Racism in the Community 


Adriana Hernandez

Elijah Thornton, a counselor at Woodside High School.

Adriana Hernandez, Staff Writer

Elijah Thornton is a counselor here at Woodside who came from a mixed-race family and has faced racism during his college years.

“[During] my personal life in college, there was an incident where I was having another interaction with another student on campus, and he kept calling my name,” Thornton reflected. “I couldn’t really hear that well, but he kept saying ‘hey Elijah, hey Elijah’ trying to get my attention, and I wasn’t really paying attention because I was talking to another friend at the time. He kept calling my name, and I still wasn’t paying attention that much, and he eventually said ‘hey’ and called me the N-word.”    

Thornton states that it wasn’t the first time he had heard that.

“It wasn’t the first time I had ever been called the N-word, but that was the most hurtful I had ever heard that word.”

Adriana Hernandez: What’s your opinion on the stereotype that only African Americans can say the N-word and other races can’t?

Elijah Thornton: That’s a great question. That’s a debate that I think a lot of people could have. It’s kind of tough for me to say. [In] the music I heard growing up and the music I listen to, I hear the word and not in a derogatory way, but they almost use it in a way to refer to a brother or somebody kind of close to them.

For KQED Youth Takeover, I’m Adriana Hernandez.