Often, we find that the children of white families (exempting adoptees) are afforded the privilege of not learning about race. They’re still innocent, they say, while their kids call us wetbacks, chinks, and niggers behind our backs. While our kids are forced to learn the harsh realities we face from toddlerdom. After all, if little 5-year old black boys can be shot dead then they certainly know what racism is — far more distinctly than anyone realizes.

This video, part of WNYC’s powerful “Being 12” series, talks to a diverse group of middle schoolers about race and their experiences in our society. What happens is heartbreaking.


Honestly, who doesn’t remember this? Y’all will profess undying love for Taco Bell and Panda Express but tell little kids that their chow mein — or whatever — looks like worms. Too often, mothers have kids coming home to them asking for “white people food” — and it’s honestly so heartbreaking for both parties.


For a child to experience something like that…it’s atrocious. To have your entire family, including yourself, openly viewed with suspicion has to be traumatic on some level.

Something like that doesn’t leave you unchanged.


Just to clarify, this boy is like 12. He’s afraid to walk down the street, in fear of violence. Walking. Down. The. Street. So much for the universal mother mantra, “Go outside and play.” Hell, he’s not even safe in his house.

A 12 year old boy has to live in perpetual fear of the police.


I think this speaks for itself. If a lot of people start to view you a certain way, you start to apply those ideas towards yourself.


This kid has more common sense than the majority of the world. Seriously. They all better have gotten a cookie or something.


Watch the full video by WNYC here.

  • Caressa Wong

    Caressa Wong is a radical, non-binary Chinese-American who dabbles in video, art, and writing. If they're not lost in video games or off getting sucked into some new project, then you can find them fighting Asian fetishists and reading post-colonial & inter-sectional meditations.