Dahomey Abanishe, Secrest, FL. As a child in Kansas, I always assumed I was African-American and not because of what I was culturally but because of how I looked. I am Truly a Nigerian American culturally. My father is Nigerian and I was raised eating pepper stew and listening to Fela. No one fried chicken […]
Arturo Carrero, The Netherlands.
Marissa Rejali, Salt Lake City, UT. I’m racially ambiguous. Even though most people consider me white, I have felt my fair share of racism. After the 9/11 attacks most of my school friends were not allowed to walk to school with me. My laser hair removal bill is competing with my car payment, and I […]
Annaleis Thibault, Bolton, MA. As a white, middle class american, I feel as though I owe reparations for the crimes committed by my ancestors.
Suzie Husami, San Diego, CA. My mother and father met in college in upstate New York – he, a Lebanese -Muslim-Republican named Muhammad and she, an American non-practicing Methodist-Democrat named Maureen. They fell in love and had three daughters – Najla, our olive-skinned sister, and my twin sister and me – pale and freckled. My […]
Hector Vargas, Grand Rapids, MI. I grew up on the east coast. The high school I attended was primarily populated by minorities. My mother is Mexican and my biological father is Brazilian. My mother remarried and i was raised with Mexican customs. On the East cost I was considered Latino, in the mid west I […]
Jake, USA. Empowerment and civil rights for African Americans has not always translated into equality for those with Asian backgrounds. We may be viewed as model minorities but often we face discrimination and racism, especially from the African American community. One would think given the civil right movement, they would have understood what it meant […]
Margaret Lin, Houston, TX. Although ethnically Asian, I stick out like a sore thumb in Asia. When I visited China last summer, my mother told me that everyone there could tell I wasn’t raised in China. Perhaps it was the way I dressed, or my heavy accent when I attempted speaking Chinese, or how my […]
Lauren, Fairpoint, NY. I was required to do this for a MSW course on ethnic diversity. As a white, Italian-American woman, it was very difficult for me to think of an example of a racial micro-aggression that I have experienced. I have coarse, curly black hair. The statement was meant to be an insult.
Danielle Giese, Cheverly, MD. This is what my white neighbor called a group of African American young men who were congregating outside of the a local grocery store. Apparently, one of them was showing off his new baby. I wondered if that will be how my sons will be described years from now. Will they […]
Juan Carlos Quevedo, Albuquerque, NM.
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.
Sean, CT. I’m not proud to be white, because there’s so many different kinds of white and I’m not proud of my skin color, I’m proud of my culture. Sunday dinners. Seafood. Irish bread. That’s what I identify with, not the color of my skin. And to call me racist for that is complete shi*.
Peter Alison, Richmond, VA. I come from an Austrian mother and an American father, so when people ask me about my ethnic background I tell them I’m half-Austrian. Throughout middle and high-school this elicited responses asking me if I hated Jewish people, or if I praised Hitler. It was annoying at first, but later it […]
Stacey Seattle, WA The Civil Rights movement was hijacked by progressives. Since that time, they have destroyed Dr. King’s “Dream”. The virtual enslavement of the near-entirety of America’s black populace to the statist ideological plantation is destroying any hope of reconciling the differences between majority & minority. No longer is a man encouraged to exhibit […]
Taylor Valdosta, GA Systematic racism exits and is targeted towards blacks. It’s in the government and in schools, Its always and will always continue to be that way in this country. American is not for blacks! Whites don’t want us here but we are here and we have put more work into building the country […]
Alva Jones Jr. Greensboro, NC I’m a bit of a focal point of discrimination in this country. As a Black man I’m viewed as a threat. As a gay man I’m viewed as an abomination. These views have by no means been universal in my travels, but the reality of their existence is no less […]
Samantha Lauren New York, NY Hate when people have the audacity to say to ANYONE that they ought to “just call themselves American” instead of Afro-American, Asian-American, Polish-American, or whatever. I am an American and as an American it’s my RIGHT to identify however I choose; I am an American of African descent, therefore I’m […]
Maria Seattle, WA You’re Mexican? Then why the disguise? I was asked this by a viejito selling his wares in Tijuana, México, probably about 20 years ago. He had been shocked to hear me speak Spanish. I would of been in my early 20s, all rebellious with punked out bleached blond hair, red converse & […]
Ninfa Pena-Purcell College Station, TX This picture of my parents captures a young Mexican American couple with aspirations to live the American dream in the 1950s only to find out that their family of six children would never be welcomed in their neighborhood. Years later this experience has stayed with me and made me resolve […]
Jameson Magdaleno Sacramento, CA This is my personal observation as a Mexican American regarding the plight of families with illegal immigrant parents who have children born in the U.S. today and their struggle to stay united. – Jameson Magdaleno
Daniel A. Rodriguez Philadelphia, PA Hello, my name is Daniel A. Rodriguez and I am 15 years old. I am of Mexican and White descent. My parents came from Mexico shortly before I was born here, in the United States. My father is a construction worker and my mother is a house cleaner, which many […]
Yasmin Gill Baltimore, MD My mother is white, American, and my father is Pakistani. Where ever I go, and whomever I am with, I rarely find someone who is at home with *all* of me. I am American, undeniably so, but there are peices of me that are also uniquely Pakistani. Americans see or experience […]
Rose McKenney Lakewood, WA I’m glad we’re finally acknowledging the number of multi-ethnic people in the US. Sadly people my age (50s) have been asked to choose one; yet I know several multi-ethnic people around my age. They lost a lot because they or their parents felt the need to choose one tradition or ethnicity.
Judy Goffena Boogman Billings, MT When I was young there was a girl adopted possibly by a couple in my small hometown in Montana. She was Native American and her “parents” were not. Matter of fact the whole town was not. She seemed angry and out of place. One day I was waiting on the […]
Bessie King Boston, MA I don’t think I have been offended by being asked “Where are you from?” before. I was raised to know that I am a Mexican with an American passport in a country where everyone is from somewhere. Until the USA truly embraces diversity and it’s own history, there will be no […]
Mattie West Sacramento, CA
Rahul Iyer Mesa, AZ Not Really Indian, American Born Desi is what could be used to describe me. Not Really Indian (NRI) is a term that is often coined to describe people of Asian Indian background who were born outside of India. The actual legal term used by the Indian Government is Nonresident Indian (NRI). […]
Renee Lewin Asutin, TX My mother is Mexican-American from the Rio Grande Valley, my father is white from Orange, NJ. I was raised in a home where English was primarily spoken, but Spanish was still commonly heard. As I was growing up I viewed myself primarily as Mexican. I spent most of my time with […]
Melanee West Helena, AR Growing up in the military kids would explain they were biracial by saying “I’m X and American” meaning they were ethnically X and white….. That has always bothered me…. Being American doesn’t automaticaaly mean you’re white!
Rehenuma Meadville, PA As an Asian American Muslim women, I have been asked many times to represent my “people.” As I have gotten older, I no longer feel eager to do so. I am now more sensitive to who benefits from this type of representation and the effect it has on my own psyche. Sometimes, […]
Annie Chicago, IL I AM NOT AFRICAN, NEVER BEEN THERE AND DON’ CARE TO GO. I WAS BORN ON AMERICA SOIL. DON’T CALL/LABEL ME ONETHING SO ONE RACE CAN FEEL SUPERIOR OR LESS DOMINANT. I HAVE YET TO SEE A BLACK PERSON OR A WHITE PERSON. WHERE ARE THEY?
Michele Deramo Blacksburg, VA Despite media depictions of Italian-Americans as criminals and buffoons, fewer than 1% have any connections to organized crime.
Jorge Valladares Orlando, FL My parents came to this country as undocumented immigrants from Honduras, Central America. Their three children provide public service of some kind – I work with students with disabilities at a public college; my sister is a high school Spanish teacher and my brother is a former post-9/11 US Marine and […]
Anna Council Bluffs, IA My dad has a thick accent and looks very Mexican, but can’t speak Spanish. I look and pass as white, but I can speak Spanish.
Dean Lincoln, NE I never know what to put down for my ethnicity when filling out official forms. I used to put down whatever I thought would be most helpful given the situation… padding the numbers for one racial group or whatever gave the best possibilities for scholarships on a different form. I used to […]
Sahin Dzananovic St. Louis, MO
Fatima Abdel-Gwad Sacramento, CA Yes, I’m Muslim. Yes, I’m American. I’m really from America.
Mari Bailey Temecula, CA I am Japanese. I married to American man. However, when I tell people that Im married, people ask if Im married to Japanese guy. I answer, ‘no Im married to American guy.” well….that is not enough for some people. Those people have to know which Ethnicity he is, DOES IT MATTER? […]
Tricia Redlands, CA I am a Mexican American that grew up in a home that did not speak Spanish. Both my mother and father were Mexican Americans born in California and their parents didn’t speak Spanish in the home as well. One time I asked my grandfather why he didn’t teach his children Spanish. His […]
Nicole “Nico” Cisneros USA I know what I am! I’m Cuban-Filipino-American; first-generation Filipino on my mom’s side and second-generation Cuban on my dad’s side. I love celebrating my heritage, but what really puts a pause in my delight– and what sometimes feels like a gut-check– is when others respond with something like, “…but you’re not […]
Stella Katz New York City, NY I’m Hungarian/American, raised working-class in New York City. I believe that race is a conceit (created to justify the exploitation of one group by another) and racism is the practice of that conceit, robbing us of our shared humanity by creating a hierarchy of false distinctions.
Joel Anthony Murray, Sr. Westminster, MD Iranians in DC thought I was Iranian. A Tunisian on a train with me to NY thought I was Tunisian. A Pakistani in Baltimore thought I was Pakistani. A Vietnamese coworker thought I was Middle-Eastern. A Nepalese coworker thought I was Indian or Pakistani. I work with people from […]
Marika Oakland, CA People often ask me “What are you?” or “Where are you from?” which is par for the course for people like me who are ambiguously brown looking, which is how I’ve come to refer to myself. Over time I’ve noticed my attitude toward other people who ask these questions changing. I used […]
Brandon Peplau Grand Rapids, MI I am not white; I am American! I have Chippewa, Syrian, German, and Austrian blood in my veins. The only members of my family living in America during slavery were natives here. If you have a problem with white people, leave me out of it.
Hyung Nam Portland, OR Melting pot was for the construction of whiteness
Talha Baqar San Francisco, CA Being a Pakistani-American, you feel neither here nor there. Here you are a terrorist hell bent on destroying the country, and there you are some American traitor that is basically destined for hell.
Danielle Silver Forest Park, OH A white guy I liked told me this. I am white( German, Irish, Penn. Dutch), Hispanic, Native American. I used to get asked where I was from in school. I said, “I’m an American.” My ancestors have been here for generations. My full brother has never been asked where he […]
Katie Hana Kuyama Northridge, CA I’ve always thought it weird to add “American” to my identity when my ethnicity is indeed Japanese. I’m a second generation Japanese living in America, but people always emphasize that because I live in America, I MUST add “American” to my identity. Not necessarily. In paperwork or community involvement, I […]
Richard Perez Bay Shore, NY The conservative backlash surrounding the Coke commercial featuring the song “America the Beautiful” speaks volumes about how far the right has to go in matters of race/religion/gender and anything else non white male.
Benjamin Donguk Lukoff Seattle, WA Biracial and multiracial people often feel left out of the conversation on race. I’d like to see that change.
Terry Savage Kailua, HI This was my standard response when “insignificant others” inquired about our then very young adopted son’s origins.
Jeff Boothe TX If you were born here you are not African-American, Mexican-American, and Chinese-American. No one says they are European-American, Scottish-American, and Spanish-American. Why do people dilute themselves to being less than American.
Allison Deaton Olympia, WA
Mary Crescenzo USA I most always add a “human” box to check, or fill in the blank with “human” on such requests on forms.
Omero Lara Lubbock, CA I am humble. I am privileged. I am determined. I am expected to do great things. I will make a difference.
Christopher Nook Athens, GA
Deborah Gonzalez Carmichael, CA My daughter identifies herself as a Jew + Cuban + American. Being a Jew is more than a religion; it is an ethnicity, and per Hitler, a race. And for some reason “Cuban” has its own box to check on the U.S. Census; not Latin American, Caribbean, Hispanic etc. I’m not […]
AD Hammershaimb Radnor, PA My siblings see it as belonging everywhere; I see it as belonging nowhere. In Denmark, Danes see me as Filipino-American. In the Philippines, people see me as Danish-American. In the U.S. , I’m Danish and Filipino. or just American. Where can I be all three at once? Where is home?
Nichole Coates Siloam Springs, AR I’m American by birth, but spent my entire childhood in Africa.
Reich Krieger Germany Americans: “There are indigenous people that were here first.” Asians: “There are indigenous people that were here first.” Africa: “There are indigenous people that were here first.” Europe: “Race is a social construct, everyone is the same.” Anti-racist is a codeword for anti-white.
Peter M. Crowley, Martinez, USA. The son of a disabled, white American Anthropologist from Peoria, IL and a dark skinned Trinidadian East Indian Headmistress, I learned at an early age about race, ethnicity, and identity. It has always fascinated me that given the United States own identity as a melting pot, that so many Americans […]
Nancy L Moore Livingston, MT We lived in DC 1964-65 and one day a kid from the inner city offered to mow our lawn. He so wanted to do a good job he was starting to cut it too short. So my dad sent me out to offer him some lemonade to get him to […]
Shelagh Mullings Coral Springs, FL A white supervisor said this to me in 1965 when I was the lone “Negro” working in a white collar job for a large international corporation in San Francisco. I am a naturalized American with light skin (yellow) who was born in Jamaica, BWI. I was well-spoken, quiet (shy), and, […]
Mattison South Hero, VT For most of my life, society wanted me to choose: White or Black. With President Obama in the White House, finally, America understands that I am and can be both.
E. L. Walsh Martinez, CA I never had a black social friend till I lived in Asia. I was so glad to see her walking down my street! As a white female of vaguely Southern background, I often feel more comfortable with some black women than with some fellow white Californians. Class (as a system […]
Ali Berlinski Spain “Being a biracial kid can be hard, especially when you have a white name and face that screams I give pedicures.” – a beautiful mess. Typically, I use humor to talk about my very eclectic upbringing. My family could very well be the United Nations. Navigating through so many cultures can get […]
Katrina Nye San Jose, CA I am full Asian and my husband is a quarter Japanese. Once our son was born I asked my husband which one of us will have the responsibility to give him “the talk” about dealing with racism. My husband replied that it had to be me, because even though he […]
Ralph Brown (Coach~B :)) Dallas, TX My six words are in response to these six words: “We don’t allow colored in here” which were said to me on March 19, 1963 by a young female movie ticket clerk at the Majestic Theater in Dallas, Texas. I was attempting to see the world premiere of “How […]
I am a white woman married to a Mexican American.
Glenn Dixon Ft. Worth, TX Those were the words that opened my eyes to the state of racism in America. At the time, I was sitting in the back seat of a police car next to another guy, both of us in handcuffs. The question came from a Fort Worth police officer who was curious, […]
Rob Walbridge Ivory Coast I am a white American who has lived overseas (in Africa) for 40 years. Married to an African woman for 35 years. This assumption of cultural exceptionalism has caused conflict not only between white and black America, but increasingly between America and the rest of the world, most of which is […]
Raúl Sánchez Seattle, WA Racial profiles are not AMERICAN, I am!
Ron Brown Palm Desert, CA I have always felt lost on where I fit in with American society.
Christina Wong Seattle, WA I’m a second generation Asian American woman who married into a Caucasian family. I have always felt Americanized and never really identified with being Chinese while growing up, except for those occasions of childhood taunts that I must be smart because I’m Chinese or when I experienced the exceedingly rare occurrences […]
Abel TX Speak English only they say. America is a melting pot; think American, be American. If you assimilate you will fit in and be treated equally! But when you assimilate, all that you gain is the loss of your cultural roots and your ethnic identity. Because, there is always someone around the corner to […]
Ben Sian Atlanta, GA Born in the US to Filipino parents.
Inga Paterson-Zuniga West Orange, NJ I am a German-Scottish Spanish teacher, born and raised in the USA. I learned to see the world through multi-colored lenses after living for several years in Mexico, marrying into a Mexican family and acquiring a love of all things Mexican. As a middle school Spanish teacher I hope to […]
Nick Keim Ellicott City, MD My original thoughts when hearing about the race card project are the six words written above. Then I started to worry about putting my name on the site and what people I know might think of me. I thought about changing my six words to “Afraid to speak; am I […]
Lorna Hagen Brooklyn, NY I am Puerto Rico born New Yorker that moved to the US when I was 12. Somewhere in the plane ride over I lost something – I have no shared childhood experiences with my North American friends (lullabies, games, etc.) and no shared adolescent experiences with my Puerto Rican friends. It […]
S. Keita Washington, DC Freedom to choose was never offered.
Kelvin Scruggs Gulfport, MS Is the United States of America the only nation that classifies people by race at birth? At one time it was important classify people by race. The Three-Fifths Compromise was a compromise between Southern and Northern states reached during the Philadelphia Convention of 1787 in which three-fifths of the enumerated population […]
Richard Perez Bay Shore, NY I was born in North Kingstown RI and raised in Queens NY. Somehow, because I am Latino I am often not considered “American”. When I was a teen in the 80’s, I was actually told “Go back where you came from” by an Italian about my age at the time. […]
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 […]
Radhika Guruju Chandler, AZ Education is what helped us get to this country and therefore for most Asian Indian families it still remains the top goal for their children, and education at a Ivy league school is what the focus is on starting as early as 7th grade. Study hard and develop a work ethic […]
Stephanie Connors Eureka, CA Music is one of my biggest reminders of the cultures that I grew up with. It fills me with nostalgia and pride, longing and love of the people who came before me. The people from: everywhere! I love all of it now. From day to day I swirl around in a […]
Ramon Fontaine Pittsburgh, PA Since 1917, and before Alaska and Hawaii, Puerto Ricans have been US citizens. We have fought in every US war since WWI and have lost thousands of lives defending the US Constitution. But for some reason, Puerto Ricans are not often seen as citizens and lumped into the same category as […]
Joy Schmidt Waxhaw, NC I was born in West Africa and adopted by Caucasian parents. But since my parents are missionaries we also live for most of my childhood in Cameroon. When we moved to the U.S. permanently I was starting 9th grade, and one of the most frustrating things that I am met with […]
J Smith Kenya I’ve spent several years living outside the US (Europe, Asia, Africa) and being half Japanese, I am always mistaken for being from the continent of Asia. Even when I tell people repeatedly that I am also half white and that my Japanese side of the family has been in the US for […]
John David Rodriguez Sacramento, CA Being an Asian-American today is not even a far cry to what it was 20-75 years ago, especially if you were a Japanese American who had to endure living in the American Japanese Camps. Not even many Americans remember those days. I am a Californian that is Japanese, Mexican, Irish, […]
Robert Fang Plano, TX I am a Chinese. I came to US in 1977 when I was 27, full grown. My children were all born in US and raised in Texas. When my first son was 5 years old, I asked him casually, in Chinese, “Are you a little Chinese or a little American.? (你是小中國人還是小美國人?” […]
Crissie Acosta Miami, FL Born of Cuban immigrants there is a sense of loss of my heritage, culture and traditions. My parents came to this country when they were children themselves carrying little to nothing but the clothes on their backs and even less of their culture and traditions. They were raised in an era […]
Ian Peterkin Bridgeport, CT When you think about it, what do you know of the achievements of black Americans other than what you get in February? Virtually everything I’ve learned about black art, literature, culture, and religion, I learned on my own. Cut off from one’s cultural identity, point of origin, and the stories that […]
Tamara Oneida, KY I don’t think that white Americans should have to apologize for being in the majority in this particular country, nor should they feel bad for having their own unique culture. I think people should just live their lives and quit worrying about whether the majority approves.