I Asked 52 People Why They Think Racism Still Exists In 2018 And This Is What They Said

I Asked 52 People Why They Think Racism Still Exists In 2018 And This Is What They Said

This is not going to be a light read.
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This will not be a quick read.

And, quite honestly, it shouldn't be. Racism is not a subject that I write about lightly. It is a clever and complex system and in order to understand it fully, it demands more than a few paragraphs.

Unlike any of my prior articles, I was asked to write this piece in particular. I accepted. With that, it is my hope that you will take the time to read and reflect on what these 52 people have chosen to share. This may not be an article you can read in one sitting.

I tried to ask a variety of folks ranging in age, language (there are a handful of responses in Spanish, which I have chosen to leave untranslated), gender identity, race, profession, etc.

With something so monolithic as racism, I think it is important to listen to why people think it still exists. (This does not mean, however, that what every person below had to say is worth a damn, but we should give folks the opportunity nonetheless.) So, while reading, think about the similarities in their views. What are the differences? What sort of emotions manifest when racism is mentioned to them? What are their solutions? And most importantly, after reading this, what are your solutions? Think about how they are similar to the others' but also how they compare.

There was only one requirement I imposed when proposing this question — that the person felt absolutely confident that their response represented them and their thoughts exactly. I would not elaborate when they asked me what I meant. I would respond only with,"whatever the question means to you." This article is not about why I think racism still exists in 2018, so I wanted my influence to be as minuscule as possible.

When I asked, "why do you think there is still racism in 2018?," the quotes below represent these folks' answers, but also, their varying interpretations and perceptions of the question itself. Other than unrelated miscellaneous tidbits, such as — because I am an undergraduate student — referring to my article as an assignment, grammar errors, or any revealing personal information, I have not altered anything. Every word you read is verbatim. I think to do so, to edit or chip away what I or my editors thought didn't 'fit,' would go against the very purpose of this piece.

Occasionally, you will notice after someone's name and age, there may be identifying information. It was my intention to ask everyone how they identify, leaving it very vague in order to see how folks responded. The reactions were mixed. Some folks, without me even asking them, offered to identifying information about themselves. Others challenged the validity of the question. Some simply did not respond. In the end, I decided to stop asking folks. Only I know the identities of every single responder and maybe that is how it should be.

Not everyone I asked responded. And, honestly, that is OKAY. Life can be too busy, too hectic, too systemically monotonous for people to participate in think pieces. In total, I asked 73 people. In the end, I heard back from 52. With so much content (and at the suggestion of a friend), I thought it would be best to group the similar responses. Consider the groupings extremely loose and very malleable.

This is what they said.

We don't talk about racism enough.

Sandra, 25. Chicana.

"Race has shaped and impacted my life and the spaces I enter every day. That is undeniable. Racism has shape-shifted over the years but still manifests itself in violent ways: emotionally, mentally and physically. Because of our society's 'assumed progression,' people have come to a general understanding that racism is ‘bad.’ Despite this, people are unconsciously and consciously perpetuating racism in introverted and sugar-coated ways. For example, the 45th president has been very vocal about his thoughts around immigrants. He argues that those who illegally come here are rapists, criminals, and most likely bad people.
While these comments may seem irrelevantto race to some, they are in fact directly addressed to POC, therefore they are racial stereotypes. People do not understand why these comments are problematic because they do not see the explicit connection to race. We tend to avoid talking about race because we are supposed to be 'passed' that. On the contrary, we need to name it for what it is every time. Racism, ableism, sexism, colorism, homophobia, hetero-patriarchy, whatever it is, we need to name it and do so unflinchingly."

Michael (Mike), 32. Asian American.

"Your question came at a very interesting time because my daughter's school (which is predominately white) just had the parents in for an assembly where a speaker from Kids & Race came to talk about how to approach this conversation with our children.
It became very apparent immediately that a vast majority of the parents in the auditorium had not even began to think about teaching their children about the current landscape of race in America today. Many of the parents felt like they needed to teach their children to be 'color blind' or chose to avoid the topic altogether.
I think this is the crux of the problem — so many people are afraid to or don't know how to speak to the younger generation and so they don't do it. As a result, the children and the next generations do not understand how to actually look for situations where racism has been built into American culture and unfortunately will blindly carry on these concepts ignorantly. To make matters worse, certain populations of society — although with good intention — seem to propagate dangerous thoughts. The newer generation is not well equipped to point these things out and I fear many of them will be misled. We, as a society, cannot turn our heads in the other direction on the topic of racism in America.
Without the conversations, I don't see how things can change. On a slightly related topic:
You posted an article sometime last year about Asians and Black culture and it resonated with me very strongly.
As an Asian male, white people had told me I was a 'model minority' while I was growing up. Looking around at my peers, I could see the damage this caused within my own community as some Asians started to turn against other people of color. Others placed emphasis on the 'minority' part of the word and falsely became blind to the fact that Asian people are not actually oppressed or discriminated as other people of color have been, thus nullifying opportunities for Asians to make a difference play a positive force in changing the narrative. Regardless, the whole term itself is very condescending and places an intensely combative atmosphere into American Society on anyone who are not white. It implies that they play in a different league and thus must compete to be level with white people.
I personally do not think that Asian people have had the same unfair set of biases applied on them by White people as Black people have. The statistics show a really powerful story - Asian men make more money than White men in the tech industry even though they do not hold 'leadership positions.' I try to influence my peers to recognize the landscape and mentor amazing individuals who benefit strongly from the mentorship they have been denied of by default. I think that's the best way we can start to change this narrative."





The 45th President.

Celia, 22.

"There are many reasons that come to mind but I want to focus specifically on racism in the United States. I believe that Trump's presidency has encouraged racism. When a nation's political leader has his own personal agenda so public, it lets people think it's okay to discriminate against certain groups of people. One of his main goals during his campaign trail was to build a wall to keep people out of a land that was once known as the land of opportunity. If that isn't racism in its purest form, his personal statements also exhibit xenophobia, calling another country in particular, a 'shithole' country. When someone with so much power leads by example and that example is racist in every way shape and form, it normalizes such behavior."

I don't know.

Allan, 23.

"Yo siento que el racismo aún se encuentra muy presente en la sociedad. Ha disminuido muy poco, pero la gente mantiene ese pensamiento ignorante aun por alguna razón,
pero tratan de ocultarlo. Yo honestamente no entiendo porque la gente siente la
necesidad de entrometerse en la vida de los demás. No sé si el racismo es
porque ellos se sientan superiores o inferiores."


Chris, 38. Male. Bisexual. White Sox fan.

"I've thought a lot about the 'why is there still racism' question as I get older and further away from the idealism of youth, but I seek answers—I don't have a solid answer.
I could give you a one-word answer (slavery), or a one-sentence answer (generations of racist policymakers and global cultures that don't reward love and kindness), or an email full of thoughts (I'd probably just make a list of all the possible causes I've thought about) but the answers would be 3 different things, not 3 ways of saying the same thing. That makes me think I probably should not say anything because I don't know what I'm talking about!"

Jake, 40. White, Caucasian.

"Most of it is fear and ignorance. Some of it is socialization. I think a lot of it comes down to some sort of social, historical, economic, and political justification, for the mistreatment and exploitation of people based on racial, or national identity."

Mitchell, 22.

"My best guess would be a lack of education, but that doesn't account for all racists. Maybe that combined with 'in-group favoritism.'"

There is resistance to change.

Denisha, 20. Black.

"People cannot accept change."

Victoria, 20. Vietnamese-American. Millennial. University student.

"I think that's a very difficult question to answer. There are probably dozens of reasons why racism still exists today. Ultimately though, I think it comes down to ignorance and a deep unwillingness for change. I can't really speak for any community besides my own but I know that in the Asian community, racism runs deeper and is a lot more prevalent than a lot of us are willing to admit. And though I know people who advocate for change, on a greater scale, no one in these communities is really talking about or actively addressing it. And I think that might also apply to the greater population. The people with the power to make a fundamental change in our society, primarily white and primarily male, seem to care very little about making the kinds of changes that need to happen to address prejudice and discrimination.
Either they don't believe it really still exists or they do and just don't care because it doesn't affect them. So yeah, ultimately, though I think there are many, many factors, I believe one of the big reasons racism still exists is because it's deeply embedded into our society today and that there are a lot of people, those generally unaffected by it, on a mass scale that isn't actively pushing for a change."

Racism is taught.

James, 25. Non-racist.

"I honestly think there is racism today because of the simple fact that people don't understand that — I don't know how to say this — when people say Black lives matter it makes people look at them more which makes everyone on edge. This is my opinion when people think of Black people they think of slavery (no offense) and in a way it kinda makes everyone feel guilty because of what their ancestor did. We don't grow up racist. At some point in your life, you see people being racist to other people and if it is someone close to you, like your parents, it sets in harder. That meaning you'll be more inclined to be racist because of your parents. I don't believe in racism. I believe in looking at people's personalities. You shouldn't have to look at skin color to see what a person is like. I could honestly keep going..."

Syanne, 21.

"It really boils down to that mindset being passed down from generation to generation. There will always be people believing stereotypes and there will always be people who prove those stereotypes correct, unfortunately. Black people are still forced to be in a system that we have to claw our way out of. We will always feel inferior no matter the achievements we collect, no matter what level of education we achieve because of our skin, hair, body shape, style etc, we will be inferior. But, I'm not going to sit and say it's not better. Black youth, we have a voice; we know we are the shit. That's why our own culture is being mimicked and they are making money off of a watered-down image of the culture that pulses through our veins.
I believe there is still racism in 2018 because the mentality hasn't changed much. White people are in positions of power and know how to use that against us. I just read an article this morning about a teenage boy getting sentenced because his best friend was shot by a cop. Our mentality hasn't changed and it needs to. We don't know how to unite, be a community as one. Support the ones in power instead of telling them that they are trying to be white. Stop proving them right. Stop using the drugs that THEY planted in our communities. Stop killing each other over petty fights and money. They already look down at us and see animals. I hated writing this response with 'us' and 'them' but it really does feel like a war in Milwaukee, Wisconsin."

Kelsey, 22.

"I think several factors play into why racism still exists today. However, I think part of it comes from the fact that racism is learned and often passed on. Unfortunately, some people still hold onto racist beliefs that they pass down to the next generation which then gets passed down to the next (for instance, within families). If instead acceptance and the value of diversity was taught, racism would be less prominent."

Mikayla, 21. Native American and white.

"I won't go into why racism has ever existed in the first place, because I will never understand it, but I think it still exists today because of older generations and the way they raise their children. Some people have that aversion to certain races and they instill it in their children, who go on to do the same thing. Also, as long as we have hate groups, they're going to be broadcast — which they should, to some extent. People need to know how much racism still exists today because some want to turn a blind eye or say that it's not a thing. However, a lot of people are secretly racist, I think, and hate groups and their exposure to the media encourage them to embrace their opinions. I think we saw that pretty clearly when Trump was elected. There are a lot of factors that go into racism's existence today, but I largely think that some people are just hateful."

Rachel, 22.

"My answer to this question is from my perspective as a white person with and my experience with white racists. I think that even though the Civil Rights Movement (CRM) happened so many years ago, white people have stayed in control of everything. So much time has passed but not much has really changed. Also, the CRM was a really great start for equality but I don't really feel like there has been much more progress since then.
Whites (or those in control) felt like they appeased the CRM with laws and getting rid of segregation. But that's really backward thinking. As a white person, I notice people seem to feel like if they do JUST ENOUGH then they've done great, they think there's no more progress to be made because it's already written into law. But the law isn't everything, people are still being ostracized and even killed for their race. Maybe we 'appeased' the movement but we never included other people or offered them a seat next to us at the table. And that's what the movement was about: equality.
Side note: in school, we get taught about the CRM as if it was a million years ago and it's over now. 'MLK Jr 'did' great things; the CRM 'was.'..' etc. As if it's a said and done deal. So, kids grow up thinking 'damn, we already did it so this must be the way it's supposed to be!' since the first generation after 1964 and that's what they've been teaching their kids and their kids.
Because the USA has always been a 'melting pot' of different cultures and peoples, we have influence from everywhere! Which is amazing! In fact, I wish we had even more influence. We have a tendency to force assimilation. Just yesterday my brother said 'this girl I asked out says she can only date Indian guys and that's fucking crazy man whatever, her loss!' And I'm like, 'maybe since she's from a different place they have different customs, it's not all about you and what you want. Maybe it's about her and how things work in her culture.' Forcing assimilation and talking down on people's customs is racism. I think it might be one of the biggest forms of racism still alive in 2018. We have the internet now (it's still relatively new) so we have the ability to know anything about the world around us. Instead of seeing the beauty in other cultures, we talk shit about it. And that breeds hate. It breeds an idea of right and wrong. And for an extremist, wrong equals death.
Not sure if this question is supposed to be on a world-scale or just the USA. I have only been to Canada and Germany outside of the USA. I wouldn't say I saw much/any racism in Canada (I was there for a weekend). In Germany, however, I did. I was there in 2014, Syrian refugees were on their way/just arriving and Angela Merkel decided that Germany was going to be a good world neighbor and help when no one else really was. A lot of German people in the north (typically more Protestant) were all for it! In the south (where I was staying and typically more Catholic) they were angry. Most people that I saw in Munich who didn't seem white/Western European were either Latinx or Middle Eastern. I was even surprised to see Latinx people in Germany, I just didn't think it would be a tourist destination for them because it certainly isn't a tourist destination for anyone else I have never met anyone who wants to go to Germany *laughs. I speak enough Spanish to know that these people were Latinx and not from Spain. Otherwise, I would understand Spanish people passing through around Europe. As far as Middle Eastern, I have to say Munich is still to date the only place I have ever seen women wearing Niqabs. Very orthodox and traditional clothing from another culture can be scary to Westerners because we don't understand it. I heard more than once while I was there people making fun of these women and laughing at the way they lift up the dress from their faces to eat.
Germans also had just won the world cup when I got there! Very exciting! There were a few Black (African?) men on their team. My friend's brother made a point of telling me that they weren't helpful to the game. I was so taken aback because I just don't see how that makes sense or matters. The game was 0-0 and went into overtime. No one did well in that game. But my German wasn't good enough to explain how fucked up that was.
The fact that I just said 'no one did well in that game' when posed with 'Blacks didn't do well' kinda sounds like when people say 'all lives matter.'.. I try my best but I grew up in a white racist family and I slip up and say things that are definite microaggressions. We like equality when it works for us. I am working to explain to the people around me that we need to have equality even when it doesn't work for us. We need to offer a seat at the table. We share the world, we need to share it in every way. All lives do matter but when some lives seem to matter more than others, we need to work hard to bring things to be equal. Black Lives Matter is an extremely necessary movement. They don't matter more than white or Asian or Muslim or Native or Latinx lives, but they matter and they deserve to be treated like they matter!
In sports, we have teams: Redskins, Braves, Chiefs, Blackhawks, Indians, etc. These teams all use extremely racist depictions of Native American people as savages. The Kansas City Chiefs have a song called 'The Tomahawk Chop' where they sing a racist chant that white people made up to imitate our idea of how we think the savages sounded before we killed them all. These teams have been around for decades. Kids growing up idolizing them. Generation after generation desensitized to this horribly misrepresented, racist version of native people.
Not to mention that every Black sports player ever has been laughed about in white peoples' living rooms like this: 'Richard Sherman didn't go to Stanford because he worked hard, they just needed him to play for their football team.' I grew up thinking that white people were actually smarter than other races. That's crazy.
'Aw come on we're just joking! It's funny!' Or 'Hey I told my Black friend that joke and they laughed' Well your children don't understand that it's a joke. They just hear their parents, the people they're meant to trust, saying that white people are better than anyone else.
Racism in white people is still alive in 2018 because our parents still instill it in us. Maybe on purpose, maybe on accident, but nonetheless, they ingrain racism in us from the day we're born."









Performative "Progress."

Kenadi, 22. White. Female.

"The issue with asking 'why is there still racism,' systemic and personal/everyday racism, is that it's a multitude of factors, and even depends on what country you are in. You see prejudice across the globe, no matter the location. In America, I think ONE of the main factors (although, inevitably it's many factors linked together) is that ever, since the 'end' of slavery (I put 'end' in quotes because prisons/prison-work are 100% forms of
slavery), have the systems that keep whiteness as the dominant force of power
been dismantled. Our nation was founded by white landowning men who kept slaves, their words, their laws, they all reflect that. And yet, we have never gone back and re-written the constitution of this country. We simply apologize and do ceremonious gestures without real reparations for the damage we (white people) have caused to generations of Black and brown people. White Americans love to acknowledge and then move on without creating any sort of real, significant change. Just to reiterate, this is only a small portion of a much larger/complex answer."

Carlos, 21. He/Him/His. Mexican.

"I think the main reason why racism still exists today lies behind the motives this country has had in trying to 'fight racism.' For example, people say that racism ended when slavery ended, but in fact, the only reason why Lincoln ended slavery was so that he could win the war, not because he actually cared about the humanity of the people who were slaves and seen as sub-human. These kinds of alternative motives have appeared time after time. When Reagan passed the Amnesty Act in the 80's, it wasn't because he cared about the separation of families or the rights of undocumented immigrants. He did it because he wanted to gain political praise during the middle of his term as president. Another reason why racism still exists, and in my opinion will continue to exist in different forms, is because whites have always been afraid of losing their status in society as the 'superior race' and are always quick to put blame on minority groups for the problems in this country. This has also been seen with other minority groups- at any given point of this country's history, there has always been a group that is deemed as dangerous and/or unworthy of basic human rights simply because they are not white or speaks a different language. White people historically feel threatened by anyone seen as an outsider and quite frankly I don't think that will ever change."

Victor, 21.

"I think there's still racism because the Southern Strategy (in conjunction with the general global dehumanization of Black people) has made it convenient for officials to enact what they know are racist policies and because the Southern Strategy has tricked the average schmuck that these policies aren't racist. Policies that disproportionately affect Black people are supported by the white public because of 1. Black people have been dehumanized and so we care for less and 2. the rationale of these racist policies is deemed sound in conjunction with the dehumanization of Black people. Classic example: the War on Drugs vs. present policies for the current opioid epidemic. I do think that not all people realize that they're tougher on/care less for Black people though... probably because race makes people uncomfortable (for whatever reason) so they never confront those predispositions."

Maron, 21.

"I've noticed that many times people assume racism isn't an issue, within America specifically, without adequately defining what racism is. People feel as if the old Jim Crow was the only lifeline of racism and it was eradicated long enough ago (just over 50 years ago). People like to assume racism and discrimination are the same things. But this privileged way of thinking doesn't acknowledge SO MUCH. There's a difference between discriminatory thinking of individuals and a racist system. I think it's 2018 and we are still experiencing racism because those in power positions haven't collectively addressed that this country is built on the foundation of colonization and slavery. Further, we haven't built a new structure yet. We have given everyone 'freedom' but not the necessary tools to truly be free. We still have white, straight men leading power positions and voices being silenced. The nation has only provided band-aid fixes without questioning the underlying structure."

Emma, 21. Mexican.

"Racism should not be in question when we look at this American society. Look at the administrative jobs in this country. Who makes the administrative decisions affecting education in this country? White males. Who's teaching our children? White women. When Brown v. Board ruled that separate was not equal and 'integrated' schools, they fired all the Black teachers. They weren't going to let Black women teach their white children. This is still very relevant today because around 85% of teachers in Washington state are white, which does not reflect the diverse population of students. In order to adequately teach these diverse populations, they need people who have lived similar experiences, can relate to, or even understand. This is just a microlens on racism because it exists in all aspects of life: jobs, housing, education, criminal justice system and so much more. Black people in America are dying every day, many at the hand of police that is supposed to protect them. But the reality is, the criminal justice system was not meant to protect Black and brown bodies. Every day, we see cases where white males get smaller sentences, if any, for crimes Black and brown bodies would go to live for. As a college student, I have met several white males that have gotten away with traveling with drugs (even internationally) using their white tears and privileges. Let's take a look at the demographics are people currently incarcerated. Prisons are being overpopulated with Black and brown bodies. Does this mean that whites are less likely to commit a crime? No, they are just less likely to get caught or charged pressed against them."

Anna, 19.

"Number one reason: 'Progress.' I believe racism still exists because the majority of people believe that as a country we have evolved so much from slavery, Jim Crow Laws and segregation in the 90s that inherently racism was eradicated alongside these inhumane practices.
Racism also still exists in 2018 because almost every aspect of life; from the constitution to the economy even religion embodies race theory. Inherently people are born to bias and until we as a country work to effectively recognize such bias, racism is not going anywhere anytime soon.
Bottom line: America needs to stop dabbling in other countries' affairs and fix itself first."

People of Color have to end racism themselves.

Karla, 38.

"Creo que la historia del racismo y los logros alcanzados son aún muy recientes y las poblaciones marginadas hasta entonces todavía perciben cierta discriminación, y en el imaginario todavía nos quedan ideas discriminatorias, todavía hay micro discriminación en nuestros discursos y en nuestro lenguaje, como minoría que soy mujer latina aún la percibimos, y el discurso no sólo debe cambiar en nosotros, hasta que este discurso y forma de pensamiento no cambie, no vamos a erradicarla y tenemos que quitarnos los complejos de la historia y empoderarnos dentro de nuestro mismo grupo para que otro grupo no tenga que venir a darnos permiso y poder ser libres"

Rodolfo, 36.

"Claro que hay (el racismo). Eso es algo que va a existir siempre. Pienso que todavía
existe eso. Debías a que los propios negros son un poco cerrados y no admiten o
ven con buenos ojos a gente no negra."

We don't acknowledge the United States' racist history.

Hunter, 21.

"Anybody could easily write a whole essay on this (and many people have), so I'll keep it to one reason why racism still exists. I think one of the reasons that racism still exists in 2018 is because of a lack of acknowledgment about the history of this nation and what it has done to Black people and indigenous people. From indigenous genocide and the Africanization of slave labor to Jim Crow laws and Native American boarding schools, the U.S. does not like to properly acknowledge the atrocities it has committed so that it can keep promoting the idea of American exceptionalism and that we can do no wrong. A lack of acknowledgment of this is what creates the 'pull yourself up by your bootstraps' mentality as if everybody has an equal playing field. This lack of history also creates a cognitive dissonance with white people who call other ethnic groups immigrants. These types of thinking not only pit groups of color against each other, they ignore the reality that white folks have had a centuries-long head start in establishing themselves as an ethnic group in this nation. Once we as a nation acknowledge the atrocities that we have committed and establish a system of reparations that works to nurture the physical and mental health of Black and indigenous communities, then we can be one step closer to ending racism."

There are still racist structures and institutions.

Simrun, 22.

"I think there is still racism because there are structures and policies and systems that are built as a result of racism. We are a society that is complacent in that system. In some ways, folks (white supremacists) support and enforce and strengthen that system. Until we can make simultaneous cultural and policy change, we will wait on when we see justice move forward. This sounds really easy and a matter of fact but I barely know
where to begin."

Angelia, 26. Female. She/her/hers.

"I believe that there have been systems in place that have not allowed for racism to be completely dismantled in our communities. I believe that there are power dynamics in place that continue to perpetuate racist policies. There is also the concept that we live in a 'post-racial-society and a theory of colorblindness that does more harm to combating racism than good. Some folks assume that since we've had a lack president that racism has mysteriously disappeared. Race relations have not improved although some would like to think so because they voted for a Black politician. There are still systems in place that give some access while denying it to others, systems that protect some while leaving others vulnerable. The powerful people at the top continue perpetuating racist systems I think that communities have a lot of work to do with dismantling whiteness and privilege in order to dismantle racism."

Alexis, 22. Mixed, half Black and half white. Cisgendered female.

"A simple Public Service Announcement; Racism was never gone. To ask why does it'still exist' means that there was a point in time where racism was gone. That is not the truth nor the reality that people of color live in. Racism is enduring, it is no longer blatant, it is no longer socially acceptable to call someone a Nigger, but it is okay, to suggest that Black people or people of color don't have the right goals, they don't work hard enough, they're not slaves, so basically they should be grateful. Racism changed, it was birthed with the nation, in all of our systems, all of our institutions, even the 13th amendment has created a loophole for people of color.
Today racism is played out more within our institutions since people cannot visually see it then it becomes a problem of the past for people who are not dealing with it. It is subtle in the ways that white people don't see the repercussions, and racist attitudes in saying things like 'they don't date Black people, or they are not attracted to them.' That has been indoctrinated into the all America since the beginning of time. Black individuals have always been thought of as less beautiful, less intelligent, less of basically any good attribute, and the mixture of miscegenation. Segregation is illegal, yet we have huge white neighborhoods, and people of color neighborhoods. Is that not segregation? Granted it was not put forth by the laws but real estate agents don't take people of color to "white" neighborhoods. People of color also face issues of redlining. If people of color are in disadvantaged neighborhoods the lack of money from property taxes are not able to go into the schools, leading to less funded schools in comparison to the white neighborhood schools.
I think it is a 1 in 3 chance of Black males spending some time of their life in prison. 1 In 3, that means it could be one of my three brothers. Racism is rampant through all of our institutions. But you can see a small change within the criminal justice system as more individuals are actually fighting for their rights, not just pleading guilty. Once you have a felony, you are unable to vote, if one in three Black men will spend their time in prison that means a good chunk of the Black population's vote is known thrown out. No vote, no voice.
Honestly, if you believe racism disappeared what rock have you been living under? It must be nice to have that much privilege to not see the disadvantage many people of color deal with. Also, I'm sorry I love Obama, but in a sense, he almost made the talk about racism worst.Yes, he was able to rise to the highest level of office. Yes, he did amazing things as a Black man, but let us remember that just because Obama was in office DOES NOT MEAN THAT RACISM IS GONE! I feel like now that we have had a Black president that is white peoples go-to comment if racism is brought up, 'Well you know Obama was president, so things have really changed,' If things were changed Black kids would not be getting shot down for wearing a hoodie or playing with a fake gun. Black individuals would not still be at the bottom of all chains, would have more options for higher educational opportunities, better jobs, better life outcomes, yet these are things happening in 2018. Racism isn't gone, nor will we see a change in the way that Trump ran for his presidency.
Racism is here. Check your privilege, acknowledge that people of color especially Black people are still dealing with the systematic racism that has plagued the U.S. Shit, maybe take a basic class on race, read a damn book that engages the idea of racism in 2018. It is beyond me why anyone would think racism is gone."



We don't understand one another.

Osvaldo, 32.

"El racismo para mí se da la falta de cultura de la gente. A estas alturas de la vida no debería haber racismo."

Kerry, 49. Human. White male.

"I believe, and this is just my opinion, whenever we have differences, you're going to have some sort of isms. Anytime we see anything that is not what we see as ourselves, we start having some sort of opinion about it. The bigger the difference, at least the visual
difference, (be it female, be it race, be it sexual orientation) if it's not what we are, we tend, and I think it's a learned behavior, to be afraid of it or feel like, because it's different, I have to be leery of it. I think at the core, that is where all the isms come from. And why we still have racism? If anything, I think today it's getting worse because the majority race is feeling threatened. They're feeling like they're not the majority anymore, and whether
they are or not, or if it's relevant, it's basically how it's being told and perceived by the majority race and I believe they become more aggressive."

Racism functions as a tool.

Hugo, 29. A cis-heterosexual male of Mexican descent.

"That's difficult to answer without taking into account historical context—where racism comes from, why racism exists in the first place. Recognizing racism as a product of settler-colonialism and using Black bodies and native land as tools for what is now capitalism to exist and thrive then it is no surprise that racism still is alive and well. Racism and the devaluing of Black and brown bodies allow for the massive working class that is still needed for capitalism to continue to function.
I think racism still exists because as a structure, system or idea, like a lot of these other systems, racism evolves. Racism protects itself. So, without some sort of very intentional restructuring, I think racism will continue to evolve and continue to protect itself. People stand to benefit from racism and as long as people will continue to benefit from racism, it will continue to evolve, shift and readjust itself for as long as it needs to.
Additionally, racism still exists because we have not managed to acknowledge the racial history, the products of racism and how society continues to function because of it. Until we explicitly address it and denounce it, we cannot begin to do the healing work that is needed to eradicate it. Perhaps not systemic or institutional racism...but I'm speaking of the healing work that is needed to address the biases, the way people think and inherently feel and the innate sense of superiority that white folks navigate life with."

Electra, 23. Black. (Electra chose to use an alias for fear of backlash from white readers.)

"Racism still exists in 2018 because it is the underlying foundation for white 'superiority,' a major system in which the world operates. The belief that certain people are inferior to others serves to justify the prejudice, discrimination, and flat-out abuse acted upon these so-called 'inferior' people. It goes without saying that Black people, and other non-white peoples, are at the receiving end of this evil. Even when it is proven that we are no different than our white counterparts at any level— intellectually, actively, professionally— we are shown that cognitive dissonance is not enough to overcome this problem.
I think the main issue is that North American culture, which is progressively dominating World culture, came out of racism. As we moved out of overt slavery and transitioned into today's day and age, racism persisted in the pillars of our society— politics, land-ownership, economics/consumerism, media/ propaganda, main-stream culture— as did the white supremacists who benefit from it. Racism was never eradicated; it is now simply more dilute and perhaps ambiguous than it was before. I believe Black people are conditioned from birth to adapt to the structures and limitations of the white man's world. That is why growing up I never found it quite odd that the majority of our lawmaking government is and has always been white; or that white people own the majority of our land and resources; or that ever picture frame I ever bought always contained the standard black and white photo of a happy white family — white superiority is the default in this country. Racism and white superiority have proved so influential that they can disrupt Black culture and consciousness under the guise of colorism and textures and enable us to oppress ourselves.
It does not help that people in today's society are bombarded with responsibilities and new outlets for entertainment. White people are not going to take the lead on combating racism, and neither are we if we are not united, and we are busy working 9 to 5 and checking our Facebook pages. On the other hand, when Black people do attempt to stand up for themselves and speak out against racism, we are generally met with cognitive dissonance, false assurances, or violence. Unfortunately, I believe racism will continue to persist so long as white people maintain power over the pillars of our society, and Black people are raised to function in and conform to this messed up reality."

Jonny, 21 Indigenous Native/Hispanic influenced by Marxist-Leninist politics.

"A good place to start for me would be to say that white supremacy is the foundation of America. This country was founded on the death and erasure of native populations and the enslavement and labor of Black people, both symbolizing the birth of American capitalism where they violently acquired an entire mass of land from indigenous people and violently enforced the labor of Black people to build their colonial state. Land and labor are crucial to this whole history because they remain prominent components of America and its global economy of today.
White supremacy and capitalism are both necessary to maintain each other because they both rely on hierarchical power structures. This is extremely prevalent in our policing and prison institutions. Police are literal descendants of slave catchers and back then were, in the eyes of those in power, only reclaiming their property. The same language is not much different to that of today where police maintain the status quo and protect the property rights of those in power and serve to suppress any movement that directly challenges the status quo. The scars of white supremacy roam all over if we pay attention. From the racist history of gun control that mainly aimed to disarm or at least make it harder for poor people of color to obtain firearms, the war on drugs that disproportionately targeted poor people of color who used drugs that were funneled in by the American government to fuel their proxy wars in other poor countries while simultaneously punishing poor people of color in its own borders. Generation after generation, those in power got wealthier and controlled the narrative that it was not them that made life worse for others but the fault of the poor, downtrodden, who held no economic stronghold over anyone else. Most news stations/newspapers are owned by a handful of corporations owned by millionaires and billionaires who control what you see on TV or read.
Capitalism is the driving force of poverty and economic inequality between rich and poor and when these power differences become too much to bear those in power scapegoat and put the blame on false narratives whether it's brown people flooding the borders or Black people abusing welfare and so on. People think the government and capitalism are not coexisting entities but they both need each other to maintain power. Corporations like ALEC ghostwrite legislature and sit in on meetings with politicians to pass laws. Corporations line the pockets of politicians to ensure their interests are being protected. This is important because any time people challenge money it is the state in the form of militarized police who are right there ready to squash any assembly of people who stand in the way of profit, most notably so in recent history at Standing Rock when multiple police departments and security firms from around the country were flown in to violently suppress the indigenous water protectors.
Not only is violence against people of color in America prominent but we've also exported that violence to other countries to maintain our global economy. We constantly destabilize other countries to secure oil interests or other resources and then the same narrative is regurgitated that we are bringing them democracy in some false notion of freedom.
Wealth and race relations are tied together. Black people and Native Americans in America have been robbed of their wealth and land.
Furthermore, wealth in America is seen as a moral character in the sense that the more money you have the better of a person you are and more deserving of life. So not only have decades of racist propaganda affected the images of people of color but now you have those with judging your moral character for not having any money, 'you're poor because you deserve it' etc."




Dawn, 45.

"I think that racism was invented (as was a race) a long time ago by white folks as a way to justify treating people of color like crap; steal their land, steal their people, steal their resources, rape, murder, you name it. The reality is, our system continues to justify treating people of color like crap. We have a system that says everyone should pull themselves up by their bootstraps, but doesn't first make sure everyone has boots (I admit that line was stolen from MLK, but I can't tell you how many times I have sat in meetings with educators and listened to white male teachers actually say that the achievement gap for kids of color is because they are just lazy and won't just pull themselves up by their bootstraps.)
I also think we have a culture where we are able to experience so much vicariously through media, but when I look at the way people of color are portrayed in the media it is largely negative. Many people in the US live in fairly white, homogenous areas (even here in the suburbs of Seattle) and the only people of color they ever 'meet' are those on TV. Look at the way the news portrays Black men versus white men. Or the fact the "bad guys" are usually either people of color or foreigners with thick accents. These messages stick and reinforce racist stereotypes. Do you remember the TED Talk we showed about the math of decision making? Well, if we make decisions based on what we can most quickly recall and our brains our designed to seek pleasure and avoid threat, it makes sense that if someone's only experience with, say, Latinx people is television and movies, they would think they are more likely to be hurt by them then a white person, when in actuality white people commit more crimes. Of course, that doesn't make it right.
As human beings, we have to challenge stereotypes and look beyond the media to gain a better understanding of the world. We need to push ourselves to separate fact from fiction. We also need to push the media to show a broader spectrum of people from all races in all types of roles. We need to push journalists to stop showing pictures of white rapists looking squeaky clean, while they show murdered black boys looking menacing. Honestly, we need to redesign our whole system which was built with the blood of people of color to benefit the white and the wealthy. But I digress. I think media, politicians, and corporations continue to make decisions that reinforce old racist ideas, and many people would rather gobble them up and buy into the stereotypes and scapegoating, rather than actually challenge these ideas.
Also, in America, there is an artificial sense of a shortage of resources (there is enough to go around, it just isn't distributed well). By inflating the sense of scarcity, and scapegoating people of color and immigrants, politicians and corporations are successfully pitting those who are lacking resources against each other, and therefore distracting them from the real root of the problem."


White people and their apathy.

Anton, 42.

"I truly feel like Caucasian people, If you're not part of the solution, you are part of the problem. This is a plea for Caucasians to examine how their everyday actions contribute to institutionalized racism and to suggest ways to change their behavior to improve race relations. I know some, but not all, Caucasian people could be ultra-sensitive about race, I honestly thought that many Caucasian people were saddened by the state of race relations in our country today and striving to improve it. But when I watch the news, read articles and also comments, they inform me that Caucasian people had gotten over racism a long time ago, and insinuated that people of color brought racism on to themselves. Many people of color are reeling from a series of events that they interpret as evidence that American society finds them of no value. Hence the slogan: 'Black Lives Matter.' They are exhausted from pointing out the abundant evidence of institutionalized racism that is all around us, tired of calling for a national dialogue on race that has gone unanswered, and exasperated at some, but not all, Caucasian people's inability to empathize and recognize that change is needed.
Now let's take President Donald Trump slogan 'Make America Great Again.' Many people of color would take that as when was America great? When there were slavery and separation? It saddens me that in today's time we as a people are on separate ends of the spectrum when it comes to blatant racism. Let's take the shooting in Charleston. The young Caucasian male comes into a Black church, sat down and prayed with the people of the church for over an hour, then he opened fire and killed eight people of the church who were praying for him. The police found him and then they take him to Burger King because he was so hungry from all the killing. Caucasian people saying, 'slavery was a long time ago, you need to get over it' but will say, 'never forget 9/11.' Just because you react from racism doesn't make you racist. We often assume that it takes parents actively teaching their kids, for them to be racist. The truth is that unless parents actively teach kids not to be racists, they will be."

Brandon, 22. Gay man.

"First and foremost, everything that I know about the subject comes from the standpoint of a privileged white person, and so I can only do this question justice by looking at it from a historical and academic kind of viewpoint as I wouldn't have any experience as the victim of racism. I would say the most prevalent reason racism exists in 2018 is that it was designed that way. Racism is an institution that was created over hundreds of years starting with slave labor in European colonies and has since evolved to fit whatever it was that those with the power needed it to be. This has resulted in unequal treatment between Black and brown people and white people from a societal standpoint in a wide range of categories such as incarceration, wealth, and school funding. It is so deeply ingrained at this point that even if every white person in America woke up tomorrow with all of their personal racist beliefs gone, there would still be rampant racism in America, because Black kids would still, on average, live in poorer parts of cities that have less school funding which leads to lower college attendance rates, which leads to lower paying jobs and the inability to build generational wealth, leaving them at a disadvantage to white people, and that's just looking at it from an educational standpoint, not to mention the many other aspects of it, including the health effects of environmental racism, etc. The reason racism is around in 2018 is that it is systematic and has served a purpose for those in power and to white people in general for hundreds of years and it won't be alleviated until white people as a whole decide to commit the time, effort, and money to fix it."

Lindsey, 22. White and queer.

"Modern day racism in the United States is a multifaceted issue stemming from a variety of cultural problems and values. I think one of the biggest issues contributing to racism is white Americans desire to not admit there is a problem. This issue itself has several factors supporting it. White people often want to believe that equality exists in this country for all people. Paired with this belief, white Americans don't see the discrimination people of color face every day and thus are able to truly believe we live in an equal society. To come to terms with the fact that people of color deal with discrimination because of their race, white people have to put their belief in something they don't personally see. They must educate themselves and listen to people of color tell their stories. This process is difficult and painful because you have to come to terms with both the fact that your previous belief is wrong and the fact that as a white person, you live with privilege in our society. A lot of people don't want to go through that process or come to terms with the pain. And without acknowledging both one's own racism and privilege, you perpetuate the problem. Unfortunately, even once you begin acknowledging your own racism, you can never become completely racism-free, too. The socialization and othering we have been taught our whole lives result in a necessary, never-ending process of reevaluating how we treat and think about people of color and racism issues. However, modern-day racism does not simply exist at a personal level; our society is at fault, too.
American culture preaches that you can succeed through any difficulties. We tell the disenfranchised to 'pull themselves up by their bootstraps' therefore ignoring the fact that some people have no bootstraps to pull on in the first place. We blame the victims of oppression instead of dealing with the oppressor and tell them they're just not trying hard enough. This causes some white people to believe that even if people of color to deal with discrimination, it's on them to cope with it and come out ahead anyway. This philosophy paired with our intense individualism places the blame entirely on the person of color, ignoring that a culture full of support, empathy, and compassion would provide more opportunity. Obviously, racism is a deeply established phenomenon that exposes itself in complex and nuanced ways. Consequently, there is no one specific answer to why it still exists today. However, I believe that working as a society on the issues previously presented significantly contribute to racism in the United States."

It has always existed and will always exist.

Hillary, 20.

"A mi perspectiva es porque siempre ha habido ese ser o creencia de superioridad, hay personas las cuales son así porque crecieron viendo a sus superiores siendo así por lo tanto siguen en eso mismo. También considero que es porque incluso muchos políticos lo son, y los demás no hacen algo al respecto cuando sucede ese tipo de cosas.
También porque según muchas personas el color influye en si una persona es adinerada o no, si tiene estudios o no, hasta la religión influye de cierto modo. En conclusión,
para mi es porque el ser humano no quiere dejar de sentirse superior a alguien,
sólo por un poco o mucho de melanina."


Sierra, 22. Black woman. An African woman stripped from her culture.

"Racism definitely still exists in 2018. But if I'm being my honest self, I think that it will always exist. The goal is for it not to affect the daily lives of those that we love or care for. I feel that racism only exists in today's world because people have such a difficult time relating to people they don't know or understand. We have to collectively allow people to live their best life without our own prejudice blocking their journey. Yes, racism is terrible and in an ideal world, everyone would love each other equally. However, this is the real world and a more reasonable goal is for people to strive for a better understanding of one another. With this understanding, we move closer to unity through humanity."

Araceli, 41.

"Mira el racismo sigue y seguirá en la época o país que estemos. Por todos lados en una persona con capacitación, una persona de otro país lejano de otras razas y no solo aquí en EEUU sino también en mi país. Es algo que nunca va a escapar."

Amir, 23.

"Well the place I come from there is no Mexican or Black or even white people but I saw so many racial things! I grew up with those mentalities that Arabs gross, don't talk to Afghanis and stuff like that. I came here and realized it's racist to judge someone by their race, I changed the way I thought and started talking to Arab people (one of my best friends is Arab and he is like my brother). But, my point is, it is not about color or where you come from, it's about you and your beliefs. And also, I think we won't see the day that there is no racism! This is how our world works, how our government works! The government wants us as people to not be equal, to not be on the same level."

There is a lack of Love.

Laurel, 33. She/her/hers. Straight. white.

"There is a story we tell ourselves, and our children, of extreme scarcity that exists in this world. It is a narrative perpetuated today more than ever. It's rooted in the belief that there is a scarcity of resources, money, power, happiness, and love.
People are so intent on defending their individual stories, resources, power, and privilege that we've forgotten that we can, in fact, create abundance in this life for ourselves and each other.
We should start with love."

Privilege.

Beth, 35.

"I think there are a few reasons racism persists, but it is so complex that it is a hard question to tackle. When it comes to systemic racism - whether we discuss the disproportionately high incarceration rate of African-American boys/men, higher poverty rates, lower life expectancy, or a new poll that found that 40% of white people think Blacks just need to try harder shows that there are still a lot of people who are not aware of the privilege they are born into. A lot of people are still unaware of opportunity gaps that exist and I would say most white Americans are not aware of the fact that 1 in 4 Black men will go through the corrections system. There is still a lot of sensitivity around the conversation of privilege and people are often quick to point out, 'well I was poor' or 'my parents didn't go to college' and hold to these things that are true, but therefore fail to see the other ways in which they experienced privilege (ex: they never had to wonder if the reason they weren't called back on a job application was because of their name). I think that things that have historically held back POC through lack of legislation (whether it be housing laws, schooling, discriminatory hiring practices, etc.) has a long reach and cannot be changed in a generation's time. There will always be racist individuals, but I think a lot more still needs to be done as far as education regarding privilege and opportunity gaps and for it to present in better ways that encourage introspection, and dialogue."

Political/Social/Economic/Emotional Inaction.

Camyi, 17. A young intelligent Black woman.

"Because nobody is really stepping up and doing something about it and if they are, their voices aren't being heard. Our president has something to do with it by influence from the things he is saying and promoting it and the way he treats African American football/basketball players calling them foul names and etc., makes everyone else think it's okay. But even before he was president, racism was slowly coming back on a rise. Police brutality has something to do with this. We don't scream BLACK LIVES MATTER for fun. It's for a reason. It's for a purpose. That's why I think racism still exists."

A lack of continual action.

Dan, 21. Queer man of color.

"For me, racism still exists to this day because there has never been continual work towards diminishing it. Much of modern human history, groups have always been intimidated by the 'other' and this often translates to darker individuals. When addressing the existence of racism, one has to address anti-Blackness that often overarches all facets of it. Historically, through the course of colonialist expansion and the progression of White society, Black people have been exploited at the highest rates. With the reaches of White society so far and wide due largely to Britain and Spain, anti-Blackness in its modern definition has embedded itself within other minority groups as if to strive towards another group to come out on top of. We can see these effects through the fear of becoming too dark in many cultures. Within many East Asian countries, people use whitening creams, bundle up before heading out in the sun, and discriminate against darker individuals taking on prevalent roles within the public eye such as movies, advertisements, and on television. Similarities can be drawn in Latinx communities.
Looking specifically at racism within the United States of America, where the exploitation of Black individuals has been the backbone of its success, modern day racism takes on many different forms. While the more overt methods of discrimination have been made illegal, the ripple effects still remain. With the abolition of slavery, Black suffrage, and the granting of various civil benefits, it is easy for most individuals to believe that racism is over. However, if we look beyond the surface, the lasting effects are blatant. With the modernization of the United States, we have seen these negative effects spread to all groups of Black and Brown Americans. Redlining in cities have continually reduced the opportunity for people of color to gain assets within their own communities and become economically mobile. In our schools, Black and Brown students are disadvantaged as soon as they begin. Majority-minority schools are more likely to have a school resource officer on campus, which raises the rate of school arrests - often disproportionately affecting students of color. This can be seen from childhood to adulthood. Black and Brown individuals often receive harsher punishments for smaller misdemeanors due only to the fact that their skin is dark and the idea that darker people are more dangerous persists.
While the answer of why racism still exists in the modern day is one I can continually try to answer, the broadest answer is because the ideology of anti-Blackness and the fear of darker individuals remains institutionalized within society. Even after legislation granting rights to non-White people and preventing the discrimination against them, individuals working within these systems have these beliefs engrained within them and as long as they are unaware or complicit in holding these beliefs then racism will always exist within every facet of our lives."

Racism is an inseparable part of U.S. society.

Brenna, 21. White. Pansexual.

"I think there is still racism in 2018 because for so long racism has been ingrained into social interactions. The country was built on racism. It was systematically placed and continues to cycle through. The system forces a hierarchy into social economic classes and it created the ghettos and poverty. For some reason, there is always some need to force masses of people beneath what someone deems to be better and that gets put onto people of color.
No matter how much progress, there are still groups of people that follow and believe what is taught, which teaches people to fear and discriminate against people of color. And with a country that was built from imperialism and colonialism, it makes it that much harder to step away from racism since the country was created through racism in the first place."

Christine, 41.

"I think the reasons for racism are complex. None of the reasons are defensible. We should be able to get rid of it. But, it's something that embedded in our society and in ourselves. It's in our institutions and our communities. It's part of the way we think, even when we don't want it to be. That's what sucks about it the most. No matter how hard I try to fight it or undo it, I've grown up in a racist society. I can become self-aware, and work against racism, but I can't stop all of the forces around me. I can't do that alone. Can I do it when people work together? I sure hope so. That's the only option."

Comfort and complacency.

María José, 21.

"I like the question. The 'why' at the front is so crucial. No need to 'establish' what we've always known to be true: racism exists.
I think that not everyone admits that racism still exists though and that it's a fundamental part of the problem. Folks don't want to address something they don't believe is a problem. The narratives of the civil rights movement that are used today have a lot to do with that. There is the talk of marches and speeches and the Civil Rights Act but not the talk of how day to day institutions changed (or didn't change). Most people can't track the actual impacts of the Civil Rights era. I'm not sure that I could with any precision either. So, it's glorified in many minds the moment of flipping an 'on/off' switch. Since it was switched 'off' then there's nothing to solve today.
It makes me think of other binaries that exist in how people talk think about racism. The good person/bad person connection to racism is a big one. Many folks feel that being called racist ia equal to being called a bad person. Their idea of who a racist is doesn't align with their idea of themselves since they are a 'good person.' Racism is beyond that though, because it's not an on/off switch. There are behaviors that are racist, there are systems that are racist, and many times we (myself 100% included) don't know how to recognize them.
Racism has changed how it rears its ugly head and many people have found it is more comfortable to ignore it ever shifted. That for me is the last main piece. Privileged folks all along the spectrum of racial privilege don't want to admit that they benefit from racism.I benefit from racism. To say that and to do something to change this reality toward equity means that I have to change nice comfortable things about my life. People think they've worked hard to earn what they have, that they deserve their admission to college and not be harassed walking around their neighborhoods; that they haven't had to overcome a cascade of negative circumstances brought on by an identity they did not choose. So, again and again, and again folks have chosen to be comfortable. As long as people have not given up their complacency and comfort, there will still be racism."


Pablo, 31.

"La humanidad se supone que ha avanzado. Se piensa que desde que se permitió que las personas afrodescendientes tuvieran los mismos derechos, no hay racismo. Pero, la verdad es que estamos acostumbrados a verlos siempre por debajo."

Shannon, 22.

"There's still racism for so many reasons. It's still not being checked by people. As much as we can preach it's wrong, we are not clocking people on the daily for being wrong. We believe it doesn't need our energy when it does. Also, old white people are still passing down their values to their kids that will listen and it's gonna be there. We cannot be passive about. We have to be angry and fight back is what I believe. It's still there to the point some of us (PoC) believe that shit and normalize that that's just
the way it is, when no, we have to crush it for real. But even if we don't like to admit it, I think most of us are scared to act to do something about it. We need to switch the roles honestly and take over."

All non-Black peoples benefit from (anti-Black) racism.

Saba, 21.

"I believe there is anti-Black racism in 2018 because all non-Black people benefit from it economically and socially, on a global scale. Also, within the United States, it has never been structurally dismantled."

Ignorance.

Tiarra, 22. Mixed, half Black and half white.

"I think there is still racism in 2018 because people are ignorant of it. I don't think people see when it is happening or turn an eye to it, or even don't see themselves doing it but it is way more common than people realize. I think that that is also why it is still happening because so many people think that it is gone. I think society allows people and people just do think that because we have come so far from slavery for example that we are done. Because of that thought mentality racism still exists today.

Tyler, 22. Straight white male.

"I think it's probably insecurity, ignorance, and some kind of tribal behavior. If a guy thinks he's better than someone because of his race, he doesn't have to accept his own limitations. Makes it easier in the workforce, too. Less competition. If George Bush had to compete for a job against Barack Obama on an even playing field, now he's gotta work a lot harder and improve and look at his own limitations, like his intelligence. I'm sure there are a lot of rich white guys in Congress and other positions of control and power that owe a lot to prejudice. I'm sure it's easier to look the other way when you're prospering, too.
In every warehouse I've worked in, the guys bond over objectifying the women around, othering the women in order to bond with each other. I'm a white guy, so I haven't really had to deal with it. I'm not sure what the difference between racism and sexism feels like. Hopefully, we're moving in the right direction as these older generations die off. I know my brown adult coworkers have values tied in keeping the family in their culture and together. Whereas my brown friends my age aren't like that. I think maybe because they grew up around other races? It's funny I used to go to elementary school with the Heart & Stroke Foundation for event days they put on and the little kids really don't seem to notice race or think about it."

And — if you've made it this far — I'm a misogynist, I have no idea.

Chris, 29.

"I think I'll have to come back to that one. I'll have to do some thinking about my personal answer. But if you can show me yourself a little bit too... only because I have a huge crush on you.
Cover Image Credit: Adam Marcucci

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This Is How Your Same-Sex Marriage Affects Me As A Catholic Woman

I hear you over there, Bible Bob.
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It won't.

Wait, what?

I promise you did read that right. Not what you were expecting me to say, right? Who another person decides to marry will never in any way affect my own marriage whatsoever. Unless they try to marry the person that I want to, then we might have a few problems.

As a kid, I was raised, baptized, and confirmed into an old school Irish Catholic church in the middle of a small, midwestern town.

Not exactly a place that most people would consider to be very liberal or open-minded. Despite this I was taught to love and accept others as a child, to not cast judgment because the only person fit to judge was God. I learned this from my Grandpa, a man whose love of others was only rivaled by his love of sweets and spoiling his grandkids.

While I learned this at an early age, not everyone else in my hometown — or even within my own church — seemed to get the memo. When same-sex marriage was finally legalized country-wide, I cried tears of joy for some of my closest friends who happen to be members of the LGBTQ community.

I was happy while others I knew were disgusted and even enraged.

"That's not what it says in the bible! Marriage is between a man and a woman!"

"God made Adam and Eve for a reason! Man shall not lie with another man as he would a woman!"

"Homosexuality is a sin! It's bad enough that they're all going to hell, now we're letting them marry?"

Alright, Bible Bob, we get it, you don't agree with same-sex relationships. Honestly, that's not the issue. One of our civil liberties as United States citizens is the freedom of religion. If you believe your religion doesn't support homosexuality that's OK.

What isn't OK is thinking that your religious beliefs should dictate others lives.

What isn't OK is using your religion or your beliefs to take away rights from those who chose to live their life differently than you.

Some members of my church are still convinced that their marriage now means less because people are free to marry whoever they want to. Honestly, I wish I was kidding. Tell me again, Brenda how exactly do Steve and Jason's marriage affect yours and Tom's?

It doesn't. Really, it doesn't affect you at all.

Unless Tom suddenly starts having an affair with Steve their marriage has zero effect on you. You never know Brenda, you and Jason might become best friends by the end of the divorce. (And in that case, Brenda and Tom both need to go to church considering the bible also teaches against adultery and divorce.)

I'll say it one more time for the people in the back: same-sex marriage does not affect you even if you or your religion does not support it. If you don't agree with same-sex marriage then do not marry someone of the same sex. Really, it's a simple concept.

It amazes me that I still actually have to discuss this with some people in 2017. And it amazes me that people use God as a reason to hinder the lives of others.

As a proud young Catholic woman, I wholeheartedly support the LGBTQ community with my entire being.

My God taught me to not hold hate so close to my heart. He told me not to judge and to accept others with open arms. My God taught me to love and I hope yours teaches you the same.

Disclaimer - This article in no way is meant to be an insult to the Bible or religion or the LGBTQ community.

Cover Image Credit: Sushiesque / Flickr

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Class Size May Matter, But Accountability Matters More

If students take the time to think, they will realize their own potential.
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When it comes to the topic of education, decisions are often made, but not quite acted upon. On the left, we have advocates that look to fund the educational system in hope of bettering the kids’ futures. On the right, education is addressed with a degree of leniency, paired with more of an advocacy for occupational programs and trade schools.

One of the more frequently debated matters regarding education, more specifically K-12, is classroom size. For many schools, a lack of funding has caused many teachers to quit; consequentially, with less teachers, more students, inevitably, have to cram into the same classroom. The student-teacher ratio, in some schools, has gone beyond 30:1. In some cases, the overcrowding issue for a classroom is so profound that a student doesn’t have his or her own desk to sit in.

Due to this notice of classroom size increase, in correlation with declining academic performance, a considerable majority of education reformers believe that the classroom size increase is more of causation. The only issue with this argument, however, is that for a contributing factor to constitute causation, it must be the sole reason that another variable must occur. With correlation, however, there are multiple variables (more than two) that can occur within a specific time span. These variables could potentially influence one another’s behavior, but never fully dictate the outcome.

What the common argument fails to account for is accountability itself. Accountability is not something that is taught in the classroom, nor should it be. This is a crucial part to a child’s success, both in the classroom, and in real life. A perfect example of this is within a lecture hall. In a lecture hall, you could have upwards of more than 150 students in the same room, listening to and meticulously noting all of the essential details to a professor’s lecture. It is up to the student to learn the material with the tools they are given, not the teacher to hold their hand through the class.

The only responsibility of any teacher or instructor is to provide the appropriate materials and knowhow for the student to guide themselves. This prepares the student for more rigorous learning material and tasks, resulting in more favorable opportunities, both scholastic and occupational.

For the teacher to implement the right tools, however, requires that the student can and will hold themselves accountable for their success in the course. Such accountability falls back on the basis of good parenting. As education has shifted, the blame of failure for a student in a class also shifted.

The shift has taken place from the student losing their privileges and extracurricular activities, to the teacher potentially losing their job (which is especially daunting with the threat of new teachers not obtaining tenure). With the latter portion of the Millennial Generation, along with Generation Z, parents bearing excessive leniency and overall apathy have made for a widespread mindset that fails to take responsibility for itself.

It’s time for parents to be accountable for their kids, and for the kids to be accountable for their own success. A system is only as useful as those that utilize it.

Cover Image Credit: Tra Nguyen

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