Where did you meet your wife?

Brian Comerford Aurora, CO I notice when many husbands are asked a similar question, the word “where” is substituted with “how”; my impression is that because I am a white Anglo male married to a Southeast Asian woman with a foreign accent, the question is actually front-loaded with curiosity about whether or not we were […]

Grandma’s racial rejection disappeared with Olivia

Elizabeth Clair Winslow, Denver, CO. No one from my immediate family showed up when George and I were married. But when Olivia was born, all that changed. George was from Jamaica… a brown man. I was from Maryland; Mom said black Irish. Olivia teaches us about Intersectionality and Bias, twenty years later.

I want to be like Mom

Susan, Boulder, CO. I’ve been going through something of an identity crisis recently. I’m 31, of mixed race (1/2 Mexican and 1/2 a mix of European). Although my mom was born in Mexico and is fluent in Spanish, I wasn’t raised much in the culture because I grew up on an Air Force Base in […]

My skin is not my culture.

Rachel Brinson, Centennial, CO. People always want to put me in a box and assume what I find offensive, what I find familiar, and how I choose to see myself and others. No one chooses to see human first, identity second. I will forever be explaining that the body given to me is arbitrary, and […]

Χιος to Hughes…we’re all immigrants

Patricia Hughes, Lake Arrowhead, CA. My father’s father took the long route of immigration from Greece during the political upheavals occurring in the early part of the 20th century, and later sent for his family. My father and some of his siblings were born in America. Growing up extremely poor in Denver, Colorado, my father […]

Before me, six Native nations here.

Minal Parekh, Erie, CO. I recently participated in a “cultural competency” exercise as part of a volunteer training. I could not answer the question about which Native American tribes/nations inhabited my (now) home state. Arapaho, Ute, Pueblo, Apache, Shosone, Cheyenne. Now I know.

Who are you? Papers? Go home!

Nicholas Cappella, Denver, CO. If someone in the United States of America doesn’t have official documentation to prove they are a citizen, they aren’t considered part of our society by everyone. These people (typically immigrants) don’t always feel like they have an identity or are forced into not having one by the environment they’re in. […]

Papers? Does your dad do construction?

Josue Roberto Rodriguez, Denver, CO. A question that most of the Hispanic youth gets. They are many stereotypical questions and jokes for Hispanics. These are just some of the more common ones I receive. It is a stereotype for Hispanics to not have their green card. Also for Hispanics to be construction workers.

Look like them, Sing like us

Geoffrey Wodell Wheat Ridge, CO Many years ago an African-American Country-Western singer, Charlie Pride, released a live album. After one of the cuts someone in the audience yelled out “Charlie, how can you look like them and sing like us?”. I have remembered that comment ever since and now, as a Norwegian-American Jew who sings […]

Brown eggs. White eggs. Same omlet.

Peter Denzin, Greeley, CO. Since retirement, I’ve taught English as a Second Language classes for 11 years. My classes are made up of immigrants and refugees of all colors and faiths from all parts of the globe speaking a variety of native languages. In my classroom, we are a learning community of love and mutual […]

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.

Did you grow up wearing shoes?

Jessica Anderson, Denver, CO. I grew up in the Appalachian mountains of East Tennessee, but I now live in Colorado. People always ask ridiculous questions when they find out where I’m from, including, “Did you wear shoes?” and “Where are your overalls?” Being a white, M.A. holding, middle-class woman doesn’t shield me from these stereotypes. […]

My world told me I’m Black.

Robert Franklin, Denver, CO. Race is a construct we all have a part in teaching to our youth. Yes, we are a part of a system, yes we are just individuals working to make the best as good as it can be, yes the oppressive ideas and incentives that keep race and other factors of […]

Racism: prejudging ANYONE based on race.

Jeff, Arvada, CO. I was raised in a military town with such overwhelming diversity that I didn’t realize race was an issue until I was 12 and went into foster care. Suddenly I was surrounded by a predominantly African-American group that hated me because I was white. Now let me be clear I didn’t assume […]

You can sit in the bar

Diane Graves, San Antonio, TX. My husband and I (both Anglo) were driving our adopted daughter (born in El Salvador, adopted as an infant, a U.S. citizen since she was 11 months old) to a guest ranch in Colorado. It was 2004; our daughter was 11 years old. Late on Sunday morning, we stopped to […]

My wife, not white, changed me.

Frank Siringo, Denver, CO. Marrying someone from a different race has allowed me to see the world through a different lens. It is an enlightening and challenging part of our relationship that continues to provide growth opportunities almost 20 years on.

My white guilt is all gone.

Caryn Boddie, Littleton, CO. I’m a goodhearted person who has always been extremely sensitive about people being treated unfairly. I’ve always stood up for people to be valued and respected individual to individual. The renewed focus on race is very sad and I’m done with caring. By the way: I wrote this, “Racism is garbage. […]

One Mirror With Many Different Reflections.

Keith R. Barnes, Colorado Springs, CO. I hear people talking about being a part of a pure race. Race is a distinction placed upon one’s physical and genetic traits most notably skin color. Race is a social construct created to make one category seemingly superior over another. Biologists and anthropologists have discovered race mixing throughout […]

Adopted from India lived in NH

Kayla Eckhoff, Denver, CO. I was just a year old when I was adopted, I was born in India and grew up in a small town in New Hampshire. For the most part I had a normal childhood, especially growing up in an all white community. Went to school, made friends, played school sports. Though […]

I’m not prettier because I’m white.

Rhiannon Watkins, Centennial, CO. Why are magazines always filled with white and light-skinned women? I have never in my life had a shortage of skinny, white girls to look up to in the media, but where are all the black and brown models? Why am I automatically considered prettier than any other girl because I […]

We’re a diverse version of oneself

Lucero Castro, Loveland, CO. We all share the same world today. I felt hurt when a Dad asked his son to be transfer to work with another person instead of me because of my accent. I was looking for information about how people feel when similar things happen to them, then I found the site.

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 […]

What am I supposed to say?

Zack Ritchie, Boulder, CO. I am a white male. Race doesn’t play a very important role in my life. I go through my daily activities without having to think about how people view the color of my skin. My uncle, however, is African American. His children, my cousins, have dark skin. Because of that, race […]

Being Hispanic is a good experience

Joshua Ruiz, DENVER, CO. No, I am not a gangster or some stereotypical Chicano, Mexican, or any Hispanic. I was born in New York City in a Jewish hospital to Nicaraguan parents who lived on 120th and Lexington in some studio room or something like that. Until 2 months later we moved to an open […]

Well How Black Am I Really?

Carnesia, Aurora, CO. As far back as I can remember I’ve always been told by past educators that I am very “well mannered” unlike the other students in my classroom who were all Black. At the time, I saw this as a wonderful compliment. I wasn’t loud or disruptive like the others. I didn’t play […]

I am Mexican American and proud.

Amber Martinez, Denver, CO. I have been emotionally abused just because my family comes from a certain background. I didn’t get to choose where I came from, but it also doesn’t matter. I’m a person and so is everyone else.

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

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 […]

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 […]

You’re lucky you look ambiguously minority.

Cristina Gonzales, Denver, CO. All throughout my life I’ve worked hard to succeed only to wonder if any success, any award, any accomplishment was truly earned, or if I am just helping someone make a quota, create a statistic, or justify an extra dollar or two. The worst is having a seed of doubt planted […]

Noir, Schwartze, Negredo – I Am Black

Courtney Jones, Denver, CO. People hide behind the stereotypes, racism, politics, and labels to avoid CONNECTING with others. Are we afraid people have more in common with us than we allow our differences to believe? My pride in my race contributes to my Life & community. It takes nothing from you & we all gain […]

Free speaking teens, changing relational space?

Tara Saltzman, Evergreen, CO. My teens arguing in favor of de-degrading(?) the word n*****, inspired by conviction that changing the influence of words (no longer receiving the word “n*****” as having negative intent or implication), changes relationships. wondering if they are empowered by the innocence of youth and lack of historic understanding AND regardless able […]

I am more than my culture

Eric Arellano Denver, CO Being Mexican has always been tough love for me, I have been bullied and given a stereotype that labels me as a gardner, a trumpeteer with a Mariachi Band, or a Peleta Man who sells Ice Cream out of carts. I am none of these, I am a dancer with a […]

A white body, a black soul

Lauren Johnston Denver, CO I may fit under the common-white-girl stereotype but I love black history and music. A lot of my friends are black and I find inspiration in Hip-Hop culture, and music. Whenever I’m singing Jazz and R&B, I feel it in my soul. No other genre of music does that to me….

Tiger Moms eat their children alive

Ethan Tsai Boulder, CO Growing up with the stereotypical Tiger Mom supposedly fosters the growth of amazing children, but I have only seen the heartbreak and misery it usually brings. The incredible pressures brought on by parents that want to live vicariously through their children – raising them to only accept being number one (and […]

Natives can only be poor or past.

Maranda Compton Denver, CO For most of society, the American Indian is conceived of as strictly an historical figure. People maintain images of Tonto or the Crying Indian walking alongside the highway in buckskin and feathers. And if they do allow the Indian to exist in modernity, he or she is relegated to an impoverished, […]

“Everyone can go through, except you.”

Ashlyn Herd Denver, CO In 2012, the top choirs at Denver School of the Arts took a trip to Boston, because we had been accepted to perform in prestigious settings such as Berkley College of Music, Boston Conservatory, New England Conservatory, and Harvard. In Bellissima (our 33 member, 9th and 10th grade all women’s choir), […]

Every Race Has Been A Slave

Jimmy Naughton Colorado Springs, CO Why does any race deserve restitution for their hardships? Every race has been enslaved, yet today’s discussions only ever focus on the Atlantic Slave Trade, i.e., the black slave. Hell, the Irish slaves were more plentiful in the English Empire, they were cheaper and treated far worse since they were […]

Dear White People, See systematic racism.

Joscelyn Gay, Denver, CO. As a white woman, I’m frustrated with white society saying they are ‘color blind’ and their reponsibility is voer. I would like white people to understand the profound impact that decades of disparity in education, incarceration, and employment have had on Black society.

Great-Grandmother’s name sparked interest in heritage

Maggie Trela, Denver, CO. I was visiting California for Christmas when I was about 5 or 6, when I asked my grandma why we called my great-grandmother “LoLa”. She then explained to me that my LoLa was what they called great-grandma’s in the Philippines. I knew what the country was but I didn’t know what […]

I’m black, but not “African American”

Danya Granado Aurora, CO If you must place me in a racial category, then call me black. And no, I’m not offended when you say it. My family is from Trinidad and Tobago. I was born in England. I have a Hispanic last name. I get a lot of questions. Culturally, I feel as though […]

Free Black since at least 1820

Sherryl N Weston, Denver, CO. I was an adult before we learned the full scope of my mother’s complete ancestry story. Timbuctoo, NJ was co-founded by my 5-generations ago grandfather. Looks like he was a part of the 1860 Battle of Pine Swamp, where the residents beat the tar out of slave catchers who had […]

I speak better English than you.

Nicole Huber, Colorado Springs, CO. I am Asian American. Being an Asian American, no one clutches their purse tighter when I walk by, and no one finds it surprising that I teach at a university. But despite Asian Americans being perceived as the “model minority,” we are not seen as “real” Americans. I was adopted […]

We are all spirits of human race.

Katarzyna Smirnov, Longmont, CO. Yes, to expound I am tired of people misusing race or interchanging it with ethnicity. There is not one single genetic marker that distinguishes one ethnicity from another. The only time the color of ones skin should matter if they go missing or you are painting them in which case you’ll […]

No moccasins. You’ll wear real shoes.

Elizabeth, Denver, CO. My mother is mixed race, Indian and white. She grew up pretty poor, but she told me once that she always had two pairs of shoes: one pair of moccasins and one pair of boots. Depending on who her father was trading with she would either have to pull on her boots, […]

I just want to remain anonymous.

Hades, Colorado Springs, CO. I came up with this instantly without even thinking. I think it fits the Race Card project because I believe some people truly don’t want to be known by their race or gender. Some just want to be who they really are without labels.

You’re named Carlos, but you’re blond?

Leah Gillett Boulder, CO My mother is Mexican-American, my father is Irish-American. My brother and I are blond haired and blue eyed. People frequently react to his name, Carlos. They are surprised that suburban kids from Michigan have Mexican heritage… It doesn’t bother me, but it can be tiring to cover our ethnic background immediately […]

Being singled out is painful

Lina, Denver, CO. Being here makes me aware of how different I am, that I am female, I am Asian. People would never consider me to partake in their social life. The only people who talk to me are men who want to get in my pants. I hope this is not applicable to most […]

The Real Tragedy of 9-11

Chloe, Denver, CO. Sure. 9-11 was an incredible tragedy against the American nation. What was more tragic is the way many white Americans reacted, and the sudden rash of violence against Muslims and Sikhs within our nation. Xenophobia has never worked for us. It’s time to get over 9-11 and acknowledge the hurt we have […]

You look Scandinavian but wrong color

Stacy Reuille-Dupont, Durango, CO. This was a statement made to me by a woman at work. She was a client, me an employee. She had been curiously watching me. She was Finnish and had previously remarked that she struggled to capture English spoken around her. I assumed her glances were about language until one day […]

I pass. What is my place?

Jennifer Ward, Denver, CO. As discussions have proliferated in Denver and online about race, the Black Lives Matter movement, and how change should be implemented, one idea that has been reiterated is that white people’s place is to support, while black people’s place is to lead and direct. I understand that, but where does that […]

Don’t know if I’m a bad person

Judea, Estes Park, CO. I have heard it said that being White automatically makes me racist. Although I grew up in a mainly White town, I’ve always been kind and respectful to everyone regardless of their skin color. When I heard that many people believe that all whites harbor racist thoughts, I read more into […]

I have never enslaved anyone’s ancestors

Paul, Colorado Springs, CO. I am not the enemy. I am a 40-year old white, middle-class male- the prime demographic; according to some. It hurts me when people assume that I’m bigoted, racist, sexist or homophobic. To many racial and gender-based groups; I am looked at as the enemy. Neither I, nor my family has […]

He’s my cousin. You can tell.

Emily Bryant, Denver, CO. My last name is Bryant. Like Kobe Bryant. Whenever people ask my to spell out my last name, I usually just tell them that. Sometimes I tell them that he’s my cousin and it always gets a good laugh from people, no matter what their race is. You see, not only […]