Hazel Kasgur, Philadelphia, PA. My dad is from Istanbul, Turkey. He works hard and tries to be helpful. At most of the jobs he’s had, people are rude to him. At most of the jobs he’s had, all the other employees are American and white. I think his coworkers are rude to him because he’s [...]
Susan Duncan, Bristol, NH. When I was in the fourth grade, my family moved from Concord, North Carolina, to Leaksville (now Eden), North Carolina. Our street, Patrick Street, was parallel to Henry Street and the dividing line between the “white” neighborhood and the black/African-American neighborhood. Our next door neighbor, Miss Mary, had a large yard [...]
Jennifer F Taylor, Arcata, CA. Excellent work with enjoyable discussions on NPR…. Thank you Michele!
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 [...]
E. Agardi, American Canyon, CA. Please speak English when in America.
Nicholas Thomspon, Denton, TX. We discussed racism in my freshman sociology class. “Institutions are racist” is not an original thought of mine, but I do fundamentally agree with the idea from a sociological perspective.
Janice Mendoza, East Lansing, MI. I moved to Michigan from Southern California in middle school. I was very shocked to find out that there were not many Latinos in my new area. I felt very out of place. I am current student at Michigan State. I loved the idea of diversity when I got accepted [...]
Melissa Robinson, Vail, AZ.
Emily Scott, Virginia Beach, VA.
Phillip Johnson, Saint Louis, MO. History shows the historically oppressed are not the ones who use race to their advantage. In order to galvanize support for trans atlantic slavery – one race had to be made to feel superior to another.
Thunder Shi, Milwaukee, WI.
Abraham Vargas, Milwaukee, WI.
Tanner McDanial, Lexington, KY.
Holly Richmond, East Lansing, MI. I uttered this statement of shame at 12. My Dad said “sorry,nothing you can do about it now so live with it”. My Mom said “behave so you give whitey a good name”. I’ve been trying ever since but I still don’t want to be white!!!!!!!
John Jason Elizaga American Canyon, CA
Kevin Xiong, Sacramento, CA. Color is just a label.
Sylvia Langford, Jamesville, NY. I sincerely wish we could accept race without judgement, because too often that acknowledgement brings with it negative connotations.
Bill Fullmer, DeWitt, MI. If we show respect to all people we come in contact with, or near contact with, there is no basis for a racial bias. If an individual does something to diminish my respect for that person, I am dealing with that individuals behavior and not their race. Aretha had it right.
Jeremy J., Denton, TX. I hate when people are talking crap about a race or group of people and they feel like they have to mention “there are good ones out there.” Who do you think you are.
M. Peek Fitzgerald, Harrisburg, PA. In my 53 years of life I feel that I must carry something like this every time I leave my home. This is not the America I fought for. Not the America that I have to explain differences to my children. I’m an American too and I feel like a [...]
Nena Clark Rochester, MN I am an old, white woman. I work in the govt center and I see all kinds of folks there who probably aren’t having their best day. I try to be pleasant to everyone, but I make a point of being friendly toward young black men. I know that in my [...]
Dave Swenson, Ames, IA. Across all fronts, we should have achieved more equality, tolerance, inclusion, integration, and balance long before this.
Nicole, East Lansing, MI. My grandfather was blind all my life. All I knew was that there was an accident. It wasn’t until he passed that I learned that the accident involved a white man. My grandfather was a doorman and was pushed into the glass door. My grandfather never spoke of the incident. I’m [...]
Victor Vega, Los Angeles, CA. What troubles is on his mind? What’s he hiding from the camera? What’s in his jacket? That’s what I think when I see a picture of mine taken from several years back. If a white person was wearing street attire, one might think he’s cool, trendy, or might not even [...]
Nicole Smeltekop, East Lansing, MI. At Michele Norris’s talk in East Lansing last night, a woman said this to me as Ms. Norris came on stage. The prevailing assumption that as a white person, white people can comfortably make racial comments they most likely wouldn’t say to anyone other than another “obviously” white person is [...]
TRCP Team, NYC. Question prompted by this story on NPR’s morning edition by Carrie Johnson. Photo Credit: http://www.apoklahoma.org/2006%20photo%20winners%20page%20USE.htm
Antoinette Malveaux, Seattle, WA.
Shannon Nobles, Lansing, MI.
Patricia, Akron, OH. White person: “we all walked out of Africa” Black person: “Some of us got (a) free ride”
Ruth Volz, Mt. Pleasant, MI.
Fred Kester, East Lansing, MI. We may not be personally responsible for the injustices of the past, but we are still responsible for creating a society where there are opportunities for all and where justice prevails.
Ed Kaufman, Morris, MN. Another Six words: My grandfather stood witness at Mankato. I enjoyed seeing you at UM Morris a while back (when this would have been timely given the 150th anniversary of the Mankato Debacle) Read More about this post: http://www.nickcolemanmn.com/?p=3124 http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2012/12/26/minnesota-works-forgiving-not-forgetting-its-native-history-146502 http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2012/12/22/watch-dakota-38-documentary-remember-those-lost-150-years-ago-146499 http://highwayhighlights.com/2013/04/reconciliation-park-mankato-mn/
Dawn Fleming, Lansing, MI.
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.
Erin Morris, Tempe, AZ. My husband and I have two sons adopted from S. Korea. When people feel compelled to mention our race difference or the obvious fact that our children are adopted, it is often along the lines of what “good people” we are, or how “lucky” our children are to have been adopted [...]
Barry M., Canada. Whether at work, in school, in a neighbourhood… especially a new one you moved to, as a Black person, especially as a Black man your acceptance is conditional. Your every mistake is taken as a reason you do not belong. When you do right no one notices. Anyone is allowed to make [...]
Morgan Lavandowska Minneapolis, MN As a 21 year old white woman, I have the privilege of being white that gives me power to do what others can’t. Instead of abusing that power, I prefer to try to help bring positive change to the world and, hopefully, help bring equality for all.
Chelsea Delaney, Baltimore, MD. I have read different race cards that elaborated so much about the downsides of being my race, about being an African American and the disadvantages of it. I do believe that both sides need to be explained, but I want to focus more on the positive. Focus more on how liberating [...]
Tanya, Manakin Sabot, VA. My (adopted) son is biracial, his bio-father is unknown. I will never be able to connect him with his biological African American family. There is a void that I will never be able to fill for him . This breaks my heart as his mama.
Melanie Serrano, Denver, CO.
Chris Gajewski, Barre, VT. I was hurt eleven years ago due to me making the worst choice a person could make. I got behind the wheel of a car one too many times while being intoxicated. After learning to walk and live again, I slowly began to repair my broken life. I clawed my way [...]
Bethany Fetterhoff, Indiana, PA.
Kaitlin Vojnik, Indiana, PA.
Cody Keller, Harrisburg, PA.
Vicky Black, West Fargo, ND.
Paul T., North Babylon, NY.
Joseph Conway, Baltimore, MD. She showed support and she was brave a 33 year old Jewish neighbor of mine wanted to see how a black funeral was,we all embraced her.
James Edward Mills, Madison, WI. Fifty years ago this summer in 1964 Charles Madison Crenchaw became the first African-American to climb to the summit of Mount McKinley, the tallest peak in North America. Also known as Denali this peak represents the highest physical point that anyone can achieve in this country. And as metaphor of [...]
Benjamin Christy Laguna Niguel, CA This is the title of John Lydon’s autobiography, which refers to his upbringing as an Irishman in London. He was reminded of how the Irish were despised and how there used to be signs in apartment buildings and hotels that expressed their displeasure with these three races. I used to [...]
Dave R. Oakland County, MI Black America has proven me wrong. When I was young and dumb, I believed racism was the realm of idiots and red-necks. As I have grown older, I see the culture of Black America is little more than a drain on society. They and them are words I never thought [...]
Kelly Nicole Kerstetter, Bowling Green, OH.
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 [...]
Nicole S., Overland Park, KS.
Latoya Baerlocher-Turner, Newport News, VA. It’s fun watching people attempt to imagine my face from my name. My first name is notably of African American origin, but my last name tells a different story, so people don’t know what to expect. And it’s always the same vice versa when people who’ve met me, learn my [...]
Cherrice Robinson, FL. I am a black girl. That is my race, not a description of who I am as a person and it’s definitely not a label. Just simply my race. I am proud of my race but the sooner we realize our race is just our race and nothing more, the sooner we [...]
Alizaye Manigo, Macomb, MI.
Roberto Solis, Homestead, FL.
Dr. Jacqueline Lawrence, Windsor, CA. As a young child, my first memories of blacks in San Francisco were scary, and they weren’t from television. I remember smelling the strong scent of urine in the elevators, hearing moms tell their children to “Get cho ass out of my face” and “Go sit cho ass down” and [...]
Christopher Wydler, Miami, FL. People always ask me does it bother you that more than 90 percent of the university you attend contain African Americans? My response is simply I see people for who they are not because the skin of their color.
Linda D. Calvin, Westfield, IN. I am one of five siblings, but I am the only one who is black. My brothers and sisters, cousins, nieces, nephews, great nieces, uncles and aunts are white. After three children and a divorce, my mother met and married a black man in the 60s and had me. I [...]
Anna Russell, Mangum, OK. #TheRaceCard is used by government to muddy the REAL ISSUE, the class divisions. When ppl are crammed in the ghettos of the largest cities it breeds contempt. Jobs and parents are scarce. Violence reigns supreme. The majority in the inner cities are black but not all, every color is there and [...]
Rick Kraske Las Vegas, NV We adopted our son Joshua as an infant. His mom, also white and I, later divorced. He is now 12 and his understanding of race in America is now growing at a rapid pace as he is reminded of the manner in which he is treated with us and away [...]
Brody Cameron Virginia Beach, VA
Anurag Roongta, India. In India, though a developing country, there are still communities that don’t allow marrying outside one’s race, including my own. And those who don’t hold these views personally, are afraid of saying it loud in society. I am not afraid of presenting my views, but my parents and their views weigh me [...]
Alix Sotomayor, Boone, NC. I have always felt suspended between two worlds, since my ethnicity is widely varied (like that of most Americans). I am mostly (~70%) white, of Scots-Irish and English descent, but also have a chunk (25%) of Puerto Rican heritage (the missing ~5% comes from smidges of Native American and German ancestry). [...]
Damola Adebayo, Chicago, IL. It’s unfortunate how frequently the term “ghetto” is used so flippantly to describe undesirable, often “characteristically” African-American, aspects of culture. Makes me cringe every time I hear it.
Jim Little, Florence, OR. Too corny?
Jonscott Williams, Gilbert, AZ. This is the question either asked, or thought but unasked, by people both Black and White. This is connected to the assumption that one of my parents is White … neither is, though an early ancestor was. Some Black people have questioned whether I was “Black enough” … some Whites have [...]
Joan Evans, Lawrencevillve, GA. And I am 100% white. But (far too many of) my students associate “white” with oppression and bigotry. When they tell me I’m not white, they are trying to tell me I’m not a racist. Telling me I’m not white is a compliment. Pretty damning, huh?
Paul Kuck, Portland, OR. I could talk about this all day. Race, ethnicity, and ancestry fascinate me. The question of who I am has been with me since I can remember. When I was little, we lived near the reservation in South Dakota, and everyone thought I was Native. My sister who is pale, blue [...]
Michel Bassadon, White Plains, NY. I was born in Morocco. My mother was Austrian and my father Jewish Moroccan, known as Sephardic. In high school some of my peers said my accent was French, others said it was Spanish. They decided I was from Monaco, especially since my first name was French. For a long [...]
Lindsay Svendsen, DeKalb, IL. This project is amazing, but I wish things like this did not have to exist in order for so many to open their eyes and their hearts. How we appear on the outside does not define who we are nor should it be the basis for any judgements.
Tina C. Ozturk, Washington, DC. You can’t imagine how many times people of all races exclaim my daughters cuteness while questioning my motherhood. I try not to take it personally, but I do find it rude and disrespectful to risk hurting a parent’s feelings just because you are curious. What’s the point?
Christopher Brown, Dallas, TX. I’m here to spite all those who reference black men as useless, dead-beat or otherwise absent when it comes to fatherhood. I’m am only one, but I’m one in a line of dads who exemplify the term and the best meanings associated with it.
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 [...]
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.”
Tojo, Chicago, IL. Even the really Japanese people in my family don’t appear shockingly Asian so I can see where this comes form, but I am Japanese-American. That means I’m American too.
Victoria Long, Seattle, WA. I have experienced racism at a young age, but no matter what they said, I forgave them in the end.
Jaime Almandoz, Dallas, TX.
Keith Stokes, Newport, RI. Persons of African heritage have been far too long a background to much of American history. The more we can learn and share about our important contributions to American history, the more we as a people will be able to share in the full fruits of living and prospering in America.
Joy Los Angeles, CA Looking into my family history, at first I found relief at finding no record of slave ownership, even among ancestors in the South. Was it just because they could not afford to buy slaves? But then I found a transcript of a sermon my great-great grandmother’s brother gave at a church [...]
Larry, Orlando, FL. In closing up my elderly parents’ home, I was given some family news I did not expect from a relative I haven’t kept up with. It seems she did genealogical research and found out my grandmother’s family was deported in 1912 because they were Jewish. They came to America again a few [...]
Tim Brown, Millington, TN. I grew up in a very large Southern white family of absolutely insufferable racists. While researching our family’s genealogy, a cousin of mine found that the US Census listed many of our not-so-distant ancestors as “mulatto”, a term generally reserved to describe people who were half white and half black. We [...]
Rebekah Bickford, Baldwin, ME. My white family moved from Indiana to Mississippi in 1977, when I was 8 years old. Our family was seen as “Northern Yankees” and we were not welcomed by many in the white community. The black children were kind to me when I entered school and quickly became my friends. I [...]
Susan Kosior, Fredericksburg, VA.
Valerie B. Williams, Jim Thorpe, PA. I was born a WASP but now have a muti-ethnic, multi-racial family. It’s our present and future. Diversity makes us special. Love is all that matters.
Peter Seay, St. Louis MO. After my grandparents past away, we inherited a sideboard which promptly found its home in our dining room. As it came into our home, it was shared with me that the piece was built in the early 19th century by slaves in Mississippi. The sideboard was my first real knowledge [...]
William Kincaid, St. Louis, MO. I use some literary license in choosing the word “daughter”. She is actually the great-great-granddaughter of one of my family’s former slaves, if you want to get technical about it. But a six word statement is no place to get technical. Regardless there are not enough words to express how [...]
Emily K Petersen, Hartford, CT.
Zoë McLaughlin, USA. Waiting in line for the Chinatown bus in New York City, a man approached me and began speaking Spanish. I squinted at him and briefly pondered my response. This was not the first time someone has expected me to speak Spanish. As soon as I began making forays out of my predominantly [...]