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You’re pretty…for a dark-skinned girl!

Vernae Williams, Sacramento, CA. I grew up in a family full of light skinned people. I always felt like an outsider because within the Black community light skin is seen as the “right skin”, and dark skin is viewed as being ugly. Growing up I never truly felt comfortable in my own skin due to […]

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I am me, not my race

Dawn Taylor, Alta Loma, CA. I don’t want to be defined by the color of my skin and I don’t define others by the color of theirs. We are better defined by our character, how we behave when we think no one is watching. When in doubt, be loving and kind. Give people the benefit […]

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Khoa Le, Elk Grove, CA. Ever since I started school as a kid, whether it’s a math class, history, or English, a teacher will always have technical difficulties with their computer. They then ask the class, does anyone know how to fix this. *An asian kid raises his hand and helps the teacher.*As i get […]

To see Dale hurt, still hurts.

Erin Thomas, Riverside, CA. In 1956, when I was in 4th grade (9-10 years old), we had a less-than-kind teacher, but you were taught to respect your teacher, no matter what. We were sitting in a circle on the floor having some kind of sharing session and the teacher had a boy, Dale, stand up […]

White men run errands too

Michael Kelley Los Angeles, CA I am a White man and when I am out running errands, some Black or Hispanic person will invariably ask if I am the Police. It’s funny that they still think it even though I grew my hair out because I got tired of being asked this question.

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You are important. Your voice matters!

Kathy Mercado Temecula, CA I do not know what it is like to be pulled over by the police because of the color of my skin. I do not know what it is like to be called degrading names because of my ethnic background. I do not know what it is like to be profiled […]

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Held against your will?

Judy Vasquez, Murrieta, CA. I am a caucasion female, brown hair with brown eyes and my husband is proudly Hispanic/Mexican. We were pulled over at a checkpoint one evening on or way home from a family event and when the officer looked in the car, he asked me, “Ma’am, are you being held against your […]

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I’m not adopted! I’m mixed-race.

Julie Taeko, San Francisco, CA. Writing a book called “Good Morning, Mixed-Race America!” to highlight the stories of 12 mixed-race individuals who are part-Asian, millenials and loving life! Checking All the Boxes & Embracing Our Own Unique Multi-Cultural Identity.

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Samoan/Jewish – aka The Last Unicorn

S. Dreyfuss, Novato, CA. Sometimes I call myself The Last Unicorn, after the silly 1980’s movie about a unicorn, the only one of her kind, that goes searching for evidence of others. Growing up with the unusual combination of Samoan/Ashkenazi Jewish, I’ve always wondered if there was anyone else out there like me. Any single […]

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To be young, gifted, and black.

Maynard Hearns, Santa Cruz, CA. The black story in america is very simple: we were slaves, and then we weren’t. We were never given freedom, or equality. When we begged for it, we were lied to. When we Marched on Washington and pleaded our case, we were shot in the back of the head. When […]

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I’m the future, can’t you see?

Lauren Lola Newark, CA Why are people always so curious about what my racial makeup is? They treat it like it’s a game- like they’re going to win a prize if they get it right. The overly asked question “What are you?” often is directed at me by individuals who are just meeting me the […]

I can’t find Home… Found it!

Mari Pollack Los Angeles, CA Joy was adopted at the age of 11 from an abusive home in Korea into a loving family in California. Now a rebellious alcoholic in her 20s, she is homesick for a home that doesn’t want her and unable to feel truly a part of her adoptive family. She returns […]

I became an activist and prisoner

Dan Kelly San Francisco, CA I was in a Brooklyn HS in the early 60s and the images coming from the south inspired me to question the social conventions that supported segregation, From that it was a short jump to questioning forteign policies that justified invading 3rd world countries. College seemed irrelevant and I left […]

Relief, family pride, and then hope

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 […]

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Not just for being a black girl.

Anisha (Blair) Taylor, Riverside, CA. “Your beautiful. For a black girl.” . Those words spilled out the mouth of a young black male, in my 12th grade math class. Only then was reminded. That being a Dark skin Black Women, We are not considered to be as beautiful as other women. I was in second […]

Somewhere between Salsa and Country!

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 […]

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“Why don’t you like me?”

Mandy P, Sacramento, CA. When I was 7 years old we moved to Sacramento from Oregon. The culture and diversity is very in California than in Oregon. Moving to California exposed me to many other races and cultures. I saw many other races in my environment. Although in my neighborhood, where I lived and attended […]

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You’re Native American? Well, how much?

Kaitlin Reed, Poughkeepsie, NY. I am a Yurok Indian. We are the salmon people and my ancestors have lived by the Klamath River in northern California since time began. But after centuries of continual sexual conquest against Native American women, I am not the color of Pocahontas. That’s right, I’m white-skinned and Indian. This hasn’t […]

White, Black, Latino, Asian, or Human?

Michael S., Elk Grove, CA. My mom divorced and remarried 3 times with 3 different men with totally different race and had a child from each marriage. Her first marriage was gentlemen from Jamaica, second was a man from Ecuador, and last was from Thai. My mom been immersed and learned every one of her […]

“Black” enough for slavery, still “White”

James Cannon, Sacramento, CA. I’m forbidden from appreciating my African English grandmothers experiences and how they contributed to my outlook on life, or sharing this outlook, because of the color of my skin. Even though I’m black enough where I would have been a slave in the south during that era.

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I’m African-American and on time.

Jendayi Rachal, California, CA. I am a proud African-American female who is goal oriented and has her priorities in order. I do not follow stereotypes. I like to express myself and be an individualist. And I know how to enunciate and articulate as well. Intelligence does not belong to a specific skin color.

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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 […]

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Seen It With My Own Eyes

Elizabeth Swenson, Hacienda Heights, CA. I went to school in NC were it was predominately black & white in2006. My husband and the majority of my friends are Hispanic or Spanish descent. I never really though racism exist coming from LA, CA were its divers. But here I saw people say nasty things, dirty looks, […]

Breaking ground was my cross borne.

Alfredo Barrios Jr. Manhattan Beach, CA I was blessed with a lot of talent and drive, and have broken ground as a Latino in many arenas. I attended Harvard College, then Harvard Law School, then joined a prestigious law firm, then switched careers and became successful TV writer, director and producer. Early on, I resented […]

Can’t You tell I am Different

Jose Cabrera San Francisco, CA Can you not tell that I am different? From looking at me you would not be able to tell that I am vegetarian, that I care about the environment, and my grades. You would assume that I am Mexican, but then again aren’t all Latinos Mexican? You would assume that […]

We all have our own battles.

Amanda Ardessi Diamond Bar, CA Although being discriminated against is still a real problem, I think we often forget that everyone, regardless or race or color, have their own battles to fight. I think we get caught up in race too much, and that at the end of the day, who we are is shown […]

Porch-people loud Cabin-dwellers hushed

Kev Manning, Aptos Hills, CA. My experience has been– culturally, people with more southern (rural?) roots tend to be porch people (and employ languish-avoiding strategies), making them more outgoing, boisterous, and apt to loud outdoor partying, while feeling sorry for their quiet (near death?) neighbors; ….at the same time, people with more northern (urban?) roots […]

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Non white American? Call me Cuban!

Heather Thompson, San Francisco, CA. While travelling to Mexico for one week, 5 separate people asked me if I was Cuban, 1 asked me if I was Portuguese (including one American!). I speak beginner-intermediate level spanish, but am Biracial (black, white, and a smidge of Native American). My white friend travelling with me was not […]

Sometimes I forget I’m not white

Darshi Balasuriya Long Beach, CA I spend my days mostly in Orange County California. I live in this white world and often see myself in the reflection of those whom I love and enjoy the company of. I rarely think about color of skin or race. But occasionally I encounter treatment from others that doesn’t […]

Cleaning myself to look like her

Matthew Garcia, Salinas, CA. I’m African-American, my mother would have my stay at my baby sitters house after school while she was working. One day my mom picked me up from my baby sitters house but before we left my mom and the babysitter were having conversation. I was playing in the living room when […]

I’m the blonde on the bus

Peggy Magnusson San Pedro, CA In exchange for the stress of freeway traffic, I have begun taking the bus to and from work. For most of my life I have lived in largely white, upper middle class communities. Now I sit shoulder-to-shoulder with people of color. Sometimes I am uncomfortable.

What is it like to be White?

Raymond Currie, San Francisco, CA. Thanks to the Race Card Project for the opportunity to say this. I often wonder, but could never say to my friends or family; it must be nice to be white? What is it like:… to be welcomed and treated with respect no matter what country one visits, to be given the […]

You people weren’t the first Americans

Ilene Santoyo, Hollywood, CA. White people always think that they were the first people in America those whom are racist are always say to Mexicans, “Go back to your country.” and to be honest it was our country and now it is being shared between us all we are united and it’s what wouldn’t change.

Don’t understand racial pride. Do you?

Cesar Murillo, Riverside, CA. It has always seemed a bit odd to hear people claim “white pride”, “black pride”, “brown pride”, etc. We don’t get to choose our skin color so what is it that we’re proud of? The same can be said of one’s birthplace or ethnic background, they are things we can’t change […]

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Being white isn’t always easy!

Brenna Beach-Stowe, Riverside, CA. I’m white, and being so hasn’t ever felt like a blessing to me…not that I am unhappy with who I am, but growing up in Riverside, CA, being white makes you a minority in school. I always got along with anyone who was a nice person, regardless of race. But when […]

No, I do not own Ugg Boots

Hannah Stadnick, Riverside, CA. I believe that “white girls” get put into a very strong stereotype. Pumpkin spice lattes, Ugg boots, twitter, flannels, etc. are just a few of the common things that are stereotypical “white girl” attributes. If a girl shows up with any of these things they are almost automatically stereotyped into the […]

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I am not WHITE…

Ryan Lewandowski, Tustin, CA. I may look white, but I am 1/4 Lebanese (Middle Eastern) and 3/4th European (Irish, Polish, and Finnish)… So I don’t eat traditional American foods and I don’t feel entitled because I look white… I am a third generation immigrant! CBU-HIS311

Father of two girls…I’m Black

Keith Williams, Hawthorne, CA. I know plenty of black fathers…notice I didn’t say sperm donors, we are perceived to be an endanger species. Every father’s day on facebook, you can read the hurt from mothers, and children. Real black fathers exist, I’m proud to be counted as one of them. Society has deemed that the […]

My name is Xochitl, not “Sushi”

Xochitl Tovar, Riverside, CA. Growing up, my name was my worst enemy. Not only did my fellow schoolmates give me a hard time about it, but my teachers made it difficult for me as well. I became accustomed to spelling it out and pronouncing it for the comfort of others, which would turn into a […]

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No way! You speak Spanish?!

Victoria Chapperon, Anaheim, CA. When people look at me they think I’m white. Once I start speaking perfect Spanish, they freak out and ask me either where I’ve learned it, or if I am from Mexico. Even, when I tell them that I am from Argentina, they automatically think that just my parents are. Just […]

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Living While Black Can Be Lethal

Malcolm Green Jr., Riverside, CA. When black people are getting shot by the cops, black lives matter. But when black people are killing other black people in the streets, neither life matters. The victim dies and there is no promise that the shooter will be caught. People cry for about 4 days then forget about […]

Slavery by All, Ended by Whites

Michael, San Rafael, CA. While all races practiced slavery, Whites were the ones to end it. All Christian White countries ended slavery approximately 150 years ago but sadly it is still practiced by Blacks, Asians, Asian-Indians and Muslim Whites today.

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Rice is my LIFE. Deal with it.

Emily, Perris, CA. I have NEVER been so proud to be a Filipino-American. My culture is my everything and I would not trade it for the world. Being the handful of Asians at my school makes me even more unique. I want to promote diversity, I want people to be okay with the color of […]

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Yes, I was born in Detroit.

Amanda Nelski, Los Angeles, CA. People like to put other people in boxes. “Where are you really from?” they ask. I used to answer Detroit. When they asked where my parents are from, Detroit was not suitable either. “You don’t look like you’re from Detroit.” After some banter I would eventually confess my lineage is […]

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No you’re NOT Latina, YOU’RE white.

Karen Davis, Cupertino, CA. Recently, I was told by my closest friends that I am NOT latina I am white. I can not understand this because they know I speak fluent Spanish. My father was a migrant worker. My mother was from Mexico and her English was okay however it was obvious she preferred spanish. […]

Hated for being a white coach

Michael, Beaumont, CA. I was hated for being a white football coach in a nearly all black school. It didn’t matter that I had the players best interests at heart, if I had to speak to a player about his behavior I was only doing it because I was white and didn’t like black people. […]

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“What are you? Where’re you from?”

Bettina Sferrino, Oakland, CA. As a mixed race person, I get these questions all the time. The persons asking have a strong desire to know and place the “other,” and a feeling that somehow the persons asking these questions can’t move forward interacting with me without knowing that information. I can’t help but think for […]

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You’re pretty for a Black girl.

Maya Segirah, Los Angeles, CA. As if the qualifier, somehow, makes me different from the rest, which are by implication inferior, and therefore I’m better? I should be pleased with this? What makes people think THIS is a compliment? And why are they invariably annoyed when I point out that this is not a compliment?

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“White” papers over background identity.

Catherine Kehl, Cleveland Heights. OH. When we divide ourselves into “us” and “other” we don’t only lose the other, we lose ourselves. I was twenty-seven before I realized that my mother sometimes spoke to me in Spanish not because she’d picked some up in college before travelling in South America in her twenties, but because […]

How dare you presume I’m christian?

Gregory Ruderman Valencia, CA In most ways, being Jewish in modern America is significantly easier than at any time in the past, such as when my grandfather got his degree at MIT, something Jews typically couldn’t do in his era, but there are times when the discrimination is more insidious. From the supposed “war on […]

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You Can’t be of Mexican Descent!

Damian Solorzano, Sacramento, CA. Don’t let my skin tone, size and acculturation fool you. Like the Author of the above piece, I check “Hispanic” on the appropriate boxes. Mom was born in Dinamita, Durango, Mexico, Dad in Earlimart, California. Grandparents? Well, my Maternal Grandmother was born in Corcoran, California, Paternal Grandmother in Brownsville, Texas. Grandfathers […]

Stereotypes: “Wake-up Everybody!”: Analyze Your Thinking

Mark Ross, California, CA. These issues are complex. Stereotypes (or action using information from stereotype) are based often enough on at least some modicum of reality (authentic or perceived). The wrong view As an African-American male, I have been unduly perceived as a threat. That suspicion has been acted upon several times by government authority, […]

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Treat every race as your own.

Eva Dotti, Long Beach, CA. This is the best way I can be the change I want to see. I don’t ever want to be a racist and not know it, so I always make a conscious effort to remind myself that racism exists, and every action can help erase it.

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I actually live in a house

Ribora, Riverside, CA. As an International student, it can be offensive to think just because a person is from Africa, they come from a jungle and live among lions. I wish people had a better perspective or knew some facts about it before asking funny or offensive questions about how home is like to me. […]

White, female – begin to speak – IMMIGRANT!

Åsa Nojd San Francisco, CA For better or worse, my accent changes others’ perception of me in an instant when they hear me speak. That used to make me feel very self-conscious and I sometimes avoided talking, not to reveal that I’m actually a foreigner and not just another white American. It took me a […]

I’m A Black Conservative (We Exist)

Mekela J Tyler, Indio, CA. Whenever someone learns that about me, they look at me as though I have three heads. It’s funny that the political party that wants to break racial barriers continues to pigeonhole me into a category based on my race. Talk about a double standard. I’ll tell you why I’m not […]

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My name is Eve, not Eva.

Eve Lopez, Arcata, CA. When I tell people my name, they don’t hear it. They hear “Eva,” because of the “a” that is often at the end of Latina first names. This only happens with white people. And even after I’ve met someone multiple times, sometimes they will still call me “Eva” when they see […]

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Being Asian, my Authenticity is Questioned

Colette, Sacramento, CA. “I love Asian girls” “I love Japanese people” “Konnichiwa” “Ni hao” “Sayonara” “Kamsammida” ‘Your a bad Japanese. You don’t know Japanese.’ “Are you Chinese?” “I don’t think people in Osaka speak Kansaiben” “I know Chinese” “You look the most Japanese” “You could be an other Asian too” One Caucasian man approached my […]

Get out of my country!

John Wong, San Francisco, CA. I’m an American Born Chinese and am in my early 20’s, while riding the train, this was said to me by a Hispanic gentleman. He said it to me in broken English, which took me aback. I questioned his audacity for saying this to me & proceeded to go into […]

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Chased and called Jap in Detroit.

Joyce Fidler, Toluca Lake, CA. In 1956 I was in first grade, my mother was Japanese-Hawaiian, and I knew nothing about WWII. I didn’t realize my mother was part Japanese, nor did I know why anyone should care. Years later in high school I failed to grasp why students on my Indianapolis school bus would […]

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We are all brothers and sisters

Christina Williams, Aliso Viejo, CA. Race is such as small idea in comparison to bigger ideas like love, togetherness, family, connection and happiness. I wish to raise my children in a world where people are celebrated for ideas and compassion and not for superficial ideas such as skin color and ethnicity. Race is outside of […]

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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. […]

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Kofi is a fake white man!

fakeKofi M. G. W. Opantiri, Los Angeles, CA. I am the eldest child of two boys and a girl born to an American-African father and a French-Canadian (white) mother. Born in New York City in 1949, the “one-drop” rule informed me early on that I was Negro and colored. Like millions of American-Africans, I became […]

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Your hair’s pretty. What are you?

Renee Bracey Sherman. Oakland, CA. “Can I touch your hair?” they ask, hand already extended, a mere inch from my thick brown curls. I feel invaded. Living as a biracial woman isn’t the easiest thing in the world. People come up to me with an inquisitively tilted head and say “What are you?” If I […]

My children have no heritage day.

Mac Los Angeles, CA My children grew up in southern California and attended fabulously diverse schools that frequently featured “Heritage Days” where the school children were encouraged to wear clothes, and bring in food and other articles representative of their ethnic background. From their earliest years, my kids found this confusing. What were we anyway? […]

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That’s weird, your kids are blonde.

Brian Parra, Oxnard, CA. Without fail, the first thing a person remarks on, upon seeing my kids, is that they are blonde and I am not. I’ve gotten used to odd looks and the consistent recitation of a poor understanding of genetics, “Mom must have some strong genes!” Some have literally questioned whether they are […]

Let’s lower the volume and talk.

C.S. Concord, CA Shouting at each other over the fences that divide us hasn’t served us. It shows a fundamental lack of respect and obscures any attempt to view each other, our opinions, our inclinations and needs in a measured, reasonable way. We have to be able to face each other, look each other in […]

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Light brown, dark brown don’t matter!!!

Shaunta Whitaker, Lompoc, CA. I am a grandmother and I love being a grandmother but with it comes some heartache because of some of the stares I have to endure when I am out with my grandson. I am African-American with a dark brown complexion and my grandson is mixed with Mexican, Italian and African-American […]

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Black~Soulful~Queen~Loving~My~Skin

Ebonee Small, Ontario, CA. I am a young black woman proud of the skin I’m in. I love my race of people when those who don’t. I’m always proud because it seems as if every obstacle placed before my race we always concur leaving others dumbfounded. Others outside my race seem to always try and […]