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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…

“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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The House My Mother-in-Law Lived In

The House My Mother-in-Law Lived In

My mother-in-law lived the first five years of her life in a sharecropper’s cabin: two 15×15 rooms, one on top of the other, inadequate heat, no air conditioning — and the reason I understood even a little how hard it would have been is because I lived in a similar place myself…

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Talking About Race with a White Co-Worker I Barely Know

Talking About Race with a White Co-Worker I Barely Know

Last Tuesday was my second day at a new job. In a new state. In a new town. In a part of the country that at least supposedly is more conservative than Seattle. Where almost everybody is white. But I took a chance and talked about something having to do with race. With a white coworker who I’d only just met for the first time on Monday…

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