Aussie, but forced to be white

Daniel Earl, Australia. Raised in a diverse suburb and school, as a kid I was just another “Aussie” with no real racial consciousnesses. Sure, my father’s family were free settlers who arrived from Northern Ireland in the mid-1800s and my mother was born in England, but in my mind, I was just another Aussie, no […]

Leave my siblings alone you bigots

Katie Hutchison, Akron, OH My siblings and I are all adopted, but they were adopted from South Korea and I am white. Growing up I often heard people, not realizing I was their sister, calling them derogatory names or even just marveling about them but in a sort of racist way like “Oh, look, a […]

But you’re not Italian… are you?

Leah Sherman, Tallahassee, FL My partner’s father asked me this question the first time he met me after discovering that my doctoral study focuses on Italian studies. I am a brunette with brown eyes and my partner’s family is fair with blue eyes. I should also mention this was not only the first time I […]

Take America, leave Europe for whites.

Bella N, Germany With the unrelenting waves of mass immigration into white countries, I ask for the world to leave Europe alone. Let it be a sanctuary for we Europeans to enjoy our people, traditions, and culture. Take America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, etc. Just please leave our ancestral homelands for us. Its where we […]

“Is there something on my forehead?”

Rosalinda Gutierrez, San Bernardino, CA As a young child and adult, I have always been confronted by people who assume I do not speak English. At many stores that I go to, I am always talked to in Spanish first or I am looked at with wide eyes and confusion. When I respond in English […]

Friends Family and the pursuit of success

Colin James Decker, New Preston, CT I think that these six words mean the most to me and my everyday life. I also believe that my friends and family would also agree that these words not only encapsulate me but for them as well. By breaking down one’s values to the core, you can truly […]

No, I’m not Italian or Spanish

Arturo Mansour-Hull, Anchorage, AK My mom’s biracial Palestinian, Egyptian, Jordanian, Lebanese,Yemeni, English, Turkish, and Kurdish. My dad’s English, Scottish, German, and Irish. White people think That I’m Spanish and Black people think that I’m Italian.

So was she born in Africa?

Anneliese, Mooresville, NC I am a sister to three black siblings that my family adopted a few years ago. One time while walking through the mall with one of my sisters, she was only about 2 years old, we were stopped and asked if she was from Africa? It is so surprising how some people […]

Colorblind bigotry, religion is shunned here

Jo Miller-Frost, Beckley, WV. I have been explicitly informed at work to not discuss my religious background with anyone, but my students, who have never had a cross burned in their yards, can call me racist. Recently, my religious views were labeled. Part of my “eccentricities”

Divide in America demands one listen

When I entered high school, I quickly learned terms like white privilege, white fragility, and microaggressions, which challenged my identity. While I understood I benefited from white privilege, I did not like the label. Still, the racism embedded in our institutions and the frustrated feelings of my friends motivates me to want to be part […]

Let my struggles refine me.

Garrett, Beaverton, OR. Most people label me as a “rich white boy”. That’s the complete opposite. I grew up in poverty. My Mom made less than $10,000 a year when I was a kid. She raised me all by herself. She had zero assistance from the government and now I’m going to be a college […]

I’m caramel, you’re peach, we’re sweet!

Leah Turner Lancaster, PA One time, a little girl ask me what color I was. At the time my snippy come-back was “Choca-mocha-latte!”, but I figured that was a little much for a six year old who was honestly curious. So I looked at my skin and said “Caramel”. She said “Oh,” Looked at her […]

What You See Is Not Complete

Erica Flores, Dallas, TX. I am often mistaken for something I am not. Most times I am unable to offer clarity on my behalf and am left with the, often wrong, label I was given. My ethnicity, race, education and social status are most often incorrectly judged by others; usually not in my favor.

Yes, Brown is beautiful and worthy

Gilberto Tapia Jr, Salinas, CA. I grew up within a mostly Hispanic/Latino community. I remember growing up, others would keep their distance because of my skin color as if it automatically made me some type of criminal. The media portrays beauty as being light skinned with blue eyes, but I would not change my skin […]

When people ask… What are you?

Naomi, Grand Rapids, MI. I am an American, of Mexican decent… No, I don’t speak Spanish, no I don’t know where my family is from in Mexico… My Grandparents and Great-Grandparents were born in Texas… I grew up in Gary, IN around mostly Black people… people don’t know what box to put me in. How […]

Home. The Projects. White and confused.

Dolores Zacconi San Francisco, CA Growing up in the projects as one of the ” 5% white”, had a profound impact on my life; sometimes I was accepted, sometimes I wasn’t. I never felt like I “belonged”; I didn’t play in the playground on the projects’ grounds; I didn’t hang out in the corridors or […]

I’m done with all the fights

Cara, UT. I have been having debates with my husband for a long time. We have spoken about how there is trained racism and acknowledge white privilege to a point. There are still one points that do not make total sense to us but we are tired. We have best friends who are of other […]

Multi-racial man without a country to call home.

Juan Carlos Greater Boston, MA If you look at me… I look Latino. Not tall, dark features – hair, eyes, skin, wide nose, full lips. If you ask me, my ancestry is African, Incan, Iberian, and Jewish. Those are the ones I know of. I grew up in New England, attending a catholic school in […]

Sorry, you said you’re what? Lao?

Ponmani Vongsay, Durham, NH Every-time I tell someone I’m Lao they have no idea what I mean by that. I always have to explain that it’s a small country next to Thailand and Vietnam but that doesn’t mean I am either of those. Yes, Thailand is very similar to Laos but they aren’t the same.

Places where race does not exist

Cam Carbone, Durham, NH Here, I was lucky enough to be apart of a Polar Research Project aboard the USCGC Healy Icebreaker. This trip took personnel from all over the world to one of the most remote and uninhabitable places on earth to learn more about it. At 81 Deg North, we were nothing but […]

Not Blind, Just Free of Hate.

Sarah M. Rebillard, Wilmington, NC I will never say that I am blind to the skin color of others, nor that I don’t see them as different from myself. A person’s perceived race is a fact of their existence and their reality and is a trait to be loved not ignored. People of color deserve […]

LAND OF OPPORTUNITY AND FREEDOM

Abbi Bocanegra, Big Bear Lake, CA The number of people coming to the US has changed significantly over time. Many families migrate to the United States to provide a better future for their children and in search of the American Dream. No, we do not come here to steal your “jobs”. Work is work, and […]

“You’re like… WHITE white”

McKenna Chitwood, Riverside, CA The lack of color in my skin does not define me, and the inability to get a nice tan does not give anyone the right to make fun of me. For years and years people have made me feel uncomfortable in my skin, they’ve made fun of how pale I am. […]

Two countries, not part of either.

Luke Cava, Londonderry, NH My dad is 100% Italian, but has never been to Italy. My mom is 50% Italian and 50% Irish, but has never visited either country. This makes me a mix of 75% Italian and 25% Irish. While these are the statistics, I am Italian in the sense that I enjoy eating […]

I can fluently understand, not speak.

Katrina Dorado, Riverside, CA I grew up in a Filipino household, and I was spoken to in tagalog, but my parents never taught me to speak back fluently in tagalog to them. The first language they had taught me was English, but the majority of my relatives would speak to me in tagalog and my […]

I’m not allowed to be country.

Rhonda Gilbert, Crowley, TX. I’m black and grew up in the rural south. My experience was very much small town, and I interacted primarily with other blacks until college. Although a large part of my perspective is influenced by my country upbringing, I don’t feel welcome in that “country” space.

Not Enough to be Either One

Dellyna Ochoa, San Bernardino, CA. Its hard to try and be apart of both worlds when everyone says you’re not enough to be apart of either one. I have to learn how to find my own rhythm in the madness. I give a shout out to CBU HIS311 for an opportunity to.

Of both worlds belong to neither

Tiffany M. Lyons, Rockaway Beach, NY. Syracuse University ’16 I am biracial and my experiences with race are constantly informed by internal tug of war about what side I belong to. I’ve finally accepted my place in the grey and the view is sometimes trying but I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

I am American no qustions needed

Demetrios Pathammavong, Sanger, CA. I am an American, although my grandparents are from Laos. It is often a repeated questions of where I am from. When I answer that I am from America, people then ask the same question. Sometimes I say ”Oh, I am from Laos.” in reality I was born in California. This […]

My heart will forever be grateful

Randy-Michael, Long Island, NY. No matter the struggles I go through as a Puerto Rican adult in this world, I will forever be grateful of what I have been granted in this life. My family, my friends, all the positives and the negatives I cherish and when I get knocked down, I learn to get […]

Struggle is an equal-opportunity ass-kicker, sorry.

Jill Orange County, CA Assuming “equal-opportunity” and “ass-kicker” are each one word. Listen, we can all cry victim for one reason or another. If you want to be happy, you have to take ownership of your experience. If you need some perspective, go to a children’s cancer ward or go to a repressed and/or poverty-stricken […]

A World With Out A Mirror!

Sherry Chaudhry, San Antonio, TX. Imagine a World without a Mirror Without a reflection to see ourself. There would be no glassy reflection sitting upon the shelf. Without knowing our own image it would be difficult to judge another. For the image we have of ourselves, determines how we see our brothers by Sherry Chaudhry

Singapore is a country? “Definitely America…”

Xanh Quang, Chicago, IL. The fact that this isn’t knowledge as basic and as practiced as a fact like the sky is blue or there are five great lakes is a tell-tale sign that you are American: western-centric, America (even though there are two, we always know they mean the one third of North-centric, and […]

Entire countries meld in this body.

Isabella Thomas, Philadelphia, PA. My name is Isabella Thomas, and I’m a student currently attending Central High School in Philadelphia. The concept of ‘race’, to me has always correlated with ‘color’. Or perhaps an erasure of identity. I am not simply white, just as my peers- my friends- are not simply black, or Asian. I […]

What if this climber were Trayvon

James Edward Mills, Madison, MI. At the young age of 14 Kai Lightner is doing amazing things in the world of sport climbing. In the spring 2013 he ascended exceedingly difficult routes that included Southern Smoke (5.14c) and Transworld Depravity (5.14a) in the Red River Gorge of Kentucky. On the same two-week road trip he […]

My voice is always hidden away.

Brandy Roberts, Cottonport, LA. I am a loving mom of 2 beautiful kids. I am proud to be white, and I can not voice that to a single person, lest I be judged a racist. I have love pure and strong in my heart. I can not for the life of me understand why all […]

My children jumpstarted my racial identity.

Johnny, Concord, MA. As a gay Asian man married to a white man with two adopted children of color (one black, one Latino), I came to understand my own racial identity trough the experience of welcoming our two children into our family. It’s taught me that to really provide a strong racial identity for my […]

Race is a weaponized social construct

Loretta McGregor, Jonesboro, AR I’m a psychology professor. I teach students that race is a social construct created by men. This social construct is often used to sort, oppress and control others who are seen as less (e.g., intelligent, human, desirable, etc.) or those who threaten the status quo. Side note: I routinely listened to […]

Equity is nice. Justice is better!

EduTechDiva, Wayne State, Detroit, MI Equality is not good enough. Equity is what most are striving for now, but justice is what’s necessary and way too many folks are afraid of what this actually means. It might mean that those who’ve had the institutionally established ‘upper hand’ for a while now, experience the injustices that […]

Never judge a book by cover…

Robert Whitsell, Coos Bay, OR I am very white with a little Native, but I have never allowed that to define me. I ask before I assume. In my experience, it is cultures that create conflict, not race. People fear what they do not understand. I have dear friends in every race and most cultures […]

Bad Mexican

Bernie Guzman, Poway, CA My father came to the US from Mexico, legally, using the “Bracero” program. My grandmother was smuggled into the US as an infant at Columbus, NM. My mom was Native American/Hispanic. I’ve not preserved my cultural roots & thus my gringo wife says that I’m a bad Mexican, meaning that I’ve […]

No, I’m not racist for existing

Anonymous, USA I’ve heard so many arguments now saying that all white people are racist for existing in a world that favors white people. Let’s get this straightened out. There are two types of racism. Institutional, and individual. No this is not “whitesplaining” it is just the terms from my sociology class. Institutional racism refers […]

Australian born Chinese, belongs to neither

JYJL, Australia I have been thinking about my identity. I have spent my life in Australia, my parents are ethnic Chinese and speak little English. While I pretty much feel no connection to my Chinese heritage, I also do not feel connected to Australian culture. Going through primary and secondary school, I was always surrounded […]

I talk the walk too much!

Eric Wall, Kent, WA. I was fortunate to be part of an integrated busing program all through elementary school. I went to college and got a master’s degree in Multicultural Education. I still spend too much time talking the talk and not walking the walk. Fully understanding the impact of Race is truly a life […]

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 […]

Stanford’s not for people like you.

Jacquie Arnold, Hopkinton, MA. I was an A student at Key West High School when I graduated from Key West High School in 1981. While applying to top ranked colleges, my guidance counselor, Mrs. Adair, told me that Stanford University was not for students like me. I’m African American. I knew what she meant. I […]

I am brown and I am Beautiful!

Jyotika Jaggi, Canada I would like to share my views on the stereotype that is still stuck to the people living in Asian countries: If a girl is fair then only she is beautiful if she is brown/dark skin – she is not considered as beautiful. I am a 22 year old girl, born in […]

You’re Pakistani- so you’re basically Indian right?

Nayaab, Cupertino, CA Growing up in a fairly diverse area like the bay area, I was lucky to be raised around so many different cultures. That being said I still face stereotypical comments and racists statements by my peers. Being Pakistani, and knowing the history of how India and Pakistan split, for someone to dismiss […]

I didn’t ask to be white

Aubrey Stevenson, Morgan Hill, CA Race is too often used as an excuse to blame people for their shortcomings. We make these generalized statements about people to help us understand certain differences. We attribute differences between people to their race when in reality it has a lot more to do with the way the grew […]

Why must we have a label

Anthony Cappellett, Collegeville, PA Why do we identify our race at the beginning of every form we fill out? To me, it seems unimportant what box you check because whatever it is that you are there should not be any special treatment for. There is only one race and it is the human race, the […]

You’re Invited! You’re not a minority?

Rafael Rosato, Berwyn, PA. This is my college graduation picture from 1988. I received a bachelor of arts degree from an Ivy League University and a short while later was traveling to New York to join a management training program at a prestigious Wall Street Bank. There were 34 of us in that class and […]

What is, uhmm, race is uhmm…

Mahlon Gumbs, Atlanta, GA. What is uhmm… Race is uhmm… The thin line that Blinds us, Confines us, Keeps us at home base. If we cross that line It’s a crime, No matter the time; Society will put us back in our place. But what is uhmm… Race is uhmm… The thing about which we […]

My dear friend’s current life below

Susan Nickason, Penfield, NY. Listening to the news this evening about the Charleston shooting, I hear “what harms our neighbor, harms us” This speaks to me as it wasn’t even 2 months ago that I left Kemmerer, WY, under the cover of darkness because of the harassment and inexcusable behavior that seemed, well, normal. To […]

Our silence will not protect us.

Allison G. Hawthorne, York, PA. We all have to get up walk out our front doors and stand up and speak out, so our voices are heard. We have to vote. We have to stop being complacent. Sometimes I feel weary of struggling, when are we all going to be just human?

Don’t waste your time on college

Patricia L. Gadsden, Central, PA. As an African American female in the 1960’s, I was discouraged from attending college. It was explained to me that I wasn’t college material. I’m not sure what they really meant since I graduated with straight A’s from high school.

Since when is female a different race?

Andi Ray Bartnek, Canada. I grew up in a household with 4 generations of females and have spent my whole life having to justify my name and my sex. Part of me liked being different, the rest of me hated having to argue over who and what I was. That hasn’t changed after 67 years.

At least I’m not a whiteboy

Julia Rivers, Milwaukie, OR. As a high school student dependent on scholarships in order to attend college and reach my goals of a much higher level of education, every day I am consumed by the thought of how I can make myself stand out. What will make the people in charge want to give me […]

He Called Her: Saddle Tan Female

Lenore J. Domers Appleton, WI I read this “name” in a book entitled Colonel Carter’s Christmas, by F. Hopkinson Smith, published in 1903. It is disturbing to me for the lack of respect for the dignity of a human person.

Three Strikes- Black, Deaf, and Female

La Toya Plummer, Greenbelt, MD. Although I have lived with three strikes for more than twenty years, the color of my skin always has been and always will be fundamental to who I am. When you are colorblind, you do not see me. Overlooking a portion of me that is susceptible to the brutal ignorance […]

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 […]

Female Chicana, not from Mexico/Philippenes

Mariela Uscanga, La Mirada, CA. When people see me, I am often confused as Filipino or from Mexico. People will speak to me in Spanish or Tagalog. It’s a bit frustrating only because when I tell people that I don’t speak Tagalog people question my honesty with them. Or, when I tell people that my […]

Diversity is enriching but also frightening.

Elizabeth A. Leeper, Dubuque, IA. I am a 62 year old, single, white female. I was born in Pennsylvania, grew up in Asia, and now live in Iowa. Education level: Ph.D. I appreciate racial and ethnic diversity and experiencing different cultures, but I also understand the fear of the “other.”