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Race: Are we so different

A blog looking at the changing face of race around our region, created in cooperation with Pacific Science Center, the University of Washington Department of Communication and the City of Seattle Race and Justice Initiative

October 31, 2013 at 4:57 PM

Reflections from UW students on ‘Race: Are We So Different?’

The students of Randal Beam’s Advanced Multimedia Journalism class share their reflections on their initial visit to the Pacific Science Center exhibit, “Race: Are We So Different?”

Rebecca Gourley

Rebecca Gourley

There is just one race, it’s the human race. I thought that before I went into this exhibit and even more so now. Who cares if we look different?

Rebecca Gourley, senior, Norwegian, Danish, Scottish, Irish, German, Swedish

Anna Erickson

Anna Erickson

 

After viewing this exhibition, my focus was more on the whole of the group. While still looking at people as individuals, I began to gaze at the people more collectively, realizing every person on that bus has more in common with the next person sitting across from them than they think.

Anna Erickson, senior, Norwegian, Dutch, Welsh

Anna Servin

Anna Servin

It made me realize that though I have had my own struggles with race, I have never been excluded from a group or activity because of the color of my skin.

Anna Servin, junior, Mexican-American

Ashley Stewart

Ashley Stewart

One response: A little girl’s drawing that said “I am a person.” That’s what I’ve come away with; it’s an idea that is important to share.

Ashley Stewart, senior, Scottish

Privilege. That’s the key word.

Celine Djohan, senior, Los Angeles-born Indonesian
The emotions expressed were all palpable. Perhaps that’s why I shed a couple of tears. There’s something about reading actual writing that made the experience more personal.

Cesar Quintana, junior, Mexican

Erin Wong

Erin Wong

I know that I never would have gone to the exhibit and that would have been a shame.

Erin Wong, junior, Chinese-American

Devon Geary

Devon Geary

How can we hold the world accountable for its discrimination without classifying and counting — but how can we, in good faith, continue this separation?

Devon Geary, senior, Caucasian

Eli Chin

Eli Chin

Race is not four sub-groups of people. Race is not a box to check on the census. Race is not a genetic similarity. Race is an idea.

Eli Chin, junior, Chinese, Caucasian

Imana Gunawan

Imana Gunawan

 

I didn’t know that in the United States, there were so many instances of systematic racism even in seemingly normal experiences such as buying a house or going to the pharmacy.

Imana Gunawan, Texas-born Indonesian, Pacific Islander

Jimmy Lovaas

Jimmy Lovaas

A person is still a person regardless of whether we call them an Asian person or a white person.

Jimmy Lovaas, senior, Norwegian and Hawaiian

Laurel Rice

Laurel Rice

Even Caucasians were included, and as a white female of European heritage I feel that my own skin color is often left out of racial discussions because my race has not been through the intense oppression that many others have faced.

Laurel Rice, junior, Norwegian, Welsh English, Irish, French, Scotch, German, Native American

Megan Herndon

Megan Herndon

My ethnicity is Caucasian, but my history and a big part of my heart comes from Hawaii.

Megan Herndon, white

Kevin Vandenburg

Kevin Vandenburg

Still, I couldn’t help but wonder why Africa spawned the human race. Perhaps conditions in the continent of the time were ideal for incubating and growing the young species. We might never know.

Kevin Vandenburg, senior, American

TingTing Chu

TingTing Chu

I’ve always identified myself as an Asian because most of the forms I filled in provided “Asian” as an option.

Ting Ting Chu, senior, Chinese, Hong Kong

As a white college student who grew up in the mostly white retirement community that is Gig Harbor, race was never something that I seriously considered until coming to college and working at the campus newspaper. My views on race were rather innocent and childish, similar to the views of the young child’s portrait in the exhibit who describes himself by saying: “I am part Chinese and part danish but I don’t want to tell people I am danish though because they think I am a pastry.”

Joshua Bessex, senior, Irish, German, Italian, Scandinavian (European mutt)

Taylor Winkel

Taylor Winkel

 

Why does the United States hold on to the “white guy” expression, when in other parts of the world, the same person would more appropriately be described as an “Australian guy” or a “multicultural Greek guy” or what have you?

Taylor Winkel, senior

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