I don’t… but I really do.

Brittany Price, USA. Being raised in such a racist environment makes it hard to be an adult in a totally different mind set. As far as I have come, I still judge people based on their race, including white people such as myself. It’s pathetic that still, in 2015, individuals are treated a certain way […]

Black and part of the solution.

Maurice Kemp, San Antonio, TX. I did not choose my race. No one did. I was born into a world with preconceived notions about my race and others. We all were. I entered a world with plenty of recorded and unrecorded history. We all did. I cannot account for any of the history that predates […]

White-skinned negro: community of one.

Jada Golden Sherman, Boston, MA. I’m so frustrated with people’s limited understanding and acceptance of genetics, and upbringing. The labels ‘white’ and ‘black’ are over-generalized. Especially when now that we have dark parents having white-looking babies, and white-looking parents having brown babies. Not all white people are…white, nor “white-minded”.My mother’s family is African-American, and many […]

Ignorance of history, convenient or willful?

Emily Green-Cain, Nashville, TN. I grew up in the city where James Lawson led teach-ins for non-violence that led to sit-ins throughout the Southeast. No one in my schooling, neither my parents, my church or the local education system taught me anything about these events. I did not know the specifics of what happened here […]

Busing: white girl, black schools, lonely

Clara Silverstein, Boston, MA. As one of the white children in Richmond, Virginia in the 1970s whose family willingly participated in busing, I had few friends of any race. What we could have used at the time was leadership instead of racist rhetoric, white flight, and school administrators who cancelled all after-school activities. The possibility […]

Adoptive parents see teachers judge brown

Lynn Schilaty, Snohomish, WA. when attending a teacher parent conference my husband and I didn’t expect what we saw on the faces of teachers when they realized WE were the (white) parents of our adopted daughter. We could see in their split second recalculation on their face as that they struggled to take our daughter […]

Norwegian with nappy hair doesn’t fit.

WilmaS, Seattle, WA. If I had a dollar for every time I was asked if my sons were adopted…It’s happened a lot. A complete stranger approaches my family, usually in a grocery store or some other public location, and compliments me on my family. “Your sons are so handsome,” the person will say, and by […]

I’m not that A+ Aisan student.

Yia Yang, Saint Paul, MN. I’m a student, just any regular student who listen and do their work. I don’t always get good grade or the grade everyone expect me to have. I’m Asian but it doesn’t mean I’ll be a A+ student because of all these rumors or post on social media saying “Asian […]

Racial stereotypes…killing mankind…hearts blind?

Amber Jackson Baswell, Columbus, MS. As a military brat I was naïve, sheltered. It was only when my father was stationed in the deep South that “RACE” entered my vocabulary. I was shocked as a 15 year old (back in ’95) to see that churches, schools, hangouts, even the local beauty pageants were segregated! Blew […]

Speak Spanish? You don’t look “Mexican.”

Kristiane Valenza, Vicksburg, MS. After moving to rural Mississippi from New York to teach Spanish at the high school level, I’m frequently met with confusion as to how I have an “ethnic” name and can teach Spanish, but I have fair skin and European features. When people ask me, “Are you from Vicksburg?” they really […]

People of Quality Respect Race Equality

Saheba Cuccia, New Orleans, LA. Aspen X Adopted and raised in the South, I have seen and heard of the racial barriers that some people use to divide us. The color of your skin should not determine anything such as relationships, jobs, and social standing in society.

“Russia? Never been,” mom said, perplexed.

Eileen Spiegler, Fort Lauderdale, FL My parents were both first-generation American Jews — their parents moved to New York from Romania and Russia. Before I was born, they moved to South Florida, another “promised land” of sorts, in the hope of giving their children a better life. They were the first to move into a […]

Boy From America’s Heartland, Indian American

Rahul Iyer, Mesa , AZ. I graduated high school from Dixon IL, a small town halfway between Rockford and Moline, in the Northwestern part of Illinois. Dixon IL is a small town, and boyhood home of former President Ronald “Dutch” Reagan. Cornfields surrounded the town. I am the son of two medical doctors who practiced […]

I hate being called a “white boy”

Anonymous, USA. “White boy”, , , . What I don’t understand is why there has always had to be a race at the bottom. No one seems to be able to get the freaking idea of racial equality through the six inches between their ears. First it was Africans. Then Jews, Asians, Latinos, Middle Eastern […]

You’re you. I’m me. We’re beautiful!

Leah Wright, Cartersville, GA. My mom is my hero because she stood tall against her racist family and refused to pass on the fear and hatred my ancestors clung so tightly to. She raised me with the understanding that we are ALL God’s children. That is why I don’t understand so-called Christianity today. So much […]

I am more than a face

Benjamin T. USA. I’m Asian, but I guess I’m pale or something because people sometimes find that hard to recognize, and when they do, they aren’t always respectful. Being Chinese and Japanese and also liking rice and anime pretty much makes me a stereotype, but that doesn’t give people the right to treat me differently.

Biracial by birth, Black by choice

Kimberly, Detroit, MI. I was just listening to Talk of the Nation with Celeste Headlee discussing Navigating The Lines Between Ethnicity And Identity and I could relate to notion of being biracial and adopted into a white family and having to explore my identity through education and exposure to other black people. I’ve learned that […]

My grandson is not an other!

Henry Lonnemann, San Mateo, CA. The census called in 2010 and asked: “What race is your son?” I said he is not, but if you are curious about his ancestors he is a mix of Korean, Irish, German, Japanese, and probably some french. They then said they would have to mark him as “other”. My […]

“I suppose they’ll all want dignity.”

Anonymous, St. Paul, MN. “O’Hare had a little notebook with him, and printed in the back of it were postal rates and airline distances and the altitudes of famous mountains and other key facts about the world. He was looking up the population of Dresden, which wasn’t in the notebook, when he came across this […]

Child of deaf mother, hearing world.

Heather, Fishers, IN If you have never heard about deaf culture, please go and read about it. Growing up the oldest child of a deaf mom, I never remembered learning sign. I didn’t know we were different. I didn’t know I was loud! I still don’t know when I am being loud. I love my […]

“Who’s that white boy talking to Ning?”

Antonio “Tono” Cruz Sablan, Tacoma, WA. Immediately when I was born in 1996, I was adopted by two very loving individuals. My parents, Antonio “Tony” and Brenda Sablan, have provided me with years of unconditional love; the Chamorro community, however, was not always the same. My father is a Chamorro, native to the island of […]

Natives Can Have Curls Without Admixture

An Indigenous Native American’s with Curly Hair, USA Western Hemisphere Indigenous Natives The “straight hair myth” started by The English Settlers in North American, and spread like a nasty virus throughout our entire hemisphere. Anyone else tired of this lie. THE PENCIL TEST: In the past Whites had a test which was used to define […]

I’ve freed myself from being “N*****”

Lamar Johnson, Knoxville, TN. I used to get so upset when someone used N***** to describe me. I then realized that I got upset because I thought of myself as a N*****. When I chose not to believe I was a nigger, I became free of the word and it no longer has an impact […]

Hesci, hello, I am Poarch Creek.

Elizabeth McGhee, Tuscaloosa, AL. A couple years ago I got to be a part of one of the best experiences of my life. I was part of the 2013 Tribal Princess Competition. Every Thanksgiving in Poarch, AL three girls are chosen to represent their tribe throughout the next year at different events. When I made […]

Hispanic and I only speak English

Marlo Torres, Riverside, CA. I am Puerto Rican and I have always grown up with the question of; You’re Hispanic, why don’t you speak Spanish? At first it was always something that I just laughed off and my usual response was I don’t know or my parents never taught me. As I grew older and […]

I didn’t know you are black

Gianni Johnson, Moreno Valley, CA. A lot of times when the topic of race or ethnicity comes up people are not sure where exactly to place me. People who I’ve just meet, and even people whom I have known for a while will say, “I didn’t know you are black” or they might say “I […]

Are you my mother? Sí, mija.

Daniela, Oklahoma City, OK. Are You My Mother by P.D Eastman was one of my favorite books growing up because I loved how graciously and lovingly the mama bird at the end confirmed her son’s pleading for a sense of belonging. I am aware that I am not the only multi-ethnic person out there who […]

With kids, people don’t separate us.

Steve Cox, Jackson, OH. Prior to having kids, people usually thought my wife (Chinese ethnic, Thai national) and I (white) were separate. If we went through a line at the store and we were both caring something, they would assume we were separate. Same thing would happen at airports and people would send us to […]

Teacher this is my home flag

Randi Sin, Eureka, CA When my dad was in the 3rd grade he was tasked to draw his home flag. He proceeded to draw the American flag, in which the teacher told him this was incorrect, his was the Mexican Flag. This was met with very offending words from my grandmother, who just like my […]

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 […]

Sick of being “The White Girl”

Ellie Warring, New York, NY. I am a 14 year old white female and every single day I am judged for my skin color. Everyone assumes that because I am white I am a Trump supporter, rich, happy all the time, racist, and snobby. They tell me that I have no culture. And I’m tired […]

Mzungu: Kenyans say, white skin human heart

Crystal Gregory, Kenya. An American by birth, I live in East Africa. Here my neighbors assume because of my skin I am rich, beautiful, or have extra love to share. I offend neighbors when I refuse to have a househelper or a driver or even, really, detest having a security guard or the other ‘helpers’ […]

I thought your house would be big

Michelle Robillard, Lake Forest, CA. I’ve never lived in a “house.” It’s always been an apartment or condo, never had my own room except when I was young and my sister wasn’t born yet. I am white and used to be blonde and people assumed I lived well. Quite the opposite. My parents try their […]

The only white person here? (How does it feel)

Rebecca Zavala, Los Angeles, CA. Well, to start I’m not even white… I get this ALL THE TIME. People assume I’m white or Asian, or a mix of the both. It is not insulting to me now, but growing up it was a little irritating having to continually explain that I am Mexican American. At […]

“Generic Brown” is my passport everywhere.

Gil L. Pettigrew, MS, The Federated States of Micronesia. I have a very strong, very proud cultural heritage; I’m a North American Mestizo, 50% Native American (Creek and Cherokee; my tribal enrollment/citizenship is with the Echota Band of the Eastern Cherokee Nation) & 50% a mashup of Scots-Latin-AfricanAmerican-Welsh-french. I self ID as Native American, because […]

By protecting her, I’m oppressing her.

Adrienne Kern, Keller, TX. My daughter was two weeks from turning one on September 11, 2001. She is one of them. An Arab (pronounced with a Texas drawl: A-Rab). A camel jockey. A rag head. She is Turkish and Saudi and Egyptian. She is not white like me, her mother, who is also mixed race. […]

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 […]

Privileged White Girl, Am I Really?

Tina Myrum, Alexandria, MN. Growing up in a small town, there was not a lot of racially diversity. However, I listened to the news, read papers, and learned as much as I could about other races. I learned that we were not that different. Most people looking at me would assume that I have had […]

My fear exceeds yours, white people.

Kokujin Cameron Salt Lake City, UT When I was in kindergarten and in class, I had to use the restroom. The teacher had forgotten and I was unaware but there was a girl using the restroom already. The bathroom is part of the classroom and has it’s own corridor which leads down a hallway to […]

“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 […]

Being Hispanic is a good experience

Joshua Ruiz, DENVER, CO. No, I am not a gangster or some stereotypical Chicano, Mexican, or any Hispanic. I was born in New York City in a Jewish hospital to Nicaraguan parents who lived on 120th and Lexington in some studio room or something like that. Until 2 months later we moved to an open […]

Still a threat to your security

Anonymous, USA. A fellow customer I saw shopping for the 30 minutes I was in the store walked to the front as we were leaving. He noticeably pointed his key fob towards the parking lot to ensure his door was locked.

Strength in pedigree proud of race

Tory Robinson, Omaha, NE. I refuse to be fearful growing up in Texas, I learned fear is an obstacle. I now live in Nebraska a state that hides its racism but I won’t be broken because of the strength in my pedigree.

Black Girls Play Video Games Too

Chelsea L. Harris, Fort Worth, TX. I’m a gamer, and I don’t mean the occasional “Angry-Flappy Bird” app gamer, or “Just Dance” gamer. I’m a “Own Every Console, Collect Every Series Title, No-Life” gamer. My two brothers and I have been gamers since the days of NES, before I even quit wearing Pull-Ups. Gaming was […]

I’m surprised you speak so well.

E.C. Boyd, Canton, OH. I was not born, but I was raised in a predominantly white neighborhood because the school system was better in Perry Township than the low-income, mostly black Canton City Schools. As the only black person on my school’s debate team, I dealt with a lot of people surprised that I could […]

I survived the white flight.

Misty Johnson, Lilburn, GA. I moved to Georgia in 1988 when I was 8 years old. My father left his job on the oil rigs to start his own landscaping company in Lithonia, Georgia. I was a minority at my elementary school back in Texas, which was predominately Hispanic. The move to Atlanta was different […]

People of color–do I count?

Sarina Bhandari, Los Altos Hills, CA. My parents grew up in India and had an arranged marriage in 70’s. Shorty after, they moved to the United States. In 1992, they had me, a first-generation Indian-American. I grew up with a lot of privilege, and I’ve never felt silenced by dominant society. In fact, I’ve never […]

They don’t believe racial injustice exists.

Dannielle Kerstetter, Elizabethtown, PA. I come from a white, middle-class family in rural Pennsylvania. My family does not believe that people of color do not need to fight for equality because they already have rights, and they are being greedy because they want to be equal.

White people are not the enemy.

Anonymous, USA. White people of TODAY are not your enemy. As a white person, I have nothing to do with what happened 60-100 years ago. I see you as just another person. My main concerns are about managing my own problems, and surviving on a very low income. I am poor. I just want to […]

Surprise surprise I was born here

Victoria, Fairfax, VA. I was born in Conway, SC. I’ve lived in the States for nearly two decades now (all of my life so far). It wasn’t till I was in elementary, and I had to ask my mom why boys would say “ching chong” to me that I realized that I was somehow different. […]

Drop the guilt, and become aware

Danyahel Norris, Houston, TX. When I have a conversation about race or racism with someone white, I tend to get a few common responses. One being the fact that they weren’t even alive for things like slavery and Jim Crow, so they shouldn’t be blamed for it (not that I ever did). Another is the […]

Dichotomy matters AND full color spectrum.

Kaniela Kelekolio, Captain Cook, HI. The legacy of slavery and, for much of history, the demographics of the USA have led to ‘white vs black’ being the central racial discussion. But as America grows more diverse and East and South Asian, Pacific Islander, Hispanic communities and white and black ethnic subgroups flourish, they challenge a […]

I want to help, not hurt.

Laura James, Mobile, AL. I want to be ok being white, but I’m not. I’ve been haunted for decades by a dream in which I was weighed in the balance and found wanting by a well-dressed group of African-American churchgoers.

We matter because of our SOULS

Briah Stokes, Baltimore, MD. My race nor sexuality should be an excuse to judge me. At the end of the day, our souls are our substance, our physical beings are just vessels that give our souls a home.

Imagine not meeting strangers with guns.

Daniel Knoll, Saint Louis, MO. These may or may not represent how I feel about race,,,I am in Missouri, and grew up in the town right next to Ferguson..i am a white guy, but the adopted son of a Native American (full Cherokee) mother, and German -American father…not to minimize the legitimacy of the real […]

What nationality are you anyway?

Kristina, Zion, IL. I’m multiracial, which caused an identity crisis in my teens. I was never enough of one race or the other to really fit in with anyone. So, I decided to just be myself. I can love all my ethnicities, and the people who were meant to love me understand that.

How are you Latina and pale?

Christina K, Bayonne, NJ. I have always been asked how I can be a Latina with olive skin tone? If my dad is brown and my mom is pale why aren’t I a medium skin tone? I do not “look like a Latina” so many people have said? To take a page from the Selena […]

Free speaking teens, changing relational space?

Tara Saltzman, Evergreen, CO. My teens arguing in favor of de-degrading(?) the word n*****, inspired by conviction that changing the influence of words (no longer receiving the word “n*****” as having negative intent or implication), changes relationships. wondering if they are empowered by the innocence of youth and lack of historic understanding AND regardless able […]

Well educated Asian-Americans asked, speak English?

Christine Thai-Pappa Fairfax, VA I was at a National Convention for my sorority, which is an Asian- American Interest sorority. A number of us had gotten onto the elevator at our hotel. There were girls from the University of Virginia, Berkeley, Standford, Cornell, and Carnegie Melon. At the next floor a group of older Caucasian […]

TV people don’t look like us

Ana Artigas Houston, TX I am the child of an Italian-American mother and Spanish (from Spain) father, and I was born in Mexico. I am married to an American man of Dutch and British ancestry, We have friends in mixed race marriages. All of us have children, and there are very few TV programs, none […]

I don’t know my Native language.

Jessica Elaine Matz, LaVergne, TN. I look white and I was raised white, but when we were kids, we went to the occasional pow wow and were told “this is part of your heritage.” My uncle recently joined one of the Cherokee tribes, but I haven’t yet. I feel weird about it because there’s so […]

No your just a white redneck

Julie, Summervile, GA. Yes I`m from the South and i`m a redneck but that`s not all of me. My mother`s father is a Native American and what I know of my father`s family his mother was italian. My mother`s mother`s mom was German. So here I am in the South all types of mixed.

Don’t assume- alot you don’t know

Oliver Parr, Tuscaloosa, AL. Being white in the state of Alabama automatically means that most people assume the worst. I was raised in the State of California where race truly is not even a topic of discussion. I grew up not looking at the color of a persons skin but how tough it is. I […]

Too brown for the fancy restaurant.

Jane Medina Orange, CA My daughter Annie had just turned 21. So she, my husband, my son, and I put on our cocktail party clothes and went to the fanciest restaurant in Orange, California to buy Annie her first drink. As our car climbed the steep hill where the restaurant sat like a crown above […]

“Hey, Geisha Girl!” What? Who, me?

Jennifer Luberecki Hagerstown, MD Being Korean-born and adopted at 3 by Caucasian parents, I grew up with my adopted parents culture (which is Polish and Scottish) and feel thoroughly American. Which is why it feels like a shock, and sometimes a slap in the face, when other people make assumptions about who I am. The […]