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If you’re a white person, and you’re talking to people of color about a prominent person of their same race or ethnic origin, you can’t ever be too respectful… Not “MLK” but “Dr. King”

 

Have you seen the video of these two Scottish guys who try to get a voice-activated lift (elevator) to understand what they’re saying? What if they were black? … So These Two Scottish Guys get onto a Lift…

The Janitor at Work

The Janitor at Work

I recently started a new job, sitting at the front desk at a research organization. And after the novelty wore off, and my sheer relief at having a job, I noticed something. I do a lot of the same stuff, over and over. Then, one day, I saw the janitor waiting for the elevator, and I thought of something: he does the same stuff, over and over, every day.

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When the Tectonic Plates of my Soul Shifted

When the Tectonic Plates of my Soul Shifted

Years ago, the tectonic plates of my soul shifted. It was October, 2006, and I was at my in-laws’ 50th wedding anniversary celebration. By the time I got to the hall where the celebration was being held, I knew three things. One, I was dressed wrong…

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“Hands off the Hair”

“Hands off the Hair”

The other day, I saw an African-American woman wearing a T-shirt that read “Hands off the Hair.” I paused, and smiled, and said to her, “I love your T-shirt.” She grinned and said, “Thank you.” I said it in a way that made it clear that I know why T-shirts like that exist…

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Oh my God, Someone Who isn’t White!

Oh my God, Someone Who isn’t White!

I hadn’t realized how white Bend was until an African-American waitress smiled at me. I drove back from Bend over Friday and Saturday, and on Saturday morning I stopped at the Black Bear Diner in Tacoma…

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What Makes Me An Approachable White Person?

What Makes Me An Approachable White Person?

as I was standing there, an African-American man walked up. Now, I’d been trying to figure out what kind of vibe I gave off, that makes me seem approachable. I figured it must be that my face stays open and relaxed, I don’t shrink in on myself, I stand where I am, I look open and… welcoming?

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The Small Town Where I’m Living Now

The Small Town Where I’m Living Now

Sometimes I wonder what I would’ve thought of Bend if I’d moved here without having much experience with people of color. I probably would’ve thought it was a fine place to live, or, rather, that the problems about the place were just that it was so small…

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