I am afraid of offending you.

Ellyn Ebersole, Martinsburg, WV. With the age of social media where it is silently stated that you have to “pick a side” in race relations I have found myself questioning why in an age of rising racial tension, do I have a hard time identifying where I stand? I love other races. In fact, I […]

You’re just as racist as them

Kelsey Milinkovich, Akron, OH. People always say I am just ass racist as “everyone else”. They think that I won’t have friends of another race as I and that I will not associate myself with them. One of my best friends just happens to be of another race as I. I don’t judge people based […]

What’s it like being a “wetback”

Mary Rodriguez, Carmichael, CA. True question asked of me by my very first crush. I remember this time vividly. I was in science class and across from me was the “love of my life”..it was 6th grade. I was really excited to work with him, and when he looked at his friend then back at […]

Racism is Alive, Prejudice does Exist

David Murray, Highland Heights, KY. I feel, especially now, that this sums up what is going on in not only our country, but the world. With what is happening with Trump now and what happened leading up to the election and inauguration, it is clear to see that prejudice and discrimination are alive throughout the […]

We must preserve our nation’s history.

Vicki Vardaman Lynn, IN When I took my 4 year old grandson to the Indianapolis Children’s museum’s exhibit of Ruby Bridge’s school and the reproduction of the empty classroom she entered, he listened intently to the story and replied, “Mamaw! I did not know that!”

Education is the key to change

Autumn Segrest, Highland Heights, KY. As a white woman from suburban America, it can be hard to understand the struggles of the countless people who were not born into whiteness. Their experiences with racism and prejudice shape their identity as much as my privilege shapes mine. But through education, whether it be traditional schooling or […]

No Heroes for Poor, White Males

Francis Lafayette, NC. Much like modern Germans, lower class white males in America have been granted a shame about their past. We’ve been told the History we learn in school is Eurocentric, but as a former social studies teacher, I can tell you that most Americans cannot tell you who Louis IV was. Or John […]

Kindergarten without English. I’m still fine.

Vishwa Dhuleshia, Shrewsberry, MA. I started Kindergarten knowing how to say only two things in Enlgish: “my name is Vishwa” and “I have to go to the bathroom.” I spent the first 3 years of Elementary school going to ESL classes while my classmates took spelling classes. Those few years I had to face the […]

Don’t Bring Home No White Girls

Anonymous, TX. Said a well travelled Black American female veteran to her biracial, trilingual, and dual citizen son. Behind her, in full agreement, stood her Eastern European Jewish husband. As madly in love as was at first sight, their relationship was taboo, condemned by family and friends alike. Now years later they faced their resultant […]

Latina raised in the suburbs….Wepa

Brenda Enid Mejias, Honeybrook, PA. True Puerto Rican girl….. I am the one with all the family recipes… And I love being her. Wepa– According to Urban Dictionary A word of jubilation that is uttered by mainly Hispanics, especially within the Puerto Rican community. It normally is yelled at high volumes in a nasal manner, […]

THE WALL, BLACK, AN HONORABLE COLOR.

David DeChant, Marine Vietnam Veteran Key West, FL Michele,Greetings again. I am a member of the core group of Vietnam Veterans who built The Wall ~ National Vietnam Veterans Memorial in D.C.; and was at the meeting in Senator Warner’s office when General George Price, US Army Retired, ended the color controversy about “black” granite […]

Why isn’t my Quincenera proof enough?

Emily Angelica Roldan, Saint Francisville, LA. My father is from Colombia and my mother is from Georgia. I have pale freckled skin, glasses, and I am a natural blonde with bottle red hair. I did not grow up speaking Spanish (my siblings and I the only cousins who do not speak it). When I was […]

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 […]

You are smarter than you look

Amanda Sperow, Chehalis, WA. Oregon State University Because I am a young woman with blonde hair, and I take pride in the way I look most people presume I am a “bimbo” or dumb blonde. It’s sad our minds don’t extend beyond the sexuality of an individual, and we can only see as deep as […]

You called me “white devil slavemaster”

Joe Schechter, FL. This happened when I was in high school. It was not the only incident of its kind. It was especially galling when you consider that members of my family died in the Shoah (Holocaust). I am not white enough for some people, & far too white for others.

I am not your token Mexican-American

Angie Estrada, Columbia, SC. I have been struggling with my sister-in-law seemingly using me as her token Mexican-American “friend”. She parades me among her white friends and uses me a talking point when making casually racist comments. You know, the classic “…but my friend is *insert minority here*”. I cringe at the fact that I […]

My black boyfriend’s not an athlete

Elizabeth S, USA. Is he on the basketball team? Does he play football? I’m white and in an interracial relationship. Whenever someone new sees a picture of us together that’s usually the first thing they ask. No, I’m sorry just because he is tall and black doesn’t mean he can dunk or played sports in […]

Dark skin woman; I love me

Sylvia, Memphis, TN. Thank you for this outlet. Letting people share their experiences, personal opinion & self worth, and/or reflecting on others in a limited character count gets to a very real place

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 […]

Multi-Racial means having a fluid Identity

Jesse Ponnambalam, Bolingbrook, IL. When I see most of the people I know; they all somewhat fit into a specific group. Some may identify as a “skater”, a “Anime Nerd”, a Brony, a “Jock” a “set specific identity here” kind of mold. Now I know that people have more than one Identity, But I never […]

Yes, those boys are my brothers.

Julia Guerra, Austin, TX. My brothers are very important figures in my life. They were born to a white mom and a white dad. They are blonde and red-haired, with blue and green eyes. When they were little babies, my white mom married my Mexican dad and he adopted both of them as his own. […]

Done Being the Token Black Girl

Ebony, Farmington Hills, MI. I grew up in a place where Black people felt they made it. A suburban community where the majority of residents were Black, employed, and thriving. It was wonderful growing up in this setting but it created unrealistic expectations for what the “real world” was and what life is like for […]

I see my intellect surprises you.

As a young African American male, I have learned, through very personal experiences, that many do not expect me to be as wise or as knowledgeable as I am. My knowledge and opinions on complex issues as well as my level of articulation often catch people off guard. I am often expected to act and […]

The difference between realism and racism.

Danny Denzler, Wichita Falls, TX. There’s a difference between being realistic and being racist. Police profiling isn’t racist. Look at the facts. Who commits the most crime even while being less than a 1/4 of the population? Personally, I know that not all blacks are bad, just like all whites aren’t good. I will say […]

My Family Well Kept Secret Revealed

Mary F. Howard, Stockbridge, GA. I discovered I am one-fourth Native American. My paternal grandfather is full blood Cherokee. I just learned several months ago by eavesdropping on a conversation about race between my paternal uncle and aunt. They had just learned of additional children by their father outside of the marriage. It has often […]

“You talk like a white person.”

Growing up in a biracial family, the concept of race has always been confusing to me. As I grew older and began to learn more about my own identity I decided to stop identifying as biracial and began to only call myself black. When people ask me what I am and I tell them that […]

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 […]

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.

He has to be selling drugs.

When I was in the eighth grade my science teacher pulled me to the side after class and asked was I selling drugs. She asked me that question because I had over one hundred and fifty dollars but it was my birthday. I got offended because she seen I was black and the only reason […]

“Waiting on the World to Change”

Hannah, Norfolk, VA. I chose this quote from a popular John Mayer song because it so relevant to where we still are today. This song, created in 2006, is more relevant 10 years later than it was then and that is a problem. And even though I am not a minority, the hate in this […]

Damn Yankees don’t go back home

Patty Reed, Greenville, SC. Originally from Pennsylvania, I’ve lived here the majority of my life but I cannot say I’m a native South Carolinian. While it seems to be more widely acceptable now, during my high school years in a small town it wasn’t okay to be from “up north somewhere”. A foreigner in my […]

“He’s not your son? Oh good!”

Amber Halverson, Eugene, OR. “Oh good! He doesn’t look like he has any white in him at all!” My first real encounter with my own race that I can remember was when I was in middle school. My white godparents had just adopted a black baby. They “kept his black name”, DiMario, as his middle […]

From love – fear, (a) foreigner’s view (on) racism.

David Chen, New York, NY. I grew up in China listening to artists like 50 cent, Tupac, Snoop dogg (lion), and Jay-Z. I have every one of Jay-Z’s songs memorized and for a Chinese kid, that wasn’t easy. For as long as I can remember, I was fascinated by African American (is this the politically […]

Please Ancestral Kinfolk don’t say slave

Beatrice Okonjo, Djibouti. Greetings most bless, This African country (Djbout) is a most Black Country, and we have too many same problem. I was not Born in this country of my Father. My Mother was from Senegal of birth. I aspire to know of what race for us. Dear make of card. America is so […]

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 […]

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 Males discriminated against at work.

Mary Fruin, Charlotte, NC. I think that Rev . Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s Dream is nowhere near being fulfilled when our big corporations are illegally paying big bonuses to managers to hire & promote minorities and women (read: not white men) and giving soft metric well paying jobs to minorities while chasing White males […]

I will not be another statistic.

Caitlin Defoe, RedLake, MN. I want to be one of the few that leave the reservation and get an education and make a life for myself. Most of the kids I went to elementary and most of middle school with are still living on the reservation but with kids that they weren’t ready for with […]

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 […]

My heritage: culture, not designated race.

Kat Bronwë, Ithaca, NY. In the LGBTQ community (the queer community), specifically in the transgender community, we have a phrase we like to use to describe the concept of gender identity, versus the gender we’re assumed to be, particularly at birth. We use the phrases “assigned male/female at birth” or “designated male/female at birth” in […]

No, Where Are You Actually From?

Shagun Doshi, Naperville, IL. Coming from a predominately rich, white suburb, and not being rich and white has been an interesting experience. While there is a lot more diversity within my community compared to many others, there is still a lot of hostility. The divide between white and every other race is very prevalent; as […]

You’re Indian; do you speak Hindu?

Poonam Dreyfus-Pai, Berkeley, CA. It wasn’t easy to choose just one sentence (6 words, no less) to summarize the constant negotiation between frustration and a sort of mirthless humor that I experience when dealing with questions about my race and ethnicity. On the most basic level, “Hindu” is a religious identity — not a race, […]

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 […]

No I am still from India

Amal Nazeem, Shrewsbury, MA. My parents are Muslims from Southern India. Growing up, I had many friends from all over India. They were mostly Hindu and they only knew other Indians to be Hindu. When I told them that my parents were from India, they thought I wasn’t a true Indian. I might have been […]

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 […]

You’re Indian AND Catholic?! No way!

Josie H Australia I am a Catholic Indian. The middle school I went to was not Catholic, and when I graduated into high school (which was Catholic), I ended up in the top Religion class, getting 80% + in all my tests. One day,a boy asked me disbelievingly, “You went to a non-Catholic primary school? […]

We’ll stand up for each other

Susan H Berger, Portsmouth, VA. I am a proud Unitarian Universalist of Jewish decent. If we don’t stand up for each other who will stand up for us in this world. UU’s and others hid Jews in WWII. I am a member of our Racial Justice Task Force. “Black Lives Matter.”

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 […]

Computer Science CEO, you own this?

Desh Bagley, Tampa, FL. Yes. I am the owner of the science and technology center that offers Java, C++, Arduino, Robotics, and Engineering workshops for students. Yes. I do wish that more girls took classes here. No. The young guys who take classes aren’t surprised by me. Yes. It’s their parents who often ask to […]

Beautiful kids, did you adopt them

Amy Hueitt, Gastonia, NC. I am a single mother of two children, one who is 8 with Autism, ADHD, and developmental delays. My daughter is almost 6 and typical. My son is black, white, and Mexican. He appears to be just Mexican. My daughter is black and white, she looks white. I am black and […]

Everybody turns white when shot at

Bettie Wilkins, Roanoke, VA. I was born in 1940 and my parents were sharecroppers. My father was drafted in 1942 and came home in 1944 with a partly collapsed lung. He was in a trench with other GI’s when the Japanese threw a burning bomb with gas into it. He was lucky because three men […]