When I entered high school, I quickly learned terms like white privilege, white fragility, and microaggressions, which challenged my identity. While I understood I benefited from white privilege, I did not like the label. Still, the racism embedded in our institutions and the frustrated feelings of my friends motivates me to want to be part […]
Garrett, Beaverton, OR. Most people label me as a “rich white boy”. That’s the complete opposite. I grew up in poverty. My Mom made less than $10,000 a year when I was a kid. She raised me all by herself. She had zero assistance from the government and now I’m going to be a college […]
Black people aren’t who you think they Are…If they were I would be kicked out of my school. Like Martin Luther King jr said: “I Have a Dream! That one day little Black boys And White girls, and white boys and black girls could join together in peace and harmony…”, And yet probably only about […]
This memoir to me means that we shouldn’t be just a label, that we should be ourselves and not let anyone judge us. I’ve heard that “Never put your hair down because you might get lice at school, and they generalize who has lice at school. This to me also means that I am not […]
As a kid, people call me brown sugar, or caramel, and think of me as a kid who crossed the border with her family illegally, because of my skin color. My family was always poor and had jobs that didn’t always keep roofs over our heads. We always ran or hid from the police and […]
R.E.A.L. Talk, High Tech Middle Media Arts, 7th Grade Trailblazer To me race is just a made up way to put people in groups, based on the way they look. When did that start to matter? Stereotypes, Racism, Segregation, Slaves, and Wars. Stereotypes are a big part of race and racism. The following are the […]
Marlina Tadesse, College Park, MD.
Sabrina Perrin, Delaware, OH. As I started growing up, I started getting more and more questions about what ethnicity I was. Although these questions weren’t typically offensive, I find it a little bothersome that people look to depict others for their ethnicity or race. I don’t want to label people based on these things, as […]
Naomi, Grand Rapids, MI. I am an American, of Mexican decent… No, I don’t speak Spanish, no I don’t know where my family is from in Mexico… My Grandparents and Great-Grandparents were born in Texas… I grew up in Gary, IN around mostly Black people… people don’t know what box to put me in. How […]
Ilana Israel, Elon, NC. Elon University
Marc A Quarles, Pacific Grove, CA. Pacific Grove, I’m African-American my wife is German we have two children a son 15 and a daughter 13. We live in a predominately white affluent area on the Monterey Peninsula in California. Every summer my wife and children go to Germany to visit her parents and other […]
Munira Alimire, Being Somali. People have looked at my face and saw the scarf and the race and the absolute refusal to get down to their level and have labelled me a terrorist. Both Islamophobes and racists use this call against me to spread hate and injustice and pain. Here’s a few lines to them; […]
Ivy Portland, ME Yes I am a white female but I do not think I fit the stereotypes associated with the label “white girl”.
Julia Rivers, Milwaukie, OR. As a high school student dependent on scholarships in order to attend college and reach my goals of a much higher level of education, every day I am consumed by the thought of how I can make myself stand out. What will make the people in charge want to give me […]
Vaune Peck, West Long Branch, NJ. Monmouth University
Samantha Murray, Middletown, NJ.
Gilberto Tapia Jr, Salinas, CA. I grew up within a mostly Hispanic/Latino community. I remember growing up, others would keep their distance because of my skin color as if it automatically made me some type of criminal. The media portrays beauty as being light skinned with blue eyes, but I would not change my skin […]
Cara, UT. I have been having debates with my husband for a long time. We have spoken about how there is trained racism and acknowledge white privilege to a point. There are still one points that do not make total sense to us but we are tired. We have best friends who are of other […]
Mika Derifield, Wadsworth, OH. It’s so sad that we live in a world that requires labels. Applying for a job, home, or even a social media account? In the first few questions you will be asked race, gender, age? WHY? I AM JUST A HUMAN.. aren’t we all?
Dan Rice, Ames, IA. As a 55 year old white guy in higher eduction I have been part of dozens of diversity awarness workshops. I teach and present on many subjects concerning diversity issues. After 2 dozen year of such activitiy I finally simply portray and live the fact we are all different – with […]
Lani Broederlow, Salt Lake City, UT. I am Polynesian. I have been told that my appearance does not reflect my last name. It is of Dutch descent and the funny thing is, it’s not even my last name; it’s my husband’s. It’s strange how we tend to sort each other into categories and labels. I […]
Repeka Touli, Murray, UT. “Alien” is the one word I grew up hating because when I was old enough to carry an Identification card (for having a job), I thought it was the coolest thing ever because it made me feel like I‟ve grown up and I get to own one just like the adults […]
Sarah Hilger, Lawrence, KS.
Sam Johnson, St. Paul, MN.
Jacob Kuriakose, San Diego, CA. I would like to bring up the idea of “Indian” to label Native Americans, Pakistanis, Sri Lankans, Bangladeshis, etc. I would also like to talk about lumping East Asians, South Asians, and South East Asians into the general term “Asian” as well.
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”
Evan Sorem, San Diego, CA. I am a human being. I have lived nearly all my life in California. My ancestors have lived in California, Illinois, Wyoming, Utah, Tennessee, Virginia, Norway, France, Italy, England, the Netherlands and who knows where else. So, people view me as a “white” person. In my 40’s, I have learned […]
Laura Pierson, Los Angeles, CA. I am Native American, Mexican, Spanish, English, Germany, and Irish. I was raised by a single mom that is Native American, English, German, and Irish. I didn’t know what being a Mexican meant or was like and I’m still trying to figure it out. As a child, I told people […]
Susan Riker, Washginton, DC. Freshman year on the 4th floor of the International dorm at Mt Holyoke College.
Vince Darcangelo, Flort Collins, CO. “Sadly, I believe that underlying the race issue is a deeper human need (perhaps fear- or anxiety-driven) to label and discount those different from us. I don’t believe it’s as simple as skin color. Skin color is simply the signifier that facilitates easy division or grouping. If we were all […]
Katy Morris, Kansas City, KS.
Anonymous, ND. I grew up in a small mountain town in Northwest Georgia after my mother ended her military career and took me back to her hometown. All of her maternal family and most of her paternal family was there, so she thought she would have a great support system,but her family was the greediest […]
Rocio Tapia, Forest Park, GA. Being from Mexico, I do not have any sense of race. I know what I am and do not identify with any of the categories listed when I am asked about my race or ethnicity, so I often leave it blank or choose “Other” if I am pressed to select […]
Aimee Mallery, Rochester, NY. My daughter is Native American on her father’s side. When faced with a form for daycare, I had to choose whether to label her Native American or Caucasian. They insisted she couldn’t be both.
Amarah Reed, Bowling Green, KY. I hate the term when someone uses me as mixed, or they say I act a certain race. I am a human being, I shouldn’t have a label because I act a certain way.
Amaia Diaz, Chesapeake, VA.
Rico Rodriguez, Hillsborough, CA. I’ve been told, by a lot of people who have never met me, that my racial background is not what I say it is. Just because you think I look like a certain race, doesn’t mean that I am.
Sergio R Velazquez, Lowell, MA. The label Latino bothers me, same as Hispanic. Both have colonial roots and do not properly represent any specific group or culture. This is why I always select OTHER and fill in Cuban. Just my five cents worth.
Felix Brooks Jr., Kalamazoo, MI As the father of a biracial child I told my daughter not to let anyone place a label on you. You get to choose for yourself . She took me up on that, and owned her own choice, and never struggled with who she was as a person .
Matt Henegar, Jonesboro, AR. I think the we should quit focusing on minor labels, like black, hispanic, asian, and all of the other skin tone variations, and focus on making the world better for all of us.
Emily Scott, Virginia Beach, VA.
Kevin Xiong, Sacramento, CA. Color is just a label.
R. Lutz, MI. We will reach the point of true equality in this country when, rather than saying “I’m black” and “I’m white”, we recognize that we are all flawed people who make mistakes. This doesn’t mean we can’t recognize and celebrate our differences; we just need to focus on the fact that we are […]
Cherrice Robinson, FL. I am a black girl. That is my race, not a description of who I am as a person and it’s definitely not a label. Just simply my race. I am proud of my race but the sooner we realize our race is just our race and nothing more, the sooner we […]
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 […]
Jennifer Kerkow Chaska, MN I’m mostly Scottish and German but Im around 1/4 Indian. I feel like I cant fully embrace it and claim it because it isnt the majority of my heritage, although its a part of me that I love. When my great grandparents came to America (from Poland) they didn’t take the […]
Ilana New York, NY I grew up in Israel to a father born in Germany and a mother born in the United States. Yet every time I tick the “white” box I feel uncomfortable. The culture I grew up in was considered “white” but the Middle East is ethnically diverse. Everyone was a “mixed breed” […]
Amina Long Island City, NY
Anonymous Mobile, AL I was born and raised Caucasian, though of course, like most Caucasians, I was referred to and referred to myself as “white.” But like so many, I found myself attracted to African American culture, and, generally, more accepted by African Americans. As I’ve grown, becoming an instructor of English and therefore, an […]
Janet Jimenez Washington, DC Puertorriqueño(a) is the “proper” term used to address a native islander from Puerto Rico. Do not confuse with Newyoricans, or anyone else born outside the island to Puertorriqueño parents. A real Puertorriqueño(a) knows the words to “La Borinqueña”, speaks Spanish (FLUENTLY), has lived on the island, and cries to the words […]
KK Boas Austin, TX Associated Press says “A man with a gun. A black teen, shot dead” ABC news says “The trial of a Florida man accused of shooting a black teenager begins today in a case that has drawn similarities to the George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin case.” Even the Daily Beast, in an […]
Melany Cortes American Canyon, CA
Catherine Cranston, RI People do not call me a white girl but the girl in the wheelchair.
Josephine American Canyon, CA
Michael Fredette American Canyon, CA
Kerwens R. Pinthiere Cranston, RI It really bothers me when people call me African American because of my skin color. I am Haitian and I am proud.
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?
Jenifer Daniels Charlotte, NC As child, I was labeled ‘talkative’ and a ‘trouble maker’…when all along I was really gifted and left to languish.
Susan M. Giusto USA I hear this a lot from the non-disabled race(s). You are described by your disability, “The chick with glasses…”, “the dude in the wheelchair.” ” The kid with the artificial leg.” In a crowd people scan for that and then further qualify with color race labels. Some days it is hard, […]
Nathen, Seattle, WA. Collected from The Race Card Project, On Location: Seattle Community Colleges You are what you make of yourself. There will always be those that will tear you down, call you names seek to defame you, they are not important. What is important is what you choose to do with your lot in […]
Ruth Roseville, MI Why can’t I just be the woman who is next, or next please?
Kelley Canaday Sylva, NC Race is a label that has morphed over time taking on both positive and negative connotations depending on your perspective. Our perspective determines how we perceive race. No matter how much we try to eliminate bias it will always exist on some level. We are an observant people always making judgments […]
Ashley C Canada The colour of my skin does not define who I am, and colours can often be misleading. When people ask me “what I am” I tell them I am human. I am a product of my environment. I am a piece of my mother, my father, my grandparents, and my extended family. […]
Anthony Augusta Tempe, AZ
Susan Clementson Bothell , WA
Lindsey USA I wish that we were not so scared to talk about race. The worst thing you can call a person is “racist.” It is a terrible insult and a judgement against your character. Fear of being labeled racist is what holds back discussion. Also, why are non-white people identified by hyphenated race/ethnicity/nationality? Why […]
Alicia Fairmont State, WV
Bradley Zucker Ann Arbor MI Summary: Race is a way of reinforcing century old ideologies in order to keep structure in our society. Although the census has changed overtime, its purpose is still the same. Race is a way for people to distinguish their differences, it continues to be a factor in most aspects of […]
Allison Stern Philadelphia, PA My race isn’t how I present myself. Who I am is who I am. It may be how others see me, but it isn’t how I introduce myself to people.
Andre Davis Westbrook, ME
Lesley Salas Franklin, WI I’m not ‘half” anything, I’m all me. Latina, white girl, neither, both…..get over it!
Chris Matthews, Washington, DC.