Archives For Racism

Growing up it was obvious that I was different from most others around me. I spent the first three years of my life living in Boston, MA.  The street I lived on wasn’t conducive to families with small children. There were no parks in the immediate vicinity for children to play and there were no front or back yards. The children had only their homes or the sidewalks.  When my mother married my step-father things changed and we moved to Brookline, MA.  Things were different there.  There were parks everywhere and everyone seemed to have kids. Some houses had both a front and a back yard, while others had one or the other. When we moved to the Brookline Village area of Brookline in 1966, our neighborhood was predominantly filled with Irish Catholic and/or episcopalian families. In our immediate vicinity, there were a few Jewish families and a couple of asian families.  Then we came along. My mother is Native American and my step-father is polish, but my birth father was both Native American and African-American along with some other mix.  So we were the mutts of our neighborhood. I don’t recall seeing any other family like ours for several years, but that didn’t really stop anyone from befriending us.  I was confused about was how to refer to myself. When I was old enough to ask, I would ask my mother about our Native American Heritage, but she never offered much of an explanation or details of our other family members or what being Native American meant to her or anyone else in her family.  It ended up being something that we just didn’t talk about. We never really talked about being any one race. It was sort of ignored and we sort of acted as if we were just like anyone else.

I thank my dad (my step-father).  He is a Harvard graduate.  He along with my mother made sure we did more than well in school. Education was important.  I was just frustrated that I had no education on who I really was and where I really came from.  During my younger years, it wasn’t the one thing to be proud of being different.  In fact, it was actually frowned upon to point out your differences.  If you weren’t white, you were just classified as being African-American and nothing else. The funny thing is, now when I think about defining who and what I am and where I came from, I still draw a blank. Through History, I have come to learn about all that each race has endured and overcome. I choose to hold onto all that I know myself to be and try to be proud of it all. But I find myself being most interested in the Native American part of me, and I think that is because I live in Brookline, MA a place I know that many Native Americans first lived. Like in most other places they lived the land that they knew as their own was taken away from them and they became enslaved upon that land  or died on it trying to protect it. Only the white man was allowed to freely live on the land here and anyone else was considered a slave. The sad thing is, this was not taught to us during any of my school years. I found this information in a town book I came across belonging to my husband that his father had given to him when he was first a town meeting member decades ago. Reading the pages made me cry. In fact, I found myself nauseated by each page I read. It suddenly feels strange to live in a place where you grew up having one vision of your life, but now knowing the real history behind it changes the view I have now. I think it’s important for people to know as much as they can about where they come from and where they live to better understand who and what you are.

No matter what, each person should try to find a way to find comfort and peace with who they are and what part or parts of you, you feel most comfortable with. Otherwise, it will be hard to find true happiness in your life.

The parking lot outside Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City on April 13, 2014.  KCTV

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – Shootings at Jewish-related locations in a Kansas City suburb left three people dead on Sunday and a suspect was in custody, CBS affiliate KCTV reported.

One shooting was reported about 1 p.m. Sunday at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City, according to an Overland Park Fire Department spokesman. This happened at the Lewis and Shirley White Theatre inside the center.

About 75 people were inside the theater, most of them children, KCTV said.

Teens were auditioning for KC Superstar and parents were frantically trying to get to their children. One of the dead was killed in the parking lot of the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City.

A second shooting was reported at Village Shalom, an assisted living center on West 123rd Street in Overland Park.

A suspect was arrested at the Valley View Park Elementary School, a mile away from Village Shalom. KCTV reported the suspect appeared to yell “Heil Hitler” as he was being led away in handcuffs by Overland Park police.


A suspect was arrested at the Valley View Park Elementary School in Overland Park, Kan.

Police said one of the dead was killed in the parking lot of the Jewish Community Center.

Authorities also confirmed that a one person was undergoing surgery at Overland Park Regional Medical Center. It wasn’t immediately clear whether that one person died in surgery and was one of the three dead or was a fourth person shot.

Worried relatives of residents toldKCTV that Village Shalomhas been placed on lockdown.Phyllis Cantor, who is undergoing rehabilitation at Village Shalom, said she heard the sound of sirens. She said many police officers are at the scene and their focus appeared to be on a white car in the parking lot.

Teacher has been target of past slurs

AMHERST, Mass. — A black math teacher at Amherst Regional High School has again been the subject of racist graffiti.

The Daily Hampshire Gazette reports that graffiti intended for Carolyn Gardner was on a wall in the boy’s bathroom at school.

Sonji Johnson-Anderson, who says she is Gardner’s sister, says they are hurt and bewildered. She says the community should pressure school administrators to end the graffiti.

An anonymous tip line has been set up on the high school’s website.

Racist graffiti was left in a bathroom in October and on Gardner’s classroom door.

On March 24, a racial slur intended for Gardner was left in a girls’ bathroom.

Principal Mark Jackson says an individual was found responsible for one of the incidents and punished.

Click here to see the gallery of photos

by Felina Silver Robinson

1. When people think they know someone because of their skin color.

2. When you’re walking down the street and a woman holds her purse tighter as she passes you.

3. When people say that you can’t be your childs mother because they don’t have the same complexion as you.

4. When people refuse to serve you because of what you look like.

5. When people follow you around the store from the minute you arrive.

6. When people think they have to decide the rights of others.

7. When people think they have the right to kill you because you don’t fit in with their ideals.

8. When people exclude you because you are different.

9. When people only want you to fill a quota, but still don’t think you’re good enough for the job.

10. When people assume that racism is only about color.


Community forum planned to address recent incidents

George Rodrique/WCVB

BEDFORD, Mass. — A string of anti-Semitic incidents reported at some Bedford schools is forcing schools officials to take action with police, clergy and town officials, according to the Boston Globe.

The Globe reported Thursday that three reported anti-Semitic incidents have been reported in schools this year, including one incident in an elementary school where a student said she was told that since she’s Jewish, her country would be destroyed, and another child was allegedly told she couldn’t have a cracker because Jews don’t believe in Jesus Christ.

“The Bedford Police Department, in partnership with Bedford public Schools, is committed to ending and preventing any further acts of anti-Semitism in our community,”  said in a statement.

The first reported anti-Semitic incident was reported at the high school last fall when “Kill the Jews” and swastikas were spray painted on the walls, the Globe reported.

“”While there have been, at this time, no additional reports of hateful graffiti since last fall and no reports of violence, the Bedford Police Department nonetheless takes any allegations of hate or discrimination seriously, and will investigate any such reports,” Bongiorno said.

A community forum has been scheduled in Bedford on March 20 to address the recent anti-Semitic incidents, the Globe reported.

School closed when bullied student made threat

AMHERST, Mass. — Amherst school officials say they’re taking unspecified disciplinary action and other steps against students who played a role in bullying and racial harassment at Amherst Regional High School in January.

Schools Superintendent Maria Geryk released findings on Friday of a month-long investigation. The school is taking steps to develop an online investigation reporting system.

The Daily Hampshire Gazette reports that Geryk would not provide specifics about the individuals involved, discipline handed out or the interventions school officials are using.

She also would not comment on whether any faculty or staff members have been disciplined or face action.

The investigation began following a Facebook post on Jan. 25 by a student claiming he had been carrying a gun into the high school to protect himself from bullying. School was closed on Jan. 27 in response to the post.

Swastikas, obscenities painted on homes, cars

MIDDLEBOROUGH, Mass. —Police in Middleborough are investigating after swastikas and obscenities were spray-painted on at least four homes and nine cars in one neighborhood over the weekend.

The vandalism was discovered Saturday morning by an officer on patrol.

Lt. Robert D. Ferreira Jr. said the graffiti appears to be random and not aimed at specific people or families, and it does not appear as if the swastikas were aimed at Jewish families.

There was no word on any suspects or arrests.

Sharon Sherman tells The Enterprise her home and car were vandalized. She attributed the graffiti to kids “just being stupid.”

Most of residents hit cleaned up the graffiti on their own.

1. The Ugliness of Indian-on-Indian Racism

2. Travel Destination! Majestic Mountain Loop Wins Prestigious 2014 Poppy Award

3. Same-Sex Marriages: Unrecognized in Navajo Culture, but for How Long?

Courtesy Bosque Redondo 1866/Museum of New Mexico
Image of Navajo same sex couple from the film “Two Spirits” taken in 1866.

4. ICTMN Exclusive: A Conversation With 2014 Nobel Peace Prize Nominee James Anaya

5. Shelly Vetoes Navajo Junk Food Tax


6. Eliminated from ‘American Idol’, Aranesa Turner Keeps on Singing

Photo by Latasha Haynes; source:

7. Tribes are Large Employers & Those Employees Make the Best Customers

8. Lummi Elder Remembers Shirley Temple Black

Lummi Fisheries archives
Shirey Temple visits Lummi aquaculture in early 1970s.

9. Heitkamp: National Report Reinforces Need to Reduce Violent Crimes Against Native Youth

10. College of Muscogee Nation Gets Federal Funding

Beck Design
The College of Muscogee Nation in Okmulgee, Oklahoma is eligible for funding from the Bureau of Indian Education.

11. The First Death by Chocolate

12. Zazzle Removes Offensive Valentine’s Day Products
The retro smoke signal products have been removed by Zazzle.

Swastikas, graffiti painted on family’s home

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Pittsfield police are investigating whether a hate crime occurred when someone spray-painted swastikas and other graffiti on a city family’s home.

Richard Rodriguez says two swastikas, what appeared to be gallows and other offensive symbols were drawn on visible sections of his vinyl-sided residence overnight on Feb. 2.

Rodriguez, who tells The Berkshire Eagle he’s of Puerto Rican descent, has since painted over the graffiti.

He believes his home was targeted.

Although he has lived in Pittsfield for 14 years and never had a problem, he’s lived in his current home with his 12-year-old son just a few months.

He has beefed up security at the home, installing motion-sensing, outdoor floodlights.


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