When the driver yelled "This is America" at me, my first thought was my children. I was incredibly relieved they weren't with me. How would I explain to my young kids why the driver said that to me? How would I explain to them why her comment was so hurtful?
As I struggled to answer these questions, I found myself thinking more about this conversation about race as it relates to the younger generation. What does being American mean to them?
In Episode 3 we find out.
We talk to two teenagers who wrote a textbook about race before they even graduated from high school. The textbook was inspired by their own Asian American experiences. These young authors tell us that children start learning and digesting racial stereotypes and prejudices when they are as young as 3-years-old.
In Episode 3, we also talk to the students at The Academy at Benjamin Rush about their experiences with racism and how they feel about themselves and each other.
I am beyond thankful to their teacher, Mr. Kevin Katz, for inviting me into his classroom and to their principal, Ms. Lori DeFields for approving Rush's participation in #ThisIsAmerica.
But I am most grateful to all the Rush students for their honesty, courage and persistence in working through such an emotionally-charged and complicated topic.
To the authors of Princeton Choose and to the Benjamin Rush students: You give me hope. #ThisIsAmerica