We have seen the devastation that racism can perpetrate when the hate embedded within it festers in silence at the margins of our society. But where does this sort of racism come from? I don't know that I have the answer, but I do have a particular, firsthand experience that may give some insight into the question.
Approximately a third of the residents we serve in the residential treatment program are African American. Every time an incident like that of the death of Freddie Gray occurs, I am reminded that the African-American residents we serve are as much at risk because of the color of their skin as for any of their behaviors.
As the number of people who identify as "mixed" increases, discussions around topics concerning people of mixed ancestry are also expanding and challenging our perceptions of race and racism. Critical mixed-race studies and films like Dear White People accomplish the goal of furthering dialogues around race that we can engage in with friends, family, and those in our communities.