I want to be like Mom

Susan, Boulder, CO. I’ve been going through something of an identity crisis recently. I’m 31, of mixed race (1/2 Mexican and 1/2 a mix of European). Although my mom was born in Mexico and is fluent in Spanish, I wasn’t raised much in the culture because I grew up on an Air Force Base in […]

HammersteinII: You’ve Got to be Taught.

Luc Charwin Salem, OR It may be trite and unoriginal to use someone else’s words. However, the lyrics of that song brought this topic into focus for me. In grade school a friend’s father did not allow David and I to share the experience of a week-long school camping trip. David was one of several […]

I will not yield to you.

James Michael Rogers Houston, TX I was at my neighborhood park one morning jogging, and I saw three white women walking abreast in one direction, and a black woman coming towards them in the opposite direction. The white women ignored the black woman and no one stepped back to let the black lady pass, and […]

Pale faced; I must be guilty

Katherine Atlanta, GA I am not responsible for the actions of people one hundred and fifty years ago who enslaved an entire race. The institution of slavery is a horrific part of American History, and it was a heinous crime against African Americans. Because of that institution, there is racism alive and around still and […]

I am a not an object

Megan Hoban, Ridgefield, CT. Being a caucasian woman in the US I see sexual assault every day. I am proud to be who I am and I am proud of my body. With that being said I refuse to be looked at as an object or treated with any less respect because I am a […]

This country belongs to Native Americans.

Lewis Hernandez, Milwaukee, WI. White people, raped, murdered and stole this country from the American Indian. Now it’s one America. One white. One Black. One rich. One poor. Separate and unequal. Separate and unjust. The American Indian has been fighting terrorism since 1491 when Caucasians first came to their country.

Deny reality; keep faith in humanity

Mekdelawit, San Francsico, CA. I have faith that people mean well; no one wants to hurt another human being for no reason. That’s a liberal belief. However, reality fails me at times and I lose hope. The reality is, many are willing to step on others to get to the top, but I believe it’s […]

Divisiveness planted to keep us distracted

Kelly O’Brien Pruitt, Houston, TX. I love living in a multicultural City. I love seeing different sizes and shapes and colors, different combinations of ethnic groups. To me this is what America looks like. I want to tell every white person who thinks that America belongs to them is that we came from Europe and […]

Whites are scared to be minority

Luis E. Pacheco, Ceiba, Puerto Rico. As a Puerto Rican in my mid-60s, who has lived two-thirds of his life in the Continental USA, it’s become more and more evident to me that many white folk are really scared of becoming members of a ‘minority’ group (a notion we have to change; it really is […]

Latin America has light-skinned racists too.

Patricia Linderman, Mexico. I’m the spouse of a US diplomat, and we have lived in four Latin American countries for a total of 11 years. We have sometimes seen strong discrimination and heard ugly remarks against people in these societies with darker skin color. It is definitely not just a U.S. and European problem. Besides […]

We’re ALL racist in some form!

Dana Lee Sterbens, Chicago, IL. Discrimination in not only for people of color. We all discriminate against “other” or “the unknown”. I have experienced racism as a white female, in my lifetime. We need to accept that we all have bias and everyone needs to pay attention to it.

My skin is not my culture.

Rachel Brinson, Centennial, CO. People always want to put me in a box and assume what I find offensive, what I find familiar, and how I choose to see myself and others. No one chooses to see human first, identity second. I will forever be explaining that the body given to me is arbitrary, and […]

Glad my daughter is not white.

Nice White Lady, San Francisco, CA. I’m a white mom to a brown daughter who can’t shake the shame and embarrassment that stems from a long history of white women instigating and being complicit in violence against Black people. When people see me, they see someone who is too fragile, too protected, too privileged, too […]

Breaking the stereotype black male nurse

Chris Porter Seattle, WA History and TV have provided many roles, mostly negative, for black males. Our society rarely sees black men in the role of care taker or nurse, providing nursing care and in the role of leader particularly in a female dominated profession. It has been my life’s mission to tear down that […]

I’m Appalachian–it’s an invisible ethnicity

Catherine Vance Agrella, Asheville, NC. I’m white, and by definition am associated with some of the worst perpetrators of racism. But I also come from deep Appalachian Scots-Irish roots and have a clear ethnic identity. I do know what it feels like to be mocked for my speech, or thought of as a dumb hillbilly, […]

Your accent… Are you from here?

Ivan Vazquez, Sacramento, CA. Although I was born and raised in San Diego, CA ; I grew up in a household that comprised of both the English and Spanish language, about 60% English and 40% Spanish. I am a child of second-generation immigrants and even though I received my entire education in English, I came […]

I am proud to be white!

Aaron Fitzgerald, Australia. It is OK to be white, we are NOT responsible for all the problems that the POC world faces; that the Jewish-run, liberal, left wing, Marxist media would have you believe. All races have been responsible for genocide, likewise all races have been victims of genocide, even white people, as seen in […]

Stop talking like a white girl

Jasmine Baker East Lansing, MI Growing up I was placed in the gifted and talented program in my elementary school. I learned to speak what this society refers to as “proper English.” Because of that, many Black students would tease me and tell me that I’m black, stop talking like a white girl. What does […]

One white, one brown, same parents.

Adana, Seattle, WA. I have 2 children. My son looks just like his papa: dark, wavy hair and alabaster skin. My daughter looks like me: golden skin and curly brown hair. When I’m out with my son, I’m asked if I’m his nanny. When I’m out with both kids, I’m asked if they have the […]

White privleged woman, giving back occasionally

Andrea Sigetich, Bend, OR. I know much about privilege, having done diversity work in major high technology corporations. The important word in my essay is “occasionally.” I give back, I do my share, I work for the betterment of life’s circumstances for those less privileged than me. However, I can go home to my nice […]

I hate whites for their hatred

Elle, France. I cannot see them as good people. They have oppressed so many minority groups – historically and to the present day – then they deny that they have ever done anything wrong. Their police kill us and we are always blamed. They are always 100% innocent in their own eyes. I have grown […]

All races should be treated equally.

Marci Russell, Durham, NC. I don’t think people understand how serious the racist comments they say are. Even if they’re just joking, It’s hurtful. I wish people would just think before they act. If people just thought about what they are going to say before they say it, I believe the world would change one […]

Can We All Just Get Along!?

Bryan Quevedo Moreno Valley, CA California Baptist University It was not until taking CBU HIS311 class that I have learned a lot about race and how some people are completely ignorant to what has happened in American history. The other day I walked into a grocery store to hear a cashier argue with a black […]

They only see the Asian half.

Katelyn Tsukada Northampton, MA My mother is of Irish and Italian heritage; my father of Japanese descent. Both of my parents were born in the United States as were their parents before them. Both consider themselves to be American as documented by their passports, drivers licenses and birth certificates. My mother and father speak English […]

Eeny. Meeny. Miney. Moe. Catch a…

Auguste Budhram, USA. Anyone who has ever been in the minority remembers the first time a word knocked the wind out of them. As a child, my first time came packaged in a rhyme known by everyone– making the blow feel conspiratorial and that much worse. The rhyme is part of every 10 year- old’s […]

Rooted in Hatred, Risen in Audacity

Ellis Clark, Spain. As a seventeen-year-old black male, my view to race has been cushioned by growing up in a comfortable, yet politically aware household. While I knew racism existed, it rarely touched me growing up, and when it did, it was the microagressive type. Real issues with race didn’t begin to pop up for […]

“You can pass.” Lifetime identity struggle.

Erica Jameson, Ashland, OR. My parents adopted five muti-racial children, something unheard of in the rural mountain town we lived in. Between being confused about being different, to occasional thoughtless racism, the line “You can pass [for white]” still makes me uneasy. Does this mean that I should want to? I still don’t know.

We identify as “Red Sox fans.”

Rachel Gonzales Pottstown, PA I’m the whitest woman who ever lived (except in the summer, when I’m the sunburniest woman who ever lived). He’s half-Mexican by way of California and half-German by way of WWII. Our adopted daughter is part African American, part Italian, part “Caucasian mix” (that’s what it ACTUALLY SAYS in her medical […]

Identity is the root of suffering

Scotty, Detroit, MI. Race is real. Sometimes, it is also necessary to play the role we are born into. Most of the time, however, we don’t need to look at the world through a racial lens. This causes judgement and suffering because of who we take ourselves to be. What you see, you cannot be. […]

Black and white offspring aren’t ‘black’

Peter Michael, Zimbabwe. It is annoying and incorrect that when a black person and a white person have a child the child is referred to as black, thereby totally negating and erasing the fact that the child has 50% white genes. Is that not racism in itself? The National Geographic issue on race of April […]

A group bound by cultural similarities.

Georgianna Wong, Topeka, KS. When my son, George Wong was playing baseball, I had a woman tell me how handsome my son was and then asked, “How long have you had him?” It always hurt me when people would think I adopted him even though my last name was Wong. Then I had a good […]

My son can wear a hood.

Kristin Christy, Frederick, MD. When my son began high school in the fall of 2011, he chose not to request a locker; preferring instead to wait until he was assigned one as a baseball player in the spring. I admired Chaz’ confidence to be selected to the team, but wondered where he would keep things […]

Latino and Gay U.S.A.

Louis E. Perego Moreno, New York, NY. All my life, I have been out of more than one box. However, after wrestling with the subject for over 20 years, I have arrived at a point in my journey where my identity is defined by belonging to three worlds: Latino, Gay and USA. Many Hispanics in […]

I’m not a person of color

Gabriella Grange, Plano, TX. Before coming to college, I always thought of myself as a black person. But when I got to college a few years ago, I heard people use the term “people of color” and it boggled me. Even though the term is used to foster solidarity, the term can be used to […]

Y’all had me scared of US

Dr. Jacqueline Lawrence, Windsor, CA. As a young child, my first memories of blacks in San Francisco were scary, and they weren’t from television. I remember smelling the strong scent of urine in the elevators, hearing moms tell their children to “Get cho ass out of my face” and “Go sit cho ass down” and […]

Black grandma, White grandpa. That’s weird!

Val’Dionna P., San Francisco, CA. Throughout the years it has been a bit difficult to understand the many emotions and stereotypes being of color and mixed. It is important to understand that how one is raised growing up in a complex world that continues to critique someone on the features or melancholy of their skin […]

Am I too White to Help?

Olivia Loesch, SHAKOPEE, MN. I always feel bad when I am trying to work at Target and go through my day when I see someone being racial to a guest. I try to step in but typically the white person makes me help them instead. I want to help all of those around me in […]

Invisible to the census but here

Grsteena Khoshaba, Warren, MI. I am a Middle Eastern girl and I just have one question. Where am I? Why is it whenever I have to fill out an official document that asks for my race, Middle Eastern is not an option? We are forced to bubble “White” when we’re not really white.

You do not look Puerto Rican.

Beatriz McConnie Zapater, Jamaica Plain, MA. I am Puerto Rican with white, indigenous, Spanish, and African ancestry. When I hear that I do not look Puerto Rican, I ask the person, “How many Puerto Ricans do you know?”.

You sound white on the radio.

Emery Nicoletti, Tucson, AZ. As a business owner, I voiced hundred of my own commercials and also had a weekend radio show. When I would meet listeners in person, I often heard either, “I pictured you so different,” or, ‘You sound so white on the radio.” I imagine they probably had no idea that some […]

Alert! Very Dark woman travelling alone.

Tess, Melbourne, FL. Recently I have had to face the fact that my very dark skin is indeed the first thing most people notice about me. The fact that I’m short/tall, healthy/not healthy, sad/happy, age and what not seem to follow way after my dark skin has introduced me to the world. I love to […]

Hatred hurts the hated and hater

Dan Creamer, Sandpoint, ID. I grew up in the Jim Crow South. Being white I always felt both guilty and angry about the way black people were treated. In the Marine Corps, I accepted a bottle of wine from a black Marine and drank from it without wiping off the bottle or my mouth and […]

Am I Mexican enough?

Brisa Gardiner, Canada I am very confused about my identity and what parts of my background are “mine to use”. I was born in Mexico and lived there for my toddler years but I am only 25% Latin, with the rest being Scottish and Swiss. My mother, who is half Guatemalan, grew up in Guatemala, […]

“You’re pretty for a black girl”

Autumn Rainey, Indianapolis, IN. I remember growing up in a mostly Caucasian area, and I was told this often. What was likely meant as a compliment to me, became quite an insult as I got older. I wish more people could give a compliment, without qualifying it.

“White privilege” is not about blame.

Nkrumah, Hattiesburg, MS. The term “White privilege” is not about blame. It is about getting people to recognize that there are some advantages to not being a person of color. For example a White man doesn’t have to worry about being labeled the “angry black man” if he gets upset in a public setting.

Ashamed and embarrassed to be black.

Nobody, Durham, NC. I would change my race to anything non-black if I could. I don’t think white people understand how limiting it is to only be seen as a color and not as a person. When you’re black you can be the Scary Black Person, the Angry Black Man/Woman, the Thug, the Smart/Articulate Black […]

I am white. No, brownish pink.

Har Simran Kaur Khalsa, Los Angeles, CA. Since I started wearing mostly white clothes along with my practice of Sikhism, it has become glaringly clear that I am not white — or rather, that my skin is far from white. I am aware that I still experience much white privilege.

Brown eggs. White eggs. Same omlet.

Peter Denzin, Greeley, CO. Since retirement, I’ve taught English as a Second Language classes for 11 years. My classes are made up of immigrants and refugees of all colors and faiths from all parts of the globe speaking a variety of native languages. In my classroom, we are a learning community of love and mutual […]