Black girls can rock bold lipstick!

Trinity University, San Antonio, TX. Often black women are told that we shouldn’t pull any more attention to our lips because they are sooooooo big! We have to stop feeding into the Eurocentric ideas of what is beautiful!

White Jewish girl in a bubble

Emily Einhorn, Beachwood, OH. Whenever there is talk about racism, a part of me feels guilty. I have lived in a small suburb my entire life. In this town, people joke you’re either black, Jewish, or Asian. I have never witnessed a racist act and I feel as if I’ve missed out on being a […]

Justice for all requires White awakening.

Albert Marten, San Antonio, TX. Trinity University I’m ashamed and embarrassed to admit how unaware I was as a white person about the hate, the daily indignities, and in many cases, the physical terror suffered by my fellow citizens because of the color of their skin. The failure of my country to live up to […]

They were Asian and left 20%!

Caitlyn Rize, Ann Arbor, MI. As a waitress on a college campus, the people I work with constantly stereotype their tables before even walking up to them. Oftentimes the other servers will “give their table away” — meaning they don’t want to serve them — to us other servers who give everyone the chance to […]

We are people, not your mascots.

Jacob K Tingle, San Antonio, TX. As the grandson of an Oklahoma Choctaw, I am deeply sensitive to the negative impact of stereotypes. Though no one looks at me and says, “He’s Native,” I try to use my multiple privileges to push back against the use of racists sport mascots and logos. We must understand […]

Able bodied Financially Successful Minority Male

AJ, Falls Church, VA. I am a white American female with multiple disabilities. I realize that generally speaking, my whiteness and U.S. citizenship is a benefit for me in society. But recently, I had several experiences where a person of another race assumed something about me that was false, and it pissed me off. In […]

Questioning My Parents’ / Society’s Racial Preferences

Jordan Seigal, Flushing, NY. I’m Eurasian with a white father. At times I think, of course he was white. I wonder why, exactly. Why were Asian men not good enough? I look Asian. I have been turned down and called terrible things by Asian women, because of my appearance. Am I considered better because I […]

I’ve been guilty of hurtful discrimination.

Jonathan Routon, Riverside, CA. Often times people are afraid to own up to past racism due to how they may be judged. I must confess that I have thrown hurtful and disgusting words in my youth and while I am far from proud of this period of my life I also fully own the fact […]

“You’re white, so you don’t understand.”

Carrie Piper, St Peters, MO. I grew up in the part of the suburbs that’s sort of a demographic limbo. You’d know what I meant if you saw it: no longer new enough to be “really nice” as the older home builders die off, slowly moving through the “hoosier” phase on its way to “ghetto” […]

You can sit in the bar

Diane Graves, San Antonio, TX. My husband and I (both Anglo) were driving our adopted daughter (born in El Salvador, adopted as an infant, a U.S. citizen since she was 11 months old) to a guest ranch in Colorado. It was 2004; our daughter was 11 years old. Late on Sunday morning, we stopped to […]

I’m white but I still have a culture (Welsh and proud)

Katherine Davies, Houston, TX. I understand that racial inequality is a huge problem, has been for centuries and hopefully, will not exist centuries from now, but judging someone because of their race, their culture, whether they are black, white, hispanic, asian or anything in between. I get told all the time that white people don’t […]

Race generalization is not for everyone

Alex Campbell, Aurora, IL. People come in many different shapes, sizes, colors, and with different histories. It is unreasonable to pack many millions of people into one single idea. Terms are made to have wide acceptance and understanding and that is fine. However, generalizations (especially race) should never go past the simple idea of convenience.

From Unawareness to Critically Examining Whiteness

In my world, white was normal. I believed that race was something other than whiteness. The normalcy of whiteness meant I did not have to think about what it meant to be white. I grew up in a predominantly white suburb, which meant most of my friends were white and most of my schoolmates were […]

My Black is Best on Me

Shani Ketema, Newark, NJ. Mini Buns. Boxer Braids. Tans. Injections. Street style. TRANSLATION Bantu Knots, Cornrows, Black skin, thickness and what I’ve been wearing for years cause designer is expensive. I’m beyond tired of hearing that my black looks better on the bodies of white America. It’s not fair that someone can buy my skintone […]

My child is of human race

Ngan Lam, Virginia Beach, VA. I learned race, prejudice, racism, stereotype, and developed my own personal biases, but when I look at my child I only see a precious human being and spirit…just him and forget about all that I learned.

No apologies for who I am

Stanton Lawrence, San Antonio, TX. Throughout my professional life, I have experienced efforts to devalue or negatively assess the contributions of blacks in the work place. These efforts are greatly elevated when the individual is strong and confident. It takes me back to the era when we had to “be put in our places” because […]

Bicultural and Bilingual should be enough.

Megan Medrano, Houston, TX. Growing up Latina in south Texas, I have always been surrounded with rich culture. My home was filled with both the English and Spanish language and I was encouraged to live both my Mexican and U.S. Latina identities. I did not realize how important an ethnic identity was until I came […]

I Am Not a Horrible Person

Angela Crites, Riverside, CA. It is ridiculous that in today’s society, white people are automatically deemed as “racists” with “privilege,” and are incapable of really being good, decent human beings and American citizens. I thought the goal of Civil Rights and everything that people like MLK Jr. fought for was EQUALITY, not a spreading of […]

Damn, did you see that White girl?

Lisa Jasinsk, Trinity University In 2007, I spent a year working at The Apollo Theater in Harlem, NY. One day on my way into the office, I slipped on an icy sidewalk on 125th Street, and in a comic prat fall, landed on my bottom in a filthy puddle. A group of guys gathered outside […]

Benefit and burden with being biracial

Ryann Williams, Trinity University In a lot of ways, having two parents of different racial/ethnic backgrounds allows a unique insight into both cultures. It can be extremely enlightening to see how both sides can be so different and yet so similar at the exact same time. However, there is always this feeling as if I […]

Segregation and inequity; the struggle continues

Dr. Deneese L. Jones, San Antonio, TX. Trinity University Race still matters! Even after sixty years past the Brown v. Board decision where the courts mandated: “With all deliberate speed.”,race is still a significant factor in our educational institutions, the criminal justice system, and employment. There are real differences in how different races and ethnicities […]

Turban, Assumptions, Fear, Perpetually Foreign, Inferiority

Simran Jeet Singh, New York, NY. Trinity University My visible Sikh and South Asian identity have shaped my experiences with racial and cultural identities. Upon seeing me, people mark me as different and make various assumptions about me. Associations assume (but are not limited to): foreign, violent, conservative, uneducated, terrorist, victim, uncivilized, and dogmatic.

“Immigrant” comes in all races/colors.

Jackie Spencer, New York, NY. The generalization we attach to people based on race is appalling. As an example when you speak of “immigrants” you do not think of this white blond person! I hope that raising this point makes people think before they generalize. We are all individuals with different beliefs and personalities and […]

A Social Construct, Race Matters Everywhere

Mohammad Salem Shirzad, Sacramento, CA. As an afghan immigrant, I have witnessed the roots of race in different geographical and social contexts, from Afghanistan to the United States. It is sad to say that race do matter in today’s societies all over the world. But this is the truth in today’s world. Cosumnes River College

Not Connected To My Own Heritage

Amanda Bajema, Riverside, CA. When my great grandparents immigrated to America from the Netherlands after World War II they put in their best effort to become a part of American culture, which in turn meant loosing their own. Growing up my mother and her siblings were growing up they were not to learn Dutch, to […]

I’m only allowed to be white

Carrie Hunsinger, Wilmington, DE. I am a 1/2 first generation American. My Mother is American (Detroit) and my father is Dutch (Holland). He’s been here almost 60 years and he still speaks with a heavy Dutch accent and therefore I speak English with a bit of a Dutch accent. When 9/11 happened I was in […]

The lies of my skin color.

Kitt Smith, USA. I have white skin, green eyes and brown hair. I appear every bit a homogeneous American white. I am not. I am a first generation American born to a Mexican illegal and a Irish immigrant. My family has no history here and no part in the oppression of black people. Both sides […]

Child Immigrant, Grown Defender of America

Ronnie Annapolis, MD The image of a child immigrant, who grew up to serve in the U.S. military is a bit cliche these days, especially after more than a decade of conflict. However, there is nothing cliche about an immigrant wanting to defend his adopted nation and his fellow Americans (both fellow immigrants and native […]

America: do you hate me?

Andrea Catala, Burke, VA. It seems that half of the U.S. felt fear and panic of non-whites or immigrants taking over our country. Well now I’m fearful and panicked that half the country hates non-whites. Is that true? Was this election truly an anti-establishment referendum? Or was there sexism and racism that tinged the voting […]

Trump may be our best friend

Tom Tito, St. Petersburg, FL. Maybe. We will know how good or bad the Trump administration is in a few months. By “We” I mean low wage families trapped in crime infested inner cities with failing schools. Trump has talked about us, will he do anything? I was shocked by the racism in the Republican […]

Racism against whites doesn’t exist, right?

Keira Glover, England. I was sat on the train yesterday reading Tolkiens ‘Lord of the Rings’ when a black woman sat down next to me, she kept leaning over my shoulder so I assumed she was a fan and that she was reading along, I even slowed my pace to give her more time to […]

Privileged. No choice in the matter.

Kole Myrick, Portland, OR. As a trans man I often feel very marginalized, but when you look at it based solely on race, I have an incredible amount of privilege. Because of these intersections it is up to me, and other white trans folks, to help bring up trans people of color. We are all […]

My silence and privilege are wrong.

Brian Jackson, China. I realize now that with my white male privilege, I have a unique position and that my silence is what allows the minority who sow hatred to flourish. I must speak out to my peers but doing so will make me an outcast. I do not hesitate but am acutely aware of […]

They glare at my bi-racial son.

Linnette Derry, New York City, NY. I often think about the inevitable discussion about race that I will have to have with my son one day. That day when he will begin to ask me why people think I’m his nanny/housekeeper instead of his mother; the day when he will ask me why people keep […]

A divisive dividing line against commonality…

Anonymous, Summerdale, AL. To fully understand the reasons why race is such a hot button topic in my opinion,is that one must look at the historical basis that set the foundation for the racial discord in this country and beyond its shores.We will never be able to get beyond race until we are truly able […]

What do you mean “White Latino?”

Andrea Fabiola Vazquez, Ridgefield, CT. I grew up in Ohio, but both of my parents are from Mexico. I speak Spanish, most of my extended family lives in Mexico, and I identify very much as a Mexican American. Still, when people ask me where my family is from—and people as me this a lot—they are […]

I’m white, it’s not easier.

Victoria Polera, NY. Being white doesn’t make my life any easier. I still have a really difficult life without putting my race into perspective. Looking at a person as an individual rather than placing an individual into a social group is mostly important. It’s unbelievably more important to look at the individual separately rather than […]

Dating White Men Saved My Life

Tahani Tompkins, Chicago, IL. Black Dating in Chicago is foray in fuggary like no other. I’ve been cast down, used, and shamed for just being a brown woman that desired basic human respect from black men. Some friends and I decided to stop waiting, and hating,….. and crying and lying about this reality. We said […]

Kindergartner fearing my future interracial marriage

Christopher Hollowell Hornell, NY I am now a 29 year old white homosexual man living in Brooklyn NY but growing up in a small town in Western NY I distinctly remember ruminating in church over the differences between my family and myself. My most vivid memory was the thought “I wonder how everyone will react […]

The young are not naturally prejudiced.

Adam Jones, Chaska, MN. I am a para in a special education class, and the high school in which I work is very diverse. The longer I work in this field, the more I have come to see that kids are kids. People are people. I am frustrated, elated, encouraged, concerned, and inspired by all […]

Grow like the fields surrounding us.

Kazandra Vanessa Trejo, Bowling Green, KY. I was born in beautiful Los Angeles, California. A state full of fields and Latino immigrants who have labored their lives away to prove a better future for their children. To be a Mexican-American that is aspiring to obtain a degree from a university makes me feel like the […]

Standing on the shoulders of my forebears

Elizabeth Lorde-Rollins, MD, MSc, New York City, NY. Manhattan. Collected from The Race Card Project, On Location: The Brooklyn Museum My grandmother came from Grenada in 1926 and got a job at the Waldorf-Astoria cleaning because she was light enough to pass for white. My grandfather had no work until WWII broke out (he was […]

I don’t know what I am.

Jasmine Perry, Cleveland, OH. When it comes to race I honestly don’t know what I am. My families backdrop is kind of patchy, no one in my family knows, my grandma recently found out she was adopted she found out that she wasn’t related to anybody she grew up with. Which means the only clue […]

“Hush, Child, they’ll take Grandma away!”

Robin Greeley St. Louis, MO This is what my relatives said to me at a family reunion in the 1950s.They were afraid that if it was known that Grandma was Choctaw, she could be sent to a reservation – something that was done in those days. In Pueblo, Colorado, the hatred and direct discrimination of […]

For Me, Racism Started at Home

Sarah S., Washington, DC. My Puerto Rican grandmother used to call me “muchacha fea,” while calling my dark-haired, dark-eyed, darker-skinned, curly-haired sisters, “muchacha linda.” That woman treated me like Cinderella. When we were kids, one of my sisters took my grandmother’s cues, and decided to torment me by saying that I was adopted (I wasn’t), […]

I’m not just a white girl

Madison, Laguna Niguel, CA. People usually assume I’m white because that is the color of my skin and I have red hair. My paternal grandmother is first generation Sicilian. My father has dark Italian skin and my mother has light skin. My paternal grandmother has red hair and passed it on to me, so no […]

No longer want to prove worth

Milicia, USA. Growing up I received the message that I had to be better than Whites. I didn’t want to embarrass my ethnic group, this I must strive to be better than “them”. I worked hard to prove that I was better. I’m an adult and must say that I don’t know what all of […]

Armenian, Tagalog, Ilocano, no. Wolof, yes.

Anoosh Jorjorian, Santa Monica, CA. My paternal grandmother came to the U.S. to escape the Armenian Genocide. My maternal grandfather jumped aboard a U.S. submarine during World War II because the Japanese Army put a price on his head. When they raised my parents, they wanted more than anything for their children to assimilate into […]

I don’t care about blacks anymore.

Paul Rojas, Tulsa, OK. I’m going to come out and say it…the same thing thousands, probably millions of people in this country are feeling, at this point. I don’t care about black people’s problems anymore. Don’t get me wrong, I care very much for the black people I known personally. I care about them as […]

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 […]

We can always change the channel.

Audrey Lee Cho, USA. My parents immigrated to America in 1973, with my older brother Lee Wan Young and my sister, Lee Shin. I was named Audrey when I came along a couple years later, and our little brother Tom was born in 1978. My mother tells me they carefully watched American television, sitcoms and […]

I grew up in the 98118

Guy Godefroy , Seattle, WA. Submitted via Twitter: @mrfatlace Additional information for the 6-WORD ESSAY: http://southseattle.komonews.com/ news/arts-culture/ 445093-census-bureau-98118-most-diverse-zip-code-us

Am I from here or there?

Laura Martinez, Hays, KS. I was born in Mexico and came to the USA as a child. I am so proud of my culture and love Mexico, but I also love the US. When I visit Mexico with my mom people in Mexico see me as not a “true” Mexican, because I haven’t actually been […]

Latin, Bald, Tattoos = Thug = Mistaken Identity

Eduardo Meza, Albany, NY. I get it! I look like the typical thug you will find in disadvantaged neighborhoods throughout most of California. I know I am immediately judged by my cover. People mistake my form of self-expression for some sort of territorial gang branding. I am gay, latino, well-educated (Master’s Degrees), family-oriented and a […]

My daughter isn’t a “China Doll.”

Debra Cope, Alexandria, VA. Adoption is beautiful, and I really don’t mind helping others navigate the awkward preconceptions that accompany it. But this phrase just burns me because it equates my spunky, lively child with an object . She’s not my toy — she’s my daughter!

Who invented the “race card” anyway?

Kathryn Terry, Katy, TX. I hate the term “race card” because when I hear it, it tells me that the person using it doesn’t have any desire to listen to or understand anything about the experiences of racism that people of color face. If you think there’s a “race card”, who do you think put […]

I’m Romanian, no I’m not a Gypsy

JD, Canada. Being located in Eastern Europe, there is a common misconception that Romania comes from slavic lineage, when historically, and factually we are Latin people. Most Romanians have many Middle Eastern features as well and many people associate Romanians with being gypsies. Western European countries are quite negative and borderline racist when it comes […]