Fear and reconciliation: oil and water

Dirk Elting, Honolulu, HI. People cannot reconcile their differences when they do not feel safe. We scare (and anger) one another not only through our acts, but through our criticism, defensiveness, stonewalling and contempt. What psychologist John Gottman has shown to be true for couples, I believe to be true for race relations. I have […]

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Always Less Than The White Girl

Danielle Cuddy, Napa, CA. Growing up as an adopted South Korean female in the city of Napa proved a challenging adolescence. I was called, “China Girl” in elementary school, but that was okay with me because the other children would come to realize that they were wrong and I was actually from the opposite side […]

How come I was not invited?

Carolyn Hisako Okinaga, Honolulu, HI. I asked this question when I was growing up on Ewa Plantation. Ethnic groups were housed in separate villages on the plantation based on race and position, e.g., Filipinos laborers lived in Fernandez Village, Japanese in B Village, etc. All of the caucasian (“haole”) supervisors/bosses lived in Renton Village; they […]

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$200 cordblood storage; few hapa donors

Gianna Crosetti Bickson, Honolulu, HI. “Hapa” is the Hawaiian work for mixed and usually refers to someone of mixed race who is at least part Asian or Pacific Islander. My husband is of Hawaiian, Chinese, Filipino & Japanese ancestry and my family is Italian, Russian English. This makes our kids “Hapa Haole”. While slang, the […]

Dichotomy matters AND full color spectrum.

Kaniela Kelekolio, Captain Cook, HI. The legacy of slavery and, for much of history, the demographics of the USA have led to ‘white vs black’ being the central racial discussion. But as America grows more diverse and East and South Asian, Pacific Islander, Hispanic communities and white and black ethnic subgroups flourish, they challenge a […]

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I Am Because We Are Micronesians!

Vid Raatior, Hilo, HI. Being a Micronesian in America is as much my personal journey as it is a communal opportunity for common advancement. My success is rooted in the degree to which I help my brothers and sisters succeed in their journeys. How we succeed as a people to overcome negative stereotypes and prejudice […]

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My culture is what I choose

Raquela Petre, San Francisco, CA. I am half Filipino and half Swedish, Swiss, and German. However I was born in Hawaii and grew up around second- and third-generation Japanese friends. I decidedly learned Japanese in school and studied there for a year, yet I know close to no Tagalog. I also studied in England, where […]

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I am a consciously recovering racist.

Roxanne Darling, Haiku, HI. It’s my personal belief that it’s incredibly challenging to not be racist, regardless of one’s race. Not wanting to be, think, or act racist is not the same as not being racist. So I hereby present myself as a work in progress, as I unplug decades (centuries?) of neurological programming that […]

Why is this number so high?

Katrena Kennedy, Kaneohe, HI. This was a question the Asian (american?) H and R Block representative asked me when she looked at my W2 form and saw how much I had already paid in Federal taxes ($51,000.00), the inference being ” You’re a black female. It is not possible that you could be making that […]

I’m here to change your stereotypes

Denali Lukacinsky, Honolulu, HI. People look at me and assume all kinds of offensive things about what black people are supposed to be like, they come up to me and explain all the ways that I’m “different”, and “better” and “not like them.” Well guess what, I am like them. Don’t lift me up by […]

Hard to live up to yellow

Tiana Tran Kailua, HI I thought of this because even though I am Asian, it does not mean that I am going to be the best at everything. I am not a genius. Sometimes it’s hard to live up to this “bar” where you have to be perfect.

Haole boy, Hawaiian, keiki o ka’aina?

Claire Iveson Kaunakakai, HI My blonde Anglo son was raised and educated on Molokai, before going to the Berkley College of Music at 17. He was aware from kindergarten that he was a “haole” but didn’t understand that he wasn’t also Hawaiian. Adult Hawaiian friends assured them that he was a keiki o ka’aina, a […]

Grandma said I looked too haole.

Carol Silva Portland, OR My step-grandma danced, taught, and had her own hula group who performed during the week on Oahu. Once when she and my grandpa were visiting us on the Mainland, my grandpa suggested that when I got older I could come to Hawaii and dance in the show. This was unlikely to […]

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Be Proud Of Your Family Heritage

Katrina V. Cromwell, Pearl Harbor, HI. My father is Hispanic and White and my mother is Black. They met in high school and they have been married for 28 years. I knew nothing about racism until my father sat me down as a kid and told me about things that my parents went through in […]

Daughter biracial, father pushed us away.

Dawn E Josiah Landis, NC My daughter is Hawaiian American. I’m the white part of her, her dad is the Hawaiian part of her. After 25 years of marriage, he pushes us out of his life and returns to his roots. I’m the one that deals with the anger and pain from my daughter because […]

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He’s too dark for my friends

Lynn Li, Hilo, HI. I feel a little sheltered living in Hawaii. I’m 100% Chinese and my significant other, Angel, is Afro- Latino. No one looks twice at us on the islands. Mixed race couples and children are everywhere. Plus, we pass as locals because of our looks. But we met in San Francisco and […]

My son’s not half, he’s double.

Jon Letman Lihue, HI Submitted via Twitter: @jonletman @michele_norris Gee, thanks. credit goes to my friend Yuki in Kobe who told me that’s what she told people about being #Japanese &#Korean. @michele_norris Love it!! #NotHalfDouble #TheRaceCardProject #FF @michele_norris RT arigatou… a rain-drenched #aloha from #kauai… @michele_norris “We can coexist & live together or not coexist […]

Pass black man, compulsively say hi.

LSSteph Washington, DC I’m a white woman, ever since I read this article back in college by a black man discussing his revelation that he always instinctively looks down or away when encountering a white women because he didn’t want her to be afraid of him and how he no longer does that, I say […]

When checking “white,” I am diminished.

Adelia Dozier Atlanta, GA Every time I have to check my race as “white” or “Caucasian” my stomach turns and I feel diminished. I search all boxes to see if there is a better representative word. I am more than “white” or Caucasian. I am a composite of those whose lives I have shared. Born […]

No B’s in an Asian Family

Jessie Blakely Los Angeles, CA I was raised in Hawaii, where there really isn’t such thing as a racial stereotype. Hawaii kids tend to be so ethnically diverse, that any stereotype today may apply to up to 1/2 of their bloodline, but rarely more. When I moved to the mainland to go to college, I […]

My heart is Hawaiian, I’m not.

Jan Mason NY Born and raised in paradise as a Haole (white) person I had more than my share of discrimination but living on the “mainland” where I “fit in” with the white majority(?) my island heritage is invisible. I have taken to checking the box or “Pacific Islander” though I feel guilty about if […]

Look in the EYE, smile, say HI!

Deborah Williams Clearwater, FL Fear affects all of us. Bad people are out there but it’s not based on skin color. When you walk by, take a moment to look that fear in the eye. Smile and say HI! You will see that 99.9% of the time your fear was unfounded.