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  • Seema

in one ear and out the other

I interviewed a 32-year-old, White, cis Male living in the Midwest. He currently works construction after being incarcerated for over 11 years.

"I don't think you could imagine it, could ya? It's everywhere. I've known a lot of people -- Blacks, Whites. Obviously Whites are racist, but I think Blacks and Latinos are more racist at times than Whites are, especially now with the Black Lives Matter thing...I try not to involve myself in it. It's a lot of drama," he said in response to the prompt, imagine a U.S. without racism.

While he was incarcerated, he was a "neutron," which meant he didn't join any of the gangs. The Aryan Brotherhood and other White supremacist groups tried to recruit him, but he resisted. "Then you don't have to worry about someone running down the hallway saying, 'hey, we're getting into it with Black Disciples out in the yard.' I stayed out of it."

There were fights in prison sometimes three times a day. He got accustomed to seeing and hearing racist language that now, outside of prison when he hears something racist, "It goes in one ear and out the other." He feels he's seen and heard way worse things. He bites his tongue, doesn't get involved.

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