Can You Distill Feelings About Reality Into Six Words or Less?

From a PBS Newhour segment on “Can You Distill Feelings About Race and Identity Into Six Words or Less?

JEFFREY BROWN: So give us a few examples of the kind of thing you have been hearing.

MICHELE NORRIS: “Urban living has made me racist.”

JEFFREY BROWN: “Urban living has made me racist.”

MICHELE NORRIS: This is from someone who moved to the city, and she lives in a multiethnic community. And she says that some of the attitudes that she’s developed over time living in that community have hardened based on what she sees, and that makes her uncomfortable.

She is sort of buying into the trope of the hardworking Asian, or the industrious Hispanic, and, unfortunately, the scary black person…

JEFFREY BROWN: And people being almost upset by their fear, too, right? It all comes out in various ways.

MICHELE NORRIS: Upset by the fear that they — I was just reading one that came from an Ian Seer. He lives not far from here in Springfield, Va.

And he talked about he’s a part of the Benetton generation, the generation that is supposed to be post-racial. Remember that word?


MICHELE NORRIS: That they grew up without all the burdens that previous generations have. And yet he talked about he still — he really hates this implicit fear that he has. So, people are wrestling with this.

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