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.”

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. […]

My DNA can’t recall my RACE!?

Mckenzie C, Sacramento, CA. Science tells us that race cannot be found in our DNA. There is not one person that could find out about an individuals race based solely on DNA, because it is simply not there. The cool thing about this; DNA is the one and only thing that contains our whole genetic […]

Racial Construct that won’t stop me

Leonard McReynolds, Atlanta, GA. I’m a black Puerto Rican who lives in the United States. At Times, it makes navigating race relations difficult, for everyone likes to put me in a box. Either I am not black enough because I speak Spanish, or not Puerto Rican enough because I am black. However, I will not […]

I was bussed. I was scarred.

Andrea Stewart, Brooklyn, NY. When I was in third grade I was bussed from the predominantly white side of town to the predominantly black side of town for elementary school. I had had black friends in my former school, but the new school was mostly black and I had a black teacher. For once I […]

I’m white my daughter is black

Jennifer Berkemeier, Farmington Hills, MI. I’m a single mom. I adopted my daughter from Haiti in 2012 when she was 4 years old. I’m white, and 15 years older than most of her friends’ moms. We get a lot of stares and unwelcome comments from little kids (“Is she your grandma?” “How come you’re different […]

Academically smart, Athletically ungifted

Ed Wang, West Lafayette, IN. As an Asian living in the U.S., I have been underestimated my whole life and probably will for the rest of my life. I am allowed to be smart and get good grades but I am seen as physically inferior, void of any athletic abilities. People don’t believe that I […]

She’s so basic, typical white girl.

Marryn Hilliker, Strasburg, PA. I chose these words that are jokingly spoken towards me very frequently. I’m a 20 year old white girl, blue eyes, red hair (although my “basic-ness” was worse when I was a blonde) attending college, who just happens to be apart of a sorority, loves Starbucks coffee, participates in the Netflix […]

“It’s okay; I’ll go this way”

Erica Campagnaro Cleveland, OH I heard these words as I was briskly walking down a main aisle at a market, looking over my right shoulder as I crossed each side-aisle, trying to find the shampoo. At first, I didn’t process that the words were spoken to me. Then, bit by bit, like when your brain […]

It doesn’t matter. You look foreign.

Michiko Minoura USA I’m second generation Japanese American. This was a comment made to me by a student I met my first year in college. The International Student Association was planning a road trip and I wanted to come along. I did, but I wonder what would happen if I was white without an obvious […]

Girls are different? Sorry, didn’t know.

Katharine Corona, CA When I was young I grew up on a street with boys and ended up being a pretty big tomboy. I enjoyed sports, I was competitive and I liked playing with my friends. As I got older I began volunteering at the local hospital and became a fire explorer with my friends. […]

Brown girl rejected with red blood

Anonymous, USA. Grew up as the only little brown girl in class, always having to explain why my hair grew up to the skies when it rained and the humidity took control of my tresses, then drew tightly too my head. Never getting assistance from the PTA moms passing out red and black combs on […]

Tenth generation American, still asked origin.

Leah Perlongo, Sunapee, NH. Ever been asked “Where are you from?” and the answer they expected was not the town you were born, but a country you’ve never been to? I find it frustrating that we in USA assume that people who look a little different are probably from another country.

Equality isn’t found using guilt trips

Chris Wehunt, Overland Park, KS. So much focus is put on splitting up races, every time the race card is used in the media you see social media flipping out, looking for cases of white or black people being attacked by the opposite race, then guilt tripping not only mass media, but society as a […]

Don’t Classify Sports for a Race

Jaer Medina, 8th Grade Holland New Tech High School, Holland, MI Tennis has been considered a “white” people sport the same as how soccer is a “Mexican” sport. Another stereotype would be if I said all black people are good at basketball. My friend has told me why are you playing tennis? Mexicans don’t play […]

America has “White-Privilege Withdrawal Syndrome”

Robert Alan Gustafson II, Butler, PA. Donald Trump is an enabler of the White-Privilege addiction. We need to elect someone who’ll transition us white folk into the new reality where no one race, ethnicity, or religion dominates America. It’ll be painful, but we’ll survive. And, despite what many Trumpers think, America’ll be better off in […]

I am white. So?

Alan S. Doctor, Cambria, CA. I was born in San Francisco on 15 Sep 1930. Dad was Scotch/English and Mom was Polish with a dash of German. Both 1st generation born in USA. My neighborhood friends were Hispanic, Oriental, white and refugee Jews from Germany. In high school I liked to walk home through the […]

I have the gift of choice.

Dawna B., Ft. Thomas, KY. I am bi-racial and have the power in today’s society to choose the race I identify as. My race and background is often misjudged or guessed at. I’m thankful that I have this option.

Brown Lives Matter Too

Anonymous, Perris, CA. African Americans get much of the publicity nowadays while Mexican Americans face the same stereotypes and discrimination issues without retaliation. CBU HIS311

Lizzie’s Journey from Plantation to Farm

Michelle Hill, Oakland, CA. Our family is so fortunate that my great, great, great grandparents were not separated from each other and their children during slavery. Because the family stayed together, we have a family Bible, pictures and records that document their lives in this country. My great grandmother, Mama Lizzie, was born in 1870 […]

I am NOT just a statistic

Jeannine Chavez, Huntington Park, CA. As a United States citizen who lives in Los Angeles as a gay Mexican female, it has limited my privileges. Being a different race, sex, and having a different sexuality than others have all caused me to be oppressed and quite often hear remarks about these three social identities that […]

I’m racist but fight the tendency.

Mark Donaldson, Edgewater, CO. I’m white, grew up in rural PA in a mostly white school. I live in CO now and work in tech industry where you’re probably either white or Indian. I know I’m racist but try hard to fight against that tendency. I want to be better than I know I am.

We must overcome deeply rooted racism.

Amanda Adams, MA. People don’t realize how deeply ingrained racism is in our country and in the whole world. We can’t ignore such a painful and divisive issue- instead, we must work to overcome people’s hate and ignorance so that we can truly start to judge people only by their character.

Family talks, and I get mad

Tasha Thompson, Coon Rapids, MN. I’m a 19 year old white female, and my grandma was born in the 40s. She is very old fashioned and when she talks about my mom’s work in a majority black community where the accept EBT, she starts to sneer and act like it’s the worse thing that could […]

Best Friend: Pete Lieberman. I’m German…

Bodo Diehn Scottsdale, AZ When I came to the U.S from Germany in 1960, I had never met a Jewish person. Pete Lieberman became my best friend. I was too ignorant even to conclude his ethnicity from his name. How inhibited I would have been had I known early on, even though I was 10 […]

I’m Not African American, Just American

Davin Bjornerud, Menifee, CA. I don’t know why black folks in America want to be considered African American. There are many traits that make us different and the fact remains that we are born here in America. White folks don’t say “I’m European American”, so blacks or any other ethnic group that is born here […]

The sky is not the limit

Barnstorming Elizabeth “Bessie” Colman was the first African American to get an international pilots license at a time when women were not supposed to – men would routinely sabotage their aircraft – What really grounded her was that being black meant Bessie was turned away by any American flight school she applied to.

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.

Prayed God would make me White

Amber Price, Atlanta, GA. I was raised in Chattanooga, Tennessee. I grew up ashamed of my Blackness. I heard the n-word for the first time in elementary school. I prayed every night for God to make me white. At the age of 17 I was told to go sit with the rest of the Blacks […]

That girl spat in my eye.

Caprice Becker, Manhattan, KS. I was in High School in a very small town of about 1300 mostly descended from German immigrants in the 1870s, all white (except for the one Korean who had been adopted by a local family when she was a toddler) in the early 70’s. All the surrounding communities in Central […]

My brown skin is beautiful okay?

Vanessa Guzman, Corona, CA. I am a Mexican women who has brown skin and all my life I was always self conscious about it because people would always point it out to me even those who were also Hispanic but they were lighter skinned. Even my family would. And I always took it as negative […]

Biracial White/Asian Travels to Southern States

Sean B., Riverside, CA. I am half white and half Filipino. Growing up in a melting pot such as Southern California has been awesome. I never truly understood how lucky I was to live here until I traveled to the south (multiple states) to visit family. My wife is Filipina (born in the south). While […]

I’m proud of my immigrant parents!

Priscilla A Contreras, Garden Grove, CA. My parents came to the United States to create a better future for themselves and their children. They are the most honest and humble people I know. I will always be proud of them and stand against those who believe immigrants are the problem.

“What are you?” I’m a girl…

Amanda Totteana Muniz, Anderson, IN. All my life I’ve had to face the question, “What are you?” This always made me uncomfortable, and irritated. Last time I checked I was a human. When I was younger I would try to explain that I was mixed,(black white, native American) but then I got tired of explaining […]

All Black City, America please wake-up.

Sandra Pfeifer, Simpson, IL. This is East Saint Louis, Illinois, an all Black city, where the American Dream took a wrong turn, leaving an entire city without resources for over 30 years. For Black American’s, in a country that profiles their failures with staggering statistics, effecting positive change on the local level is a daunting […]

Look at me in full color

Ty Martinez, Submitted via Twitter: @TyMartinez_tmb. I made a visual representation to accompany my #racecard#insixwords @michele_norris Sometimes. “I use pictures when words fail.”

Mother of black son, sleepless nights

Maureen Allen, New Hempstead, NY. I think what I’m trying to say is that I worry all the time about my son. Will he be safe? Can I keep him safe? Every night I fall asleep worried. It never leaves me. There’s no peace in this country as a parent as long as racism continues […]

DON’T ASK ME TO JUST FORGET

Thaddeus, Nashville, TN. I was raised poor in Louisiana where the generations of my family before me farmed and picked cotton, fished and lived off the land. Our water was rain water caught in a ground cistern and we used an outhouse for a toilet and boiled water for each night to bathe. So please […]

I will never really ‘get it’.

Celia Beasley, Seattle, WA. Being an upper-middle class white woman, I know I will never truly understand what it feels like to be a person of color in America. Despite my attempts to be aware of racism in this county through conversations, news stories, interviews, books, this website, etc, I know that I will never […]

Something so important, but also not.

Sheri Baxter, Washington, DC. Race and identity are things that are so essential and important to who you are as a person. But also it’s not. Because when we meet people, friend people, love people, help people, work with people….those who live without hate and bias do all of these things without any consideration of […]

I raised my children color blind

Annette, Houston, TX, . I am white and I am weary of being included in a white subset of American original sin. The only original sin I have is biblical. I do not expect to be patted on the back for raising my children to be color blind. My children are 16 and 18. They […]

Black or white everyone uses tools

Ted Mittelstaedt, Portland, OR. I was born in 1966 and by age 13 I knew how to solder and by age 15 I was building electronic devices from schematics. By age 20 I had taken apart and put back together several different kinds of computers and written code in assembly language. I also have a […]

White immigrant = not an immigrant.

Linda M Larsen, Hudson, WI. Hungarian+British +Canadian = American. I’m an immigrant, a ‘legal alien’ from Canada, with Hungarian and British parents, living in the USA. I’m supremely aware of the fact that no one sees me as ‘immigrant’ because I’m white. I moved from a very visibly multi-racial large Canadian city to small-town, lily-white […]

I am mixed-race gay man

Paul Avery, Chicago, IL. I am part Mexican and Black, live in Chicago, going to City Colleges, wish I could leave earth for a planet where gay men made up 80% of world population.

Even with diversity there’s White supremacy

Mike R., Midlothian, VA. My six words reflect the reality that even with the increasing diversity in the U.S. and the increased interactions across racial and ethnic lines, White supremacy still exists. I think many people naively assume that the increasing diversity will solve our racial problems. However, racial segregation still exists, under investment in […]

I’m not proud of being a WASP.

Nancy MacLeod, Philo, CA. I have ancestors that came to America in 1630- among the 1st to take advantage of the indigenous people. What is to be proud of, is how your family lived, how you live. I can be proud of my family because they were hard working and honest- but were they compassionate […]

Why are people like me scared?

Tom Lewis, Phoenix, AZ. Most “white” people in the USA are descended from people who were considered “other” and often not even white when these ancestors arrived. All of these groups changed and improved America. Germans, Irish, Italians, Poles, and Jews were as unwelcome as Mexicans, Dominicans, Africans and Muslims are now. I am white […]

He stood. She sat. For equality.

Linda Leigh Hargrove, Concord, NC. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. stood on the Lincoln Memorial and made a game-changing speech. More than 250,000 people stood in the audience that August day, including Rosa Parks who sat her way into civil rights history. It is because of their work that I have the freedom, as a […]

Being white is more than privilege.

Adela Ludeke, Austin, TX. I know that whites are traditionally “privileged”, but I find it so cringeworthy when I hear other whites checking their privilege. It’s as if they have so much guilt because of what their ancestors did. And it’s more embarrassing when your parents check their privileges. Sure, racism is shameful, but too […]

I was not raised with predudice

Anita Cohen, Boca Raton, FL. I did not even know about prejudice until Martin Luther King was killed and I was in my best friend apt baking cookies. Her mother wailed and when I left I was surrounded by people who wanted to hurt me. Her mom took me home. I never hated anyone for […]

Dr. King’s photo behind (a) folding door.

Judy Seymour Madison, WI I grew up upper class white outside New Haven, CT.  ‘Bill’ and ‘JB’ cleaned my parents’ house for ‘Mrs. Seymour’, my mother.  My mother hung a calendar photo of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on the wall behind a folding door between our kitchen and family room that was only closed/unfolded […]

LuElla’s quilt has kept me warm

Carol Stritikus Aitken, Duluth, GA. LuElla’s Quilt LuElla’s quilt has kept me warm through winter night and summer storm when I would hide beneath its tent and read until my light was spent. It soaked up many a childish tear and now recalls a time so dear; I still can see those dark brown eyes […]

1968. Black freshman roommate. Different planets.

Anne Lincoln, MA I was asked by Admissions if I would agree to having a black roommate. I said yes, but when she learned of the request (I never knew how), she was angry–at the school, and confusing to me, at me. From that moment on, there was only anger. I was naive and woefully […]

Small white girl, watching heroes march

Susan Thackston, Agoura, CA. I was listening to an NPR story resently on Morning Edition. The program talked about “The Race Card Project” and that it was collecting peoples experiences during the 1960’s period of the civil rights movement, distilled into 6 words only. George Wallace’s daughter, Peggy Wallace Kennedy, was only three years older […]

Border life safety, mass murder, lose.

Patricia Valdez-Harrison, El Paso, TX. El Paso Texas for the fourth year in a row as been reported to be the safest city in the country even though it shares borders with one of the deadliest cities in Mexico. I chose to end my sentence with lose not only for the lose of so many […]

My skin is my greatest teacher

Eric Miyeni Johannesburg I don’t like the phrase “body part” much. At its worst it has a tendency to remind me of murders and psychotic murderers. At its best it reminds me of the work of medical doctors. Don’t get me wrong. I love doctors. I’m just not cut out to do what they do. […]

Sicilian urged to embrace black roots

Charles Aloisio, Atlanta, GA. An African-American friend at the Y has encouraged me to get in touch with my African roots since I’m Sicilian Italian as well as Neopolitan. I have often thought of my roots since Sicily was occupied by the Moors for several centuries.

White privilege is cheerleaders who flip

Margee Herring, Wilmington, NC. Cheerleaders are predominantly white girls and boys. Why? Because their parents could afford gymnastics lessons. It’s just one of the many ways that white privilege is ordinary. I’m white but a black friend who was asked to integrate the university’s cheer squad was shocked when skills defaulted to an all white […]

Two white dads. Three black kids.

Jack Montgomery, Washington, DC. My husband and I got married and adopted three beautiful children on the same day last summer. Happy times! I have learned more since these kids have arrived than I ever new possible. A same-sex parent family with trans racial kids draws a lot of attention both in the big city […]

Relax, we’re on same team now!

Michael Gauer, Egan, MN. I’m a white man who had a black roommate and believe the color of skin it totally irrelevant. White Americans have learned this, so we must all move forward with confidence that the bad racial past is behind us.