.V.!!!

posted on Thu, 07/05/2007 - 8:04pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

i am very happy to be in an era (and state) where the discussion of race is made complex and realistic, rather than built of myth and unthought media imagery. veryvery refreshing for someone who has a multiethnic family! thanx!

posted on Sun, 01/28/2007 - 4:22pm
Liza's picture
Liza says:

What's important to teach little kids about race, and how do you do it?

posted on Mon, 01/29/2007 - 2:25pm
Liza's picture
Liza says:

For example, when I was a little kid, one of my favorite books was Mercer Meyer's "Liza Lou and the Yeller Belly Swamp." I loved it, and I still do, because Liza Lou is smart and funny and independent and capable without being overly sweet. She's a great heroine.

Now my daughter loves this book, too. And even though I love it myself, and I want to read it to her because it's a great story and it features a black heroine whose race isn't the point of the story, but I feel funny reading it to her, too. Why? Well, here's an example of the dialogue:

"'Honey Child,' Liza Lou's mother said one sparkly afternoon, 'take this wagonload of junk and pitch it in the dump. But mind you watch your P's and Q's down by the Yeller Belly Swamp bridge.'
Now Liza Lou took good advice when she got it, because she'd been warned about the slithery gobblygook living under the old swamp bridge. If ever he heard anyone crossing, up he slithered and gobbled that person for his dinner."

When you read it aloud, you naturally slip into a caricature of a southern accent.

Now, I grew up in Washington, DC, and it never occurred to me then that some people might also take this to be a caricature of black people. My daily experience taught me that Liza Lou's family talks, eats, and lives like this because they're from an area of the rural South, not because they're black.

But my daughter, growing up here in Minnesota, is much less exposed to different people--at least until she's old enough to go to school. And I wonder what other messages, besides the ones I got from this book, she's picking up. Now, we've talked about this book a million times, and usually we talk about why Liza Lou does the laundry by hand, or what sweet potatoes taste like, or what a preacher is. Never once has she mentioned anything about the color of Liza Lou's skin. But I still wonder...

Anyone have any similar experiences with children's literature?

posted on Wed, 02/28/2007 - 12:20pm
Joe's picture
Joe says:

This is a great question, as I hope I can teach my kids, and show my kids through my actions, what is right and how to treat other people. But beyond the basic "treat others as you would like to be treated" how deep can you go? At what age will my daughter be able to understand white privilege?

At a recent training session for the exhibit I heard something cool that a recent Scientist on the Spot commented on. Lots of organizations preach tolerance, but I will make an effort not to teach her to be merely tolerant of others - that's not sufficient.

I guess I would say early on the message should be "treat others as you would like to be treated".

posted on Fri, 04/20/2007 - 10:31pm
Forrest's picture
Forrest says:

I have dealt with race issues my whole life. people think that because I'm Native American that I always go to ceramonies and pow wows. They also think I dance around fires because thats what we do. I don't dance or always go to pow wows. I live a normal life like everyone else. The only difference is that I embrace my heritage and I am proud to be aa native american

posted on Wed, 01/31/2007 - 11:50am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I am a half breed and I get it from both sides, white and American Indian....

posted on Sat, 03/24/2007 - 10:21am
flybynightsue's picture
flybynightsue says:

Interesting comment Forrest - about how you feel others look at you because you are Native American - I myself have always been fascinated with Native American History and the ways of the Native American People. Because of my fascination - I continue to ask questions and I can see how someone may feel as you do - that perhaps that is all that I see...

It's great to have someone like you that is willing to share and educate those of us that have not grown up in the Native American culture. Thank you Forrest.


posted on Thu, 11/13/2008 - 7:08am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

If race is a social construct which we should ignore as setting humans apart, as the exhibit suggests, then how can we justify programs such as Affirmative Action, which is based on the assumptions that we differ on the basis of race and that some of us have been mistreated as a consequence? It seems to me that you are playing into the hands of conservatives, who profess colorblindness and use that as a justification for denying the value or even the validity of compensatory programs.

posted on Sat, 02/03/2007 - 4:17pm
Liza's picture
Liza says:

I agree: we aspire to a color-blind society, but we aren't there yet. And programs like affirmative action help to equalize (a bit) the playing field.

If you're interested in talking about this, Gene and I hi-jacked Thor's post about race and sports and turned it into a discussion about privilege, disadvantage, and affirmative action. Read those posts, and then post back here. I'd love to read other people's thoughts...

posted on Mon, 02/05/2007 - 11:01am
Liza's picture
Liza says:

Have you ever been granted or denied an opportunity because of your race?

posted on Mon, 02/05/2007 - 11:02am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:


posted on Sat, 04/07/2007 - 6:31pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Liza poses an interesting question. While I cannot affirmatively state that I've been granted or denied an opportunity because of my race, there have been several suspicions that the same may have occurred because of my skin color.

My family describes me as a light-skinned black person. My brothers, who have darker skin, often tell me that people treat me nicer (family included) because I have lighter skin. I remember growing up and listening to other girls tell me I wasn't "black" because my skin was lighter.

On the flip side, in some of my classes I found that I was the only black person. I distinctly remember a white classmate say to me "You try so hard to fit in, don't you?"

I guess this is meant to say that sometimes you may get a little bit of both (denial and granting of opportunities; or alternative treatment from others) because of skin color. My particular experience as a child left me feeling like I was an outsider of sorts; that I wasn't "black enough" for black people, and that I still didn't fit in with whites. Tough for an elementary school student to deal with, huh?

posted on Mon, 01/24/2011 - 11:09am
Liza's picture
Liza says:

I realized last week that my daughter's preschool did activities around Groundhog Day, but nothing for MLK day. I was lazy and assumed that they would...

posted on Mon, 02/05/2007 - 11:29am
Liza's picture
Liza says:

Do you have any heroes or role models of a different race than you?

posted on Wed, 02/07/2007 - 12:08pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

i like batman

but he's white

posted on Thu, 04/05/2007 - 6:54pm
Liza's picture
Liza says:

Lately, there's been a lot of talk in the news over whether Sen. Barack Obama is really 'black.' This gets right at the question of what is 'race,' anyway? Tell us what YOU think.

posted on Wed, 02/07/2007 - 12:10pm
Liza's picture
Liza says:

How old were you when you had your first teacher of a race different than yours?

posted on Wed, 02/07/2007 - 12:11pm
Liza's picture
Liza says:

I'm white.

One of my first daycare providers, Mrs. Lloyd, was African-American. I was only 2 or 3, so I don't remember much about her, but I remember her house and how her clothes smelled and what I ate there. (Funny the things kids remember, huh?) After Mrs. Lloyd, I stayed with Mrs. Green--also African-American. Tata was from Paraguay. Pia was from Denmark. Mercedes was from Mexico. Mrs. Hernandez was Latina. And Polly and Shelley were white.

My kindergarten, second grade, third grade, fifth grade, and sixth grade teachers were African-American, as was my PE teacher and most of the staff of the recreation center where I spent my afternoons. (The rest of the folks there were Latino.)

It's hard to remember all of my teachers from junior high and high school, but I think probably about half of them were white. And most of my college professors were white.

Do you think it's important to have teachers of both your own race and others? Does it make a difference when you encounter them? Why or why not?

posted on Wed, 02/07/2007 - 12:22pm
Joe's picture
Joe says:

I do think it is important to be taught by teachers of both your own race and others. Perhaps it builds a level of respect for the individual that can make a wider impression about the group. Positive role models in the teaching profession from all races is a good thing. In responding to a post the other day I realized that in my entire elementary, middle, high and college years I never had a teacher who was not white. That's crazy. And I never even thought about it that way until just a few days ago.

posted on Fri, 04/20/2007 - 10:22pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I believe that it is important to have teachers that represent the student population and even if the student population is all white, a school/school district should still try to have their teachers, or some of their staff be representive of the world (maybe that is too broad a spectrum). The point is, it's impowering for minority and underrepresented students to see teachers and role models of the same ethnic groups as them. When they see that a teacher is of their ethnic group, some thing happens to their confidence level and their performance. They see that teacher and they think, "Hey, there is someone out there just like me, being a teacher. That means, I can do that too."

posted on Mon, 04/23/2007 - 12:45pm
Gene's picture
Gene says:

It's also good for majority students to see members of other groups in positions of respect, accomplishment and authority.

posted on Mon, 04/23/2007 - 4:07pm
Liza's picture
Liza says:

Race: Are We So Different?
Race: Are We So Different?
Race impacts a variety of U.S. institutions and policies, often in ways that are hidden or undetected by popular media. "The Search for Our Ancestors," featuring Professor Kim TallBear, is the second of five public forums that will explore an in-depth understanding of race and its impact on our society. (Live coverage by KFAI Radio.)

February 22, 2007
Located in the 3D Cinema
6:30 to 7 p.m.: Performances
7 to 9 p.m.: Speaker, respondents, Q&A

Tickets are $12 per person, and space is limited. To reserve tickets, call 651-221-9444.

Kim TallBear is Assistant Professor of American Indian Studies at Arizona State University and a member of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate.

Atum Azzihir: Executive Director, Powderhorn Phillips Cultural Wellness Center
Cris Stainbrook: President, Indian Land Tenure Foundation

posted on Fri, 02/09/2007 - 2:05pm
Liza's picture
Liza says:

Did you participate in a talking circle? Tell us about it!

posted on Fri, 02/09/2007 - 2:07pm
Mia Johnson's picture
Mia Johnson says:

i have never been a part of a talking circle because i think it a cheese ball type thing. I think the only way you can renew or whatever you want to call it is by rembering "live life as much as you can!"

posted on Fri, 02/09/2007 - 9:07pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Racial or any kind of reconcilliation is a very easy thing to talk about, but when you actively do something about it attitudes change and things happen.

Our church is the midst of this and our small group is diversfied with many multi-cultural and soci-econmic issues.
visit www.whcchurch.org to learn a liitle more.

We welcome everyone.....

God Bless

posted on Sat, 02/10/2007 - 6:03pm
morgan, jess, jodi's picture
morgan, jess, jodi says:

We love everyone despite their ethnicity!

posted on Fri, 02/16/2007 - 2:29pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I think we now live in a world where things are starting to equalize for the better. Televison has given many races the opputunity to express their cultural beliefs and customs. If we come to the conclusion that we are the human race color would not be as big of as it has become.

posted on Sat, 02/17/2007 - 11:54am
Gene's picture
Gene says:

Here's a Gallup poll showing how strongly American voters oppose a Presidential candidate based on race, sex, religion and other factors. The results may be somewhat skewed, as there are high-profile candidates in several of these categories. (When asked if they would vote for a woman, respondents may be thinking of Hillary Clinton specifically, rather than how they feel about a female President in general.) But it's interesting to note that only 5% of respondents opposed a black President, while 11% oppose a woman, 12% oppose a Hispanic, and 43% oppose a homosexual.

posted on Tue, 02/20/2007 - 4:02pm
bryan kennedy's picture

This poll seems to show that biggest hurdles would be faced by an:

  1. an atheist candidate - rats, I guess this white male (talking about myself here) won't ever be president
  2. a homeosexual candidate
  3. an older (72) years candidate
  4. a multiply divorced candidate

in that order.

I think one of the most interesting points to take away from the race exhibit is that even though you don't see race in this list above and I think Barak Obama actually has a great chance of becoming our next president, race still plays a huge role in how or society is structured on so many other levels.

posted on Tue, 02/20/2007 - 5:48pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

dear gene,
it's called hegemony. That is to say, systems (such as the media) make racist representations appear natural, and become a part of daily life. Arabs aren't all terrorists, some white people are, but representations of arabs on television might make them feel misrepresented and mad. Check out Gramsci.
your fellow tv watchers

posted on Fri, 02/23/2007 - 8:37pm
Gene's picture
Gene says:

Antonio Gramsci was a Marxist writer and theorist who inspired the Soviets to wage intellectual war on America by developing such nonsense as cultural relativism and hegemony, in a deliberate attempt to weaken and confuse the West. They woulda got away with it, too, if it didn't all collapse from the weight of its internal contradictions. ;-)

(And don't even get me started on Derrida...)

Very very few people of any race are terrorists. However, some terrorists are indeed Arab. Some terrorists are indeed white. A TV show may therefore legitimately portray a terrorist as being of either race, and not have to apologize for it.

I understand feeling "misrepresented and mad." I have a good friend who is very upset that some TV shows portray terrorists as Arab. I, on the other hand, am very upset that, in real life, some Arabs fly airplanes into buildings or drive explosive-packed cars into mosques and cafes. I recognize that this is a very, very, VERY small percentage of the world Arab population. Nevertheless, I believe I can lay claim to the moral high ground -- if you're going to get upset about somebody making your people look bad, get upset about that.

(She first raised this issue during an episode of CSI: Miami, the plot of which revolved around a terrorist organization called "al-Qadiera." [I wonder where they got the inspiration for that?] Over the course of the hour, the show presented four members of this terrorist cell. Two were white, two were Hispanic. Quite a hegemony.)

[UPDATE: I caught the TV show again on re-run recently. I had the name of the fictional terror cell wrong. It has been corrected.]

posted on Thu, 07/05/2007 - 12:30pm
Gene's picture
Gene says:

The Virginia state legislature has passed a resolution expressing "profound regret" for its roles in slavery, and in mistreating American Indians.

posted on Mon, 02/26/2007 - 10:44am
Saeed Purcell's picture
Saeed Purcell says:

I want to take issue with one thing in this portal. The assertion that 'reverse racism' doesn't exist. That's nonesense!!! Rascism is the act of establishing through some sort of power the prejudicial beliefs that one holds. Non-Whites are just as likely to hold prejudices about whites are we are to hold them about non-whites. When you're in a situation where, as a white, you're in the minority and/or the power in an organization rests in non-white hands, then it's ABSOLUTELY possible for 'reverse racism to be practiced. I've been in these situations and have been on the receiving end of exclusionary practices for no other reason than my race. Just as you said, experience trumps opinion. My expericence trumps you (false) assertion that 'reverse racism' can't exist!

posted on Mon, 02/26/2007 - 4:58pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Black people can be prejudiced, but not racists. Racism is institutionalized.

posted on Mon, 04/16/2007 - 2:17pm
Gene's picture
Gene says:

This is a fairly recent, major paradigm shift in how racism is viewed. Many people, myself included, reject this idea. Racism is a belief or an action, and only a person can believe something or act on it. Institutions cannot. People act on behalf of institutions, but even then, it is the individual person choosing to go along and commit the racist act.

It is possible for an institution to have racist policies, though these are now illegal. About the most you can argue is that some policies which appear to be color blind actually embed racial favoritism -- such as colleges giving preferential admission to the children of former graduates, most of whom happen to be white.

Individuals are fully capable of being racist without any help from any institution.

When the black man on the NY subway several years ago started shooting the white passengers; when Jesse Jackson called NY City "Hymietown;" when Rep. Corrine Brown told a Mexican-American "you all look alike to me"...these can only be understood as individual acts of racism.

CORRECTION: The shooting case I refer to above took place, not on the New York City subway, but rather on the Long Island Railway, a commuter train. The assailant was Colin Ferguson; the year was 1993. The jury found him responsible for his own actions.

posted on Wed, 04/18/2007 - 4:02pm
Gene's picture
Gene says:

Recently a federal district judge in Mississippi found that some local politicians had systematically discriminated against voters on the basis of race and infringed their right to vote. The kicker is that the guilty politicians were black, and they were preventing a minority white population from voting. So, racism and discrimination cut both ways.

The US Justice Dept. under the Bush Administration has been accused of not prosecuting voting-discrimination cases. And it is true, they have pursued fewer cases when the alleged victims were black than previous administrations have. However, they have prosecuted far more cases with Hispanic and Asian victims. As the racial make-up of America continues to change, patterns of discrimination and racism will change, too..

posted on Tue, 07/10/2007 - 12:55pm
Gene's picture
Gene says:

Race in America is not all black-and-white. Here's a story out of San Francisco about a columnist in the Asian Weekly newspaper who has written articles titled "Why I Hate Blacks," "Proof That Whites Inherently Hate Us" and "Why I Hate Asians." They show that racism cuts in many different directions.

Each of these articles has been roundly criticized.

posted on Tue, 02/27/2007 - 6:22pm
Gene's picture
Gene says:

Here's an interesting tidbit...

In researching another post on Economics, I began to wonder why that discipline is sometimes called "the dismal science." It traces back to Scottish writer and historian Thomas Carlyle.

In 1849, Carlyle wrote a magazine article entitled "Occasional Discourse on the Negro Question." Slavery had been abolished in the United Kingdom in 1833. Plantation owners in the West Indies -- then part of the British Empire -- complained that they could not afford to pay the prevailing wages. Carlyle argued that any black man who was not willing to work for the wage offered should be forced to do so. He felt that work was morally good -- and that Economics, which pays no attention to morality but only looks at supply and demand, was therefore a "dismal science."

Like so many other phrases originally meant as insults, Economists have worn this as a badge of pride.

posted on Tue, 02/27/2007 - 6:49pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Whenever I hear about one more white supremacist group on the news it makes me hate the fact that I am white. And sometimes I hate the fact that I know that my race and my actual ancestors are responsible for part of the history of white oppressors. And while I am thankful that there have been many members of my family as well as myself have attempted to be part of the solution, I still feel guilty even though it was nothing I did and I cannot change the past or the fact that I currently have certain priviledges because I am white.

posted on Thu, 03/01/2007 - 11:52am
Gene's picture
Gene says:

Hatred is unhealthy; self-hatred doubly so. It is admirable that you want to end racism in America. But feeling bad about yourself for something you didn't do isn't going to help. Furthermore, hating an entire race because of the actions of a few -- well, that's racism itself right there, isn't it?

posted on Fri, 03/02/2007 - 8:53am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

My kindergarten teacher was black and I didn't know it until many years later in high school, when my mom told me.

posted on Sat, 03/03/2007 - 8:44pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I think media and politics plays big role for spreading racism, example when look these days to our media. although it shows you negative picture for muslim. just because of few individuals committed unacceptable behavior. as result for the media pictures. alot of people do not trust muslims or do not like them. We forgot the fact that muslims are 25% of the population of the world!!!!

posted on Sat, 03/03/2007 - 9:51pm
Gene's picture
Gene says:

The last I heard there were about 1 billion Muslims, making them roughly 16% of the world's population.

posted on Mon, 03/05/2007 - 3:04pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

i think evryone should be treated fairly, who givs a rip.

posted on Mon, 03/05/2007 - 5:22pm
Gene's picture
Gene says:

In February, a group of Asian-American students at the University of Wisconsin complained that law professor Leonard Kaplan had used derogatory stereotypes in discussing Hmong immigrants. Immediately, the dean issued an apology, and the school held forums for the students to express their feelings.

All this happened before all the facts were in, before Kaplan had a chance to present his side of the story. When he did, a very different picture began to emerge. Accused of saying Hmong men had no skill other than being warriors, Kaplan claimed he had actually said that some Hmong men suffered a loss of status when transplanted to the United States, where they could no longer fulfill their traditional warrior role. Accused of saying Hmong women had no skills other than embroidery, Kaplan claimed he had said many Hmong women used their skills to start successful cottage industries, and thus adapt to their new home. And so on.

(While the original complaining students do not accept Kaplan version of events, other students in the class agree with his take.)

This incident raises a number of issues. One is the rush to judgment that sometimes occurs when accusations cross racial lines. The aggrieved minority is presumed to be in the right, and it falls upon the accused person (often a white male) to prove their innocence. Now, in a great many cases, they are not innocent. But often they are, and regardless of the circumstances, we owe it to ourselves to hear all sides of the story before making a judgment.

Another important issue is, given this atmosphere, how can we even discuss race to begin with? Before Kaplan presented his side of the story, his colleague and fellow UW law professor Ann Althouse wrote in the NY Times:

The truth that seems to matter is the fact that the students felt bad.... You might think that a law school would want to teach scrupulous procedure, including a passion for the search for the truth and the need to find the facts before devising the remedy. But the notion instead seemed to be that we could simply treat the feelings and try to make everyone feel good again.

Ironically, you have to care enough about engaging energetically with issues of race to run into this sort of trouble. It’s so much easier to skip the subject altogether…. It’s only when you challenge the students and confront them with something that can be experienced as ugly — even if you’re only trying to highlight your law firm’s illustrious fight against racism — that you create the risk that someone may take offense.

The history of race relations is often ugly and offensive. It is almost impossible to discuss, in any meaningful way, without bringing up incidents that some people will find upsetting. But discuss it we must, if we’re ever going to make any progress. Which means we all need to be a little more careful not to give offense accidentally, and at the same time also being careful not to take offense when none is intended.

posted on Thu, 03/08/2007 - 4:14pm
Gene's picture
Gene says:

This article from the local "progressive" paper says the incident has had a chilling effect on academic freedom:

“It’s not just a question of whether faculty members — or students, for that matter — are punished for expressing the ‘wrong’ views,” says [professor Howard] Schweber. “It’s whether the university is a place where people feel free to explore controversial topics and express unpopular arguments.”

posted on Thu, 03/08/2007 - 6:44pm
tropical Island Girl's picture
tropical Island Girl says:

this is a very good thing that the science museaum has set up and it is really important for people to know that there are more meanings behind that terms blacks and whites.
thank you science museaum of Minnesota

posted on Sat, 03/17/2007 - 11:34am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

i think that the only racist thing r people that hate other races. not tv. only certian people get on

posted on Mon, 03/19/2007 - 11:42am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

My professor at the university once told me that: "I anticipate that you will get a C- for my class because you are not a native speaker."

She also told other international students from China that "Your English level is not enough to take my class!"

I hate professors who anticipate that their international students will not be as good as other American students in a class setting because they are non-native speaker. That's a very unfair comment to make.

posted on Mon, 03/19/2007 - 1:48pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

i think race and white should get along like other ppl should and ppl shouldnt say the "negro" either unless u are that color cause there are alot of ppl that hate that word and if u are the same color as them then u can say that but i think that u should believe in urself and just forgive ppl and wat they are and there color

alyssa an alc student

posted on Wed, 03/21/2007 - 10:07am
Gene's picture
Gene says:

Liza and I have been having a running debate on "white privilege" over in another thread. Liza suggested I re-post all my comments here, and then she will do the same. That seems like an awful lot of work. So, how about I summarize my argument; I’ll invite Liza to do the same for hers; and then everyone else can have at it. OK? Here goes:

"White privilege:" no such thing.

As a white person in America, I have an easier life than most members of a minority group. I have an easier time getting a job, an easier time getting a loan, an easier life in just a million small and not-so-small ways. This is undeniable. It is also immoral. It needs to be stopped. How do we stop it?

We stop it by going to the root cause. For decades, law and custom widely prohibited minorities from enjoying the rights of American citizenship. Law and custom discriminated against minorities. Today, discrimination is illegal. When it occurs, it needs to be rooted out and punished.

Of course, past discrimination has lingering effects. Many Americans today are the children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, etc. of people who were in the past denied jobs, denied education, denied the full benefits of American society. Many minority people today start life at a distinct disadvantage. Society has taken steps to rectify this, to “level the playing field.” (We can debate whether we’ve taken the right steps, and whether those steps are still necessary, but that’s another topic.)

I believe Liza would agree with everything I have said so far. (If not, please correct me.) Where we disagree is in what to call this phenomenon. I look out at the American landscape, and I see racial discrimination. Liza, and many scholars and academics, look out at the same landscape, and they see “white privilege.”

This, I maintain, is a misnomer. “Privilege” in my dictionary (American Heritage, 2nd College Ed., 1985) is “a special advantage, immunity, permission, right or benefit granted to or enjoyed by an individual, class or caste.” Note the word “special.” As an American citizen, I am guaranteed equal protection under the law. I have a right to be treated fairly. And when I go out into the world, yes, most of the time I am treated fairly. In other words, I receive exactly the treatment that I should. I do not receive anything that I have not earned, that I do not deserve, that is not also the birthright of everyone else in the country. I have no “privilege.”

Now, when a minority person goes out into the world, they have a much harder time. They are often not treated fairly. They are denied their rights. This is discrimination. They are held back, no question about it. I, however, am not “pushed up.”

Now, why is all this important? Three reasons. First of all, truth and accuracy are always important. Words matter. I am saddened, though not really surprised, that scholars would abuse the language to make their point. Second, it is offensive. It tells me that everything I have achieved in life is not due to my own efforts, but was a gift. This is not just demonstrably false, it is insulting, and it makes me less interested in fighting the real problem, which is discrimination.

And that’s the third and biggest reason why this matters. Racial imbalance is a societal disease. But we’re not going to cure the disease if we misdiagnose it. If we believe that the cause of racial imbalance is “white privilege,” then we will try to correct the imbalance by creating “minority privileges” – which not only creates resentment among whites, but does nothing to end discrimination. On the other hand, if we correctly identify the problem as discrimination, we can take appropriate steps to eradicate it, and thus fix the imbalance much more quickly.

posted on Wed, 03/21/2007 - 10:10am
Liza's picture
Liza says:


Yes. I agree with your first three paragraphs. And I agree with some of the rest of your points, too. But there are points of disagreement, for sure.

Part of what people mean by "white privilege" is the fact that I can ignore my race. I don't have to deal with it. I'm unburdened by daily reminders of "otherness." And it's hard to see racism if you try not to practice it yourself and you and yours don't experience it. Is being unfettered by other people's perceptions of you based on your skin color a basic human right? It sure should be. But the fact that you and I can ignore our skin color, and generally assume that it won't be counted against us, is a perk of being white in America.

As for not having had a boost up, I disagree on that point, too. I'm not at all denying that you work hard, and have likely had obstacles to overcome. Me, too. And a lot of what we have isthe result of hard work, talent, and determination. But according to the RACE: The Power of an Illusion website, economists (such as Dalton Conley) estimate that 50-80% of a person's lifetime wealth depends on opportunities created by past generations--gifts, informal loans, a good education, or job connections.[emphasis mine] To a large extent, the wealth accumulation of millions of white Americans was made possible by federal programs that excluded non-whites. I myself didn't directly receive assistance from a program like that, but I'm a beneficiary by extension, I'm sure. We don't see the invisible hands that boost us up, but that doesn't mean they're not there.

Here's more from the Power of an Illusion website:

"'If we could all put on blinders, then we wouldn't have any problems,' one white interviewee expressed, echoing the sentiment of others that also wished for a colorblind society. They want to wipe the slate clean and stop paying attention to race. But will ignoring race give us an equal playing field when social and economic inequalities are so deeply entrenched in our institutions, and opportunities and resources have been divided along racial lines for generations?

According to George Lipsitz in The Possessive Investment in Whiteness, 'In the U.S. economy, 86 percent of available jobs do not appear in the classified ads and personal connections prove the most important fact in securing employment.' As long as business owners and managers are predominantly white and people continue to live in homogeneous communities, the job market will perpetuate existing inequalities along racial lines. Opponents to affirmative action believe that everyone should be judged on merit - yet current business practices essentially guarantee that 'whites will be rewarded for their historical advantage in the labor market rather than for their individual abilities and efforts.'"

But let's look for some common ground here: How do we change the imbalance of opportunities? How do we give everyone equal access? What are the appropriate steps that will eliminate discrimination?

posted on Wed, 03/21/2007 - 2:53pm
Gene's picture
Gene says:

Maybe we should just agree to disagree. ;-) Because, once again, I concur with everything you say; however, I maintain that “privilege” is not the right word to describe it.

It occurs to me that the debate we are having mirrors that between the political theories of “natural law” and “legal positivism.” This can be illustrated with a simple question:

True or false: the First Amendment of the US Constitution gives citizens the right to free speech.

Someone who subscribes to natural law theory would say “false.” The First Amendment doesn’t give you anything. You already had that right, simply by virtue of being a human being. As the Declaration of Independence says, “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights.” We might use different language today, but basically it means that all human beings are entitled to human rights. Many governments ignore or trample human rights, but the rights exist, whether they are honored or not.

Legal positivism rejects this idea. It claims there are no “natural” laws. Just look at the natural world – lions eat zebras without any concern for their “rights.” Rights are a human invention, invented by society and granted by government. So, a legal positivist would answer “true” to my question: the First Amendment does give you the right to free speech; without the Amendment, the right simply does not exist.

So, what does all of this have to do with "white privilege"? Well, I think these two legal theories go some distance in explaining the different viewpoints Liza and I espouse. I seem to be on the natural law side of things: when I go about my life and enjoy my human rights, I don’t see it as anything special. Every human being on the globe is entitled to the exact same rights as I have. I’m not getting anything extra. And if government or society denies a minority person their human rights, that’s discrimination.

Liza seems to lean more toward the legal positivist view. From that perspective, society creates rights and government dishes them out. In America, white people enjoy the benefits of their rights more than non-whites. And under this theory, that can only be called “privilege.”

There is no right or wrong here. Both of these theories have long histories, and can claim eminent philosophers and legal scholars among their proponents. Indeed, most legal systems combine elements from both theories. It’s just a difference of perspective.

posted on Sat, 03/24/2007 - 10:04pm
Gene's picture
Gene says:

It would appear that the Supreme Court agrees, at least in terms of the proper course of action. In the case Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District No. 1, the Court recently ruled that government-run school districts cannot deny admission to students on the basis of race (unless the school district is under a court order to desegregate). Chief Justice John Roberts, writing for the 5-4 majority, said "The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race."

posted on Thu, 07/05/2007 - 1:59pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

i love this exhibit i think that it teaches

posted on Sun, 03/25/2007 - 10:24am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

i think equality will be achieved through the evolution of a pluralistic society not one that is assimilated. Our goal is not to achive color blindness because color does exist. It is only when a higher or lower value is attributed to difference that we have racism. Difference is somthing to be celebrated not denied or given a value one above the other but nor should we deny the differences regardless of their biological/genetic origins

posted on Sun, 03/25/2007 - 1:39pm
Lillian's picture
Lillian says:

My very first teacher was a different race than me. Since I am Asian, of course I would have a teacher of different race because the majority of teachers are white.

posted on Sun, 03/25/2007 - 5:06pm
Claire's picture
Claire says:

I had a teacher of a different race when i was in preschool my very first year. I am asian so it makes it hard to find teachers that are the same race as me, In fifth grade a teacher made me really mad when something happened. A boy called me mean names and she didn't do anything about it.

posted on Sun, 03/25/2007 - 5:07pm
Gene's picture
Gene says:

According to this item, human evolution has been progressing at an accelerated rate for the last 40,000 years – after our species left Africa and people began to settle in the different parts of the globe. The item also refers to another study, in which researchers found that many genes are expressed differently in different populations.

The author of the item wonders if perhaps there isn’t more of a biological basis to race than people would care to admit.

posted on Thu, 03/29/2007 - 5:37pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

on census test my older brother always wanted to put "other" for himself even though he is white. He said if other people who are mixed can put down something of their choice, he chose other. He said there was no category for 'Italian/Irish/German."

posted on Thu, 03/29/2007 - 6:56pm
Gene's picture
Gene says:

Just goes to show that race is a social invention, not a biological constant. Until at least the 1940s, these were considered three separate races -- Mediterranean, Celtic and Nordic. (This approach to race is reflected in the works of H. L. Mencken, Malvina Hoffman, and many others.) After WW II, revulsion against Nazi racial theories made such fine distinctions less important for many people; and the Civil Rights movement of the 1950s and '60s redefined race in America as "black" and "white."

So yeah, if your brother wants to check "mixed race" in 2010, I'll support him!

posted on Fri, 03/30/2007 - 10:21am
Angela Glaros's picture
Angela Glaros says:

I didn't see much in the way of a discussion about how religion is racialized in the wake of 9/11 -- in the Twin Cities especially, we are dealing with many community issues revolving around Muslim Minnesotans. For instance, the refusal of some Somali cab drivers to take passengers carrying alcohol, etc. The stereotypes surrounding Muslims -- that they are violent, always anti-woman, etc. -- get mapped onto physical appearance and begin to act in the same ways that racial designations have in the past. And in the case of Muslims, this is often gendered, as women constitute the more "marked" group of Muslims through their use of head coverings. We need to open a conversation about this in the future.

posted on Thu, 03/29/2007 - 8:59pm
Gene's picture
Gene says:

Agreed. But religion is not race. Anyone of any race can be Muslim: the Somalis are sub-Saharan Africans; Saudis are Arabs; Iranians are Persian; Turks are, well, Turkish; Pakistanis and Bengalis are South Asian; etc. The world's most populous Muslim country is Indonesia, which is Southeast Asian. And some very high-profile terrorism cases have involved perpetrators who were white or Hispanic. All of which adds a complicating dimension to "mapping" or "racial profiling."

posted on Fri, 03/30/2007 - 10:31am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

racial profiling is necisary in a modern society

posted on Fri, 03/30/2007 - 11:58am
Liza's picture
Liza says:

I couldn't disagree more.

Whenever I hear someone at the airport griping that the TSA is insisting on screening their 92-year-old grandmother and it's so ridiculous, I remember that terrorists in the past have planted bombs on their children, their pregnant girlfriends, or their 92-year-old grandmothers. (If you're going to gripe, complain that a lot of airport security measures, while causing a lot of hassle, seem to do nothing to keep us safer than we were before.)

Further, many of the worst terrorists in American history were white: Timothy McVeigh, anyone?

And if you're going to be nonsensical and single out Muslims, let's remember that Islam is a religion, not a "race" or an ethnic group. There is no way to look at someone and tell what their religious beliefs are. And even if there were, a person's religious beliefs are not an accurate predictor of his or her tendency toward criminal behavior.

I don't think you can make an argument with any legs about how one group is more prone to crime of any sort than another. So how is racial profiling helpful?

posted on Tue, 04/03/2007 - 5:05pm
Isadora Rose Nieman's picture
Isadora Rose Nieman says:

I really liked learning about races because it helps me understand other people better and not assume things about them based on the color of their skin color.We are all different and the same.

posted on Sat, 03/31/2007 - 3:55pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

everyone is racist even though u think your not u r. its so hard not to be. if your not racist, then your pregudice and thats just apart of who u r. accept it. it ok we forgive u just say your sorry.

posted on Sun, 04/01/2007 - 12:28pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I don't agree with the idea of race but I'm not sure this is helping. Having a place where it is repeated how "white" people have hurt everyone else I don't think is useful. This may just be my feeling but it seems that we are just looking for retribution rather than equality. I think if you remove most of the negative and discuss how we are just similar, it would be more productive. I can't change what my ancestors did, so why direct it at me?

posted on Tue, 04/03/2007 - 3:29pm
Liza's picture
Liza says:

A few thoughts:

I'm not sure that the RACE exhibit or the discussions going on around it are meant to suggest that "'white' people have hurt everyone else." But the exhibit was created by the American Anthropological Association (AAA) and the Science Museum of Minnesota--both institutions that have an abiding interest in the discovery and dissemination of knowledge. If there's any hope of eliminating both personal racism and racist institutions in the future, we have to look back on how we got where we are.

Lots of folks get offended when someone suggests that their station in life isn't completely a reflection of their own hard work, talent, and initiative. That's very understandable; after all, the belief in pulling oneself up by one's bootstraps and getting ahead by one's own hard work is something that Americans share. (If you're at the museum, see the panel on the other side of this kiosk.) But there ARE "invisible hands" that have given some of us a boost up at the expense of others. You don't have to feel guilty about that, but it's everyone's responsibility to first SEE racism where it exists, and then to speak up for change.

And I think that the defensiveness that a lot of white people feel when confronted with the history of "race" in the United States is one thing that the exhibit hopes to change. The exhibit doesn't call for reparations (which don't have to be monetary, by the way), but advocates of reparative justice say that:

  • confronting difficult histories is a way to promote discussion and healing in societies that are already deeply divided;
  • that discussion can generate awareness of the nature and reasons for inequality, which leads to possibilities for political action;
  • and going through that process isn't "wallowing in the past" but coming to terms with painful histories and moving forward.

Isn't telling the truth important? Without a clear historical record that's understood by all of us, how can we possibly hope to overcome that history? We can't just say, "Why can't we all just get along?" If that's ever to happen, we have to recognize inequality and work to change it. That's an idea everyone can get behind, right?

posted on Tue, 04/03/2007 - 4:41pm
Liza's picture
Liza says:

If you're interested in finding out more about how the history of slavery affects many, many more people than just former slaves, I highly recommend checking out the full final report ("Slavery and Justice") of the Brown University Steering Committee on Slavery and Justice.

The Steering Committee's mission:

"In 2003, Brown University President Ruth Simmons appointed a Steering Committee on Slavery and Justice. The committee, which included faculty members, undergraduate and graduate students, and administrators, was charged to investigate and to prepare a report about the University’s historical relationship to slavery and the transatlantic slave trade. It was also asked to organize public programs that might help the campus and the nation reflect on the meaning of this history in the present, on the complex historical, political, legal, and moral questions posed by any present-day confrontation with past injustice. The Committee presented its final report to President Simmons in October 2006."

The final report (downloadable PDF, upper right corner of the page) is a fascinating piece of history, centered on one family and one institution, but broad enough in scope to cover global issues, too.

Here's a piece from the first chapter that made me sit up and take notice (remember: we're talking about tiny Rhode Island, here):

"...the real story of the Rhode Island slave trade is not of a few great fortunes but of extremely broad patterns of participation and
profit. Even with the inevitable gaps in the documentary record it is possible to identify by name some seven hundred Rhode Islanders who owned or captained slave ships. The roster includes virtually every substantial merchant, as well as many ordinary shopkeepers and tradesmen, many of whom purchased shares in slaving voyages, much as Americans today buy shares in corporations.

Even those who did not invest directly in the trade often depended on it for their livelihoods. Boatwrights built ships, and blacksmiths and blockmakers fitted them out. Sail lofts and ropewalks prepared canvas and rigging. Caulkers scraped and sealed hulls. Carpenters built shelving below decks to hold the ships’ human cargo. Distilleries churned out rum, sealed in barrels fashioned by coopers from local pine, oak, and iron. Factories and foundries produced whale oil candles, cloth, and iron bars, all important trade goods on the West African coast. Farmers supplied beef, flour, tobacco, and onions. In the words of historian Rachel Chernos Lin, one of the speakers sponsored by the steering committee, the Rhode Island slave trade was literally the business of 'the butcher, the baker, and the candlestick maker.'"

posted on Tue, 04/03/2007 - 4:55pm
analisaota's picture
analisaota says:

hi.i never knew about these problems.well i am only in 9th grade.i like the exibit and it has really made a change in my life.thank you for making the exibit.

posted on Tue, 04/03/2007 - 3:34pm
baby bop's picture
baby bop says:

my mom says if you are racist, other people will judge you harder than you did to them.

posted on Tue, 04/03/2007 - 3:38pm
kali's picture
kali says:

hi.i really like this exibit.it is really deep.it speeks the truth.it is not a lie.i REALLY like it.mostly because my mom comes from africa and my dad comes from norway.

posted on Tue, 04/03/2007 - 3:42pm
Pie Pie, I LIKE PIE!!!'s picture
Pie Pie, I LIKE PIE!!! says:

I think this exsibit is a really good thing! It shows that race dosnt really exsist. I have a black grampa so i can kind of relate to this stuff.

posted on Tue, 04/03/2007 - 5:08pm
Taylor's picture
Taylor says:

In my 8th grade class at school we had a couple of really powerful race conversation (we later came to see this museum). My school is based on diversity, it's called FAIR in crystal MN and it is amazing...i totally reccomend it. Anyways, before the race discussion our teachers had us each take a survey about our race. You answered questions such as: Are you pressured to represent your entire race? you answered by responding on a scale of 1-5 is this was a common occurance or not...Then we were asked to sit in a circle in order of our scores. They numbers ranged from 115 to 12. The white students, including myself were rarely discriminated against because of thier race. It was really hard to watch my non-white friends talk about hoe they experienced racism every single day. Racism doesn't just hurt people. It can help people too. Because I am white I will only have to send out 2/3 as many job applications tha an equally experienced and intelligent African American woman. This is completely unfair!!! Not just one person can change racism and to completely get rid of racism. The problem is that not everybody wants to.

posted on Tue, 04/03/2007 - 6:07pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

i see racisim in a lot of places. on tv, in shows where the main character might be African American then almost everyone else is african american too. I also see it at my school because there is a group of african american kids who only hang out with people of the same race, then they call everyone else racist, but aren't they being the racist ones? this exhibit really made me think about rce and what it means.

posted on Thu, 04/05/2007 - 4:05pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

i am white and phillippino. adiah

posted on Thu, 04/05/2007 - 4:09pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I am half white, half german, and half phillippino.People sometimes ask what race I am and I kind of feel weird about telling the phillippino part but I will just tell them anyways.Elise

posted on Thu, 04/05/2007 - 4:15pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

i'm from a bunch of european countries

posted on Thu, 04/05/2007 - 6:53pm
big fred i's picture
big fred i says:

I've been coming to the s.m. for a logn time and its cool.

racism may never disapier

posted on Thu, 04/05/2007 - 7:47pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

it truly shouldn't matter. people are people and deserve respect from everyone. You should be proud of your heritage.

posted on Thu, 04/05/2007 - 8:24pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

everyone is diffrent in gods eyes by.shelby olson hi maddie

posted on Fri, 04/06/2007 - 3:19pm
monkeyman's picture
monkeyman says:

i am from france. i have been a subject of racism for a long time. in third grade, everyone called me frenchie.
racism should end!

posted on Fri, 04/06/2007 - 7:33pm
Minim1ght's picture
Minim1ght says:

well, im 15 and i see racism everyday. from my peers,movies and other places

posted on Sat, 04/07/2007 - 4:09pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I don't understand why they ask for your race or ethinicity on SATs or other academic tests when they say that what you put in for your race won't effect your test scores.

posted on Mon, 04/09/2007 - 5:29pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

i think that in the united states we are all classified in such broad categories that we are slowly loosing a sense of self and where we came from as well as our hertiage. are children are going to feel lost if we dont start to find pride in culture, and our culture aside from american culture but our historical and gentic backgrounds

posted on Fri, 04/13/2007 - 1:27pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I love all people they are all rockstars I think we should give peace a chance

posted on Sat, 04/14/2007 - 2:56pm
Cassandra's picture
Cassandra says:

I think that you are pretty know matter what race you are. I am friends with alot of people that are not my race. And their aren't any problem. My friend went through this problem when this girl came up to her and said i can't be you friend because your dad his black. I knew how she felt inside. Black is beautiful and that is not going to change

posted on Sat, 04/14/2007 - 6:32pm
Joe's picture
Joe says:

You know what's interesting to me about the exhibit, and about what I have learned from it, is that while I have many friends who are not my race, I have never discussed race with them. And even now, I wonder - how do I at this point? How do you have a discussion about race with someone who you have known for 20+ years and it has never come up? Where do you start?

posted on Fri, 04/20/2007 - 10:16pm
ce-ce's picture
ce-ce says:

I think that it doesn't matter what race you are you should be able to go anywhere without being judge by your race. Black is beautiful and that is not going to change. Same with white. I love all the skin colors.

posted on Sat, 04/14/2007 - 6:44pm
peopleoftheworld's picture
peopleoftheworld says:

How come only white people are in storys with castles and princesses. I beleive that people of all colors should be in fairy tales.

posted on Sun, 04/15/2007 - 5:10pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

i htink there should be different colors in stories because all people should be exciting

posted on Tue, 04/17/2007 - 11:43am
kiszer's picture
kiszer says:

why do people hate other people in the world. I dont understand why people hate the oppoosite race in the inside we are all the same. its sad what one person can do to another. we are all brothers and should treat each other as such

posted on Thu, 04/19/2007 - 12:19pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I think it's really quite mean how many tv shows show that african americans are all hip with the gold necklaces and the language (yo, what's up dawg). But, in reality many african americans don't talk like that! And many don't dress like that either. Two show that I really appreciate showing the truth are the COSBY SHOW and THE FRESH PRINCE OF BELAIRE. Thank you.

posted on Sun, 04/22/2007 - 10:47am
L.W.'s picture
L.W. says:

I believe that it is unfair that almost all television shows have all white actors or all black actors. I think television shows should have actors of all races mixed together equally.

posted on Sun, 04/22/2007 - 2:30pm
Gene's picture
Gene says:

I agree, it would be nice. But I doubt it will happen.

1) It doesn't reflect reality. Most Americans live fairly segregated lives, hanging out and living with people like them. Shows that have people of all races living together in harmony are not realistic, and rather whitewash the serious racial issues facing America.

2) People not only prefer to live with others of their own race; they also prefer being entertained by them. According to this article, of the 20 most popular shows among white viewers, only 6 were also popular among blacks. (The article is for the 1998-99 season, but I haven't heard anything to indicate the situation has changed.) Seinfeld, the most popular TV comedy ever, was never among the top 50 shows for blacks. TV shows that mix races in an attempt to appeal to all viewers run the risk of not getting any viewers.

posted on Mon, 04/23/2007 - 4:20pm
Jewish Semite's picture
Jewish Semite says:

i was looking forward to seeing how jewish ethnicity would be part of this exhibit. it is not part of it. neither are semitic people. i though i would see jews and arabs presented here as brothers ans sisters. in my family, i learned my ethnicity is jewish. jewish is not only a religion. i agree, that's how i recognize jews sometimes, from how we look. if the exhibit does not acknowledge jewish ethnicity, does that mean it does not exist? the exhibit crosses into ethnicity, but not mine.

posted on Mon, 04/23/2007 - 11:02am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

No what dose race have to do with it?It's not always about race.

posted on Thu, 04/26/2007 - 4:12pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I would like to hear discussion in this exhibit on where the place for ethnic/cultural pride belongs in a society that is at the same time divided and brought together by differences. Are you leaving others out by showing your "pride"....? This exhibit talks a lot about how we are all the same.... but we aren't all the exactly the same and that's ok too right?

I am multiracial, and I've always been kinda in the middle of everything. Where do I fit?

I'm not offended by others sticking to their own group but I also wonder how those people can talk about equality for all the then live isolated.

just some thoughts

posted on Fri, 05/04/2007 - 8:41pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

thank you very much for this wounderful exibit. It interest my brain. My G.S. troop is here and we thank you for your hard work on this exibit.

posted on Sat, 05/05/2007 - 12:42pm
girl scout troop 826's picture
girl scout troop 826 says:

we all thank you for you hard work on this exibit. It is just amazing it is cool that you can have such little and big differcence between each other.

posted on Sat, 05/05/2007 - 12:47pm
kennedey's picture
kennedey says:

i had no idea what it was like back then.but now that i know i can tell people what its like seeing people in pain and dont know what to do for example rosa parks she started a bus boycott and stood up for her rights and put a stop to the bus desegregation.

posted on Sat, 05/05/2007 - 2:05pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

everyone should be treated the same

posted on Sat, 05/05/2007 - 7:26pm
Gene's picture
Gene says:

A controversy is brewing over an upcoming PBS documentary. Ken Burns, the guy who did The Civil War, Baseball, and Jazz, recently completed a film on World War II. Some minority groups have complained because the film does not depict any Hispanics. Burns offered to add material to the film, but the groups are demanding changes to the film itself, and are asking Congress to apply pressure to PBS.

What do you think? Should Burns have made greater efforts to include Hispanics in his story? Or are the activists going too far, demanding changes? Or is race even important in this situation?

Meanwhile, another PBS documentary, Islam vs. Islamists, is not being shown. Some people have accused PBS of playing politics. PBS has claimed that the movie is too long, or it isn't of high enough quality. One critic who has seen the film says that is not the case. But perhaps the biggest issue is the content of the film -- it takes a hard, critical look at the various groups that claim to speak on behalf of American Muslims.

Islam is not a race, it is a religion -- anyone of any color can be Muslim. But, in America, Islam is a minority religion, and most American Muslims are members or a minority race, so some of the same issues apply here as apply to race relations.

What do you think? Is it fair for filmmakers to be critical of minority spokesmen? Is it fair of PBS to refuse to air a film that is so critical? Perhaps the bigger question is, who gets to speak on behalf of an entire group, anyway?

posted on Sat, 05/12/2007 - 9:47am
flynn muscha's picture
flynn muscha says:

I thought that it was very interesting

posted on Sat, 05/12/2007 - 11:39am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Even though I'm only 11 I strongly agree re with lisa in all her articles. I am african, and appreciate every1 who posted nice things. THANK YOU ALL SSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO MUCH!!!!

posted on Mon, 05/28/2007 - 10:53am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

This is a good discussion

posted on Mon, 05/28/2007 - 1:32pm
Gene's picture
Gene says:

Many people, myself included, think diversity is a good thing -- when you get people with different backgrounds and different ideas together, they can do new and interesting things. However, Harvard political scientist Robert Putnam has studied racial and ethnic diversity, and has some troubling news: in the short-term, increased diversity actually hurts a community:

Diversity does not produce “bad race relations,” Putnam says. Rather, people in diverse communities tend “to withdraw even from close friends, to expect the worst from their community and its leaders, to volunteer less, give less to charity and work on community projects less often, to register to vote less, to agitate for social reform more, but have less faith that they can actually make a difference, and to huddle unhappily in front of the television.”

In the long term, the community evolves and new relationships emerge. But that can take years. In the meantime, the community suffers.

posted on Tue, 07/10/2007 - 1:06pm
Gene's picture
Gene says:

A recent study has shown that racial preference in college admissions has actually decreased the number of black lawyers in America.

posted on Fri, 08/31/2007 - 10:08am
Gene's picture
Gene says:

In California, the state bar association is refusing to cooperate with the US Commission on Civil Rights over this very issue. The Commission has evidence that racial preferences encourage the top schools to admit minority students who aren't prepared to do that level of academic work, leading to higher dropout rates. The state bar association maintains careful records of law school admissions, and their data could go a long way toward resolving the issue. But the board recently refused to release the information.

posted on Fri, 10/19/2007 - 4:27pm
schemingturkey's picture
schemingturkey says:

hey everyone,

i just joined and wanted to say hi. :)

posted on Wed, 10/03/2007 - 4:20am
hollywoodheidi's picture
hollywoodheidi says:

Hi! I just found this forum and it looks really cool.

Now, I gotta run off and read some posts. :)

posted on Fri, 10/19/2007 - 1:53am
theedger's picture
theedger says:

It seems no matter what the topic everyone wants to give their veiwpoint of how they would do it, and this is the perfect place for those ideas.

I love reading what other people think about it gives me a constant source for new ideas in my job.:)

posted on Tue, 09/02/2008 - 6:25pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

The problem with the PBS documentary 'Race the Power of an Illusion' is that is relies on the Lewontin fallacy, that there is more ingroup variation (see AWF Edwards paper 2003 (genetic diversity: Lewontin’s fallacy. BioEssays, 25, 798-801).

Genetic scientists who know better continue to utter such falsehoods as "there are no scientific differences between humans," or "race has no biological reality." The unrelenting attack on the straw man of race is an attempt to subordinate science to politics.

Also, consider Berekely Professor of Anthropology, Vincent Sarich's 2004 book: "Race: The reality of human difference".

Or consider sports:

"The East African edge, if you will, reflects the impact of evolution on body type and physiology. "Africans are naturally, genetically, more likely to have less body fat, which is a critical edge in elite running," notes Joseph Graves, Jr., an evolutionary biologist at Arizona State University and author of The Emperor’s New Clothes: Biological Theories of Race at the Millenium. "Evolution has shaped body types and in part athletic possibilities. Don’t expect an Eskimo to show up on an NBA court or a Watusi to win the world weightlifting championship," adds Graves, who is African American. "Differences don’t necessarily correlate with skin color, but rather with geography and climate. Endurance runners are more likely to come from East Africa. That’s a fact. Genes play a major role in this."


posted on Mon, 10/13/2008 - 8:04pm
Jessica_Patino's picture
Jessica_Patino says:

Such a great topic RACE. some people might just say race is something you identify yourself with but others might just say its a label you have. its weird how different people are percieved in different ways because of they way they look, their culture, or how good they are at something. I am confused at times with all the new things I learn about race. it's something that at times is interesting an also a bit frusterating to understand. I mean a lot of people can't tell me apart from different "races" and it gets frusterating.

posted on Wed, 10/15/2008 - 2:34pm
Reina's picture
Reina says:

RAce now is changing.. mixing races today is creating a new "race" how do we answer questions realted to race in the 21st century???

posted on Wed, 10/15/2008 - 2:39pm
T Nice's picture
T Nice says:

If everybodies mixed then there should be no such thing as a RACE. WE ARE ALL THE SAME.

posted on Wed, 10/15/2008 - 2:42pm
Brittany Miller's picture
Brittany Miller says:

That is a very interesting page.

posted on Sun, 04/12/2009 - 7:16pm
stephanie charlotte nc's picture
stephanie charlotte nc says:

i will say that we are all a race,"one human race" im a white and native american female,and the love of my life is a black male,do we see color? no...we are all a race of other races...no person is only "white" or only "black" or spanish or asian...we all are mixed together......love and peace

posted on Wed, 01/12/2011 - 2:43pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

It has not affected me, but a lot of models that are white are on covers in magazines and if your not like that then you feel terrible about your body.

posted on Tue, 03/01/2011 - 11:28am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I think race is less of an issue but contrary to belief white people are discriminated against as well.

posted on Sat, 04/02/2011 - 3:41pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I think that there are a lot of people who are rcist like saying " all irish people have a temper and red hair" when that is not true.

posted on Tue, 04/05/2011 - 5:30pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

A race is somtehing that you run. We define ourselves by race because we are all striving to be in charge of each other. So if we worked harder to lift each other up we we would all be on top. Everyone would be lifted and we would not care about our skin color. Let's run the race of overcommimg race.

posted on Wed, 04/06/2011 - 4:29pm
EMMA's picture
EMMA says:


posted on Sat, 04/23/2011 - 11:42am
RYAN's picture
RYAN says:


posted on Fri, 04/29/2011 - 9:48am
jada's picture
jada says:

some times we all get jugded by our skin its just life

posted on Fri, 04/29/2011 - 11:08am
brianna l.'s picture
brianna l. says:

race affects me because its jn my every day life. my school is culturally diverse.

posted on Sat, 04/30/2011 - 2:22pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I guess my experience is more ethnic discrimination than racial discrimination, but it bothers me CONSTANTLY! I am of Irish descent, as is my husband. I took his name when marrying, and it is an O' name. And, according to the IRS, several credit card companies, one of my untilites, and countless other entities, it is not a "valid last name." So basically, because I have an ethnic last name, it isn't acceptable? I am tired of not even being able to file taxes with my real last name, I have to leave out the apostrophe. Sound silly, and if it was a one time problem, it would be. But, like all discrimination, it builds up a real anger and resentment over time and repeated experience.

posted on Sun, 05/15/2011 - 12:34am

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