What do we mean when we talk about race?
Warning: Contains strong language
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Choose a term
Institutional racism
Person of color
Racist
Ally
Microaggression
All lives matter
Politically correct
Colorblindness
Safe space
Diversity
White Privilege
White fragility
What does institutional racism mean to you?
    Institutional racism
    Person of color
    Racist
    Ally
    Microaggression
    All lives matter
    Politically correct
    Colorblindness
    Safe space
    Diversity
    White Privilege
    White fragility
What's your reaction to “institutional racism”?
Seattle Times staff will select thoughtful responses for each video to be featured below.
This video * me because:
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This video resonated with me because: the belief that all men are created equal is the biggest paradox in American history.
– Ligia, 16
This video frustrated me because: some people, while struggling to express what they have felt and experienced, seemed unable to see the ways in which institutional racism (in the form of laws and penalties, violent policing and surveillance of people of color, unfair distribution of schools and other services, pollution focused on poor neighborhoods of color, etc.) still exists. Very much so. Some people got that, but a number of them did not.
– Linda, 58
This video resonated with me because: These interviews were the most articulate / insightful commentaries I've heard about the variety of people have to issues related to race. I appreciated the editing that juxtaposed ideas; it made me more thoughtful. (I'll show this to my intro to Am. Studies class this fall to initiate conversations we have about these concepts.) The one thing missing here, as a representative set of perspectives, are more conservative views. I don't miss them, but I can see that it might limit the project.
– Ingrid Walker, 52
This video frustrated me because: I sometimes feel that race is the first thing people look to when something is wrong. However, I can't ignore the data. I think there has to be something along with (not instead of) systemic racism that allows it to continue...culture, beliefs, ignorance? I don't know.
– Kat, 51
This video resonated with me because: I work with an organization that was accused of systemic racism a year ago. It was a hard thing to hear, but that fact is that it was true: we had an all-white board, and predominantly white participants. We didn't mean to, like one of the people said in the video, we weren't a bunch of evil people trying to exclude people of colour. We just did things the way we had always done them, and the result was exclusion. It's so easy to ignore it when you're not the one being excluded.
– Andrea, 31
This video frustrated me because: I think there was a missed opportunity to provide explicit definitions of the terms institutional racism, systemic racism, and individual racism. I recently completed a Leadership Tomorrow workshop in which these terms were defined. We then were able to discuss differing perspectives of those definitions. Without explicit definitions, these comments imply that the concepts are debatable. It's important to inform Seattlites the history of white supremacy, not just provide more opinions.
– Veronica, 47
This video frustrated me because: Individually there can be and is for some, racism. Institutionally? That is a bigoted statement that says ALL people of a certain skin shade are by virtue of their dna, racist. That's just flat-out dishonest and weirdly hypocritical. What has changed in our culture is the ability or will to actually overcome true issues that involve grace and nercy. Instead, envy and vengeance rules hearts and minds.
– Carolyn, 55
This video baffles me because: People keep drawing attention to their race, but we aren't supposed to do that. We all want to be equal, but we keep labeling others. Drop the labels. There isn't enough space here for me to truly elaborate.
– Matt, 42
This video interested me because: in my opinion they are telling their own definition of racism and tell their story of how they deal with it.
– Jocelyn Cano Ramirez, 15
This video saddened me because: It is very true what they said because many people get stopped just because of their color and everyone should be equal and that's how are country was built and yet our society has become full of people that judge others based on their color.
– Andrea Torres, 15
This video surprised me because: Darrel H. said we need to teach that slavery happened and that it was and is wrong. Are there places where that's not happening?
– Allison, 29
This video confused me because: What the Police and Courts are doing is not institutional racism/discrimination, it is simply racism/discrimination. Institutional Racism/Discrimination is sponsored by the state; a historic example of institutional racism/discrimination would be Jim Crow Law's. Anytime you have a state or government that sponsors or allows a group to be excluded based on Race, Color, National Origin, Religion, Gender, Disability, etc. you have Institutional racism/discrimination.
– Shawn, 41
This video educated me because: I realized when they mentioned "Where schools are built". Thinking about it, besides just where they are built, but also, you are forced to attend based on where you live in accordance to a school. That means, a school built in a ghetto, highly populated by minorities, will have less funding, lower testing, less education applied, and those in the school boundaries are forced to attend that school only, keeping them less educated.
– Sara, 29
This video angered me because: I agree with the well-known Jesse Lee Peterson who says there is no such thing as "racism", only differing personal opinions and actions
– Mark, 56
This video resonated with me because: I attended a prestigious private graduate school locally and found the rhetoric was inconsistent w actions and deeds. Micro aggressions, cultural appropriation, defensiveness and finally shaming. When questioned or pushed back against alienated from cohort and told by Professor ,"i didnt belong".. speaking truth to power even to "liberal" minded, educated people is at times more perilous than addressing those overt systems of racism in our country
– Miles, 40
This video frustrated me because: The participants clearly don't understand what the word "institutional" means. There is this continued dialogue relative to "Black people and innate criminality" which has nothing to do with institutional racism. Institutional Racism is systemic, it's policies and practices with disenfranchise an entire group of people built upon a legacy of being seen as less than. It has absolutely nothing to do with crime.
– Carob Doyenne, 33
This video resonated with me because: I've also had the nagging feeling about not being quite sure about the statistics normally quoted about institutional forms of racism. I know that I'm not "supposed" to wonder, but I can't help but wonder at the back of my mind if there are some nuances in the data that we have not yet teased out. Then, I wonder, "what if I'm just trying to deny reality because it doesn't conform to my view of the world."
– Leon, 17
This video angered me because: As a white male that grew up in poverty with the black community, I feel appalled. Yes, racism existed that created a huge rift of social relations in the USA. Yes, there is racism today. However, racism of today is different from the racism of yesterday. The racism of today pits minorities against whites, blaming the white man for everything in history. It saddens me because it is t white vs minority today. It is rich vs poor. Solve inequality and you solve racism.
– Cdoog, 32
This video saddened me because: I was disappointed and saddened by this video because I was raised to treat all people equally. I still feel we have a ways to go in many respects, but, I don't believe in white privilege. I have lived below the poverty line and I now make an upper middle income. My wife and I struggled but kept working. What I discovered is that you have to become someone an employer wants to hire. Looking professional opens doors regardless of skin color.
– Todd, 55
This video resonated with me because: I've worked with people who didn't know what red-lining meant (the practice of maintaining the ethnic make-up of a neighborhood by ensuring only the "right" people were allowed to buy houses in certain neighborhoods). They didn't know that red-lining is why there are more African Americans in Rainier Beach, and more Filipinos in Beacon Hill.
– Sten Ryason, 55
This video resonated with me because: this is exactly what has happened, is happening, and will continue to happen until those of us who are of Anglo/European descent acknowledge the existence and persistence of the white (Anglo/European) privilege that created and continues to create institutions and systems that 'stack the deck' to benefit our "peeps" at the expense of everyone else, and stop, look at the indisputable facts, and work to dismantle every institution and system that perpetuates discrimination. We're all cousins.
– Merridy McDaniel, 65
This video resonated with me because: This video resonated with me on a lot of levels. I am an African American woman from the South East. I spent one year in Portland, Oregon and endured more racism there than I have in a lifetime. I was there for a training program, and found it quite interesting that the people I sat around the table with often told me that I needed to change my perspective. WOW!!! Really. What other perspective do I have?
– Jennifer, 44
This video angered me because: All these comments about "white people this" and "white people that" - what's been truly *institutionalized* is the automatic blaming of "white people" under the unanswerable blanket accusations that are given forums like this. Anyone who uses the term "white people" needs to acknowledge the racist nature of their words and take some personal responsibility.
– Scott, 52
This video resonated with me because: institutional racism not always a malevolent plot. It's where grocery stores are placed. It's how schools are placed and funded with property taxes so that poor kids (who tend to be people of color) get less of an education. It's often the invisible, unforeseeable consequences of our actions and our infrastructure. We need to change the system and keep adjusting it so that everybody benefits but it's hard to do that when the status quo is good enough for most people.
– Eric, 28
This video was illuminating for me because: I learned more about others' experience, and the different ways they feel about these issues, which often seemed very unique and personal to them. While some comments may seem less informed than others, I think it is important that we heard from everyone. Thank you to everyone who took part.
– SS, 61
This video frustrated me because: I have difficulty understanding why people try to reason away statistics. Why not hear the truth and think, "how can this change?" I feel that people hear the truth and reject it because it's uncomfortable. We hear that our prisons are full of people of color and think "well they must commit more crimes because they have bad parents." We need to be bold enough and strong enough to stop turning away and we need to lean in to these root causes and see what we can do to tackle them.
– Rebecca Davidson, 32
This video frustrated me because: We seem to think that as laws are made to improve the way the "other" is treated that the problem has gone away. Several things happen; some stop thinking about and working toward a solution, others from the main stream feel they are being given short shrift because those "others" are getting more now and they are getting less, and finally marginalized people are still being blamed for the conditions they're in.
– Mary Beth, 66
This video resonated with me because: so many studies have shown the disparity between privileges of whites and blacks. I knew of no disparities growing up, because I am white and that was my normal. It takes information, such as your project here, to bring those disparities to light.
– Andris, 70
This video frustrated me because: it's a phenomena that limits people's potential and shortens their lives. Whereas I understand the difficulty that some may have in acknowledging that variables they were born to have given them an unfair advantage over others. There is an inherent human desire, particularly these days, to want to believe that you have 'earned' all that you have, a delusion of self-reliance. Access to social resources, including education and health care have a huge impact on opportunity. It isn't even subtle.
– Leslie, 47
This video saddened me because: Too often, those of us who think we are white want to hurry through the painful stuff and "move on". One way to do this is to define our terms narrowly enough to be ablessed to say "been there, done that." Overt Jim Crow laws may be a thing of the past, but there are many other institutions that impact our lives and that require closer scrutiny than we are often willing to give to redeem them from the racism embedded in them.
– John Hunter, 62
This video described me because: I am big, butch, genderqueer vs Trans. Transladies have many more serious problems, but we are all at best invisible to institutions and more ominously, we are objects to which to direct derisive jokes, intrusive questions, inappropriate and worrisome comments.
– Gail, 49
This video resonated with me because: You can see the disparity between races in socio-economic, educational, crime and other social measurement statistics. If you don't acknowledge a greater systemic or institutional factor, if you ignore the historical context of policies built on prejudice that impact society today, then you are saying that people of color don't do as well as White people for the simple fact that they just aren't as good. I think that is the worst kind of racism.
– Scotney Young, 27
This video Spoke for me because: Institutional racism is real. I see it more living as a white person in a white neighborhood than I ever saw it as a kid growing up in a predominantly black and Latino community. White people say the things they think to strangers when they share similar appearance. I appreciate seeing it in a way I have never seen it before because it shows me we are not even close to where we need to be.
– Kerry, 44
This video intrigued me because: There were so many thoughtful observations. I define "institutional racism" as the predictability that a person will be presumed inherently a criminal because of their color, or when color means someone's more likely to be kicked out of school for the same behavior that would be excused if a white kid did it, or stopped by police more often, or jailed more often for crimes white people are not, etc. I'm white, but to me it's obvious this stuff is happening. What's not obvious is how to stop it.
– Sara, 53
This video frustrated me because: I just want to say a lot of the comments from the white people are down right wrong. We need to acknowledge that institutional racism still exists today and it wasn't wiped out a 150 years ago. The Jim Crows laws weren't fully removed until 1970.
– Sherod, 23
This video frustrated me because: To get us on the right path, there are many groups and resources that focus on Ending Institutional Racism The People's Institute for Survival and Beyond, Shakti Butler & her work with World Trust, Race the Power of an Illusion. City of Seattle Race and Social Justice Initiative, Plymouth Congressional Church downtown Seattle and many more. If you truly want to get us on the right path do the work
– Natalie, 50+
This video frustrated me because: To me this is the wrong way to have discussions about topics on race. It does a huge disservice to all the people and groups that are working on this to get people to the same understanding of all the terminology,structures and how racism operates. To have random people speaking all over the place and to never define the history and structure of it is media coverage as usual and keeps people ignorant. For me there was only one participant that has an excellent perspective on the subject.
– Natalie, 50+
This video surprised me because: It's so rare for the Seattle times to take on relevant issues to our society. I actually thought I was reading a mother jones article for a minute and was confused by the Seattle times logo. Granted this peice is not investigating class inequality issues and is therefore unlikely to ruffle the feathers of Seattle times editors "Go Dino!" But it is a valid to effort to dig deeper into a topic that rarely gets nuanced perspectives. I appreciate the initiative the Seattle Times took here.
– Noel Sherrard, 28
This video interested me because: I am most interested in the perspectives of people of color because i find racism deplorable and I know that as a white person I can not be fully aware of how deep the problem goes or what the viable solutions are. In many cases it is a socio-economic issue, but socio-economic status is often a by product of systemic racism. What do we fix first? Access to excellent education? We need to start taking action as we raise awareness. Talk without action will not fix the problem.
– Marti, 57
This video frustrated me because: A lot of the things that happened in the past are influencing how people respond today. No one owns slaves today. My experience when some one who is black is caught doing something wrong the race card is always played. At some point everyone needs to take responsibility for their own actions and motivations for them. Race riots are based on peoples perceptions not on acts by others. While in Miami I knew that riots were coming because I was told they were coming days before and to stay away
– Donald Chatterton, 69
This video resonated with me because: Such a broad based succinct focus on how institutions embody privilege, unshared power and policies that often have bias. Also demonstrates how vital it is to look at our history.
– KC Young, 68
This video frustrated me because: I appreciate personal narratives and it is very important. BUT we need experts to also clarify and explain these terms. White people need to hear from experts or they will use their white fragility to ignore the narratives of people. And some of the white commments are not very informed.
– Mahtab, 45
This video interested me because: when comparing people in our world it often feels like comparing apples to oranges and we're shaped by our experiences. Everybody's experience will be difference. When you look at Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs I feel like it helps explain these differences in experience. White privilege, to me, means the likelihood of having these needs met is higher. I'm not even white but feel privileged because I do come from parents who were able to meet these needs and give me opportunities to succeed.
– Rex Villanueva, 34
This video frustrated me because: some people just don't get it (including those in the comments). It's not about antidotal miscommunication or "slights." It's when assumptions (mostly from stereotypes) are acted upon by those in power (e.g. government, police, administrators) and directly impact individuals' lives on a daily basis. There IS data that shows people being disenfranchised. It's widespread and more people need to wake up! Just because you don't have to deal with it (aka your privilege) doesn't mean it doesn't exist.
– Lori Y., 30
This video frustrated me because: Disappointed so many don't understand what Institutional Racism is sad
– Dunia Chatham, 39
This video saddened me because: I have lived in the West/Midwest/and the West Coast. However, living in Seattle, I have to agree with Tariqa in experiencing racism in Seattle. This place pretends to not have an issue with race but, the attitude reminds me of the old school south with the comments that comes out of white people's mouths at times.
– RW, 47
This video interested me because: it presented ways to look at institutional racism I hadn't thought about before. Is the term even valid and what does it mean? I've always thought of institutional racism as cultural inertia that people hardly notice which is why it's so insidious. In a bureaucracy everything just keeps getting done the way it always has unless somebody makes a concerted effort to change.
– Vicky, 57
This video consoled me because: in the way that we need so much of the REAL TRUTH to be spoken; many of the participants spoke a raw truth from their own experiences. This is a beginning step, and I hope whoever came up with this concept, will continue to ask the hard questions, and challenge people to take off the blinders [or the "kid gloves"]. If we are going to really make a difference; we really have to be vulnerable and trusting of the space in which we have to do the work.
– Gina Owens, 58
This video frustrated me because: We don't need to "hope" the law is being applied equally, we know it isn't. According to the CDC, there is no statistically significant difference between the drug use rates of white and black people, but black people are 2.5 times more likely to be arrested for drug possession. Thanks to the work done by David Baldus for McCleskey v. Kemp (and the replication of his study across the nation) we know that black people are 1.7 times more likely to get the death penalty than whites. Data. Not hope.
– QB, 30
This video frustrated me because: Mark, as a history major, should frankly know better. He says he "thinks" the last instance of institutional racism in this country was 150 years ago, as if the last Jim Crow laws weren't officially overridden by the Civil Rights Act of 1964. But, beyond that, he shows a marked lack of understanding regarding historical context and how societies create the dominant ideologies that govern them.
– Etheridge, 60
This video inspired me because: It will provoke thought. I can remember the first time I heard the phrase "institutional racism" I had no clue what it meant. I was caught off guard because as a Black and Latino male, I should have a through understanding of all things encompassing race, or so I thought. I grew up believing it was my choice to pursue happiness, because as a millennial growing in the 21st century all things are finally equal. I was naive to the "systems" in place that perpetuate inequality and racism.
– Darius Foster, 33
This video inspired me because: These are challenging conversations to have and sometimes it feels too easy to talk about something else. This site operates like a really good conversion.
– Brad Curran, 35
This video resonated with me because: as alumni of the American Ethnic Studies program at UW. All of these terms and topics of discussions are things that we constantly talked about in every class. While I believe that it is true we have made great strides to combat institutionalized racism, we still live in a society where the EFFECTS of that system are still very much a part of our daily life. All of the things mentioned in the video are the ripple effects of a system of oppression that our country was founded upon.
– Derek Edamura, 28
This video angered me because: of how America treats black people. But I think a discussion can be had as to how asians and latinos are victims of this as well. this is an extremely difficult video to watch because the discussion is always shifting.
– Raman Khanna, 24
This video saddened me because: It is 2016, and we as a society are still beating around the bush about prejudice based on skin tone. This country was founded on these principles, this we have known since the inception of the republic. It's not my job to solve "racism", as I didn't create, implement, and maintain this system. To be truthful, I don't know if most whites have the intellectual capacity to really apply critical analysis to this issue. Cognitive dissonance is a real thing. This is a game.
– V. Glover, 45
This video frustrated me because: Living in the states we have immense riches, freedoms. Why is it ok to continually oppress people based on something like skin color?
– Emily, 35
This video interested me because: As a white, female teacher in the South, I know for a fact that institutional racism exists. I'm not sure to what extent, because I acknowledge my privilege, but I can see it in the behavior referrals, suspensions, instances of poverty versus affluence, the population of our jails and prisons, and the way people of color are still looked at differently by organizations.
– Renee Jerden, 33
This video was refreshing to me because: I was expecting to watch a group of progressive liberal Seattleites either feeling sorry for their privilege(s) or being overtly politically correct about each term. Fortunately, what we actually got were honest, raw, conflicting, conversations about each term. The varying opinions made this experience all the more rich and balanced.
– Aisha, 25
This video angered me because: This is all BS to me, a white male. Try being white, having served in the military, and over 50, and getting passed over for a job because the employer wants "diversity", and comes right out and says so!
– Dave, 51
This video inspired me because: the speakers were vulnerable and shared their experiences and opinions about race, which can be scary. It also inspired me because we need more conversations about race that are honest so that we can be empathetic and inclusive, rather than silent and complicit.
– Hilari, 44
This video frustrated me because: Institutional racism is our government and media continuously wanting to label and categorize us, and the way both attempt to make white people feel guilty for something that none of us living in the US today had anything to do with. Are certain individuals racist, yes, everyday, but on the whole whites in the US are more inclusive than some more newly arrived groups (Indians and Asians) who don't stray far from those who look like them. Stop making this a white thing, it's an human thing.
– Bananomous, 35
This video interested me because: I am on the ERAC team (Equity Race and Advisory Committee) for Seattle Public Schools. I take this work into my school Bailey Gatzert everyday. However I do not think we are talking about it like it just popped up. There are people who are silent, and refuse to accept it whether consciously or unconsciously. More panels from active people in the community like this are needed.
– Enrique Black, 38
This video confused me because: I've always taken the concept of institutional racism as a given. It seems apparent to me that racism is steeped in our society, yet some of the people in the video expressed that maybe that's not quite what it is.
– Brooke Warren, 24
This video frustrated me because: Racism is institutionalized in our public school. Administrators in schools and nationally have gone to great length to categorize and separate our youth by ethnicity. Rather than emphasizing what all people have in common they spotlight the differences. Young children do not see race they see shades of color. They form friendships based on commonality. You want to stop "racism" then stop calling everything including disagreements "racism". Stop categorizing people by their ethnicity.
– Cindy, 56
This video resonated with me because: Until I worked with the tribes I thought people were overly sensitive. But after experienceing the sensation of repeated "miscommunications" and "perceived slights" I came to understand how destructive this entrenched bigotry, on racial-cultural- sexual, basis is. The nearest analogy is very fine sandpaper on wood. It is "only" a "minor" irritant but over time with repeated application it can wear down and destroy the material it is attacking. so it destroys people, cultures and identities
– K, 66
This video resonated with me because: I want to know more about specific things that are considered institutional racism; interesting that the gal said once she stopped breaking the law, the police didn't bother her anymore. Btw, I'm a white, middle-aged woman
– Anne, 55
This video interested me because: I worked for the Lynchburg Fire Department and the racism and mysogyny there horrified me. When I research fire depts across the country, it appears to be endemic in the culture. Firelawblog.com highlights almost monthly lawsuits and filings, yet nothing is done to prevent it or change the culture. The fire departments appear to be untouchable. Even after a 98 million dollar settlement with the NYFD, you still have cases such as those in Chicago to stop the hiring of black female firfighters. SM
– Ruth Anne Phillips, 52
This video resonated with me because: Racism is like riding a bike in a gentle breeze. If you have a 10-15 mph wind at your back, you do not feel it. You have no sense that you are being helped by the breeze at your back. But if you ride INTO the wind, even a gentle 10-15 mph breeze, you FEEL it pushing against you, impeding your progress. This explains why many whites fail to recognize racism. They have never had to ride against the wind.
– Dan Pens, 60
This video frustrated me because: I have not heard most of these terms before. After reviewing most of the video comments, I feel a lot of what these individuals are reporting may simply be miscommunication or perceived "slights." I feel that we as a society have gone too far in creating labels for literally everything. You see it in the medical system; creating disease names for normal body reactions. I think this creates divides and puts up defensive walls where there needn't be one. Makes reaching out to you harder.
– Heather Harja, 47
More comments
This video interested me because: The black people in this segment don't like being called people of color. I think they feel they have a different experience from asians, muslims & etc. And I think they're right. They are very separate experiences. Many of the comments you selected express this better than I can.
– Jim Katz, 60
This video resonated with me because: I can completely relate to what the older gentlemen said about an angry phase, a protest phase, and then a numbness. I am currently going through the numb stage. I want to see change but I am so deeply hurt and saddened by our current state of affairs for people of color in this country that to protect my own mental health I choose numbness.
– Nimo, 25
This video confused me because: As a white person, I am never sure how to refer to a person who is not white. I thought the term "African American" came from the black community because "they" didn't want to be called "black." Then I thought the replacement for that term, a person "of color", came from a broader non-white community. This seems to be a personal thing, and my only concern is that I might offend someone if I use the wrong term. How does this help us have a real conversation about race?
– Kathleen, 51
This video resonated with me because: It is hard for people who do not identify as Black or White to navigate how they are supposed to feel in regards to the issue of race in America. Choosing whether you identify as a "person of color" seems to put you in a position of choosing a stance. However, as this video demonstrates, the perception of that stance changes based on varying perceptions of the label. It is easy to be swept up into a label, rather than identifying your own unique struggles related to your own unique background.
– Nikita, 22
This video confused me because: most people seemed to think that you would use "person of color" instead of race (i.e. Asian or Black). However, see them as separate constructs that intersect, not synonyms. When I say person of color, it's not because I'm choosing it in place of Asian or Black, it's because in that context referring exclusively to Asians or Blacks wouldn't make sense. While I agree people of color do not have a shared experience, I feel a word to refer to non-whiteness that's not "minority" has value.
– Monica, 28
This video conflicted me because: the experience of being a PoC is very individual, and to hear some of the participants just dismiss it was somewhat disheartening. I think the term exists in order to highlight the privilege that white people hold and acknowledge the oppression that any non-white person may face, but that doesn't mean the PoC experience is uniform. I'm Chinese, and Asians can and do deal with oppression; not the same as black people, but these experiences are not mutually exclusive.
– Jenny, 23
This video resonated with me because: I hate the term minority! The root of the word inherently means less important, low ranking, and inferior. It's just one more example of institutionalized racism that automatically gives people a disadvantage.
– Larissa, 34
This video resonated with me because: When I am in a mixed race group of people I say people of color. When in a group of just a certain race I identify as Hispanic.
– Estreitta de Kluetz, 41
This video educated me because: "Person of colour" isn't a common phrase in my home country (I am Australian - we have a shameful history, and denial about racism and the genocide of Kooris. Our current treatment of refugees is appalling, to. I can't say I'm proud of my nationality). To me, "person of colour" isn't a helpful description, and one I would avoid. It would be preferable to find out how people prefer to identify themselves, and honour their identity in your relationship with with them.
– Nicole, 44
This video interested me because: I want to understand more about the culture I live in and what actions I can take on a daily basis to embody a spirit of change.
– Jen, 51
This video saddened me because: I don't label ppl as ppl of color. It is not important to me what skin color someone is as far as separating them in what becomes negative connotation. I dislike when ppl ask me to describe someone as a skin color because unless someone is very dark skinned I find it hard to consider them black. If you have a white parent and a non-white parent how am I supposed to know if you call yourself black or if you are part Latino or even sone other race?- why does race even matter anymore? Love all!
– Deborah, 46
This video inspired me because: it detailed the problem with the blanket term, and how dismissive and minimizing it can be. Having been born into the privileged side of culture, I need to understand how better to relate and empathize with other people, especially the non-privileged. Constantly confronting our personal, unspoken biases has an understated challenge and importance.
– Blake, 32
This video frustrated me because: There seems to be no truly objective way to refer to the black community. People are going to take offense to either term, whether it be "black" or "person of color" because they are both made to have negative connotations nowadays, depending on who you talk to. It is unfortunate that anyone using those terms has to walk on eggshells in fear of accidentally offending someone.
– Ben Mikesell, 22
This video surprised me because: I had been thinking that "people of color" was a more inclusive term. Well, depending on the subject. If you're talking about a specific group, then it's not appropriate. But the video made me understand why some people don't care for it.
– Susan, 70
This video confused me because: I have never used PoC because I didn't understand it. This video said to me it really means you're saying non-white, which is more than arrogant, like saying "I'm white world and you're not." I moved away from African-American to black after being corrected by Jamaican-born blacks that not everyone is African-American. In conversation it seems that context is important. Data collection and categorization is another matter.
– Kathy, 53
This video surprised me because: of the different interpretations people had for the term "person of color". Having had this discussion many times, the term "people of color" is a more respectful and accurate term for the term "minorities". The term "minorities" literally means "less than". However, in many places, the non-white population is NOT less than the white population. "People of color" more accurately reflects this fact. However, it should NEVER be confused with "colored people", which is just plain offensive.
– Meg, 59
This video resonated with me because: I'm never sure what words to use. As the video shows, some people prefer the term, others reject it; that makes it very confusing for those of us who are not "persons of color." To me, it seems less offensive, but to those to whom I apply it, it puts them in a category that separates them without describing them. It's all very confusing to me - and to most of us, I think.
– Cheryle Gardiner, 69
This video saddened me because: I have two brown-skinned young ladies in my home - for over two years now - and I am white. But I still don't even know what term would be most appropriate. I tend to just say they're black - if I even feel there's a reason to indicate it at all. I don't think "person of color" is all that helpful of a term. In most instances when I've heard it used, it has been exclusory - to indicate that I am *not* a person of color - therefore unfamiliar and unable to identify. And that makes me sad.
– David, 44
This video resonated with me because: I am an Asian female born in the South and raised in predominantly white small towns throughout this country. Moving to Seattle was refreshing but also surprising in the different sort of racism and marginalization I saw and experienced. I worked in corporate America and saw white privilege sneer on Occupy and avoid awkward conversations with Black Lives Matter. It's really cool to see those movements heard because now conversations -like this- are happening. Great work Seattle Times.
– April Peng, 28
This video interested me because: there are so many different perspectives! It's an individual perspective on the term and what terms each person wants to identify. For example, the 2 perspectives we had from Asian Americans are so very different where 1 identifies as a PoC, but the other doesn't. They both touch on the AA community trying to separate itself from other PoC, which I don't agree with as an Asian American myself. We all experience racism and discrimination as PoC, yes it's in different ways, but it still exists.
– Lori Y., 30
This video agree me because: totally resonates, everywhere true true...I do not like the word minority. Disrespectful and takes away identity. everyone is a person of color. Sad sad sad the whole diversion separateness, just that word is scary.
– Georgene Crowe, 68
This video mesmerized me because: I'm German, Hispanic, and Korean. I've grown up not knowing what to put on my standardized tests when it came to filling in the circle that says either white, hispanic, black, or asian. I never knew what to put in, so I would just sort of bubble all that applied. I don't really think that I would identify as a person of color, because I personally think it sounds offensive, as well as I've never really had to deal with the struggle that most people who identify as that have. I just worked hard.
– Jojo Pilsner, 18
This video resonated with me because: I reject the term "POC". As a couple of the interviewees stated: I'm black and I feel that the term is generic and erases the political connotation that comes along with me expressing that significant blackness. It is lazy and attempts to lump all non -whites together, as if we all have the same issues, backgrounds, and concerns.
– TD, 39
This video frustrated me because: When the term people of color is used, we really mean those who identify as black. Black slavery in this country makes the black experience unique.Latinos and Asians do not share the inherited sense of oppression as blacks. This term has been created to make it less confrontational to address race issues.Using this term avoids saying,"black folks still struggle from the history of slavery." P.O.C term makes anti-racism work a bigger tent by pitting whites vs everyone else
– Rae, 35
This video interested me because: everyone seemed to have a very different definition for the term, yet they all agreed that saying "person of color" implies a negative connotation. I think this shows that most people want to have this conversation in order to bring about understanding and respect without offending anyone who identifies as a person of color. As a white person, I am especially self conscious of using the "wrong" terms because I understand that I can't understand on my own. I want to help break down that barrier.
– Sadie, 24
This video resonated with me because: As a person of color I am conflicted as well so I appreciate seeing these people discussing the nuance of this term. I think this is a great video because challenges every definition of "person of color"
– Raman Khanna, 24
This video interested me because: The term "person of color" is racist at its heart because it implies that "non-colored" or white is the norm or ideal. There is no need to add the qualifier "of color." I am a person. Period -- full stop.
– Albert, 41
This video resonated with me because: there's so much nuance to how we define people. Each person might identify in a completely unique way, for example the black man who said he wasn't a person of color, he was black. I think we need to treat each person as an individual and identify them how they want to be identified. At the same time the term can be very useful in conversations about race.
– Brooke Warren, 24
This video resonated with me because: Please don't call me 'Person of Color'. Yes, my skin is darker, you can call me a Latino, because that's what I am. Using such pseudo politically correct term makes it sound as if calling me what I am is offensive.
– Edir, 29
This video interested me because: the phrase "person of color" is helpful in certain contexts, and unhelpful in others. It's also interesting to think about who gets to use it. My little brother and I are both mixed-race. I'm dark and he's light. I get to identify as a POC, but he probably doesn't, just based on aesthetics, even though we have the same parents. That said, colorism probably affected us in different ways growing up that neither of us could relate to.
– Ric Sanchez, 23
This video frustrated me because: I'm Black, in America; outside of America, I'm American. I think for us to really come to an understanding we've really just got to stop putting so much damn importance on race. Taking pride in your race is apart of the problem; be together, not the same.
– Chaz, 31
This video resonated with me because: ALL people are "colored." I have never met someone that did not have a "color." My Family is Ashkenazim Bavarian.
– Doc, 62
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This video opens the doors for dialogue me because: I am a 73 year old African American and Indigenous woman whose work as an educator, revolves around the issues raised here within the context of the impact of our very young children (0-5), their families, and the communities they live. This has been a great springboard to engage students in deconstructing the oppressive frameworks of various "isms" based on race, gender, class, religious affiliation, language, etc.
– Theressa Lenear, 73
This video helped me because: I didn't think that someone could be racist by accident. I thought that to say something racist, you have to think intentionally about it; even though it's absolutely wrong.
– Connor Johnson, 12
This video frustrated me because: The term 'racist' is a very accusatory term to me. I try to make sure I don't say things that will offend or that minimize the experience with oppression that someone else has had. I do have the image in my head of the virulent neo-nazi or the redneck who uses racist rhetoric. I'm going to be ignorant and I want to be made aware of when I've offended you. I understand when someone says "Hey, that makes me feel X because..." or "I hear that as this..." But to branded a racist makes me defensive.
– Dan, 27
This video confused me because: Saying black people can not be racist but only white people are racist is well... racist. Racism is lead by being prejudice you can not discriminate against white people if you are nonwhite as say you are not racist. Racism is more of an action than a personal trait if you ask me.
– Layla, 18
This video surprised me because: the White Southern man admitted that because racist people surrounded him, he too picked up that same racist mentality. He admitted that he WAS racist but is working to confront it. More Whites need to face the prejudices and biased ideologies so that this nation can heal and prosper.
– Tamara Boston, 49
This video interested me because: it informed me about how the little things I do like being more cautious in a "dangerous" neighborhood can insinuate minimal, but it's still there levels of racism.
– Jenny, 15
This video surprised me because: I've never heard a white man from the south admit to racism and express regret! It made me feel like I should say it out loud, too.
– Ian, 27
This video inspired me because: I have an incredible amount of respect for Mr. Rickel. I'm curious as to what happened in his life that opened his eyes to the way he had lived his life in regards to how he saw people of different ethnicities. Was it an event or was it faith?
– Caroline, 33
This video frustrated me because: language matters, and "racism" is a term without an agreed upon meaning. Some insist that it means prejudice plus power, others believe it to mean presumed superiority of one race. These are vastly different things and so of course the conversation is awkward and confusing. If instead people were inclined to use more precise language, separating "racial prejudice" from "racial discrimination" and "racial superiority," I believe the national conversation would take huge leaps forward.
– Dan, 42
This video excited me because: because it clarifies the multiple understandings that coexist under familiar keywords. Unpacking these words is critical to deepening mutual understanding. Very heartening. Thank you!
– Jo Brown, 62
This video inspired me because: To admit that I do not understand racism is difficult. Labeling individuals is so caustic for everyone. The terminology in this segment is enlightening, and it seems that we should be open to the possibility of describing one another as individuals, separated or included by life experiences, but united as human beings. The desire to change my blindness to racism is a driver for me. I want to help turn the notions that are so damaging to our human existence. We are overdue to empower ourselves.
– Deb Olson, 64
This video surprised me because: WOW! That is powerful! I feel this is something one could share with their kids at some point. I wish more people could see this and relate and be honest with themselves. I was really surprised by the white male from the south statements. He completely owned that as a dominate race,with a system set up, white society as a whole has power of authority and of racism and that other minorities in this country can not be "Racist." I totally agree.
– Michelle R., 35
This video inspired me because: In first minute, I really tried to understand their sayings but then I stopped it for a while and asked the same question to myself. Answering the question honestly took longer than I thought so I decide to keep watching. And while I was listening, I discovered my answer, this video helps me to create my own answer for ' who is racist? '
– Ferhat, 21
This video resonated with me because: I think the terms racist, prejudiced, and bigoted are used interchangeably. But maybe they are not exactly the same? I can say that much of my family thinks they are not racist because they probably think of the KKK when they think racist. They don't think of Archie Bunker (for example.) Uh, not so fast. Anyway, I'd be curious to get the Black perspective on those terms. Are they the same or different? I think they are, but I'm not sure.
– Susan, 70
This video surprised me because: I've never heard someone admit to being a racist.
– Greg Washington, 32
This video interested me because: What I've learned in the last couple years is that the definition of racism has changed. It is not the classical white power/anti black, hateful person. It can be a person who, whether consciously or unconsciously, holds negative preconceived notions of someone of another race. Anyone can be effected by the social conditioning in our society. That's why it's necessary to talk about it, to recognize and prevent it in ourselves.
– Heidi, 35
This video frustrated me because: Racism is a reality and it is not just a "white" phenomenon. I guess I'm a little tired of being called a racist because I'm white. And, yes, I have been a victim of racism and discrimination in Seattle.
– Ann Hill, 50
This video inspired me because: Communication and knowledge is power. It is essential to be able to have empathy and a reasonable dialogue on issues that are currently happening. Instead of hiding away, addressing it head on with an open-mind and heart allows for change and improvement.
– Lydia Ko, 31
This video supported me because: At the end the black gentleman believed that no black person could be racist. That is very untrue. It's a blasphemous thing in my community that we cannot share the same hate as those who hate us. And as a biracial man I see it on both sides.
– Robert Williams, 31
This video interested me because: Racism is about power. It's about privilege, power, and being able to oppress. We seem to have become desensitized toward what racism is, and like to use the term liberally. It's important to understand it and all of its facets fully.
– Jennifer, 19
This video frustrated me because: Everyone needs to learn acceptance and how to be kinder to each other. Stop making fun of people and their characteristics, race, sexual orientation, voice, hobbies, weight, choice of clothing, etc. Stop the negativity. Stop making fun of your fellow humans. Stop the oppressing of your fellow man!
– Blu, 27
This video frustrated me because: Racism is not about speech nor about hurt feelings. It is about about leveraging the infrastructure of racist repression. A white neighbor and friend told me he was a victim of racism because he went to a black bar and people there were not nice to him so his feelings were hurt. I asked him whether he thought those black people could have had the police come and beat him up for being white in a black bar. He admitted he was never afraid of that. Then he understood what racism is.
– Oscar Brain, 44
This video frustrated me because: We are still confused by prejudice and racism. We all prejudge things and people in relation to our lived experiences. Right or wrong. However, Racism is a power dynamic. Restricting occupation, housing, education, healthcare etc, because of skin tone, or ethnic background. Black people are absolutely prejudice. We would be stupid not to be after 400+ years here. But we do not have the power to impose Racism on anyone else. We don't "own" anything to exclude people from it. Not even hip Hop. :/
– Erica Canada, 31
This video angered me because: Racist is completely overused and most people don't even know what it means anymore. It is used by progressives to shut down dialogue. It's like saying all Christians are bigots or all Muslims are terrorists. Not all people in the south are racists. Not all blacks are racist towards whites. Not all Hispanics are racist towards blacks. The racism culture is pushed as a way to continue dividing the people.
– Cindy, 56
This video inspired me because: It helped me realize that we (particularly white people) need to recognize their own racism, no matter how subtle, in order to start solving racial injustice in this country.
– Brooke Warren, 24
This video interested me because: I think in some way we all carry a bit of racism in us. Some racists may be on the lower level while some may go to the extreme. And I think we are all a bit prejudiced. I admit I carry both. And I do so towards all people (which includes white, which includes me). No matter how hard people try, being racists and prejudiced will always be a topic of discussion, and there will always be those who vehemently deny they are neither racist nor prejudiced because they refuse to open their eyes.
– Stacy, 44
This video interested me because: The term 'racist' today is going beyond just skin color. I think groups are using the label to stifle free speech criticizing particular ideologies. Examples might be certain religious groups or those with sexual identities. It can become a civil rights issue and sometimes shuts off valid discussion.
– Warren Stewart, 69
This video saddened me because: Action, not words. Everyone is to some extent afraid of those different than they are. That cannot be erased since one looks at another and perceives differences. It should be accepted, acknowledged and discussed. After people get to know those different, most of them accept and many times enjoy those differences. Political parties exacerbate the divide purposely to gain and retain power, raw power over you and me.
– Ted Wight, 73
This video interested me because: It talks about racism in an open and non-confrontational way. This entire series is excellent - I intend to sit down and watch it with my children & grandchildren
– Cory Cox, 64
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This video frustrated me because: being an ally is not divisive. It is finding a way to become a part of the conversation and using your privilege to help those that are underrepresented.
– Gabriella, 29
This video saddened me because: all the people I know who are so-called allies use this language and "listen" and feel like they've done something. And those who are actually rolling up their sleeves and helping underprivileged communities (volunteering, donating money, working as teachers etc.) who don't play the language games are passed off as racists just because they don't know all the rules. I wish people went back to focusing on actions over words, because that is where the real support is coming from.
– LS, 28
This video resonated with me because: just by using the label ally we as a society already create division between people. It was good to hear all of the different reactions people had to that word/concept, and underneath, the many expressions of wariness and distrust. I would love to see how the words "solidarity" or "standing with" or "white followership" sit with people. Joining without taking over, running over, speaking for, othering, claiming a badge or label. Being and standing along side, without invading space.
– Marijke, 56
This video inspired me because: I feel like most of the comments have to do with listening and supporting but not controlling the message. Being an "ally" feels like a way to be part of a solution, whatever that solution is.
– Kat, 51
This video resonated with me because: I believe racism exists on a wide spectrum from the extremely subtle to the overtly ignorant and destructive. The word "racist" can apply to both. Perhaps we need some new words to better name places on that spectrum so that whites can be less defensive in recognizing their subtle racism.
– John, 71
This video challenged me because: I haven't thought of the word "ally" as being militaristic in connotation or negative, so it was good to hear about how others might perceive the term. Additionally, I think it can be hard to be an ally (or whatever one might call it), because you open yourself up to a lot of criticism when you fail to be perfect at it. I think that can cause some people to stop trying, rather then helping them get better at it. I'd like society(?) to talk more about how to be an effective supporter/ally/friend.
– SM, 31
This video was good for me because: I realized that an ally, which is what I thought of myself as before, as something that I learned as a teacher, that I can be with my kids, but I can't be one of them.
– Jack Stansbury, 59
This video challenged me because: If I take all of these videos into consideration I will be walking through land mines. How can I be an ally to people that don't actually see me or respect me? I am responsible for owning my privilege and responding to the needs of my community, I embrace diversity NOT GOOD ENOUGH. The path of ally is lined with anger, resentment, irritation and judgement for the entire white community. It is possible that in being an ally I become a emotional dump site for anger over white privilege.
– Ann, 35
This video disappointed me because: It seems even if you want to help you shouldn't or can't, even if you sympathize you are still white. And I get it, it's a lot to get through, we still have a lot to move through as a country, as humans, to ever be able to look back on this, but it's still just a bummer. I wish I could do more than I apparently can. I was born with the privilege of white and I can't even really use it to help.
– Kim, 35
This video confused me because: I like to look for positive words but words are so limiting at times. What matters is that people respect their differences. I think ally comes closest to what the phrase PC means but PC is now a bad phrase. I guess I will say that actions are more important than words. They speak louder.
– Leslie Shalom, 58
This video inspired me because: I have experienced micro aggressions, institutional racism for 45 years in Seattle in the workplace, 55 years in the communities in and around Seattle, this video is a wonderful way to express what the core of these terms mean and to have the Kick-Starter conversation with colleagues, neighbors and co-workers through multiple voices....without my own passion entering into the conversation. Great start, Every City of Seattle Employee should see thiswork.
– Reco Bembry, 58
This video surprised me because: I try hard to be aware of latent racism in my thoughts and reactions, but it never occurred to me that as a white woman, I might pose a threat to black men by my presence, because of the risk of accusations that might be raised against them. We are all steeped in so much fear, and it is so damaging for all of us.
– Linda Freeman, 50
This video interested me because: English is my second language. As a Spanish speaker I rather use friend because that is what I use in Spanish. I realized that my thought of ally as a conflict related term is shared by native english speakers too.
– Carolina, 36
This video saddened me because: I feel strongly about supporting my fellow citizens of the world and this video would lead me to believe that "people of color" are not really interested in having a white ally. I understand there are different degrees to which a person could be an ally in diverse community, but I don't think that any of that effort should be scoffed at. Every little bit helps and it is going to take a lot of little bits to eliminate the issues that cause racism because racism in itself is only a symptom.
– Holly Moon, 22
This video confused me because: I believe in allyship but I also believe in self education. The responsibility should not be on "people of color" or the "marginalized population" (whichever term people prefer) to have to relive their pain and educate others. I do agree though that allyship must be visible action and using your voice for those who do not have one.
– Amy Wang, 22
This video resonated with me because: I like to think as myself as an ally between both white and black cultures as a biracial man. Any side of a debate has a selfish way of wanting to win without compromise. What we need to be aware of is not to just compromise a person because of the color of their skin. I will never compromise with another black man just because he is black. I think that is enabling racism in the end.
– Robert Williams, 31
This video surprised me because: So many people use this term, believing that they are indicating that they are "one of the good guys". Most of the people I interact with find the term to be a bit off putting and actually reject so-called "allies". It was surprising to see so many of the participants express very similar sentiments.
– TD, 39
This video interested me because: I only know the term as it was used between countries of the world and to me it means friend or supportive. I hadn't heard it being used as a term about race.
– Sylvia, 52
This video resonated with me because: As a white person, I often fall into the trap of reading an enlightening article, or sharing a video on facebook, and thinking that it is enough. I think so much of supporting a movement is not saying you support it, but being there, listening, and admitting that you don't know what's going on, but that you're there to learn. Ultimately, I want to be there for individual people.
– Sarah Richmond, 19
This video resonated with me because: It's refreshing to see this out there in public....but what is frustrating is that folks who don't want to challenge their views....just won't. How do we teach this? Do we bring it to every kindergarten class and on up through school?
– Elsie Mahler-Scharff, 61
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This video interested me because: it allowed the participants to voice what likely wouldn't have been brought out in a typical conversation. We don't often talk about microagression, and when we do, defensiveness can shut it down.
– Melanie C, 60
This video made me feel helpless me because: I acknowledge my past of being racist. I was in my early teens and had friends that expressed racist views, and I jumped on the bandwagon. I am now 33, in a serious relationship with a Mexican, and actively try to encourage understanding and acceptance. That said, this was a hard video to watch. I don't ever want to make someone feel marginalized, but the spectrum of things that are potentially offensive are different for everyone. I don't feel like I have a way to win.
– Sam, 33
This video confused me because: While I understand the concept of microaggression, and see it happening on many levels, I'm not sure how to reconcile the idea of appreciating another persons skin color, hair texture, dress style (embracing diversity) and also being a microaggressor. If I appreciate a black persons hair texture, am I being aggressive on a subliminal level or am I innocently and joyfully embracing difference?
– Joan Ffolliott, 50
This video confused me because: I struggle with this...it seems to be about offense. How does making whites uncomfortable and careful about what they say so that they don't offend someone...how does that help the conversation? Why can't we be more forgiving and focus on the conversation and coming to an understanding?
– Kat, 51
This video disappointed me because: The comments are what inspired me. The video did not actually discuss anyone trying to address and prevent their own microaggressions or how to go about doing so. The comments were uplifting because the acknowledge that it's a struggle to constantly check yourself and that everyone, regardless of race or ethnicity, needs to do it. I try to prevent perpetrating microaggressions by following these steps: a) Do not assume anything about another person except that you know nothing. b) Ask questions.
– Nikita, 23
This video frustrated me because: I am continually trying to recognize my own prejudices and ways I devalue others. I am aware of and attempt to check my privilege. I participate in alliances to fight racism, sexism, ableism, so many -isms. And yet I can watch this video and cringe, still recognizing ways I have made others uncomfortable; Unwitting, unintentional, and yet I have a long way to go. Likely we all have a long way to go. It's hard not to get discouraged, but it's critical to always keep striving to be better.
– Diana Volere, 44
This video disappointed me because: Microaggression is a new term to me, so I was interested in learning what it is, but in the process of watching this video to learn what microaggression is, I felt like it was being displayed by those who are being portrayed for the most part to be the victims of microaggression. Maybe this was the intent though to demonstrate microaggression while explaining what it is. See 4:04, 4:25, 4:41... these comments demonstrate microaggression, by implying that all white people are racist.
– Dan, 50
This video saddened me because: I can't imagine a world where interaction with differences can be done without pain, either.
– Lauren Donnell, 36
This video resonated with me because: there's no difference between micro or major aggression. It's aggression nevertheless, it hurts, it wounds, and it needs to be eliminated by empathy to others, consideration of their feelings.
– Elena, 61
This video resonated with me because: I want to know how to positively support respect and justice and not feel like I must remain quiet. Racism is a huge problem and I want to learn how I can help to create a better society where we are all in it together.
– Deb, 68
This video frustrated me because: As a British person who has been an American citizen for eight years, I constantly hear comments about my accent, what I am "supposed" to eat, say, wear, etc. by speakers who often explicitly mean to offend. It frustrates me that others get to do this tap dance while I have to remain silent because I am white and male and therefore "privileged." I just hear "Your feelings don't matter but you have to take mine seriously because I'm in a group that society has decided needs protecting."
– Simon, 29
This video resonated with me because: I have been guilty of it. I remember telling the father of a talented black student, who was skipping class the last week of school, that if any thing, I wanted his son to succeed even more than the other kids because he was capable of doing so much for his people. The father accused me of racism. I seethed. But now I understand.
– Patricia Emons, 76
This video frustrated me because: telling someone they are articulate could mean a) "I am so impressed with the thoughtful and clear way in which you speak." or b) "Wow, I didn't think a person of color could speak like that." Yes, we might not know for certain their true intent but it is unfortunate that some people assume the worst.
– Gus Jones, 37
This video inspired me because: As a woman, I have experienced men saying and doing like moving past me to speak to my husband about a yard service, or men telling me to smile, or puffing up to let me know their voice has more meaning than mine. But this part about race is important because I haven't had this experience as a white woman. Because I've experienced these aggressions as a female I know a little how they feel and don't want to perpetrate them. Thanks for this.
– Mary, 60
This video frustrated me because: In the Ally video everyone expressed"get to know us, learn about us" but in the Microaggression video they hate when people ask "where you from, what is your race" . Being in a multicultural marriage with children, I find this insulting and on the lines of extreme feminism. When they say my children are beautiful I take it as a compliment not because they couldn't be beautiful if they weren't mixed.
– Sara, 28
This video resonated with me because: "Microaggression" is a term many of us folks of color refuse to recognize. As my mom taught me, the racial challenges of everyday life only serve to make us stronger. While some curl up in the corner whining about the mini-infractions some called "microaggressions," those of us who take these challenges head on, continue to get stronger. Some get left behind in the dust; others prosper. I choose the latter.
– Ted, 52
This video saddened me because: This is only the 2nd video I've watched and I already feel like I'd better just sit down and shut up for fear of offending or hurting someone. I agree with the gentleman (is that okay to say?) who said "I can't image a world were interacting with difference is done without pain". Neither can I. Even with the best intentions (and, yes, I believe that matters) we are bound to offend or hurt someone simply by expressing ourselves. It's a part of life. Back to watching and learning ...
– Diane, 55
This video resonated with me because: The most tragic possible outcome of a society-wide hyper-awareness of microaggressions is that it slams shut the doors of communication. Learning can only occur in the messy context of making mistakes. It therefore follows that both sides of this equation have certain responsibilities to one another: the inflictors of microaggressions must be good students, & the recipients must be patient teachers. Genuinely caring about each other's well being is the goal, not ID'ing who's wrong & who's right.
– Michael, 35
This video resonated with me because: Microaggression can be unintended or intended. Either way, it is hurtful. In the workplace, where it runs rampant, and is classified as discrimination in the workplace, it costs $64 billion dollars a year.
– Leslie H. Sessoms, 50
This video surprised me because: microaggression is just another word for another problem. Microaggression as word could describe so many other things than what happens with different races. Happens in every relationship. Marriage, Racewars, Male v Female, Age, Beliefs, Mother v Mother, Father v Father. We all get this no matter who, what or where we are.
– Ariel Schnyder, 28
This video resonated with me because: I am working so hard to identify my own framework to reduce my microaggressions, and I am sad to know I contribute to the metamessaging. I appreciate the courage people have to educate others and I am grateful my friends lean into their discomfort as we inform each other of our intent and impact... I envision a future where we are all more self aware and mindful of our impact.
– Desiree Monique Stefens, 47
This video resonated with me because: I did not know how explain what happened to me until I listened to the reaction to "microaggression" from the panel. I have been taunted by my supervisor for the past four years, with her put downs that I chose to ignore. Once I decided to confront her and stand up for myself, her reaction was to discredit my work ethic and eventually suspend me for two week without pay. After 29 years with the company her opinion of me was never questioned by her manager or the labor relation department.
– Donna Tinner, 61
This video resonated with me because: As a white presenting mixed-latina, I myself learned this term recently, and it was such an ah-ha moment. At times in the form of white people feeling comfortable saying rascist things in front of me, because they don't read me as anything other than white. Or, being told I don't seem latin, because I don't do this or that.. It saddens me, and has been my personal experience, that often the people saying we are making to big a deal of things or 'have a chip on our shoulders' are white folks.
– Ambar, 30
This video fascinated me because: of the differences of views, some of which I agreed with and some I didn't. As a person interested in linguistics, I think we have to be mighty careful about the interpretations we put on other's words, there may be offense or not. Frankly I think honesty and honest debate are more important. I think offense is caused more by ignorance. I'm from New Zealand and lived and studied in the US for 3 years, the number of times I got commended on how well I spoke english blew me away...
– Philip Pryor, 52
This video frustrated me because: Microagression is simply putting a curtain or a veil over racial aggression. Being an Korean-American, I've received a lot of assumptions regarding my driving habits or my intellectual abilities. People, including my friends who are non-Asian, assume that Asians are smart and automatically place stereotypes over me. I may look smart by my skin color or by my eyes, Sometimes, I feel dumb if I don't live up to the stereotype of being smart. I remind myself daily that those things do not define me
– Sarah Park, 23
This video inspired me because: The power of listening is indeed profound. It's amazing how much we can learn simply by shutting up and listening for once!! Thank you to everyone who made this project possible.
– Rico, 32
This video surprised me because: I don't think of racism when I think of microaggression. I connect it to trigger warnings, and think of thin-skinned college students requesting that teachers let them know if they will be saying something that makes them feel uncomfortable. I think some people are truly curious when asking about ethnicity as some of these people were discussing. It is imagined aggression in some cases.
– Susie Watson, 63
This video saddened me because: This video saddened me because it is clear that we have become such a grievance based culture that even innocent mistakes are supercharged into something never intended. It's time to grow up and developed a sense of self worth that isn't threatened by other's stupidity or insensitivity. Time to get over "ourselves" and start living.
– Thomas, 64
This video frustrated me because: I was surprised at how many of the people do not understand or do not realize the effects of the various forms of discrimination.
– Angela M. Mogin, 70
This video interested me because: I know I do commit micro-aggressions and i would like to understand that more. I hate when I hesitate to compliment someone for fear they will find it demeaning--and maybe it is. But the guy who said, "When you say, 'Black lives matter' you are saying ALL lives matter"--to me, he really hit it on the head. I am really listening.
– Madeleine Burnside, 67
This video frustrated me because: I've been the recipient of bigoted comments all my life, which make me afraid to openly admit who I am. People don't reconsider stereotypes if they are not forced to by circumstances. I am aware that I have made ignorant comments myself, not based on animosity, but because I don't know everything there is to know about every cultural group. People offend each other all the time for all sorts of reasons, and it's just part of life.
– Sara, 53
This video resonated with me because: "I can't image a world were interacting with difference is done without pain" - the last statement captures the complexity of human interaction. Listening to black stories makes me hyperaware, which sometimes makes social interaction awkward in the beginning, like being self-conscious in any situation does. It's so important to get out of our own experience and listen to other people. We are each like individual cultures, it's our job to not be lazy and find out others' stories.
– Heidi, 35
This video frustrated me because: As a white, heterosexual male I exist in the most privileged class there is and it's impossible for me to understand the feelings of those less privileged. However, I heard a lot of assumptions being made about the intentions behind someone's words. For example, society is incredibly mobile today (esp. Seattle) & asking where someone is from is a legit question for any race. That it leads to an auto assumption of prejudice makes conversations outside our in-groups fraught with difficulty.
– John, 28
This video surprised me because: It was refreshing to hear a self-labeled recovering racist and older white man from the south say that white people have a unique burden to accept responsibility for the problems of racism, due to the power and privilege that white people in American society have benefited from. It was also cool to hear him say that it's not his place to say he is an ally, but for others to describe him as such based off his words and actions.
– Karen, 28
This video resonated with me because: In middle school I didn't study and people called me dumb for an Asian. When I got to high school, I worked hard and now attend UW Seattle, but people say it's because I'm Asian. Also, I agree that microagression stems from ignorance. It seems to me that some people think that we're asking them to think about every little action and saying, but that's not it all at; we're asking them to be racially educated and aware.
– Haebin, 21
This video resonated with me because: Everyday I have to remind white folks that I am not an invisible Black Women, when passing through doors behind them they will not hold them open, I could be standing in line and they will get right in front of me, and I can't tell you how often. I almost get hit by cars crossing the street.
– Natalie, 50+
This video is incomplete me because: People may want to reconsider the use of the term "micro-aggression" because in Hawaii (and maybe the other Pacific Islands too), the term "micro" is a racially loaded word used to refer to Micronesians, a group of Pacific Islanders from the Western Pacific Islands, and many of whom immigrate to Hawaii and face the most discrimination of any group. Learn more at http://pablowegesend.blogspot.com/2016/04/racial-irritations-and-tiny-aggressions.html
– Pablo, 35
This video embarrassed me because: because I've been the white lady that wanted to touch my black friend's hair. She let me do touch her hair but didn't seem thrilled. Later on, I understood why. With my other girlfriends who are white, we touch each other's hair as a gesture of affection. But now I see that this is probably too loaded a gesture for me to do with this particular friend. It was inappropriate even though I know that we really like each other and are good friends. I definitely get it now.
– Galen Guffy, 46
This video saddened me because: There's such an unreasonable emphasis on the interpretation of a message anymore. Seems like the receiver's default is to search for ways to be offended by words, rather than contextualize the situation. If we hope for any degree of successful communication we must first accept that what truly matters is the sender's intent...and if there's any question, it's the receiver's responsibility to clarify rather than to react.Absolutely anything can be misconstrued.Do people want drama or discourse?
– Andy, 49
This video resonated with me because: as a first-generation-American-Sikh college student, I've been told what I should and should not say in public. That's because what I say will become the representation of an entire religious and racial community. Suddenly, I have to represent an entire being. Thus, although intent matters, the harm has been done. Thus, it is imperative that people think twice before speaking and that is how they will realize what it is like being a minority. That is when they will know how trapped we feel.
– Manjot Kaur, 21
This video saddened me because: It's so terribly unfortunate that well meaning intentions and interest in learning about someone can cause such unintentional hurt and anger. Regarding the comments about white people touching haiir. This isn't directed toward one race. My 13 year old son with soft light brown hair has experienced this most of his life. People don't asks for permission to touch his hair, they just touch it. He doesn't respond with anger, he shares a smile. Maybe we see what we want to see in a situation.
– Karen, 52
This video saddened me because: They are saying that microaggressions have a huge impact and can be very hurtful. But, some people are inquisitive and are just trying to spark up a conversation. During the video in the "hair" portion, Tariqa said "its this wierd.. fetish that White people have with our hair" which is a generalization and in my opinion backwards racism to assume that all white people have an obsession with hair. Although people should just lighten up, and realize that they didn't MEAN to say anything hurtful.
– Jeff, 21
This video rustled my jimmies me because: What a bunch of presumption to assume that someone who compliments a black for being "very articulate" is contrasting that black to other blacks. Maybe their contrasting that black to themselves? Hmmm? All this "mircroagression" nonsense tells me is that there are a lot of people running around with chips on their shoulder and they've got a bunch of hairshirt wearing whites just encouraging it.
– Josephine, 51
This video saddened me because: It makes it difficult to interact with people when you feel like you must constantly worry about offending someone. This word is a term I first heard this year in news stories about college students who had been victims of microaggressions. I know I have said things like "where are you from?" because I was interested in knowing, but didn't think this might be considered a microaggression. I hope people can look for the good in others - some comments don't have bad intentions behind them.
– Sylvia, 52
This video resonated with me because: We are all different people, and due to our backgrounds and experiences, some issues bother us more than others. I personally do indeed think that intent matters on the side of the person who is microaggressive -- but in a different way than what people might think. If I could tell that they're making an effort to speak about things that might be difficult to talk about in a more sensitive way, I always embrace their efforts. If people just don't care, it says a lot about their lack of capacity.
– Erika Harada, 30
This video confused me because: Not to 'deny anyone's pain' but often there is a thin line between curiosity and microaggression. If we truly want to integrate diversity and equality then it starts by educating those of us who are fascinating by our differences. That means we have to have meaningful interaction with each other so we can learn. Offending sensibilities is bound to happen by mistake, but we must remain open. How else will we learn? Sometimes you have to push boundaries in order to communicate.
– Ely, 31
This video surprised me because: I was shocked that someone would be SO RUDE as to touch a stranger's hair, that to me is a major aggression and an invasion of personal space.
– Linda Roe, 65
This video frustrated me because: It seems that there is no safe way to talk with people. The general theme that I took away was since anything could be construed as microaggression it's just safer to not to communicate with people who are different. I think intent is critical when labeling something "aggression". While you may be offended by something, that doesn't mean the other person is being an aggressor. They may just be ignorant or curious or you may be overly sensitive. An aggressor is someone doing something purposely.
– Mark, 43
This video frustrated me because: Once again another millennial bs concept. Talk about a chip on your shoulder??? If I compliment someone, the idea that it's turned around on me into something negative, or racist, by the receiver is unacceptable. My intent should matter.
– Julie, 44
This video frustrated me because: Is it just slightly possible that the discomfort caused to "white people" by the sensitivity around race forces the white person to walk on eggshells while trying to dialog with a non-white person / person of color? It is possible that the speaker has NO idea what the hearer would be triggered by when speaking to them. Quite seriously, some black people prefer "African American" and are offended when referred to as black, and vice versa. Cut a sister a break.
– Raven, 50
This video saddened me because: Microaggression is a tough issue because of perceptions. As people attempt to address their ignorance about race or culture, ask questions and don't yet know enough about someone else's race/culture/history, they can be misinterpreted. Were they being insensitive or just showing their ignorance? How do we get beyond the point where motivations are suspect?
– Mark, 57
This video interested me because: I've gotten "you talk like a white boy" from black folk and gotten "oh you're articulate" from white folks. One thing that has stuck with me for a while is when an Austrian who I was hanging out with said "I was nice for an American". It's happens on all levels; you're trying to tell me that we as humans don't lead from our preconceived notions? We all do it, it's how we approach it is what we need to talk about.
– Chaz , 31
This video resonated with me because: I've been thinking a lot about PTSD which develops over time. The water dripping and wearing away joy and confidence. How can human beings choose to torture each other like this?
– Margaret Lemberg, 72
This video resonated with me because: I grew up in a town in the midwest and never saw a black person until I moved away in my late twenties. Now, I have a black son-in-law who is the father of my grandchildren. I realize that at times I say something to them or others that could be considered microaggessive. That is not my intent. I love them and feel that we are the same. I can't say it won't happen again because if I did, I wouldn't say it in the first place. It's only afterwords, I realize how it could be construed.
– Anne, 88
This video frustrated me because: Sometimes people are curious and want to know what ethnicity you may be. Or maybe they are legitimately giving a compliment when they say, "you have great skin." I am of mixed race and "microaggression" is not a word that people need to promote about talking about it. Let. It. Go.
– Pamela, 31
This video interested me because: My experience with microagression is fairly limited. I have not had a chance to hear from people who have experienced it directly and it is eye opening. The people that shared 'it is about the people receiving it vs the intent' was helpful to hear.
– Neil, 26
More comments
This video inspired me because: He said "when you say black lives matter your saying all lives matter." I really like that because ive never had a comeback for "all lives matter" that wasnt spreading hate on white people and now i have that. I dont wanna be apart of the black lives natter movement that throws shade on white people becuase i know they are not the problem and if we hate on them then its just gonna cause more problems and ensure they dont listen
– Zabby Bibb , 15
This video resonated with me because: I have seen so many people dismiss the Black Lives Matter movement by saying All Lives Matter. However, some of the same people who dismiss Black Lives Matter turned around to say "Blue Lives Matter" and see no irony or hypocrisy in it. If I said "#CancerPatientLivesMatter" or something of the such, I'm sure people would not respond by saying "actually, all lives matter". All Lives Matter is a way to deflect the issues of racism without really looking at issues affecting the black community.
– Leilani, 22
This video frustrated me because: The white people were disagreeing with the black people. They were basically saying only white lives matter but in a non discreet way
– Itzia Villalobos, 15
This video resonated with me because: As a light skinned person I never once thought that the statement #blacklivesmatter meant that my life doesn't matter some how. I simply saw it as a way to create awareness around what is happening to black people in the legal system. I was actually surprised to see how strongly some people feel they need to assert #allivesmatter, especially when no one who espouses that belief seems to vocally show up when other races of people are wrongfully killed by police.
– Joe, 35
This video attacked me because: I cannot support the movement's slogan. I am whole-heartedly for #AllLivesMatter and #BlackLivesMatterToo, but the slogan adopted by the movement as its rallying cry is dangerous. It is short-sighted, divisive, unclear, and downright hurtful to humanity as a whole. It is an affront to all who have worked so hard to foster an inclusive atmosphere the world over. It upends MLK, Mandela, and Ghandi's agenda of inclusion and peace. This movement is marked by exclusion and violence. Why support that?
– Sasha Torres, 34
This video saddened me because: All lives matter. Why would a movement, any movement, choose a dividing sentiment instead of an inclusive one? The people in this video, both young and old, try to twist the movement's exclusive agenda to turn it into an inclusive one. The movement is clearly not inclusive. In fact, it attempts to further divisions between us, as people, when no such separations exist at the human level. Instead of focusing on our strength as human beings, the movement focuses on our ancestors' past failings.
– Nanthy Mehta, 30
This video resonated with me because: I saw the frustrations of other people and made me happy to know I wasn't alone
– Love, 15
This video resonated with me because: I was assigned it as homework. But the discourse helps me explain to my white friends why all lives matter is an oversimplication and avoids talking about race. I am a white female.
– Paris Granville, 53
This video frustrated me because: All lives do matter! it goes without say. But right now, in this generation black lives and latino lives matter a little more.This saying "All lives matter" is like putting out a fire that isnt even there. the fire is on black and latino lives
– Emery Robles, 15
This video inspired me because: I have used the phrase "all lives matter" before while taking about "black lives matter" without realizing how it takes away from the actual issue at hand. I have now understood the implication of the hashtags "BlackLivesMatter", "AllLivesMatter" in the grand scheme. I am inspired to do the research of what led to such movements before blindly using them and also share this videos with friends who use all lives matter to help them understand the message they are sending with that hashtag.
– Samiha Rouf, 24
This video interested me because: I had a situation where I posted that all lives matter, but it wasn't what people thought. It's was about how divided it seems everyone has become. Lots of stuff is out of control but I feel we have bigger, broader things to work on to make sure black,white,brown,ECT. Lives matter.
– Melissa Edlin, 34
This video inspired me because: It is refreshing to hear such honesty about microaggressions. The frustration, the exhaustion, and the wisdom of experience: "I can't imagine a world in where interacting with difference is done without pain."
– Ingrid Walker, 52
This video resonated with me because: I think I understand what the movement is about and what it means to the black community. The comments from people of different races helped me see how dismissive saying something like "all lives matter" is to the issues blacks experience.
– Kathleen, 51
This video interested me because: When I first encountered "All Lives Matter" I somehow assumed it was broadening the scope of Black Lives Matter. As a way to talk about injustice across the globe; the caste system in India; human trafficking; global-poverty; clean water and and on. It took me a while to realize it was really about diluting the issue. This, in turn, made me realize just how much of reality has been buried and hidden from public view.
– Brett Davidson, 56
This video enlightened me because: As a white person, very naïve of the hardships of this world, I simply did not understand why saying "all lives matter" was offensive. To me it really was a way of saying people of color, or any minorities are just as important as white peoples. I even thought that saying "black lives matter" was a form of exclusion from everyone else. That is until I watched that video. I finally understand that saying "Black lives matter" is acknowledging that they are not treated as if they did.
– Romain, 30
This video interested me because: A while back I posted something on Facebook about Black Lives Matter. White people I grew up with said, "Well, all lives matter." I was a little stuck on how to explain the Difference. So, that video helped with some points of reference.
– Susan Deal, 70
This video resonated with me because: Until all lives matter equally, Black Lives Matter is needed.
– Di, 49
This video interested me because: You don't answer, "we need to put out this fire," with "all fires should be put out." Irrelevant. As a white man, I trust the police and they trust me. That trust is missing when police confront young black men, sometimes resulting in actions by police and by young black men that escalate the lack of trust. That's what I think. Both sides being suspicious leads to confrontation, evasion, and unfortunately violence and death. How do we build trust? I don't know. But there's the fire.
– Russ McNeill, 53
This video resonated with me because: All Lives Matter as a slogan totally bums me out because it completely misses the point of what is happening to black people. Of course all lives matter! But, the thing is, black people are being treated way worse so we have to address that.
– Susie Philipsen, 37
This video challenged me because: I'm white enough to think it's courageous to demonstrate against racist policing, rather than essential to my survival. I have a choice whether to put myself at risk to speak out. Others don't have that option.
– Sara, 53
This video resonated with me because: I appreciate the many layers that are involved in a microaggression encounter. I appreciate the "what should I say...." compared with "How I feel when you say..." dialogue.
– Sarah Teichmann, 38
This video resonated with me because: Sometimes I feel like people just pretend that these microagressions are not really happening or don't really matter. They matter.
– Julia, 47
This video enlightened me because: it provides a well thought out and well contextualized framing of the idea. The absence of hostility, the gentle reminders of empathetic understanding, and well articulated perspectives provided a more dimensional look at "black lives matter." This is where understanding and coming together begins.
– Andy, 49
This video resonated with me because: I encounter this in my everyday life. People saying "All Lives Matter" as a silencing mechanism to our pleads of equality. I found this video to be very personable. It's something everyone should understand.
– Jennifer, 19
This video resonated with me because: "-- I don't want to deny anyone's pain, but I also ... can't imagine a world where interacting with difference is done without pain" Beautiful! He is exactly right although he isn't being mutually exclusive as he might think! I don't like to see people go through pain either, but I hope to try to acknowledge their pain when they do. I feel this man's natural inclination is to do the same. Very touching.
– April Peng, 28
This video frustrated me because: Saying "all lives matter" is like when whites say "we are all immigrants." It is stating that immigrants do not exist. Therefore immigrants' issues are to be dissolved in white people's issues. It is a hijacking of a movement for change. They do not say "white lives matter" because the very mention of it would be questioning whether white lives matter. Whites want that to be unquestioned. "All lives matter" must be heard as whites saying it about others. It is a statement of white power.
– Oscar Brain, 44
This video angered me because: "All lives matter" is offensive, because it reveals a person's character in such a (not so) subtle way. People who say this, it's like it would physically hurt them to acknowledge and say, "Black Lives Matter." Why is that? What about recognizing their humanity is going to hurt you? But it's messed up, because it's racist as hell but none of them will fess up to it.
– LC Swan, 27
This video inspired me because: YES! I will use this feature over and over to help others understand terms that they can't get through their head or see through a lens that isn't their own.
– Leah Garaas, 25
This video frustrated me because: I don't agree with anything you offered. I believe all life matters. I don't have a race. Though one was given to me. I don't have a thought about anyone, except those given to me. I realized earth is way bigger then all of us. I feel the problem here is our government and until they stop saying race on applications for anything. Racism will always exist.
– Mark, 31
This video interested me because: I've seen a lot of social media related to the Black Lives Matter movement but I haven't heard it defined as being specifically related to police brutality toward black people. I thought that was understood, but maybe this detail needs to be highlighted to other white people who think black people are "pushing an irelevant agenda in their face." This is not irelevant, and to change, simplify, or ignore it does no good.
– Sadie, 24
This video frustrated me because: I struggle with individuals who claim, "all lives matter." White priviledge is telling black folks when and how they are allowed to fight systemic racism, incarceration, and violence.
– Claire, 24
This video saddened me because: I agree that all lives matter is another way to avoid a conversation that needs to take place of our country ever hopes to be equitable. After the Orlando shooting you didnt hear all lives matter popping up as a response to the LGBT support, yet we did for Ferguson and awareness raising done by black and brown communities.
– Ellie, 25
This video saddened me because: I totally agree that the come back "All lives matter" is just a way to get around discussing the huge problem that police kill more blacks than whites. I salute the BLM movement...I had no idea that blacks were getting mowed down by the very people who were supposed to be protecting and serving them, because they pay taxes too. But I also see the point the "All Lives Matter" folks have. I have read articles where the author explains how it's impossible to be a racist and be black. Wrong
– R.L. Stroud, 58
This video resonated with me because: Yes. Black Lives Matter. Women's Lives Matter. Children's Lives Matter. Asian Lives Matter. Speaking from experience, I have no problem discussing racism, bigotry, privilege entitlement, arrogance and superiority (political, religious and ethnic, etc.) because if we cannot communicate about our differences how can we come together as a community?
– R. Butler, 60+
This video frustrated me because: Mark, as a history major, should frankly know better. He says he "thinks" the last instance of institutional racism in this country was 150 years ago, as if the last Jim Crow laws weren't officially overridden by the Civil Rights Act of 1964. But, beyond that, he shows a marked lack of understanding regarding historical context and how societies create the dominant ideologies that govern them.
– John, 33
More comments
This video intrigued me because: many people had a hard time with how they felt inside about being politically correct. Most of the people interviewed said that they believed in respecting the person you are talking about/ to, but also gettig your real opinions out in the open.
– Kailey, 17
This video interested me because: It seems like many people struggle to clearly define political correctness or what its function is. Some folks get annoyed with or poke fun at "PC culture," saying people are too sensitive. Sometimes I agree. Sometimes I don't. I don't have universal rules for what is PC or what needs to be. It depends on context and audience. But I think what's more important than actually being PC is thinking critically about why we do it and what social problems we're trying to address and correct when we do.
– R, 26
This video surprised me because: I know the term because people talk about it as the thing that limits them from saying what they want to say. I used to think PC was good because it made people conscious of the things that they say and how they can be interpreted but, after watching the video, I see that the term can be more detrimental and might even cause microaggressions.
– Natalie, 24
This video interested me because: I've been confused about the definition of "political correctness" since I first heard the term in the late 80s. Is it 'politically correct' to use the phrase 'African-American', or should I just stick with 'Black'? Is it politically correct to use the phrase 'Native American', or is 'Indian' ok? The answer is more complex than a simple yes/no response. Context matters, and so it may depend on who the audience is, but even then it's risky to make assumptions.
– Jeff Spring, 57
This video interested me because: I am relatively new to Seattle area, previously in Arizona and grew up in Texas. I have found, a lot of things I would say were considered politically incorrect. This was surprising given the "liberal" perspective people carry of Seattle area, in truth, I find that on a lot of ways Seattle area is less open minded than my two more "conservative" home places. In short, politically correct is a subtle knife and a way to assert ones superiority much like in the work place.
– Jessie, 29
This video interested me because: This is a diverse group of insights and thoughts on something that effects everyone. Its also something that I struggle with being a white woman. I try to think about being "politically correct" more as a way to check myself and my internal thoughts. I grew up in the South and I find that sometimes I am thinking in an extremely racist way without realizing it. But this forces me to consider how I am refering to _people_. Which I find very helpful.
– Alyn, 24
This video gratified me because: as a white person trying to be part of the conversation and actively working with a race discussion group, these interviews enhance and support all that we are trying to do as well as they continue my own education esp. concerning the use and meaning of words. Thank you, thank you.
– Jan Rainier, 74
This video frustrated me because: It is, at its most basic, being polite. Instead of saying "Hey, your sister is fat" we say, "Your sister is big-boned." But some people define Political Correctness to mean non-racist, non-hate speech. They're pretending that their hate speech is actually just them defying political correctness. They pretend they're warriors fighting against constructing agenda, when the real agenda is them making racism normal again.
– Oscar, 50
This video resonated with me because: Language is at the heart of our discord and realizing that we use it differently helps clarify our intentions.
– Richard, 61
This video resonated with me because: I really dislike what the conversation around 'politically correct' has turned into - it has become a dirty word and an attempt to trivialize the importance of treating others with respect, or anti-racist efforts as a whole. It feels like those fighting 'PC culture' are re-asserting their desire to say offensive things about people of color, women and GLBT folks. Especially now that Trump is actively working to ban Muslims based on their religion and justifying it as fighting 'PC culture'.
– Robin E, 31
This video saddened me because: I wish we could adopt a better term to mean striving to respect and acknowledge peoe positively without using this phrase that none like!
– Sydney, 52
This video interested me because: I have always been against being "politically correct." I believe there is a time and a place for all types of language. Also I think that label should go away all together. What determines what is politically correct? People. What gives them the right to state what is and is not correct? Do unto others as you would have done unto you. I think if we stick with that the world wouldn't be so upset at one another. Side note- it is our choice ultimately to take offense at someone's actions or words.
– Joseph, 26
This video interested me because: I've always seen people apply the term "political correctness" to proponents of equality, like when people who don't think you should make rape jokes or use the n word are called politically correct. I was surprised to see that it wasn't uncommon for people on both "sides" to argue against political correctness, however it reminded me of Malcomlm X's criticism in his autobiography of Democrats who falsely pretended to not be racist. Also, I hadn't realized "PC"ness could muddle the conversation
– Pranay Mittal, 17
This video challenged me because: I realized that political correctness is selfish on the part of the speaker. It would usually seem that when someone is trying to be PC, they are seeking to protect those who will hear their words. But, in reality, they are seeking to protect themselves from embarrassment over saying something hurtful, even if it was unintentional. I now think we should move away from "political correctness" so that we can just say what we think, but also be open to critique or an alternate viewpoint/experience.
– Emma, 24
This video resonated with me because: I've grown up seeing systematic racism, subtle racism, as well as blatant. Being a Puerto Rican youth in NYC and growing up with black friends and teachers, you see a lot. Even though my skin isn't necessarily "white", but my pigment is still favored as "white" skin to some blacks. They assume I don't know what it's like to be called out by skin color when in reality, you're calling me out and seeing me as someone else because of my skin color... Do I not still feel what you feel?
– Marc Mandeville, 25
This video resonated with me because: I feel that being PC is a way to dismiss the need to be respectful to others. I listen to what people of different races have to say; I want to honor what they have to say. People say, "You're just being PC," as if I would never have done this on my own. They're wrong. As a woman who doesn't consider herself a "girl," I understand that words have meaning and can be limiting, degrading, and hurtful. I can lift my fellow humans with words. This doesn't diminish anyone, it strengthens us all.
– Rachel Parker-Stephen, 59
This video frustrated me because: "I'd rather for them to just call me a nigger, because it's easier to take" (than someone asking to touch her hair) This is a direct quote, and it's frustrating.. racially charging every social interaction is just as bad as not having a conversation about race, it's giving up. People are awkward and unintentional, to be so unforgiving that your response is "just call me a nigger" is absurd.
– AJC, 28
This video frustrated me because: Political correctness, as a notion, has historically been used to marginalize people whose experiences and selves were different than the mainstream yet who chose to simply speak to their discomfort. This was an easy slam for the political right, who capitalized on the discomfort of those who were now "forced" to recognize "other" people's experiences. Now, even those who are historically marginalized are picking up the tool to delegitimize the experiences of those they don't want to recognize.
– Jesse, 49
This video confused me because: Politeness is good! Taking care to not offend someone is good. We can't and won't all think sweet thoughts about everything and everyone. So, when you do think something negative I support the idea of not always communicating it, or finding a more polite way to opposition.
– Julie, 44
This video resonated with me because: The mixed feelings and opinions heard are exactly what runs through my head and competes. As well as some sentiments 100% ring true to what I strongly feel. Validates my frustrations in talkin with people who avoid or belittle this conversation.
– Maria Elena, 19
This video surprised me because: I didn't realize there were such divisiveness over being politically correct. But now I see how the concept can turn into an attempt to hide real thoughts and feelings instead of being expressive and simply communicating in an honest, yet polite way.
– Brooke Warren, 24
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This video resonated with me because: I hear this term a lot in my day to day. As a woman of color I find it offensive and minimizing. No one is colorblind. We are not post racial. We are all different and that's not a bad thing. I often hear this at work, a place where I'm one of only a handful of women of color in the company and it makes you feel very marginalized
– Christina, 36
This video interested me because: I am a person who wants to believe that being ignorant to colour is a good thing. I want to believe that I can be friends with everyone and there are no borders to doing that. I want to believe that we don't have a problem with race and that its just a pointless obstacle. Obviously this way of thinking is childish, idealistic, and just wrong. To think that race doesn't exist would do more harm than good because you're ignoring where that person comes from and his or her own identity.
– Kokar, 19
This video inspired me because: It really made me realize that colorblindness really means to assimilate, and eliminates celebrating our wonderful diversity. We should celebrate our differences.
– Sara Faber, 29
This video resonated with me because: I have always felt a strong tension around the term "colorblindness." It's easy to say "I am colorblind, I see us all as equal," and feel proud about it. However this has become a way for people to label themselves as not-racist, and remove themselves from the situation. While this may be well-intentioned, it seems a far cry from actually understanding that the root of the problem is historical and systemic, and that the goal is not to be blind to difference, but to embrace and respect it.
– Lisa, 22
This video resonated with me because: Old goal, but it's unattainable on a couple of levels and it has problems. If you're trying to treat everyone the same, you're going to ignore their experiences and you're still going to view them through your own lenses, so your not going to get away from/over your issues. Much like being offended that you now have to think about what words you use (a.welcome to the real world b.or you can just be an ignorant duck all your life), so we need to learn about and be aware of others' experiences.
– Alitza Blough, 57
This video resonated with me because: I've heard "I'm colorblind" from so many people who think that's honest, but it isn't. People in this culture are very aware of race and the assumptions that tag along with different races. We need to delve more honestly into our associations and assumptions. We've discarded the term, "tolerate diversity" and replaced it with "celebrate diversity". It's time to discard "colorblindness" and think of something more honest and embracing to replace it with. "Color-curious?" Haha.
– Annie, 65
This video resonated with me because: I have struggled with this over many years. Trying to see people while colorblind (just recognizing that they are all God's children) takes away from them their uniqueness and what makes them special as people of God. We need to be able to learn from each other and accept the differences we see in each other with respect, without judging and hating what we see.
– Deanna Fleischfresser, 58
This video interested me because: colorblindness is just a way to try and fit everyone into someone's schema of what a person should be. Race is not a bad thing, it is the people that associate stereotypes with specific races. White people in general are no better than any other race. White people are more ignorant when it comes to seeing people as they really are.
– Natosha Snider, 20
This video inspired me because: It was a jumping off point for me to post on FB about my personal experience with 'colorblindiness' in an effort to become more *real* about race in this country. In the past couple years I have come to regret the many times that I avoided informing my circle of friends and acquaintances about my experience and how it differed from theirs. I have come to see that avoiding the conversation was a disservice to this country that I love.
– Inna, 47
This video interested me because: of the different viewpoints presented so thoughtfully. In the section on colorblindness, a red flag went up in the back of my mind when I heard some participants using the terms race and culture interchangeably. Speaking of culture, I wish the term "cultural appropriation" had been discussed... Finally, applying to all sections, I wish the background music was more colorful!
– Joe, 57
This video frustrated me because: When someone is raised in the dominant culture, dresses, talks and behaves like the dominant culture - that's what I tend to see. I don't notice that they are Filipina or Puerto Rican or Mexican - I see them as fellow Americans. I've been criticized for this, but it's very difficult. Of COURSE I see skin tone, but it isn't what I think about /classify/remember by, any more than I think of the Swede or Italian next door.
– Aurora, 65
This video saddened me because: "Schools see color... Jails see color... The systems we've made will see color for you" - this is a sad reality that I am hoping will change in my life time. If people from all diverse backgrounds and perspectives agree that colorblindedness and institutional racism is a problem we should solve, I think there is hope.
– Karen, 28
This video resonated with me because: I was raised in a 100% white, rural community and it was easy for me to believe that not seeing color was the best way to address race. It wasn't until I began to unpack the many privileges that my race afforded me that I realized denying color existed played directly into the hand of the systems of advantage based on race that have been created. To Admit that color impacts people's lives contradicts the American notion of meritocracy and forces White people to acknowledge their privilege.
– Megan Fair, 28
This video resonated with me because: That word is meaningless! How often I have heard " I don't see color" How ridiculous....how is that possible? Of course it isn't!! When we open our hearts and minds to diversity, we then begin to live in a real world.
– Jeanne Lorimer, 87
This video resonated with me because: I know that I am a privileged "white". During the 60s, I lived in a neighborhood that took to "white flight". I knew that I needed to stay ; my children needed to live in a diverse community where they could begin to understand other ethnicities. How else could they get along in this society? It was not always easy, but they ( and me) learned to look for commonalities, where we could connect. These many years later I still am reaching out to find those commonalities.
– Jeanne Lorimer, 87
This video surprised me because: to me it does not mean seeing everyone as white as has been implied here. It means giving everyone the same opportunities even if they aren't white. You can do this and still celebrate people's individuality and cultures and experiences. Those who promote racial justice has made this a negative term because they seek inequality as a means for all people to have the same outcomes.
– Jeff, 40
This video interested me because: I think this video really shows the different opinions and contradictions there are within this larger discussion about race, and it shows how badly we do need to have these conversations often and with good intentions.
– Sadie, 24
This video saddened me because: to me, colorblindness means treating everyone as individuals, regardless of the color of their skin - rather than treating them differently because of the color of their skin. It doesn't mean being blind to their experiences, their hardships, their differences - it just means not making assumptions about them because of their race. If that's not how we're supposed to treat others? There's no hope. Cultural differences matter more than racial ones anyway, and those aren't skin deep.
– Simon, 40
This video interested me because: Nobody cited the fact that colorblindness was a political strategy used to fight color-conscious laws like under Jim Crow. Today, we have systemic racism that yields unequal results while having laws that appear to be race neutral. In today's context, colorblindness accepts and supports the status quo.
– Susan, 59
This video interested me because: In a free society there is no such thing as a politically correct opinion. A free society tolerates a diversity of opinions on sensitive topics. Being politically correct in our society means accepting the liberal viewpoints of the mainstream media and universities in order to avoid repression and the loss of one's job. In our politically correct society, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.
– Onias Hoffman, 66
This video surprised me because: The concept is foreign to me. Instead I would celebrate our differences as opposed to pretending they don't exist.
– Jalewis, 44
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This video interested me because: I am a cis-gendered white gay male active in LGBTQ and race issues, and I found each opinion and definition different in a few key ways. For some participants, a safe space was one in which difficult issues could be surfaced through mutual respect; for others, it was a space in which certain voices would have more privilege than others. In my work, I've viewed safe spaces as inherently uncomfortable spaces, but ones where productive tension and dialogue can occur.
– Stuart, 40
This video interested me because: at times, I don't understand how to support others. I love how the participants are so unique in their expression and perspective. I'm from Boston and I've heard a lot of attitude and undercurrent of hate regarding the Black Lives Matter movement. It could help us be less dismissive of the issues and start to understand who and how many people are affected.
– Cathi, 56
This video interested me because: I don't think of a safe space as one where everyone agrees or holds the same views on an issue. I see a safe space as one where all the participants agree to ground rules around behavior towards one another and respect the life experiences of the other people in the room. Since we live in a white dominated culture, I typically expect rules to counterbalance that with specific ground rules applying to pushback, dismissing/minimizing lived experiences of POC, privacy, etc.
– Elizabeth, 49
This video angered me because: Safe spaces, to me, aren't about being around like-minded people or only being immersed in one way of being or thinking. Safe spaces aren't meant to keep me or others safe from disagreement or difference--they're meant to create space for folks that don't get the microphone often enough so that the conversation is more free. I'm a white, cis-gendered, heterosexual, American citizen, self-identified woman with class privilege, but a survivor of multiple traumas with PTSD. I support safe spaces.
– N, 23
This video resonated with me because: I am still mulling over the recent U Chicago letter that claims safe spaces are against university values. I strongly support safe spaces and believe statements like this one misunderstand the concept of a safe space as something that hinders dialogue. I appreciate this attempt to find a shared definition of safe space.
– Samantha Petty, 31
This video interested me because: I've become used to Safe Spaces being places where I know I'll be comfortable and safe in a place that's going to have tolerance and be accepting...I think the key is respect
– Jackie, 24
This video frustrated me because: safe space should not exist. This is bull. Everyone gets discriminated against in many different ways. Like a black guy said in the video, we grow out of discomfort. So if your in a safe place you are not going to grow. If your always protected how are you going to learn? Everyone needs to go through hard things. Everyone needs to be challenged. Screw safe places! Yeah I am a white male, so why are you discriminating against me because I'm white and male? This whole subject contradicts itself.
– Adam, 17
This video inspired me because: A safe space to me means you can ask questions freely, and be checked, but not fear being checked when you're wrong. A space you can feel safe to sit and listen to opinions, to learn. Where people who don't feel safe can freely educate, vent, or discuss, knowing the people around them will rally behind them and check people who say something rude or ignorant or racist.
– Sara Faber, 29
This video angered me because: because too many people don't understand the term "safe space". As a Black woman, a safe space is where I could talk about issues, say Philando Castile, without having to hear 'Blue Lives Matter!" "All Lives Matter!" "He should have listened to the police!" "You people always play the victim card!". To say that a safe-space is somewhere that people all have the same opinion and can use that space to "bully" other people is steeped in ignorance and most likely, privilege.
– Caroline, 33
This video surprised me because: Of varying views. As an educator I try look to learn how to provide safe spaces for an inclusive learning environment to dialog respectfully on issues. I don't want to shut down conversations but have an understanding of what is needed for all as stated by someone in video. This is very challenging to coconstruct but necessary to have to provide for people to work and learn together. How do we (I) accomplish this? Something I think about a lot as an educator. Thanks for opening up this dialog.
– Deb Harding, 49
This video resonated with me because: As a while, male, south european, first world, educated non immigrant worker I also sometimes feel the urge to be in a place where I don't have to make a constant effort to feel like I'm part of the society. But I also think that that is just a temporary band aid, and that if I were to stay here permanently that wouldn't work in the long term
– Juan, 34
This video saddened me because: Safe spaces aren't about being around like-minded people. They're about being free, momentarily, from the intersecting oppressions that create violence and trauma in people's daily lives. If you're a black trans woman, for example, a safe space for you will be with and around people who don't, wittingly or unwittingly, replicate white hetero-patriarchal supremacy. It's not about ideas or opinions, it's about getting some fleeting separation from the social control endemic to dominant ideologies.
– QB, 30
This video surprised me because: I assumed "safe space" was about gender equality issues (except, of course if you are a white female, because we've never felt discriminated against, right?) and I never heard of the term used in regards to race issues. I tend to agree with the speakers who said if you can't deal with others holding different opinions from yourself, you aren't going to be able to deal with the real world--ever. You should feel free to speak without fear of being beaten up, however.
– R.L. Stroud, 58
This video frustrated me because: The problem with the "Safe Space," is that in my experience, these so-called spaced are INDEED devoid of tension and tough conversations. The moment there is any disention and challenging discussion, anyone can be labeled a "bully" and "aggressive." Further, in the video above, more than one person used the term "like-mined," which is counter to any sort of meaningful dialogue that addresses tough issues and topics.
– Chris, 40
This video surprised me because: some people did not realize the need and value of safe spaces in our community. There aren't many free and public spaces where we, especially people of color and young people, can safely come together, share time, and express ourselves without judgement. Our lack of safe space in the SW district, prompted me, as Across the Bridge, to rent space at Youngstown for 6 sessions to create a PSA. Safe spaces allow us to share our stories and build relationships and empathy and #IncreasethePeace
– Kim Schwarzkopf, 45
This video confused me because: Yes, one guy said its where people of like mind gather, and I would add that it is an anti-free speech zone, where different opinions are not allowed. Some say its better if safe space to express experiences, but only certain views are allowed. Any excuse to suppress speech, the new one is safe space, and feel self righteous about it, nice.
– Jay, 35
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This video inspired me because: diversity is something that everyone should experience because it will diminish ignorance and increase knowledge. Diversity in the work force should be equal and everyone should be moved by experience and knowledge, and not by money or worry about which person will make you the most of your reputation. Diversity in schools is a good thing because it shows children that is ok to be different and not to be scared of differences.
– Natosha Snider, 20
This video is in alignment with what I believe me because: I believe that how diversity is currently celebrated (by spotlighting the people of color in a group) is further perpetuating isolation and discrimation. Inclusion is the only way forward. With inclusion comes acceptance, and with acceptance comes harmony.
– Ruzanna, 26
This video resonated with me because: I work in the field of Human Resource, as a Diversity and Inclusion Program Manager, and I was just speaking on this yesterday. Our diversification efforts hit walls because we are all defining diversity differently and we use our limited definitions to allow us to check the box of completed effort; then we act as if we have done our part. Diversity and inclusion is ongoing and constantly evolving which takes a consistent effort and seeking for understanding.
– Dottie, 41
This video resonated with me because: In a world dominated by social media, we tend to "follow" only those we agree with. It really is important to expose ourselves to different viewpoints though, and not just the ones we agree with. Like this video suggests, knowing the other side helps us better define our own point of view, and also encourages open-mindedness. It's hard to see racist/trans/homophobic stuff on our feeds, but at the same time it's good to know what's out there, it's good to not be naive about the world.
– Karen, 28
This video resonated with me because: diversity is often seen as a balance between white people and non white people (I'm looking at you, Seattle Public Schools), but that really isn't it. There are so many things that contribute to diversity, but I think our society really likes to oversimplify it and that can be dangerous because it puts people into rigid categories with only one descriptor and ignores all other aspects of one's identity.
– Carolyn, 17
This video confused me because: I hear that diversity means including people from many different backgrounds, races, religions, or other. In practicality though, it can mean stifling one group over another. We have always had clubs or groups of like mindedness. That is not bad necessarily. Forcing a group to include others that create friction or hostility should not be required by law, and we're moving toward that. I'm thinking or the Boy Scouts or certain faith-based employers.
– Warren Stewart, 69
This video interested me because: it showed all of the different perspectives on the same subject. The way people of different ethnicity's are treated just because of their looks. How a lot of cultures feel targeted for the way their culture is and the way they dress or look. I am surprised that in today's age with such a diverse nation, that people are still targeted if they're different from the average person. These interview on people from multiple different races that are discriminated against similarly, fascinates me.
– Matthew Kuethe, 18
This video resonated with me because: I agree because there should be a number of different people, we don't all have to be the same. We should include people with a different race, ethnicity, and gender than you are.
– Bryanda Alvarado, 15
This video resonated with me because: Diversity enriches our lives if we are open to ways of looking at the world through the eyes of someone other than ourselves. We all are diverse from one another.
– Eloise Cofield, 73
This video inspired me because: The discussions held up a "mirror" to myself to more thoughoughly reflect upon how I interact, accept, and acknowledge all relationships I participate with. Wether at work, at the gym, at the grocery store...all places. I want to be accepting to all experiences, cultures and people. How fabulous that we all are different and can come together to share and learn from each other. This is a conversation I will continue to be more aware and thoughtful of in my life.
– Heather, 61
This video frustrated me because: The woman who made the comment to limit diversity to race and gender misses that point of what connects us through our differences. Who has not felt different or alone in a social space? Allow people find empathy with each other before creating walls and barriers. Her idea of diversity excludes the LGBT community as a whole which is inextricably diverse. We only gained civil rights in Washington State 2006, but are still very excluded from opportunities to protect & uplift our community.
– George, 45
This video annoyed me because: Pretty much everyone has it all wrong regarding diversity and racism. It is a symptom of deeper baseline behaviors collectively known as tribalism. It is tribalism that forms the basis for racism, religious intolerance, land disputes, conquest & protection, and a whole host of other human elements that ultimately generate conflict between people. To expect integration without resistance, to deny the reality of resource competition underestimates wired-in tribal instinct.
– Merril Gordon, 56
This video saddened me because: Everyone in the video just parrots the standard diversity class things. Like the one guy who said, white privilege means you have no idea. There is virtually no diversity of ideas and opinions in these videos, other than some mocking of white people, even by the white people. I did like the woman who said band aides dont matter much.
– Jay, 35
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This video frustrated me because: I feel like blaming everything on white privilege creates the very divide we are trying to get rid of.
– Summer, 17
This video resonated with me because: In my mixed-race family, I have had relatives get mad and feel blamed when non-white experiences are described to them. Not laid at their doorstep, just *described*. It is nuts to me that individual identity can be so weak that a person can't even HEAR what a racialized person is saying, when what their sayig does not confirm the white person's experience.
– Skye, 40
This video saddened me because: Being white I cannot walk in the shoes of someone who is not white and understand their perspective on this issue and their place in the world. But, I am frustrated by this series of videos because, although I am listening to and hearing a lot of words, I am not hearing much about solutions. How do non-whites want whites to treatment them? How should whites address non-whites? How can society as a whole be more inclusive?
– Alan, 65
This video angered me because: White privilege does not exist... Privilege exist and any race can have it. The use of this term is offensive and racist towards people who identify as white. The insinuation is that because you are white that you have privilege, which simply is not true. If anything privilege should be associated to people with money. Assigning privilege to a specific race is completely dishonest. Also, marginalizing the struggles of people who are not ethnically diverse is pretty arrogant.
– Shawn, 41
This video inspired me because: The more we can hear voices of a diverse range of people on these issues, the more we can learn from one another. And the more we can learn about each other and ourselves. It is never easy to look in the mirror and ask yourself these questions. But I think it is important to do so.
– Brandy Wood, 45
This video reinforced me because: there have been too many times over the past year, in particular, that I have had to decide whether to educate or ignore the nasty comments on social media related to race from predominately white people. When I attempt to discuss white privilege with my friends, and even worse, family...it never ends well. I am told I am brain-washed & that I don't live in the real world; white privilege IS the real world. This video reminds me why I have to advocate for others as a white man.
– Kevin Battersby, 26
This video surprised me because: I've never though about my color so I didn't even realize that others could be suffering over something so small in my mind.
– Hugh, 17
This video saddened me because: Someone's skin color has nothing to do with their success or how they behave or the choices they make. It saddens and angers me that white privilege is something that exists and I am disgusted that people who don't have white skin have to face problems or be put in different situations than people with white skin. Skin color does not define anyone and I hate that this is a problem.
– Carlie, 16
This video resonated with me because: Sharing stories and frames of reference is a much needed developing means of listening and responding to sharing in healing the racial divide.
– Dawn Collins, 75
This video inspired me because: As an ally, I try to explain to others and I can never find the words. People get so defensive over this term and it can be frustrating. This helped me to be able to explain white privilege more. And it makes me want to be a better person. #UnpackYourPrivilege
– AnnaMarie Weyandt, 32
This video interested me because: As a woman and a writer, who has lived in the US and Kenya, I have always been intrigued by this topic, and have always seen the need for these conversations. Recently, I became disabled, and I began to experience the feeling of being judged by what I look like. I also happen to be very tall, overweight, loud and big in personality and spirit. The intricacies and nuance that the participants brought to the foreground have inspired me, and left me longing for more of this hearty talk. Thank you!
– Emily Ullrich, 41
This video resonated with me because: As a white person in the US I feel very privileged and actually fortunate that I am white. And that is a sad thing because being privileged means I have more options and opportunities than others. Ideally everyone should have the same options and opportunities available to them. There should be no privilege difference between races or sex. We are all people, the same regardless of skin color.
– Sharon, 59
This video resonated with me because: I've only recently learned to call my privilege by name. I very much appreciate this project and look forward to watching more of the videos and sharing with those with whom I work to recognize and break down our society's racism, and with those who still don't get it. One of the most important things we need to do is to hear each other's stories and experiences. We all have experienced racism. We all participate in it. It will take all of us to end it.
– Barbara Kellam-Scott, 63
This video resonated with me because: I thought I understood the journey of POC because I have parent who was a refugee and a struggle with transgender identity as a child/teen. I didn't understand that my struggles aren't visible, so I can "pass"--I don't have to worry about judgement on a daily basis. I figured, my relatives didn't have slaves, so not my problem to fix. I was wrong. I didn't understand until I saw the Sandra Brown video. I've had much suffering, I have a boatload of privilege I take for granted.
– Cheryl, 38
This video resonated with me because: De Cruz put it in a nutshell. "When you're white you don't have to think about your race. When not you think about it all day." I'm white and getting older - that's a "type" you know, people treat you a bit differently so I am seeing what it means to be a bit different. As a white person I am aware I AM privileged and out of gratitude for that comes a responsibility to treat others not as lucky with kindness. Also, though I speak out to rudeness - from whites or otherwise.
– Diana Howell, 68
This video resonated with me because: I appreciated the nuanced conversation about White Privilege, that includes discussion about the contextual circumstances of some privilege. Income level,age education, orientation, etc. all contribute to privilege in a given situation. At the same time, certain privileges -- skin color, for example, and gender -- have been embedded and internalized in our system for generations. We must all acknowledge this privilege in order to become more aware and able to be allies for change.
– The Rev. Joyce Parry Moore, 55
This video resonated with me because: As a White person, I exprience White privilege when I go to the grocery store ans start drinking my bottle of pop halfway through my shopping trip because I am thirsty. I have total confidence the store manager will trust that I will pay for the (ultimately) empty bottle at checkout and not suspect me of trying to steal the pop. I bet Black people cannot enjoy that same confidence that they will get the benefit of the doubt.
– Betsy, 46
This video frustrated me because: Let's just focus on what real privilege has always been across all races around the world when you boil things down: money. That's what talks, what walks. Who has the money no matter their skin color holds the privilege.
– Sarah, 24
This video interested me because: I acknowledge that because I am white and female, people are not afraid of me and that is helpful. There are tiny seemingly innocuous characteristics that when amortized over generations add up to large injustices.
– Natalie Kranjcevich, 60
This video resonated with me because: I am a white male married to a Mexican for 12 years. Never thought about white privilege until I experienced first hand how she is treated differently when she is with me than when she is on her own. Whether this is at a store or restaurant or even the ER. Very eye opening for me.
– Robert Samphire, 45
This video frustrated me because: everyone talks about "white privilege" but nobody makes any attempt to offer a solution. I sincerely believe that, nowadays, the issue is more about economic and educational opportunity than what race you are. There are plenty of white people getting left behind along with other groups.
– Kevand, 52
This video resonated with me because: "White privilege means you can just be". As a white woman, of course I've had resentment towards the term "white privilege" because my parents worked hard to have what they had and I've been taught to work for what I want to, as well. The above quote helped me better understand my resentment and just take a step back because it was easier for them to have those successes because they are white. I wouldn't say I'm ignorant but I definitely understand this conversation better.
– Kristen, 22
This video motivated me because: I must be missing the real meaning behind the term and will research it further to discover it's place of origin as well as other "Privileges". Why so many people feel affected by this more than other privileges, if it's real and if so who is to blame? Can you blame someone for there being "White Privilege"? I am not racist but I do know there are policies & regulations working against white people too. I really would just like to understand my so called "Privilege" and what it has done for me??
– Dave Houghton, 36
This video angered me because: I am so tired of everyone placing blame on others for their discomfort, whether it be financial, educational, employment or even basic existence. Take responsibility for your life, problems, unique situations, appearance, etc. No one needs to conform to societal norms, they choose to because it makes them feel comfortable. If you don't like what life has given you, change your life. Try harder, become smarter, whatever it takes. But stop griping about how life hasn't been fair.
– Lari, 46
This video angered me because: for a large portion of white people in this nation, they are struggling just as much as people of other colors, and much of the struggle has to do with low economic status and a lack of education, as well as institutionalized social welfare. If our nation ever hopes to solve the problem of race relations, we must look at the problems of poverty and access to education, and not at instituting terms like these, which make everyone more unable to genuinely aim at equality for all.
– Clark, 57
This video interested me because: I'm white and it helps me to think more about the definition of the term as well as to notice the privilege in every aspect of my life, large and small. I'd link to see a video about the definition of feminism.
– Nancy, 60
This video resonated with me because: So many things stated I understand and see in myself and my students. At some point, I feel we need to move beyond and refuse to allow the social structure to continue to perpetrate the concept of race. Anthropologically there is only one race. Many ethnic variations but skin is not a defining element other than as a convenient external marker set up by society to divide and conquer. The question is How? How do we break away from it and just be human and unite?
– Isa, 56
This video frustrated me because: As a white female, I acknowledge white privilege and encourage my ignorance being educated. Simultaneously, I want to make progress toward resolution and equality but feel stuck. It's named, it's statistically proven, it's getting a voice. I just wish I knew more definitively how to play my part in taking the next step in the positive direction. Thank you for these videos. I need to hear and absorb all of these perspectives and truths.
– Anonymous, 27
This video affirmed me because: When the gentleman said White Privilege means you can just be, it truly expressed it more clearly than I have been able to. I have conversations with people who have no clue what it's like to depend on School Lunches and Breakfast, what it feels like to know when Summer comes you may have to skip those meals, and truly believe we all have Equal opportunity~!
– Marsha Johnson, 56
This video continued to educate me because: It shows the many way that white privilege as such and privilege in general works to oppress and suppress the true diversity of humanity. Racism is white privilege plus power.
– Fredrica Thompsett, 74
This video resonated and frustrated me because: while I think white privilege is very real, I also find it too simplistic. We have all benefited from, to varying degrees, many sorts of different privilege. Some may be visible (gender, skin color, etc.) while other are invisible (presence or absence of adverse childhood experiences, economic factors, health and ability factors, educational opportunities, mentors, etc.). Don't assume anyone had the same (or fewer) challenges in life that you did. We really don't know what others go through.
– Dave, 54
This video frustrated me because: The format of this whole project bothers me. You can get only so far with individual sound bites from people who are not having an actual dialog. Things are never challenged, clarified, refined, etc. We get a bunch of people talking past each other, with an occasional editorial juxtaposition that gives the impression of a response, a la Katie Couric's fabricated documentaries. Put these people in the same room for a few days and see where they get. I am sick of opinions without dialog.
– Matt, 53
This video resonated with me because: I am a white woman and I know that I have privilege in this society because of how I am seen, and because of how non-white people are not seen. We have a crisis of blindness, not "color blindness" but human blindness. We are blind to the humanity beneath every skin color. This video project lends sight to blindness. It opens my eyes. May it open many eyes to see deeper into the human experience of every one inclusive of skin color. Thank you.
– Jeanine Cardiff, 59
This video frustrated me because: its a double standard. Some of the interviewees sit in judgement of an entire race and feel confident explaining the experiences of whites, but rarely accept the inverse as true. Its the same double standard, understandably brought on by a racially charged environment, but the same nonetheless.
– Francis Kinsmore, 35
This video interested me because: Because I have white privilege and and I try to be conscience about what it affords me. I liked that people acknowledged the many privileges we have.
– Terri, 55
This video frustrated me because: I still believe the US is the only place in the world where there is a level playing field. Everyone has a chance, some might have more steps to take than others but we all can achieve the same goal. BTW I'm not white.
– Valerie, 34
This video resonated with me because: People avoid the fact that "race" is an artificial term introduced in the 1600s in an effort to taxonimize the human race. Is a Siberian tiger a different race than a Sumatran tiger? The language itself is polarizing exponentially! Please Stop.
– Max, 66
This video interested me because: I understand "white privilege" as: I can go into a store and people won't automatically think I'm there to steal. I probably won't get shot by police while going about my business. If someone doesn't have "whiteness" making them a desirable job candidate, they have to become more skilled. Beyond cultural privilege, what, if anything, defines someone as "white"?
– Sara, 53
This video interested me because: more people realize that its not about how hard you work but also where you start and how high you've climbed throughout your life. People aren't as ignorant as most people believe.
– Juwan Phillips, 23
This video frustrated me because: This video doesn't use a representative population in the geographical sense. It fails to consider a number of factors, nor does it address anything empirical. Coming from the science community where international collaboration is common, i can tell you that opportunity is what you make of it. Instead of focusing on some privilege or lack thereof each individual should focusing on being the best they can be. Attributing failure to external force isn't always acceptable.
– Matt, NA
This video frustrated me because: The concept divides people based on stereotypes, with broad strokes, and presumes motives and causes without taking into consideration all the factors at play. Inequity, in my opinion, is more a cultural divide than a racial one and, again my opinion, serves as a way to feel empowered through victimhood instead of finding real solutions. Go to a place where you are the cultural minority, regardless of color, and you will find yourself feeling the majority has "privilege."
– Erik Tavares, 48
This video interested me because: I wanted to hear the different definitions and opinions of people from different backgrounds. I am Latina and I grew up in a country where white privilege is unspoken, but it is certain that having a lighter skin color will give you more opportunities in life. White privilege in the US is given for granted if you are white. Is not about making white people feel guilty or resenting but acknowledging and doing something about it (by eradicating institutional racism) is what matters.
– Sam, 32
This video interested me because: it was great to hear all the different perspectives on white privilege; and all the nuances that white privilege has in our culture - like band-aids; also the comment that while people "can just be" or that "the things that are available to me sometimes I can get and sometimes I can't."
– Anne Penny, 55
This video interested me because: I am white and have benefited from privilege because of that. I am female and that has been a barrier, however, not so much a barrier as race is in this country.We need to get away from the feeling that upsets people into thinking that they are being dissed as not having worked hard because of privilege. It's not that, it's that people of color have to overcome so much more in order to get jobs, get educated, even to be able to walk down streets safely and with respect. We have a long way to go.
– beachgirl, 65
This video made me reflect me because: I am aware of white privilege. I am aware of my own white privilege. Yet, I am not actively aware of it ... meaning days, or even weeks, will go by without me thinking about my own white privilege and what it meant to me during a particular day, or week. This fact in and of itself is white privilege!
– NV, 32
This video inspired me because: I cannot applaud the Seattle Times enough for touching on this intensely personal and uneasy subject. The term "white privilege" is a provocative term, obviously for white people, but if discussions are thoughtful and steer clear of obvious pitfalls of guilt / revenge / race-bating / stereotypes and appeal to universal concepts of opportunity / inclusion / compassion then much good can occur. I'd recommend Dear White America from Tim Wise as supplemental reading. Thank you again Seattle Times!!!
– Josh M Bishop, 41
This video interested me because: I think that white folks have a hard time accepting the ideas of white privilege or white supremacy because these experiences are designed not to be seen. Also, as was mentioned in the video, because of the intersection of multiple social identities it can feel hard to accept race privilege if you don't also have gender and class privilege.
– Kathryn, 35
This video saddened me because: Because white privilege is a theory not a fact. There are counter theories that do a much better job of addressing the problem with out pulling a race card. Try pack instinct and social schooling. People see what the media and "their pack" see. Anytime you are in a minority pack and there is a majority pack, there will be imbalance between exchanges. Racism does exist, but racist people use "race" to distinguish issues; wether it is mean racism or not, it is still racism and it is unrealized.
– Nunya, 40
This video interested me because: I've had this term slung at me on social media as an insult. I grew up in an abusive environment with little privilege of any kind & lacking many of the "normal" freedoms irrespective of race. I get the concept, I understand the disparity, yet that phrase gets my hackles up because it seems to be the first slam out of the toolbox with no regard for who anyone is. The irony, the irony.
– debbalee, 54
This video interested me because: This was something I had a hard time wrapping my head around. I am white, but was raised by a working class single mother in a Latin American neighborhood. I had been harassed by the cops, antagonized and subjected to illegal strip searches in school, and spent years trying to get a decent blue collar job in a world of diminishing opportunities for my class. I think the best way it made sense to me was understanding intersectionality, that none of my circumstances were BECAUSE I'm WHITE.
– LC Swan, 27
This video resonated with me because: as a white woman of privilege, I have spent much of my life waking up to my privilege, speaking out, and standing up for my friends of color, my gay & lesbian friends, my other women friends. The biggest road blocks have come from 'well' meaning often progressive white people who do not see their privilege. Until we come to grips, we will continue to perpetuate racism, sexism, homophobia, all the isms near and far. My personal goal is to listen, to not speak over, to stand with, to engage.
– Janie Starr, 68
This video resonated with me because: White Privilege is not an American-only nuance. Growing up in South Africa, I was so aware and ashamed of my race that I prayed to be white. Even the poorest white had more privileges than the richest person in our community. As I drive through the old "white areas" in our town and I'm filled with rage, and I think: "All you have to do is acknowledge - your privilege and the history - and we'll start making bridges. But you won't even do that - don't you know your defense is patronising?"
– Sanchia, 34
This video angered me because: this video classifies people by their race first, and everything else second. If we continue to divide everyone by race, then we are only furthering racism in our children. If you live in America, you have some kind of privilege. Are you going to let that stop you from getting what you want?
– Alex, 30
This video inspired me because: There were so many people who understood this issue in the same or similar way I do: that white privilege is something though not easily defined, is easily misrepresented as some grievance from people of color when, in fact, it is simply part of each of our experiences. Things that are real and consequential don't change or go away simply by not understanding them. These people seemed to get it in ways the popular media often does not.
– Jesse, 49
This video was shared with all my loved ones by me because: It important to recognize that society is designed to help white males succeed. All need to think about how we can provide a leg up for the many who are left behind by systemic racism or discrimination. We need to own our part of the problem because we have settled for systems that create failure. The death of Trayvon Martin and sadly many others shocked me to the core. I no longer accept this broken system & failed democracy the 1st place that I hope to create change is within my own family.
– Quipatitur, 45
This video saddened me because: People seem to assume that being white alone gives someone privilege and fail to realize that even if you are white there are other factors like gender and class and even which college you went to that are just as important.
– Jammie, 26
This video interested me because: We have to keep the conversation going, its the only way racism will be solved in this country. White people always say slavery has been over for hundreds of years why keep talking about it we didn't have anything to do with it. Yes it has, but this country still feels the effect of racism. GOP Donald Trump open old wounds this country forgot about. With his slogan "Make America Great Again." What Donald Trump really trying to say is, "Make America White Again."
– Darryl, 49
This video frustrated me because: I will end up reading comments which clue me in to how many owners of white privilege refuse to open their minds up to understand others and what we are going through because they probably don't want a level playing field. I think it's subconscious. If they are currently are placing themselves on the winning end and the playing field gets leveled, that makes them on the losing end.
– Stacy Ghalib, 40
This video frustrated me because: American privilege beats white privilege. The conversations in this story are examples of American and Seattle privilege. State sponsored violence against minority groups anywhere (be they any kind of minorities) are serious issues vs. your feelings. I don't want to deny peoples psychic pain - its real. But topics that veer away from why so many unarmed black people in America are killed by police are distractions. Lets fix problems we can fact check, and aren't perception or feeling based.
– Ben, 39
This video resonated with me because: As a white person it was already obvious to me that regardless of other factors that placed you farther up or back on the starting line of life, such as affluence, family ties in the community etc, race plays a part. More than that, it plays a constant, subtle part in the life of every person. I think it's being brought up due to a minority of people that deny it makes a difference in the path they choose in life.
– Greg, 50
This video resonated with me because: it's a global phenomenon. It exists in Europe in how Europeans interact with African and Middle Eastern immigrants. It exists in Latin America. It certainly exists in South Africa. It exists in Canada and Australia and India and most corners of the world. The USA must continue to lead the effort to diminish this global bias.
– Claude, 37
This video resonated with me because: We are currently in the process of diversity training at Pratt Fine Arts Center, where I work. We are discussing all of these issues and I've shared this video series with many of our staff members. Thank you for putting this out there! I think it will raise awareness and generate good discussion. It's amazing to me how many white people I know have not heard the term "white privilege" and can't see it in themselves.
– Heather Pilder Olson, 49
This video frustrated me because: Every time someone talks to me about white privilege, the subtext is that I have it. Yes, I'm white. No, I don't care if I have white privilege. Yes, I realize that not caring about it probably means I have it. Don't you dare try and belittle my efforts and accomplishments in life as if they were handed to me. I'm not working hard every day so I can be better than you, I do it because I want to be the best me I can be. And it has nothing to do with the color of my skin or your skin.
– Jason, 33
This video resonated with me because: We all have different privileges of different varieties, but if we could barter and bid for these privileges, I'm certain white privilege would would be the highest bid. It won't get you anywhere in limited circumstances, but in most, we have cultural biases, conscious and unconscious, that I don't know how to mitigate.
– Mark, 57
This video resonated with me because: After nearly 40 years in the Seattle area finally I feel I can openly discuss white privilege, is a sad commentary!
– Pervis Willis, 61
This video saddened me because: What did 'White Privilege' do for the Italian, Irish, Polish, Russian immigrants when they all came to this country? Aren't all White people not also part of an ethnic or religious group? It's as if White people are share the same experience in this country and that is just don't the case. Many are very poor and left out. Our country has a pretty long history of not treating millions of white immigrants from different countries very badly.
– Jeff, 50
This video interested me because: Although I look white, I am not so 'white'. People of color have called me racist (in a mean way) because I look white and therefore benefit from 'white privilege'. It hurts me to not belong anywhere. Due to being in-between I can't sympathize with those who bemoan how hard it is to not be white, and I can't sympathize with those who cry about how hard it is to be white. If my life is a success, either camp will tell me it's not because I've done well for a myriad of reasons.
– Cheryl, 51
This video confused me because: To me the term"white Privilege" Is just some made up idea put forth to keep us all mad at each other. I live in a small town where i can say that everyone has the same chance in life regardless of the color of their skin. Racism will always exist. You can try to make sense of it but you will never eradicate it.
– Tom, 57
This video resonated with me because: My own experience as a person exploring the ramifications of her own white privilege has made me aware that I need to confront this in myself.
– Rita Selin, 79
More comments
This video interested me because: it is a term that not many people know about but is what describes the pushback from white people about white privilege. White people may think hard work writes off their privilege, or be offended at even a suggestion that the system favors them, so the word 'fragile' gives that feeling a name. People know what it is but not what to call it, and it's great to see the people in the video work through what White Fragility means in general, for them, and social interaction.
– Ashley, 17
This video resonated with me because: Because it's a term I've been exploring, overcoming, and witnessing in others. Now that I'm comfortable with the concept of white privilege and my responsibility to help dismantle it, I see that it's easy to make other white people uncomfortable with the slightest allusion to unearned benefits.
– Toby, 34
This video resonated with me because: I had not heard that term and, as I listened to the speakers, it helped me understand that as someone who is white and inherently benefits from this in our society, when I feel defensive at the emotionally charged term "white privilege" I am immediately making it about "me" - the very definition of white privilege.
– Nancy, 60
This video informed me because: My bi-racial daughter showed me I was racist. For instance, I felt that racism didn't exist because I'd never witnessed it. I didn't know about subtle racism. When I was arguing with her instead of listening to her, I felt fragile. I was starting to realize she was right, so my world-view was crumbling a bit. I'm grateful she informed me, and I seek to be more informed and help inform others as I learn more by listening instead of arguing. It's time to listen.
– Jinjee, 49
This video surprised me because: I never had heard this term, and the thoughts presented got me to look at my whiteness. I think my fragility comes from being afraid someone will hate me. Which is exactly what happens to people of color because of their skin. I'm afraid of being judged for my whiteness. Again, that's what people of color feel all the time. So it turned the table. I'm prejudged because I'm a woman and have gray hair. I've been treated as dumb and weak.
– Joan, 65
This video enriched me because: I heard a variety of challenging concepts that forced me to think about my own comfort and discomforts. Yes, I am sympathetic with most these views and completely aware that I am privileged unfairly to be a white male in this society. I believe there has been real progress made since the 1960's, but so very much more growth has to happen for true acceptance of being different in any way from the white biased male dominated 'norm' to be real in our society. Excellent thoughtful discussion!
– Terry, 64
This video resonated with me because: I am a white female who has gone through Equity training. Even though I've attended Equity training and have had my racial awareness raised in order to also engage in hard racial conversations to help interrupt microaggression, etc...this video still resonated with me on two levels. That level of understanding what those who are not white were saying and considering in their words coupled with what I've learned about white privilege and the fragility I felt/feel in this process of change!
– Nicole, 44
This video interested me because: I want to understand white fragility because it seems like it stops the conversation some times
– Paris Granville, 53
This video resonated with me because: I am currently being exposed to so many different forms of racism on my job that I realize that transitioning from 10 years in a diversity based non-profit to main-stream 'privelaged' shows me that I completed allowed myself to forget about the onion layers of racism.
– Danita Coulter, 50
This video interested me because: I love the diversity of ideas presented - true for all the videos. White Fragility is about white privilege and learning to understand oppression. I AM a racist IS the place to start. Then the learning can begin. I feel inspired by this series.
– David Norget, 50
This video saddened me because: The more we view ourselves as colors, the more problems we will have. This is not helping. You are perpetuating concepts that just aren't true.
– Jordan, 29
This video interested me because: I had never heard the term before. It doesn't offend me. I want to understand the different facets of racism and own my part as we struggle towards justice.
– Sandy, 64
This video interested me because: anytime we lump people together and make sweeping statements, we create an imbalance. To have a productive conversation, instead of accusing each other/labeling each other, perhaps we each need to require more of ourselves.
– Mary McKnight, 55
This video inspired me because: I've always thought myself accepting of everyone. I see I too have been guilty of some of these. Thank you for inspiring me to do better.
– Shannon Brown, 55
This video resonated with me because: Every single example of what a person experiencing white fragility will say was spot on. Even those closest to me say it ... this is not an isolated case. This is more pervasive than ever.
– Yncyl, 31
This video encouraged me because: the people filmed are so articulate, engaging and honest. I appreciate the many angles of this concept. I have witnessed white fragility in many settings yet had not heard this term before this project. I'm an educated, white, middle class woman who finds it really hard to get through to fellow whites. It is so uncomfortable to help white people see what's going on. I am not claiming I've "done the work" but I've done enough to know I need to do more in white communities.
– Liza Behrendt, 51
This video challenged me because: There are so many ways to see this conversation about fragility and this video opened my eyes to that. I had never considered white fragility but now I see we all are fragile. We cannot have this conversation without fear. Why are we so afraid of this conversation? Because we're supposed to pretend that color doesn't exist or that we don't see our differences, and we are afraid a conversation about race will go badly.
– Mary Bradley, 60
This video resonated with me because: I see white fragility displayed as soon as a racist act is posted on a social network. The immediate reaction from my white friends is always - oh great. Here comes the race card. They don't even think about the incident itself and identify with the victim.
– IowaSunny, 69
This video inspired me because: to finally be having a conversation and to see white men stating the obvious without being defensive or fragile was beautiful.
– Sharon Dudash, 57
This video resonated with me because: It reconfirmed my interpretation of the term and helped me to see ways of dismantling it when I see others suffering from it. It is an important step to take apart and discuss in order to bring more voices ears hearts & minds into this conversation.
– Erin Star, 48
This video interested me because: I spend quite a bit of time trying to research and understand what it is that makes white people feel so threatened by other races wanting to be on a level playing field with them. They get extremely defensive and viciously attack as if they are a cornered animal. I think the last woman said it best. When a priveledged life is all they know, to be equal would be having something taken away from them. That was eye-opening for me. I get it. It's fear.
– Mo, 28
This video inspired me because: I just had a conversation with someone on the train in Romania and after hearing a racist comment from a lady about Rroma people in our country I challenged her to think about ways that she can understand Rroma culture from a different perspective. She was definitely feeling uncomfortable, but to my surprise, she did agree with me and admitted to her mistake. I believe dialogue is important. We can't have a trully open society without learning from each other,even if it feels uncomfortable.
– Roxana Haloiu, 28
This video resonated with me because: Culture has specific norms we follow, learned from our birth such that they're unconscious. This means I must be intentional in seeing, experiencing, and hearing the lived experience of other. Growth is uncomfortable. It's helpful to have conversations with wondering rather than defensiveness. Give grace to speak, and be heard. Pain hurts whether it's intentional or accidental.
– Julie Matsunaga, 59
This video resonated with me because: At 56 I am still learning about how different my experience as a White Woman is from other Races. I agree with the term, and the way I see it is that sense of discomfort felt in a White person regardless of whether blame is assessed during a Racial conversation. It is a great way to describe the immediate defenses which arise to protect herself, when in reality it is a time to listen and learn.
– Marsha Johnson, 56
This video resonated with me because: AS a white woman born and raised in Seattle. The topic of conversation that showed me my fragility and is not covered here.It was about cultural appropriation. My ancestors have been in N. America for nearly 400 years and the only culture I have known has been one that encompasses the diversity of this country. I felt as if I would loose everything I enjoyed and had grown up with, if I gave up things that came from another culture and that I had no cultural roots I could call my own.
– Kelly H, 57
This video resonated with me because: I went through an hours long job interview. At the end of the day I saw I had a huge pimple with a big whitehead. I'd been walking around with that thing for hours. I was horrified and embarrassed - wanted to crawl under a rock. All day long I'd walked around with that thing and didn't know it. That sums up white privilege & fragility: system is rigged for people like me. When I'm finally made aware of that I feel like crawling under a rock.
– Paul Severance, 55
This video appalled me because: Wow, people in Seattle seem to be the fragile ones, unable to speak openly about a lot of normal things. Here on the East Coast people are a lot tougher mentally, commonly referred to as having a spine.
– Valerie Downer, 65
This video challenged me because: so much of what is said, I so ardently agreed with about colorblindness, all lives matter, etc. But also, I recognized with some shame that as liberal as I am, as well-intentioned as I am around issues of race, I recognize instances where I have perpetrated micro aggressions (recognized after they happened and it was too late to apologize), where I have avoided the more difficult conversations. I love the comment of the woman who said that it is human to make mistake if we learn. Good job!
– Pamela Johnson, 61
This video angered me because: How can we be regarded as individuals when the participants continue to say WE. "WE" is a term coined by people who AGREE about something. How can a conversation be equal when you have only ONE white girl... my demographic. One. She no more represents me than one of the black men..... what a joke. It angers me that you are attempting to approach sentsitive subjects about race but your participants point many fingers at white people yet your videos are only 15% white MEEK people.
– Amber Anderson, 39
This video saddened me because: I don't understand how labelling "white" people and making broad generalizations about a race as a whole is going to trigger anything but resentment. As it would for any race. The highly subjective nature of the term privelage just triggers value judgements based on ones own circumstances - kind of what that Stanford study points out. Thats the impact of broad based generalizations in relation to a selective set of individual experience. It's a lazy label that discourages constructive dialogue
– Garb, 40
This video frustrated me because: white people are millions of people with different perspectives, advantages, and disadvantages. We're not a club. Racism is the result of singular attributes being used to classify entire groups. To speak in judgement of an entire group of people based on the color of their skin is not constructive. Its ignorant; its the same ignorance you don't want applied to you.
– Donald D., 35
This video inspired me because: it modeled for me how to talk about race - openly, honestly, respectfully, with an acknowledgement that its going to take communication and tolerating some vulnerability to figure out what each individual needs to feel respected and as safe as possible during that conversation. It reminded me we need those conversations about race to make any progress towards justice, safety, compassion, connection, peace.
– Sara, 54
This video frustrated me because: I have the sense that everyone who agreed to be filmed for this project is, on some level, in agreement. That's encouraging, but I don't think we can improve how we talk about race in America without engaging people who aren't already in the tent.
– Betsy, 39
This video resonated with me because: Acknowledging my privilege as a white woman is hard. Not as hard as facing the injustices our racist system (that I am a part of!) perpetuate on people of color face for sure. Being socialized to believe that if I work hard enough I can get where I want to go contradicts the notion that just by being born this way I have privilege others don't. The burden falls on me to acknowledge my privilege and actively be aware of my fragility and where it comes from. That's something only I can carry.
– Megan Fair, 28
This video interested me because: I think white people are fragile when talking about race because they're not use to the raw edges that people of color are used to dealing with
– Anne Penny, 55
This video saddened me because: Seems like an oxymoron but do understand that all people may feel fragile/threatened at times. We all feel fragile/threatened at times....BUT it's the degree and number of occurrences that we also need to address.
– Sarna, 62
This video resonated with me because: I think white fragility comes from the experience of white people not learning to talk about race. Those of us who grew up in the 80s and 90s were taught this colorblind approach to the world which left us with no skills for examining our own race or giving us the language or ability to hear the experiences of people of color without immediately feeling guilty and ashamed.
– Kathryn, 35
This video resonated with me because: As much as we want to believe that racism and all of the other 'isms that affect our daily lives are all but gone, the harsh reality is that we have a lot of work to do just to have civil conversations about the truth. We are not on a level playing field, black people in this country are being killed without redress or accountability by authority figures, women are still fighting for equal pay (black/brown women fighting for equal pay with white women..) the work is hard but it must be done.
– Sharifa, 50
This video resonated with me because: I have black cousins, friends, and coworkers. I have never been raised in a racist household, so I don't think I am remotely racist. But still, I get defensive if it's ever even hinted at that I am benefitting from racism. I think that from now on, I will challenge myself to stop being defensive and listen. Sure maybe I have never been racist, but have I questioned the advantages that society gives me based off of skin color? Have I asked my white friends how we can be a part of the solution?
– Kym Miller, 21
This video frustrated me because: It's true that many white people become defensive, or even hostile, when confronted with issues of racism. But it's also true that many people who suffer under racism are far less thoughtful, and far more hostile, accusative, and angry than the project's participants. As much as some would believe otherwise, the reality is that being "heard out" by those in power is not a given, and the expression of unvarnished anger- however righteous or well-earned- can be counterproductive to larger goals.
– Ben, 40
This video resonated with me because: Whenever I talk about race with white people they get angry, defensive, and upset.
– Logan Swan, 27
This video inspired me because: Watching the video and reading the comments is a strong reminder that the work of addressing social constructs and the way they shape our thinking is not something that can be done in five minutes, an hour, a week, a year, or even a few years. This will take much of our lives. It will be tremendously challenging, whether we choose to engage in it or not.
– James, 33
This video inspired me because: a lightbulb went off: it is my Whiteness that is fragile, not me. I am a strong, compassionate, resilient human. But one of the programs I run is White Man, and that programming responds defensively when I'm called to witness the unfairness in the world. I can recognize the White Man program's fragile response, and not identify completely with it, which can help me take a breath, and open my ears and heart to who is in front of me.
– Tim Smith, 41
This video resonated with me because: every person in the video speaks deep truth, even if they had not necessarily been introduced to the term "white fragility". Thank you for including the diverse voices - race, ethnicity, gender, age, sexual orientation.
– Darcy Danielson, 59
This video surprised me because: It is a topic that often does not get included in conversations about race, privilege and opportunity. Really glad to see discussion on this and the thoughtfulness of the responses.
– Vanessa, 38
This video helped me because: I feel "white fragility" in the context that sometimes I am so worried about offending someone that I become withdrawn. I am white and I do have black friends but we don't talk about these things. I always wonder if it's because we don't need to or if it's because we don't know how. I want to know these things and I want others to know that I am eager to learn, but how do I express that?
– Sadie, 24
This video inspired me because: It's great that these words have been presented in all their contradictions. All these brave people are speaking truthfully from their own positions of authority and experience. There's clearly not one right answer. So really, I think the question "What do we mean when we talk about race?" isn't resolved here so much as echoed and amplified.
– Andrew d., 25
This video resonated with me because: I understand my own behaviors in experience of white fragility and know that without constant self awareness and willingness to change, the social structures will not change. We all have to move it forward, bit by bit.
– Lindsey, 30
This video saddened me because: After watching and then reading the comments I sense so much defensiveness and hostility. What are we, as white people, so afraid of losing that we feel we need to devalue the experiences of others? What is it that you think will happen if you agree, reach out, and offer to share power with others? You can't share power, and you can't lose power unless it's already yours to share and to lose. We need to understand this, no matter how ashamed or "attacked" it may make us feel.
– Elise, 31
This video ambivalent me because: These videos make me feel more ambivalent because it seems no matter what I do as a white man, somebody will judo it to make themselves feel victimized. It's a sad day when curiosity, genuine interest (even if it is somewhat clumsily displayed) is mistaken for aggression or (gasp) racism. Nobody says things like this in Hawaii, one of the most integrated places around - everyone is aware of race, but nobody really cares. More of that here, please.
– Chris, 45
This video frustrated me because: This video like all the others frustrated me because there is a notable absence of women (of any color) over the age of 50. I did appreciate the content of this project as someone who teaches university courses on cultural identity and art with a focus on fear of difference, racism, homophobia, etc. I will use this project with my students, especially in relation to the video, "Cracking the Codes" by Shakti Butler.
– Beverly Naidus, 62
This video unfulfilled me because: Everyone has vulnerabilities. I'm white, and I've understood for a long time that people of color see me as someone in a better position, somehow socially more acceptable. My weakness, my fragility, is conveying to them how powerless I feel to correct their feeling of disadvantage. Let alone to correct any deep actual disadvantage from which they personally suffer. My fragility is the impotence I feel in not being able to do more than 'be fair' one situation at a time.
– M, 69
This video interested me because: I did not know what white fragility meant.
– Stephanie, 46
This video resonated with me because: people are finally speaking the truth about race relations (or the lack thereof) in America in general and Seattle specifically. Thank you.
– Jonesy, 36
This video educated me because: I didn't realize when I tell people of color that I feel guilty & sad about the inequity of easy access I have to advantages and privileges that are so much harder for them to access, it bothers some of them, as in, here we have to listen to white woman say THAT is hard?! I'm very aware that "White Privilege" has been behind most reasons for the choices I get to make and the opportunities I get to enjoy without an atypical amount of work and strategizing. I'll try to be more sensitive.
– Keri B Bullock, 51
This video interested me because: I had never even heard that term before. It was also frustrating because, indeed, if you have never heard it before and really listen to what the group is saying, hardly any of them are in agreement. If no one can agree on what the term even means, why use it at all? At the same time, I definitely understand the problem of discussing race with a white person, because--especially if they are white liberals, we tend to see ourselves as part of the solution, not part of the problem.
– R. L. Stroud, 58
This video made me share it because me because: It is a beautiful thing to see so many different opinions expressed in one place. By compiling them together and displaying them this way, I feel like I was in a 'safe space' to listen.
– Jennie, 40
This video interested me because: A lot of these terms are new. They just crept up in our lexicon, but we have not discussed them, and we need to. Seattle is a diverse place that can be very open thinking. But the moment we think we are beyond or better than others and don't need to look at ourselves...we have failed.
– Jeshua Anderson, 35
This video surprised me because: I was surprised that "white fragility" is not more commonly understood. As a white person I have frequently encountered it when I try to talk to other white people about subtleties of racism in their actions or comments. I have been surprised by some of the things that white people say. I remember one former white friend who insisted she was Native American because her ancestors had been some of the first European settlers. That was a difficult conversation!
– Pennie O'Grady, 60
This video interested me because: it was a strong representation of the culture and reality of what life is like. The complexity of thoughts and actions and how they govern our very lives when it comes to race. Very well produced video.
– George R., 30
This video spoke to me because: White fragility is when we white folks want people of color to comfort *us* for sadness *we* feel over pain and injustices *they* endure. We want people of color to say: “Oh don’t be upset! It’s OK! You’re not a racist; you’re not guilty!” In seeking this response, we once again take center stage, make it about us, suspend any listening we might do, and quash vital voices with our privileged fragility. Am I ashamed? No. Shame creates paralysis. But I strive to be aware. And primed for change.
– Martha Bean, 57
This video frustrated me because: I never felt fragile in any sense, but frustrated when some of the these words (privilege, microagression) are used. Am I required to have some sort of "proper" reaction when it comes to race issues?
– Chris, 40
This video frustrated me because: Most of these speakers have no empathy or interest in white people, they just mock or attack, or say that even when a person of color is kind to whites, that that is another form of racism. They treat and talk about white people as if they are paper cut outs, two or one dimensional people, yet describe themselves as complex beings. Reductionism is bad no matter what direction. One young woman has been telling white people who they are the whole time, but here says she is just sharing herself.
– Jay, 35
This video reaffirmed me because: I agree that this topic needs to be discussed. We need to develop an educational curriculum to start in elementary school to combat this issue.
– Karen Walker-Ward, 64
This video saddened me because: I honestly think our diversity and videos like this have split us more as a country. Instead of being a "melting pot" we've decided to focus on our differences. The only constant similarity has been to blame white people. I think white people are sick of being blamed, especially when they see people of other cultures having the same problems and the answer is to blame white people.
– Bill Conley, 45
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Meet the participants
duck bae
autumn bennett
keli carender
louis chude-sokei
jerrell davis
rachael decruz
michael dixon
leija farr
m. lorena gonzález
darrell hillaire
varisha khan
lucas nydam
mark olsen
marci owens
greg rickel
sean riley
cynthia tee
tariqa waters

About this project

Under Our Skin grew out of conversations about how we at The Seattle Times cover race at a time when national and local events — the furor over police shootings, the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement, protests on college campuses and charged campaign rhetoric — dominate headlines.

In our newsroom, we’ve found ourselves talking more candidly about race and racism, subjects that simmer beneath the surface even when they’re not on the front page.

As a news organization, we’ve covered the local events as they’ve occurred, but we have a desire to probe the issues more deeply. And there have been instances when our stories have caused offense or led to misunderstandings. This project is just one effort under way in the newsroom to do things differently.

Discussions about race, inclusiveness and sensitivity clearly aren’t new. They can leave us feeling depleted and wondering whether anything has really changed. But we believe the personal reflections and stories from the people who participated in this project will inspire all of us to think and talk about these issues in a deeper way. For those who freeze up at the prospect of talking about race, we hope this project will help break the ice. For those who tend to take sides right away when the issue of race comes up, we hope Under Our Skin will challenge assumptions and build common ground.

We decided to examine words and phrases that we noticed people using — and interpreting — very differently. Then we invited 18 people who represent a mix of backgrounds and perspectives to our video studio to talk about what those expressions mean to them. In a few cases, our subjects suggested terms we hadn’t included and we added them in subsequent interviews.

Our conversations went well beyond the words into the experiences in each of the interviewees’ lives. They often lasted several hours, and were insightful, thought-provoking, honest, at times funny — and sometimes uncomfortable.

We invite you to share the videos with friends, family, colleagues, students — and let us know what results from that. We’d also like to hear your ideas for future coverage because this is the beginning of what we hope will be an ongoing conversation with you, our viewers. You can reach us at underourskin@seattletimes.com.

With many thanks to our 18 interviewees, and all of you,

The Under Our Skin team

Reporting and interviews
Anika Anand
Tyrone Beason
Audrey Carlsen
Corinne Chin
Lauren Frohne
Danny Gawlowski
Erika Schultz
Linda Shaw

Video and editing
Corinne Chin and Lauren Frohne

Design
Frank Mina

Web development
Audrey Carlsen

Project editors
Danny Gawlowski and Linda Shaw

Audience engagement
Anika Anand

Additional support
Daniel Beekman, Paige Cornwell, Jerry Large, Katherine Long, Caitlin Moran, Shirley Qiu, Helga Salinas, Nina Shapiro, Thomas Wilburn

Original music
Mike Sylvester

Additional music by Sergey Cheremisinov, Kevin MacLeod and Podington Bear

Special thanks to Brian Harding and George Marlowe

Originally published June 20, 2016

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