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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

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November 19, 2013 at 6:01 AM

Race project | Beyond Racism: The Gradation Scale

Colorism. This word is so unused that even my word-processing program doesn’t recognize it. This element of discrimination, which assigns value to one’s skin tone instead of race, is hard to publicize or rally against, simply because it’s often so personal and subtle that it goes unnoticed by everyone except those who experience it. It’s hidden in families and social spheres; less of a volatile hate than a cascading gradation of worth — implemented by whichever end of the “scale” deems themselves better. In many cases, it’s the lighter side, but not always — as in case of Jordan Cañas.

(from left ) Parents Jesse and Julia Cañas, Jordan, Jordan’s husband Scott, her half brother Jason, and full brother Josh. (Photo taken from Cañas wedding album, courtesy of Jordan Cañas)

(from left ) Parents Jesse and Julia Cañas, Jordan, Jordan’s husband, Scott, her half-brother Jason, and brother Josh. (Photo taken from Cañas’ wedding album, courtesy of Jordan Cañas)

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