A White Person Asks Other White People About Race. Their Answers Are Astounding.

Has anyone ever asked you this question?

Why would a filmmaker ask white people in Buffalo, New York, how they feel about being white?

Filmmaker Whitney Dow created The Whiteness Project because, he says, white people don't have a lot of experience talking about whiteness. And that's a first step for white people to begin to understand their privilege and place in the world.


People who were really open and honest with him. Some of what they say isn't easy to hear. But I think he's on to something really, really useful.

A lot of us don't have much to say about being white:


I don't think I've ever come across anything that has made me aware of my race. I really don't...I'm an American before I'm anybody else or any group or type of person.

A major reason may be that most white people don't interact with people of color at all:

"Where I work, there is one black man, of prominence, in the department of I'd say 50 or so. I think about that a lot. ... I'd say every job I've worked at has been primarily white. ... It troubles me."

Some people do think about their race a lot and how their experience is different because they are white:

I live with an African American, we do the same things, we live the same life, but I guess inherently there's never going to be a time where a person with lighter skin understands what a person with darker skin might go through on a daily basis...

Other people Whitney Dow spoke with were struggling with feeling disenfranchised:

"They took the same test I did and didn't score as well but ...I got bypassed because of minority requirements."

Others expressed prejudice and fear:

"I'm just being friendly. ... They take that as an opening to approach, and ... it's just not comfortable. So, do I call it prejudice that I don't like that? I guess it is, in a way. I don't like that — I'm afraid."

This last interview is one of the shocking ones (though given recent events maybe it shouldn't be). If you take in all the interviews and all the accompanying stats gathered by Dow, you begin to understand something about what's going on with white people.

And I think that's Whitney Dow's genius here. It's good for people to say that they feel cheated, or scared, or uncertain. It may not be pretty, but it's like putting a pin on the map. It helps you figure out where you are, and, even better, where other people are at. It's just about the most important conversation us white people need to have.

Go to the site to see all the interviews!


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Courtesy of Macy's

In many ways, 18-year-old Idaho native, Hank Cazier, is like any other teenager you've met. He loves chocolate, pop music, and playing games with his family. He has lofty dreams of modeling for a major clothing company one day. But one thing that sets him apart may also jeopardize his future is his recent battle against a brain tumor.

Cazier was diagnosed in 2015. When he had surgery to remove the tumor, he received trauma to his brain and lost some of his motor functionality. He's been in physical, occupational, and speech therapy ever since. The experience impacted Cazier's confidence and self-esteem, so he's been looking for a way to build himself back up again.

"I wanted to do something that helped me look forward to the future," he says.

Enter Make-A-Wish, a nonprofit organization that grants wishes for children battling critical illnesses, providing them a chance to make the impossible possible. The organization partnered with Macy's to raise awareness and help make those wishes a reality. The hope is that the "wish effect" will improve their quality of life and empower them with the strength they need to overcome these illnesses and look towards the future. That was a particularly big deal for Cazier, who had been feeling like so many of his wishes weren't going to be possible because of his critical illness.

"In the beginning, it was hard to accept that it would be improbable for me to accomplish my previous goals because my illness took away so many of my physical abilities," says Cazier. His wish of becoming a model also seemed out of reach.

But Macy's and Make-A-Wish didn't see it like that. Once they learned about Cazier's wish, they knew he had to make it come true by inviting him to be part of the magical Macy's holiday shoot in New York.

Courtesy of Macy's

Make-A-Wish can't fulfill children's wishes without the generosity of donors and partners like Macy's. In fact, since 2003, Macy's has given more than $122 million to Make-A-Wish and impacted the lives of more than 2.9 million people.

Cazier's wish experience was beyond what he could've imagined, and it filled him with so much joy and confidence. "It is like waking up and discovering that you have super powers. It feels amazing!" he exclaims.

One of the best parts about the day for him was the kindness everyone who helped make it happen showed him.

"The employees of Macy's and Make-A-Wish made me feel welcome, warm, and cared for," he says. "I am truly grateful that even though they were busy doing their jobs, they were able to show kindness and compassion towards me in all of the little details."

He also got to spend part of the shoot outdoors, which, as someone who loves climbing, hiking, and scuba-diving but has trouble doing those activities now, was very welcome.

Courtesy of Macy's

Overall, Cazier feels he grew a lot during his modeling wish and is now emboldened to work towards a better quality of life. "I want to acquire skills that help me continue to improve in these circumstances," he says.

You can change the lives of more kids like Cazier just by writing a letter to Santa and dropping it in the big red letterbox at Macy's (you can also write and submit one online). For every letter received before Dec. 24, 2019, Macy's will donate $1 to Make-A-Wish, up to $1 million. By writing a letter to Santa, you can help a child replace fear with confidence, sadness with joy, and anxiety with hope.

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