Buffalo was the 3rd city I filmed for the Whiteness Project, previously I had conducted interviews in New York City and Milwaukee, WI. Although I did not feel that the footage from either city could work as stand-alone project installments, there was still a lot of strong material. Going forward I will be posting clips that I think are interesting.
In Milwaukee I did a terrible job of casting and ended with a relatively narrow socioeconomic sample of interviewees. The upside was that I was able to talk to a group of people who, for the most part, were raised in homogenous communities and did not have a lot of contact with people of other races growing up.
I think this is a revealing exchange.
Why wouldn't you conflate being white with being American if that is all you ever see?
And what happens when you are confronted by people who are different from you for the first time?
And what happens when you leave home?
Are you starting at a disadvantage when you are white Midwesterner Lutheran and your idea of otherness is a white Midwestern Catholic?