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Former Racists Share What Made Them Reevaluate Their Ways

Former Racists Share What Made Them Reevaluate Their Ways

Find A Way To The End

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It can come from ignorance. It can come from inexperience. It can come from a lack of empathy or understanding. Racism can spring up in any heart, and it can stay with you for a long time, festering. However, there are those times when a life-changing experience can shift what you thought you knew. Just ask these people, former racists who answered Reddit user, u/skankinanarchist's question:

Former racists of reddit, what made you change?

Just Meet People

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Met black people, met asians.

Realized they're just people and it took more energy to hate them irrationally than it did to just... Not. From there it was easy to not be racist against others.


Deep Down, We're All The Same

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The military.

We all bleed red.


The Internet Is Doing Good For Once!

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Internet helped me understand everyone has problems.


It's Not Who You Are, But What you Do

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I wasn't racist but my mum was. I had a middle-eastern friend and she realised she's not a terrorist that race doesn't make you a terrorist - being a terrorist does


When You See The Problem Isn't A Problem

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This is gonna sound ridiculous but I grew up white trash in Australia in a very white suburb, where somehow immigrants (that didn't exist to any great degree) were the problem (not the rampant spousal and child abuse /drug addiction).

I (and many others) grew up being taught that hate. For me the first time I really was confronted with that I was 9 and Changes by Tupac released and it blew my mind.

By the time I got to highschool and had to interact with actual ESL immigrants I was thankfully not a racist.


Get Out In The World

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To actually experience the culture of other people is a brutal eye-opener.


When The Problem Is Within

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I realized that I didn't dislike black people for being black...I disliked pretty much everyone regardless of color. Just lived in a sh-tty area and everyone was sh-tty.

Left and everything got better.


Getting Out

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Leaving home. My mom is Japanese and raised me Japanese, racism and all. I left my house late 17y/o and now that I've lived on my own, I grew to be myself, and with that, grew up mentally.


Make A Tough Decision

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This is in the same vein, but not actually racism. I was raised in a Baptist church. My family simply didn't discuss gay people because there was no reason to. As I grew up, I became pretty homophobic due to the church. Not as bad as the absolute psychopaths you see. But, bad enough.

Then, I worked at this place when I was like 20 and made a friend named Marlon. He was an older guy, in his 60's, but cool as hell. We used to talk and hang out for hours. He gave me a DVD box set of 'Carl Sagan's Cosmos' was just an all around good guy.

Then one day, he stopped me and was like. 'Were you at a gay club this weekend?' I told him I wasn't and he was like 'Oh, I saw your twin there then.' I kind of laughed it off and went on. Then, a few minutes later the realization hit me and I went back to him and was like 'You were at a gay club, are you gay?' he confirmed that he in fact he was.

At this point I had a decision to make, this guy who I thoroughly respected and really liked. What do I do about him? Do I hold onto my prejudice, or do I admit I was wrong? The decision was easy to make once I thought about it, took less than two seconds. Suffice to say now I go to gay pride festivals, I keep a dog tag I got from one on my key ring and I'm a huge supporter of LGBT rights.

I know he wasn't trying to change anything about me. But he did, in a profound way. Not only did he make me think different about gay people, but he also made me think about all my prejudices and that helped me become who I am today.


One on One

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One on one time with white people.

I had bad experiences with white peers when I was a kid. I was always left out and felt ostracized. As an adult, I still feel that way sometimes. It helps to have one on one time with acquaintances and friends who are white. You get a better sense of their inner monologue. By finding common ground, you make better assumptions about them even in their absence.


Fighting With Your Family

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A part of my family is racist. There are pictures of child me with David Duke when he was running for some office. I'm not sure what he was running for.

I'd say just growing up and experiencing life.

Southeast Texas can be rough in areas and I've had good and bad things happen from all races. My uncle and granddad told me they'd beat me if I dated a black girl. Stupid things like that. Everyone is just trying to make a life for themselves and I see no reason to hate a race.


A Full Cycle

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I was raised to not be racist. I didn't even recognize being white as a child, I told people I was peach colored. I had best friends who were black, Spanish, Middle Eastern.

Then I went into a group home. My friend was jumped for being white, I was made fun of, got yelled at walking down the street, called snow bunny, was told I could never understand hard times. And for a long time it made me bitter and judgemental.

Now that I'm out of those situations I don't generalize anymore and I'm back to my old self.


A Life-Changing Hike

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Ooh i can finally answer one of these in a serious way. So i was raised in the bible belt by a super far right dad.

My mom and sister were pretty normal, but growing up I hated Obama and i was on the email list for a couple groups that were extremely pro second amendment and far right. This seemed normal to me and all through out high school I acted like a jack a-- to people in my school who weren't white or supported a liberal agenda.

Eventually i went off to college.. took a year off.. and moved back in with my dad while I saved up money to hike the Pacific Crest Trail on the West Coast. During that year that I took off I interacted with so many minorities and liberals and people who I would have hated in high school. But after living a 'hippy' lifestyle for 2 months while hikking the PCT and even living at a "Eco-Feminist-Hostel" in Hawai'i for 2 months I became a lot more chill.

Now I'm no longer racist and I'm a lot less likely to judge someone for their beliefs no matter what they are.


Public School For The Win

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I was raised by racist parents and grandparents but I just grew up and formed my own ideas.

Public school helped, most of my friends were Mexican as we lived in a mostly Mexican town growing up. It wasn't a big realization or anything. After I turned 9 I stopped believing in God, stopped being racist. By 12 I was interested in politics and left leaning while my parents are die hard republicans. I just formed my own ideas and didn't let them brainwash me.


In Someone Else's Shoes

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Spent a month as a minority. It's pretty disconcerting to have everyone turn to look at you everywhere you go.


Care to elaborate? I'm assuming you were traveling out of the country but the silly part of me is imagining you applying black face every morning for a month.


Yeah, I spent a month in an Asian country. I didn't see another white person for a week. Even though there was no animosity, it was just tough being "the strange looking person" day after day


Aren't We All People?

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My hometown still has an active and organized arm of the KKK, and there were cross burnings and race riots around 2003, so this was where I grew up, and I'm happy the N-word doesn't appear as the first unconscious thought I have when I see a black person.

It feels weird saying 'black person', or 'Hispanic' nowadays, thanks to the US military.

I came out of the service around 2011, and it took a couple of years before I 'got' that racism is still a big thing out here. I just forgot that skin color mattered while in there.

Still seems so d-mned stupid that you're going to divide yourselves because of how our ancestors evolved protection against sunlight.

Don't we have mutual enemies to fight? People that need our help? Children to raise and protect?

Are we this devoid of better things to do?


Meet Someone. Anyone.

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I met a holocaust survivor.

He was a child at the camp in Sobibor. It was a life changing experience. Without it, I'd probably have ended up being part of the alt-right. Instead, I got a real wake up call and have taken to being a major supporter or human rights.


A Long Time Coming

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I was extremely racist in 6th and 7th grade. I had a strong hatred for East Asians, African American, and Caucasian people for no good reason. My parents also didn't express any form of racism, which just makes my actions even more ridiculous.

I would constantly harass this East Asian girl, making fun of her appearance and telling her that she ate dog. I would also refer to Caucasians as "crackers" and would make slavery jokes in front of the African American kids. So yeah, I was a pretty terrible person.

I changed after two events occurred. The first was when I got into a race war with an African American girl. I made a really racist joke about dark chocolate, which led to her telling me off. She didn't mention my past history, which led to the principal letting me off the hook. Later that day, we had a liturgy (I went to a Catholic school), and my crush was there. An African-American kid was trying to be nice and let me sit next to her, but instead I pushed him over. Eventually, my crush and a teacher overheard my remark, which led to me being taken out of the liturgy and sent to the office. I was later given a detention for my remarks, and that detention became Saturday school when the girl told the teachers of my past behavior.

A few months later, I was still unchanged. I just stopped teasing the African-American kids. One day, I went to the East Asian girl and made a joke about her belonging in a sweatshop. Clearly annoyed, she told me off. I was immediately suspended, and my parents decided to take me to a behavioral counselor for my actions. After this incident, I reformed myself. I apologized to everyone I had harassed for the past two years, and stopped my racist behavior. I left the school one year later, as I wanted to leave the past behind.

I learned to accept everyone of all colors, and no one should be treated poorly because of the color of their skin.


Slowly, But Surely

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It's kind of hard to articulate but I'll try. I grew up and still live in the Bible Belt in a predominantly white area. I grew up being taught that the KKK was evil but also hearing racist jokes every now and then and the people around me laughed so I thought they were funny. It didn't happen overnight but there was this slow realization that these jokes are not funny and it's NOT ok to have a feeling of superiority over someone because of skin color or cultural differences. The middle aged white people in this area are so ignorant of how they sound. The same people that tell racist jokes would be hurt if they would be called racist. Someone that I know fairly well was trying to be super PC and she called black people "the coloreds" because she thought that was better then just saying black. It was so cringey.


Sometimes, You Just Need To Meet People

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I was 1 of 3 native people in a school with 300 people. I was harassed daily, got called a chug, squaw, dirty Indian and was told to go back to my rez. I've had food, bottles and other things thrown at me. My cellphone was stolen and smashed days after my parents saved up to buy me my own. Girls would try and physically fight me for no other reason than that I didn't look like them.

By the end of highschool I HATED white people. I thought they all hated me so it would be fine if I expressed the same kind of resentment and anger, even towards strangers who hadn't done anything wrong.

All it took to change my mind, was a trip to a national park with my dog. People were so friendly and kind. I couldn't believe it, people from all of the world were interacting with me and my dog. I was receiving nothing but kindness and love, especially from white people and children who wanted to pet my dog. That's all it took, was a dog to undo years of my racism towards white people. Surely if my dog could love any human he encountered, why couldn't I?


H/T: Reddit

People Reveal The Weirdest Thing About Themselves

Reddit user Isitjustmedownhere asked: 'Give an example; how weird are you really?'

Let's get one thing straight: no one is normal. We're all weird in our own ways, and that is actually normal.

Of course, that doesn't mean we don't all have that one strange trait or quirk that outweighs all the other weirdness we possess.

For me, it's the fact that I'm almost 30 years old, and I still have an imaginary friend. Her name is Sarah, she has red hair and green eyes, and I strongly believe that, since I lived in India when I created her and there were no actual people with red hair around, she was based on Daphne Blake from Scooby-Doo.

I also didn't know the name Sarah when I created her, so that came later. I know she's not really there, hence the term 'imaginary friend,' but she's kind of always been around. We all have conversations in our heads; mine are with Sarah. She keeps me on task and efficient.

My mom thinks I'm crazy that I still have an imaginary friend, and writing about her like this makes me think I may actually be crazy, but I don't mind. As I said, we're all weird, and we all have that one trait that outweighs all the other weirdness.

Redditors know this all too well and are eager to share their weird traits.

It all started when Redditor Isitjustmedownhere asked:

"Give an example; how weird are you really?"

Monsters Under My Bed

"My bed doesn't touch any wall."

"Edit: I guess i should clarify im not rich."

– Practical_Eye_3600

"Gosh the monsters can get you from any angle then."

– bikergirlr7

"At first I thought this was a flex on how big your bedroom is, but then I realized you're just a psycho 😁"

– zenOFiniquity8

Can You See Why?

"I bought one of those super-powerful fans to dry a basement carpet. Afterwards, I realized that it can point straight up and that it would be amazing to use on myself post-shower. Now I squeegee my body with my hands, step out of the shower and get blasted by a wide jet of room-temp air. I barely use my towel at all. Wife thinks I'm weird."

– KingBooRadley


"In 1990 when I was 8 years old and bored on a field trip, I saw a black Oldsmobile Cutlass driving down the street on a hot day to where you could see that mirage like distortion from the heat on the road. I took a “snapshot” by blinking my eyes and told myself “I wonder how long I can remember this image” ….well."

– AquamarineCheetah

"Even before smartphones, I always take "snapshots" by blinking my eyes hoping I'll remember every detail so I can draw it when I get home. Unfortunately, I may have taken so much snapshots that I can no longer remember every detail I want to draw."

"Makes me think my "memory is full.""

– Reasonable-Pirate902

Same, Same

"I have eaten the same lunch every day for the past 4 years and I'm not bored yet."

– OhhGoood

"How f**king big was this lunch when you started?"

– notmyrealnam3

Not Sure Who Was Weirder

"Had a line cook that worked for us for 6 months never said much. My sous chef once told him with no context, "Baw wit da baw daw bang daw bang diggy diggy." The guy smiled, left, and never came back."

– Frostygrunt


"I pace around my house for hours listening to music imagining that I have done all the things I simply lack the brain capacity to do, or in some really bizarre scenarios, I can really get immersed in these imaginations sometimes I don't know if this is some form of schizophrenia or what."

– RandomSharinganUser

"I do the same exact thing, sometimes for hours. When I was young it would be a ridiculous amount of time and many years later it’s sort of trickled off into almost nothing (almost). It’s weird but I just thought it’s how my brain processes sh*t."

– Kolkeia

If Only

"Even as an adult I still think that if you are in a car that goes over a cliff; and right as you are about to hit the ground if you jump up you can avoid the damage and will land safely. I know I'm wrong. You shut up. I'm not crying."

– ShotCompetition2593

Pet Food

"As a kid I would snack on my dog's Milkbones."

– drummerskillit

"Haha, I have a clear memory of myself doing this as well. I was around 3 y/o. Needless to say no one was supervising me."

– Isitjustmedownhere

"When I was younger, one of my responsibilities was to feed the pet fish every day. Instead, I would hide under the futon in the spare bedroom and eat the fish food."

– -GateKeep-

My Favorite Subject

"I'm autistic and have always had a thing for insects. My neurotypical best friend and I used to hang out at this local bar to talk to girls, back in the late 90s. One time he claimed that my tendency to circle conversations back to insects was hurting my game. The next time we went to that bar (with a few other friends), he turned and said sternly "No talking about bugs. Or space, or statistics or other bullsh*t but mainly no bugs." I felt like he was losing his mind over nothing."

"It was summer, the bar had its windows open. Our group hit it off with a group of young ladies, We were all chatting and having a good time. I was talking to one of these girls, my buddy was behind her facing away from me talking to a few other people."

"A cloudless sulphur flies in and lands on little thing that holds coasters."

"Cue Jordan Peele sweating gif."

"The girl notices my tension, and asks if I am looking at the leaf. "Actually, that's a lepidoptera called..." I looked at the back of my friend's head, he wasn't looking, "I mean a butterfly..." I poked it and it spread its wings the girl says "oh that's a BUG?!" and I still remember my friend turning around slowly to look at me with chastisement. The ONE thing he told me not to do."

"I was 21, and was completely not aware that I already had a rep for being an oddball. It got worse from there."

– Phormicidae

*Teeth Chatter*

"I bite ice cream sometimes."


"That's how I am with popsicles. My wife shudders every single time."


Never Speak Of This

"I put ice in my milk."


"You should keep that kind of thing to yourself. Even when asked."

– We-R-Doomed

"There's some disturbing sh*t in this thread, but this one takes the cake."

– RatonaMuffin

More Than Super Hearing

"I can hear the television while it's on mute."

– Tira13e

"What does it say to you, child?"

– Mama_Skip


"I put mustard on my omelettes."

– Deleted User


– NotCrustOr-filling

Evened Up

"Whenever I say a word and feel like I used a half of my mouth more than the other half, I have to even it out by saying the word again using the other half of my mouth more. If I don't do it correctly, that can go on forever until I feel it's ok."

"I do it silently so I don't creep people out."

– LesPaltaX

"That sounds like a symptom of OCD (I have it myself). Some people with OCD feel like certain actions have to be balanced (like counting or making sure physical movements are even). You should find a therapist who specializes in OCD, because they can help you."

– MoonlightKayla

I totally have the same need for things to be balanced! Guess I'm weird and a little OCD!

Close up face of a woman in bed, staring into the camera
Photo by Jen Theodore

Experiencing death is a fascinating and frightening idea.

Who doesn't want to know what is waiting for us on the other side?

But so many of us want to know and then come back and live a little longer.

It would be so great to be sure there is something else.

But the whole dying part is not that great, so we'll have to rely on other people's accounts.

Redditor AlaskaStiletto wanted to hear from everyone who has returned to life, so they asked:

"Redditors who have 'died' and come back to life, what did you see?"


Happy Good Vibes GIF by Major League SoccerGiphy

"My dad's heart stopped when he had a heart attack and he had to be brought back to life. He kept the paper copy of the heart monitor which shows he flatlined. He said he felt an overwhelming sensation of peace, like nothing he had felt before."



"I had surgical complications in 2010 that caused a great deal of blood loss. As a result, I had extremely low blood pressure and could barely stay awake. I remember feeling like I was surrounded by loved ones who had passed. They were in a circle around me and I knew they were there to guide me onwards. I told them I was not ready to go because my kids needed me and I came back."

"My nurse later said she was afraid she’d find me dead every time she came into the room."

"It took months, and blood transfusions, but I recovered."


Take Me Back

"Overwhelming peace and happiness. A bright airy and floating feeling. I live a very stressful life. Imagine finding out the person you have had a crush on reveals they have the same feelings for you and then you win the lotto later that day - that was the feeling I had."

"I never feared death afterward and am relieved when I hear of people dying after suffering from an illness."



The Light Minnie GIF by (G)I-DLEGiphy

"I had a heart surgery with near-death experience, for me at least (well the possibility that those effects are caused by morphine is also there) I just saw black and nothing else but it was warm and I had such inner peace, its weird as I sometimes still think about it and wish this feeling of being so light and free again."


This is why I hate surgery.

You just never know.



"More of a near-death experience. I was electrocuted. I felt like I was in a deep hole looking straight up in the sky. My life flashed before me. Felt sad for my family, but I had a deep sense of peace."



"Nursing in the ICU, we’ve had people try to die on us many times during the years, some successfully. One guy stood out to me. His heart stopped. We called a code, are working on him, and suddenly he comes to. We hadn’t vented him yet, so he was able to talk, and he started screaming, 'Don’t let them take me, don’t let them take me, they are coming,' he was scared and yelling."

"Then he yelled a little more, as we tried to calm him down, he screamed, 'No, No,' and gestured towards the end of the bed, and died again. We didn’t get him back. It was seriously creepy. We called his son to tell him the news, and the son said basically, 'Good, he was an SOB.'”



"My sister died and said it was extremely peaceful. She said it was very loud like a train station and lots of talking and she was stuck in this area that was like a curtain with lots of beautiful colors (colors that you don’t see in real life according to her) a man told her 'He was sorry, but she had to go back as it wasn’t her time.'"


"I had a really similar experience except I was in an endless garden with flowers that were colors I had never seen before. It was quiet and peaceful and a woman in a dress looked at me, shook her head, and just said 'Not yet.' As I was coming back, it was extremely loud, like everyone in the world was trying to talk all at once. It was all very disorienting but it changed my perspective on life!"


The Fog

"I was in a gray fog with a girl who looked a lot like a young version of my grandmother (who was still alive) but dressed like a pioneer in the 1800s she didn't say anything but kept pulling me towards an opening in the wall. I kept refusing to go because I was so tired."

"I finally got tired of her nagging and went and that's when I came to. I had bled out during a c-section and my heart could not beat without blood. They had to deliver the baby and sew up the bleeders. refill me with blood before they could restart my heart so, like, at least 12 minutes gone."


Through the Walls

"My spouse was dead for a couple of minutes one miserable night. She maintains that she saw nothing, but only heard people talking about her like through a wall. The only thing she remembers for absolute certain was begging an ER nurse that she didn't want to die."

"She's quite alive and well today."


Well let's all be happy to be alive.

It seems to be all we have.

Man's waist line
Santhosh Vaithiyanathan/Unsplash

Trying to lose weight is a struggle understood by many people regardless of size.

The goal of reaching a healthy weight may seem unattainable, but with diet and exercise, it can pay off through persistence and discipline.

Seeing the pounds gradually drop off can also be a great motivator and incentivize people to stay the course.

Those who've achieved their respective weight goals shared their experiences when Redditor apprenti8455 asked:

"People who lost a lot of weight, what surprises you the most now?"

Redditors didn't see these coming.

Shiver Me Timbers

"I’m always cold now!"

– Telrom_1

"I had a coworker lose over 130 pounds five or six years ago. I’ve never seen him without a jacket on since."

– r7ndom

"140 lbs lost here starting just before COVID, I feel like that little old lady that's always cold, damn this top comment was on point lmao."

– mr_remy

Drawing Concern

"I lost 100 pounds over a year and a half but since I’m old(70’s) it seems few people comment on it because (I think) they think I’m wasting away from some terminal illness."

– dee-fondy

"Congrats on the weight loss! It’s honestly a real accomplishment 🙂"

"Working in oncology, I can never comment on someone’s weight loss unless I specifically know it was on purpose, regardless of their age. I think it kind of ruffles feathers at times, but like I don’t want to congratulate someone for having cancer or something. It’s a weird place to be in."

– LizardofDeath

Unleashing Insults

"I remember when I lost the first big chunk of weight (around 50 lbs) it was like it gave some people license to talk sh*t about the 'old' me. Old coworkers, friends, made a lot of not just negative, but harsh comments about what I used to look like. One person I met after the big loss saw a picture of me prior and said, 'Wow, we wouldn’t even be friends!'”

"It wasn’t extremely common, but I was a little alarmed by some of the attention. My weight has been up and down since then, but every time I gain a little it gets me a little down thinking about those things people said."

– alanamablamaspama

Not Everything Goes After Losing Weight

"The loose skin is a bit unexpected."

– KeltarCentauri

"I haven’t experienced it myself, but surgery to remove skin takes a long time to recover. Longer than bariatric surgery and usually isn’t covered by insurance unless you have both."

– KatMagic1977

"It definitely does take a long time to recover. My Dad dropped a little over 200 pounds a few years back and decided to go through with skin removal surgery to deal with the excess. His procedure was extensive, as in he had skin taken from just about every part of his body excluding his head, and he went through hell for weeks in recovery, and he was bedridden for a lot of it."

– Jaew96

These Redditors shared their pleasantly surprising experiences.


"I can buy clothes in any store I want."

– WaySavvyD

"When I lost weight I was dying to go find cute, smaller clothes and I really struggled. As someone who had always been restricted to one or two stores that catered to plus-sized clothing, a full mall of shops with items in my size was daunting. Too many options and not enough knowledge of brands that were good vs cheap. I usually went home pretty frustrated."

– ganache98012

No More Symptoms

"Lost about 80 pounds in the past year and a half, biggest thing that I’ve noticed that I haven’t seen mentioned on here yet is my acid reflux and heartburn are basically gone. I used to be popping tums every couple hours and now they just sit in the medicine cabinet collecting dust."

– colleennicole93

Expanding Capabilities

"I'm all for not judging people by their appearance and I recognise that there are unhealthy, unachievable beauty standards, but one thing that is undeniable is that I can just do stuff now. Just stamina and flexibility alone are worth it, appearance is tertiary at best."

– Ramblonius

People Change Their Tune

"How much nicer people are to you."

"My feet weren't 'wide' they were 'fat.'"

– LiZZygsu

"Have to agree. Lost 220 lbs, people make eye contact and hold open doors and stuff"

"And on the foot thing, I also lost a full shoe size numerically and also wear regular width now 😅"

– awholedamngarden

It's gonna take some getting used to.

Bones Everywhere

"Having bones. Collarbones, wrist bones, knee bones, hip bones, ribs. I have so many bones sticking out everywhere and it’s weird as hell."

– Princess-Pancake-97

"I noticed the shadow of my ribs the other day and it threw me, there’s a whole skeleton in here."

– bekastrange

Knee Pillow

"Right?! And they’re so … pointy! Now I get why people sleep with pillows between their legs - the knee bones laying on top of each other (side sleeper here) is weird and jarring."

– snic2030

"I lost only 40 pounds within the last year or so. I’m struggling to relate to most of these comments as I feel like I just 'slimmed down' rather than dropped a ton. But wow, the pillow between the knees at night. YES! I can relate to this. I think a lot of my weight was in my thighs. I never needed to do this up until recently."

– Strongbad23

More Mobility

"I’ve lost 100 lbs since 2020. It’s a collection of little things that surprise me. For at least 10 years I couldn’t put on socks, or tie my shoes. I couldn’t bend over and pick something up. I couldn’t climb a ladder to fix something. Simple things like that I can do now that fascinate me."

"Edit: Some additional little things are sitting in a chair with arms, sitting in a booth in a restaurant, being able to shop in a normal store AND not needing to buy the biggest size there, being able to easily wipe my butt, and looking down and being able to see my penis."

– dma1965

People making significant changes, whether for mental or physical health, can surely find a newfound perspective on life.

But they can also discover different issues they never saw coming.

That being said, overcoming any challenge in life is laudable, especially if it leads to gaining confidence and ditching insecurities.