Differences never change but opinions do

Molly W., Denver, CO. I am a 6th grade teacher and my class has been reading Fire From the Rock about the integration of Central High School in Little Rock in 1957. This six-word story was written by one of my students in response to our reading. http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/book/fire-rock

I’m told to get over it.

Anonymous, Houston, TX. It’s hard being a young “smart” black man, especially in the military. If to good at my job it’s because “we helped you out more because we don’t want you to think we where racists” then if I’m not good at my job its. “Well you know black people are lazy…” Plus […]

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 […]

I think I am becoming racist

A., USA. I work in an area with a lot of Hispanic or Latino immigrants from different places. I have not had many good experiences with them. For awhile I just tried to excuse their behavior as not knowing or understanding the cultural differences but it’s getting harder. Before I continue, yes I know there […]

I don’t plan on changing ever.

Zahnyah, Philadelphia, PA. I am me, I act the way I act because that’s just me, I am going to be me forever so if people don’t like it they need not talk to me or they might as well as just get used to it. I’m not going to change unless I feel as […]

See me, not my skin color.

Refugio Zavala, Stockton, CA. All throughout my life, people have judged me by the color of my skin. When I was in the United States, people would call me things like “beaner” and “wetback.” These are racial slurs meant to humiliate and make me ashamed of my culture. So what that I liked to eat […]

I define myself; nobody else can.

Rucheeka Desai, College Park, MD. I am the only person who has a say in who I am and who I will become. My race does not define me, my skin color does not define me, and other people’s opinions definitely do not define me.

Hey, Pocahontas, how about a drink?

Mary Zeitner Edmonds, WA I had just moved back to Seattle in late April from Arizona where I worked nights and spent most of the day outdoors, so my skin tone was quite a bit darker than people in the neighborhood, many of whom were of Scandinavian or Native background. It was twilight and as […]

Can you translate? It’s not that easy!

Alejandra Garcia, Nuevo, CA. I am a 23 year old Latina who works at a public high school. People see me and they assume I’m like Google Translate. Yes I speak Spanish but just because I look Mexican doesn’t mean I’m fluent. People expect me to translate English to Spanish within seconds. It is not […]

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 […]

I’m always asked “What are you?”

Madysen Phororo, Corona, CA. South African dad, and white mom: I’m pretty ambiguous in terms of my race. There were questions I got in high school along the lines of “Do you think you’re more white or black?”. My mom was told that I’d have to choose what race I was when I went to […]

Oh, do you speak English? Si.

Loreina Gonzalez, Edwardsville, KS. Imagine not being able to have a proper conversation with anyone, because they all assume you do not speak English. They approach you at your job because they need help finding something but before they even ask their question, they ask if you speak English. They see you and a Caucasian […]

White denial of privilege hurts all

Karen Randolph Rogers, Kansas City, MO. I’m a civil rights attorney who grew up in a predominantly white rural area and left for the city. I see the pain that racism causes in my work and my personal life and try to convey that to white friends and family who deny their privilege. #SafetyPin

We ALL are brown.

Christine von Lersner, Santa Fe, NM. I am a German-American mother of a Chinese daughter and an African American son, and I’m a teacher. Early in their lives, I created a lesson (using white and black construction paper) and designed some images to use in their classrooms to help the children see and understand that […]

I don’t know what to answer?

Carolina, San Jose, CA. My mother was born in Morelos, Mexico and my Father was born in Lima, Peru. I was born in San Jose, CA. Whenever anyone asks me “where are you from?” I never truly understand the question. I’m American? I’m mixed? I’m Latina? Especially since I’ve been studying abroad in parts of […]

She’s White in a Black body….

Cooper Shell, Jackson, TN. She’s White in a Black Body….. That is what has ALWAYS been said to describe me—since I was at least 12 years old. My name is Cooper Shell, and I grew up in Choctaw County, MS. I hail from a blended family which is very typical in my town. I suppose […]

My Chinese daughter, whiter than white.

Rachel Drummond Highlands Ranch, CO Jasmine stands apart. She doesn’t want to. Like may people of color who also have albinism, she is often not accepted or believed to be Chinese. Very few people who meet her haven’t had some strong reaction — new age folks have told me she’s New Age magical, children tell […]

A Cajun Girl in her Kilt

Michelle Blanchard Ardillo, Rockville, MD. A Cajun girl in her kilt, that’s me. My dad was born and raised in southeast Louisiana, as was I, but my mother was born to Scottish immigrants who came to the US for economic and religious freedom. Upon marrying my father, however, she abandoned her Scottish heritage and adopted […]

She gave the eraser back.

Harry Ford, Minneapolis, MN. Race is a difficult subject given the large amount of pain many people of color have experienced related to race within this American landscape. We are people in pain hoping that our contributions will be seen by the others.

I’m black; I didn’t experience that.

Terri Davis, Cleveland, OH. I don’t discount the experiences of other black people, I just haven’t had the same encounters. Why do people think that I should have? I suppose I avoid confrontations by not doing things to draw attention to myself. I don’t pay attention to others who may be watching me and waiting […]

Why would someone not like Dorothy?

Sean D. Stuber USA I don’t remember what I said that prompted my daughter’s question. It was during a casual conversation about my experiences growing up, the good, the bad, the exciting, the boring, etc. and then we started talking about other people we knew that were from different places and what they had done […]

I’m more than a basketball player.

Michael Erike Los Angeles, CA Black….if I’m still in school at this age I must be an athlete right…wrong. There’s more to any race than what meets the eyes. I don’t go around judging others by simply how they look so do I deserve that treatment? Life is a colorful depth of inspiring beauty, strength, […]

Don’t believe everything that you think

Jim Schultheiss, St. Johns, MI. I have always felt that I needed to be very careful and thoughtful on issues related to prejudice. Growing up in as a white, heterosexual male in a community largely lacking diversity, I learned I needed to listen very carefully to the thoughts and experiences of others and not impose […]

That was then, this is now.

Abby Oklahoma City, OK I was working as a hostess at a restaurant a few years ago. We would seat servers/sections based on a rotation chart. Two older black women came in and were taken to the next section in rotation, which happened to be located towards the back of the restaurant. They were immediately […]

Prejudice is taught; let’s unteach it.

Karen W. Gronau, Perry Hall, MD. I taught elementary school for four decades. I saw a good change over the years. My classes became more integrated. More importantly, over time, many of my students did not see color in their choice of friends. Change is way too slow though.

Is the ticket together or separate?

Taylor Norman, Norman, OK. White man. Black woman. Two babies that look in between. People never really think before they speak when they see my family together. For some reason they can’t deduce that my mother is married to my father and my sister and I are their two girls. Instead their eyes only see […]

Music teacher listening to student cries

Jamie Coppa, Asbury Park, NJ. As a music teacher with an almost entirely black and hispanic student body, I was met with stories of oppression, lack of food, disrupted sleep, abuse, incarceration, and even the murder of the loved ones they so deeply cared for. I will never forget the beautiful music my students expressed […]

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 […]

Not aplogizing for my white skin

Jillian Kurekova, USA. I am a 21 year old white female living in the ghetto. I have always been the outcast. I grew up in foster homes with black foster mothers and siblings, I have lived in all-black neighborhoods and went to all-black schools. I have never felt out of place surrounded by black people […]

Texican and Kansan adopt beautiful Chinita.

Sandy Mayer, Los Angeles, CA. I was surprised that our daughter’s Guatemalan foster family lovingly called her Chinita but understand that this is accepted in some Latino cultures. Growing up in a bi-cultural household, my sisters and I were called “cosas de la vida” by my Mexican mother. My husband and I are determined to […]

My infant doesn’t need to tan

Tanisha Rueter, Gladstone, MO. It makes me sad when people tell me my son is “too white”. No, he is perfect, just like everyone else it. The world would be a boring place without the many different colors.

Happiness is accepting who you are.

Yesenia Frausto, Ontario, CA. Everyone is unique in their own ways. Whether it being race, religion, or personal qualities. That is what makes our world an interesting place, thus I believe the key to making our world a better place would start with oneself. It is important to accept who you are and finding happiness […]

Typical white, middle-class male…privileged

Greg Miodonski, Houghton, MI. Growing up in a mostly white, middle-class neighborhood, I took a lot for granted. I never realized how much privilege I had for simply being white. As we become older and recognize these vast, senseless disparities created between groups of people, it seems like we should use our privilege to help […]

Being Caucasian Doesn’t Make Me Racist

Luke Pomranke, Petoskey, MI. I feel that I always need to be careful about what I say so that I am not accused of being racist. At times, I will make the exact same comment as someone from a different race but I will be accused of being racist while the other person will not […]

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 […]

It just isn’t done. Why Not?

Catherine, Beach City, OH. I have always been told by my father that ” I better not catch you with some black kid!” or by my grandmother “that just was never done in our church” or “I don’t know why. we just didn’t have that”. I could never grasp why my family was so discriminating […]

Why does my color bother you?

Claudia Davis, Akron, OH. I have traveled several places in my lifetime. However, this pass weekend after the Presidential election I experience a shift in the atmosphere. People think and feel they have a license to say and do what they want toward people of color. The disrespect is hitting a different level prior to […]

I will always just be Human!

Matthew Workman, Oviedo, FL. We are all human beings. I’m not saying to throw away what race you are but to open your mind to a greater picture. We come into this world the same way and will leave the same way.

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 […]

Terrified of driving because I’m black

Andre Conway, Beachwood, OH. I am an 18 year old`African American man. Even though I am happy about being black, at the same time I am terrified of getting pulled over because of who I am. All the killings that are going on in our country just by police officers are crazy. Black people are […]

Black Little Mermaid steals the show.

Sarah Mutombo, Louisville, KY. I attend Louisville Collegiate school, and in my 8th grade year I participated in middle school Musical: The Little Mermaid, Jr. I was a minority at this high-end private school. Going into auditions, I wasn’t expecting to get a good role, not because I was black, but because I didn’t have […]

Do you wear Burka in Iran?

Ziba USA When people find out I am from Iran, they ask me questions such as do you wear Burka in Iran? Or did you have an arranged marriage? When I explain to them that 60% of university students are women and we do not wear Burka, they give me a puzzled look. Many times […]

I am a consciously recovering racist.

Roxanne Darling, Haiku, HI. It’s my personal belief that it’s incredibly challenging to not be racist, regardless of one’s race. Not wanting to be, think, or act racist is not the same as not being racist. So I hereby present myself as a work in progress, as I unplug decades (centuries?) of neurological programming that […]

A foreigner in my childhood home

Daryn Crowell Denver, CO I am a US citizen but my family moved to Peru when I was two years old. Basically my whole childhood was in Peru. I grew up with much of society telling me I could not consider myself in any degree Peruvian and that I was from the U.S. However, in […]

I’m More than, Less than Accepted

Nicole Reynolds, Virginia Beach, VA. Race often goes hand and hand with self worth. Who am I in the world? What does that answer mean? How does it affect my life? Is there anything I can do to change that? I have Ugandan Blood, Taino Blood, Spanish Blood, Past African American Slave blood. What race […]

If we ignore it, it’ll leave.

Nick Lakewood, CO Personally, my experience with racism hasn’t been very bad, Growing up in this time period, my generation has come to accept the idea seeing someone for their character, instead of their appearance. In middle school, was called a couple names, but they weren’t necessarily directed towards my ethnicity, but towards my physical […]