Stephanie Woodworth, Piscataway, NJ. My six words are in reference to how hesitant (in some cases, even terrified) people are to talk to each other when differences are involved. It’s as if even the most well-meaning people become paralyzed at the thought of acknowledging not only our differences, but our collective level of ignorance about […]
Sarah Martin, Wichita, KS. Perhaps this is my artistic side coming out, but when you paint a human being, they are not painted simply using white or black. No, they are painted with a wide variety of colors that blend together to make a beautiful picture. Too often people separate persons into categories that divide […]
Erin Yarbrough, Norman, OK. My husband is half black and half Korean. I’m white. Our son is three races, but I hear and fear that others don’t see him as any race. Multi-racial is sometimes a hard way to identify.
Steven Shimberg Washington, DC I envy our kids who seem to be colorblind and take diversity for granted. Having grown up in the 50’s and 60’s, I regret that my ability to understand fully, appreciate and relate to some of my friends’ life experiences is limited. Divides based on socio-economics are significant but divides based […]
Katy Carpenter, OH. I recognize that we don’t live in a color blind society, but race is never something I felt was central to my identity, and has no biological base. It never came up until I moved to the Bay Area and people started associating this idea of whiteness as a central component of […]
Matthew Richard Rosu, Riverton, UT. I feel that all people are born colorblind, and if we just treat everyone by the golden rule, then there would be a lot less hate in our Nation, and around the world. That may be pie in the sky thinking, but we can always hope.
Jenn M. Jackson, Chicago, IL. Every single day I am accused of “making things about race.” I’m told that I’m “looking for racism” in everything. I’m told I must lead a sad, angsty life since I can’t stop pulling the “race card.” I often get this feedback from Whites who feel uncomfortable when I note […]
Robert Dokes Beverly, MA Maybe it’s the way I present myself, but sometimes people forget that I’m Black. It’s not they are colorblind it’s just they’ve got so comfortable with me being around that people feel they can say anything around me and believe it’s okay
Dakota Jenkins, Lexington, KY. While we may say that “oh I’m colorblind when it comes to race”, we all have those initial reactions that are different for different people. It’s just how we are as human beings. That doesn’t make us a racist. It’s the actions we take after those thoughts emerge that determine that.
Jenna DeBell, LONGWOOD, FL. Race doesn’t exist, we create it. The concept of race has always baffled me. Judging a person’s character, intelligence and abilities merely by the color of their skin does not correlate in anyway. In fact, it seems ridiculous. Race is referred to as “groups of people who have differences and similarities […]
La Toya Plummer, Greenbelt, MD. Although I have lived with three strikes for more than twenty years, the color of my skin always has been and always will be fundamental to who I am. When you are colorblind, you do not see me. Overlooking a portion of me that is susceptible to the brutal ignorance […]
Nicole Turek, East Lansing, MI.
Jen Davison, Seattle, WA. I am White. When I voted for Obama I said “I don’t see color.” Well, I do now–and I feel ashamed and flabbergasted that I’d not realized my privilege before. Trying my best to dismantle my own White-Supremacy beliefs and behaviors and to be an ally–or at least to hurt people […]
Amber Halverson, Eugene, OR. “Oh good! He doesn’t look like he has any white in him at all!” My first real encounter with my own race that I can remember was when I was in middle school. My white godparents had just adopted a black baby. They “kept his black name”, DiMario, as his middle […]
Corrine Ferrell-Macatee, Baltimore, MD. Me, bad bangs, my best friend, little girl with braids, my cousin, cute little Japanese girl. My nana and sister are here too, it wasn’t til I was in my early teens I even realized we weren’t all white, black or Japanese.
Andrew Pak, San Jose, CA.
Kailee Koller, Spokane, WA.
Elon Race Card Project, Isabella Cannon Room, Center for the Arts
Eduardo Meza, Albany, NY. I get it! I look like the typical thug you will find in disadvantaged neighborhoods throughout most of California. I know I am immediately judged by my cover. People mistake my form of self-expression for some sort of territorial gang branding. I am gay, latino, well-educated (Master’s Degrees), family-oriented and a […]
Melanie Gilbert, Boston, MA. Love who you are not what you are.
Rachael Hall Miller, Virginia Beach, VA.
Cynthia Groya, Princeton, NJ. Princeton
Amandilo Cuzan Chicago, IL Knowledge is power. Beyond the emotion we all benefit from studying the real history of race in America and the world. Too often we shy away from the realities of the European slave economy, Reconstruction, Eugenics, Jim Crow, and the current Prison-Industrial-Complex. Blind is blind no matter how you look at […]
Natalie, Kansas City, MO. I believe ignorance is a key that goes hand-in-hand with fear. We are afraid of what we do not know or what we cannot understand. If we simply educated ourselves on certain topics,we may be less likely to jump to conclusions, opinions and prejudice’s. Ignorance is blind to those who we […]
Roberto Jara, Alto, MI. It drives me nuts when people say, “Let’s all be color blind, forget our cultures of origin and just be ‘American,’ instead of ‘Latin-American,’ ‘Asian-American,’ etc. I can be American and preserve by culture of origin! Those of us who come from cultures other than the dominant Northern European Culture, have […]
Jennifer Arnold, Radford, VA. We are one. I am colorblind. Racism is done; At least in my mind.
Jean, Cathedral City, CA. I am a teacher and they try to tell us that we all have bias. In 11 years I have only kicked 3 kids out of class and none have been African American. They told me if I took “this test” I would be surprised, guess what, no bias. Screw them […]
Kristin Lindquist, Norfolk, VA.
Lorraine Longley, Ephrata, WA.
Samantha Charter, Phillipston, MA. My six words may seem a little odd until you hear the story behind them. I am white and my boyfriend is not. I grew up in a small predominantly white town and because of this the few non white families in town tended to stick out a little. No one […]
Jo Miller-Frost, Beckley, WV. I have been explicitly informed at work to not discuss my religious background with anyone, but my students, who have never had a cross burned in their yards, can call me racist. Recently, my religious views were labeled. Part of my “eccentricities”
B., Ann Arbor, MI. Understanding Race Project – University of Michigan It’s just another way of saying you’re racist. (What does it say about you, that you have to deliberately ignore an intrinsic part of my identity in order to see me as a human being?)
Kennedy R. Cotter, OK. How can we still see people first by skin color, who are we to judge someone?
Tyler Logan, East Lansing, MI. Don’t fall under the pressure of society telling you that because of your skin color your path has already been chosen for you. Make your own path and lead the way for others regardless of what color your skin is! Success is colorblind!
Martie Moore, Marietta, GA.
Megan Hogan, Havertown, PA. I don’t see color in a bad way but I do see it. I don’t see what is wrong with that. We all need to start embracing ourselves and others more. I should be able to recognize the color of someone else and celebrate and be able to inquire about it. […]
Eve, Syracuse, NY. Student ’16 You should not let people’s color affect your opinion of them.
Lisa Lendved, Winter Park, FL.
Anonymous, Washington, DC. I am White and i hate to hear other White people say they are color blind or that we’re all the “human race.” by saying we are color blind, we are pretending racism is over and make other’s struggles seem illegitimate. To me, this seems like it adds insult to injury.
Rome, Lansing, MI. When you say “I don’t see color” what you are saying to me is that my past and present experiences and who I am mean nothing to you.
Dr. NiCole T. Buchanan, East Lansing, MI. I don’t want people to be blind to my color. Instead, I want them to see me in my entirety, including the fact that I am a Biracial Black woman, and I want them to actively embrace these parts that make me whole. I believe most people have […]
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.
Anonymous, Norfolk, VA It’ll all be different.
Andrea Franklin Savannah, GA Claiming to not see race too often results in also claiming not to see racism, discrimination, violence, and oppression.
Cynthia McCullough Port Orchard, WA Race studies student. Americans seem to think that being colorblind is a solution when in fact it is a tool to maintain White supremacy. The colorblind mentality is the denial of the history of people of color and supports the institutional racism deeply embedded in American culture as many can […]
V. Anne Spence, Powhatan, VA. Would I have been called a “N****” if my skin were white”? Growing up in El Barrio and the Bronx in New York City was I called the “N” word by a redheaded transit cop at 12. The last incident occurred in a store in here Virginia. I was in […]
Gayle H Swift Palm City, FL It is essential that we become color-respectful instead of color blind. As we value all colors of the human rainbow, we are all elevated in mutual respect.
Anonymous Orangeburg, SC Often the discussion about racism is constructed as a problem with race. As if the problem isn’t with the majority’s racist attitudes, the problem is the existence of minorities. “I don’t see you as Black” translates as “I don’t see you as Black, because if I did, I’d have to either apply […]
Jessica Cedillo Monterey, CA
Kci Burnes Spokane, WA At one time I was homeless and the only person who comforted this white girl at a shelter was a lovely black girl in a predominantly white part of the country.
Veronica Gonzalez Eugene, OR
Kelsey Hamm Boone, NC Our world has recently adapted to the idea of colorblindness, or the concept that race doesn’t matter. However, to look at two people and disregard their race actually perpetuates racism. The color of your skin, as well as your ethnicity, will at least partially determine the experience you have in America. […]
Chandra Craven Boston, MA As a future mother of a biracial child and as black America I get insulted when someone says they don’t see my color. Unless you’re legally blind, my race is an attribute (like hair and eye color) but it is also my heritage and has helped to build parts of my […]
TAB Memphis, TN My God is not colorblind!
Rosna Delucca Pompano Beach, FL Growing up on a small island, I was colorblind. I didn’t know that one day the color of my skin will make me feel uncomfortable in America.
Marilyn Wann San Francisco, CA Thanks!
Laura Kosteva Ann Arbor, MI
Robert Templeton, Kyleigh Glasper Colorado Spring, CO I have a multicultural family, but I just see them as family.
Alec Malstrom Ann Arbor, MI I chose these words based on an interaction I had with a close friend who believed social justice work isn’t necessary anymore because racism doesn’t exist in our society. I was so taken aback that I didn’t even know how to respond to him. As I come to think about […]
Maddy Boylen Ann Arbor, MI Understanding Race Project- University of Michigan Society keeps trying to move forward as a whole unit of colorblind people, however, continually talking about stereotyping and problems between races does not help. It only brings to light these problems and makes the seem more “normal.” We need to find solutions instead […]
Katherine Liu Ann Arbor, MI Understanding Race Project- University of Michigan I dislike it when people say that they don’t pay attention to the color of one’s skin, or they’re essentially “color-blind”. There should be no PREJUDICE or DISCRIMINATION toward anyone on the basis of their skin tone, but race creates cultures that have their […]
Kirsten Gustavson San Francisco, CA
Shanita Nelson Fort Wayne, IN I hate when people say they are colorblind…because then they are ignoring pieces of everyone. Please notice me is what I say when I hear those words. I am black, I am a teacher, I am a wife…do not ignore any parts of who I am!!!
Shannon McKenzie Ortonville, MI
Jessica Raleigh, NC Not “seeing color” is not offering equality. It is a way to silence our stories and negate the mistreatment. Be willing to accept that we are not on a level playing field. THAT, my friends, is equality.
Melinda Bennington Sacramento, Maryland and California After a lifetime of colorblind talk, my beloved Dad gasped when I brought home a black man. We were both surprised. The walk can be harder than the talk.
John Fisher-Smith Ashland, OR