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You’re not like a real Mexican.

Aaron Duran, Portland, OR. I’m of mixed heritage, being Mexican and Italian. However, I more closely identify with my Mexican heritage due to closeness of family and family history. Still, growing up in a small, farm and ranching based town, I found myself often downplaying my Mexican side. Even going so far, as a kid, […]

Alright if I look at you?

Margaret Snyder, South Portland, ME. I live in a predominately “white” city, but one where there are over 60 languages spoken. I see people of all colors around the city, and I find the languages, clothing, and colors to be enjoyable to experience, but I often feel it is not okay to stop and observe […]

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Enough to make you look pretty

Adrienne Zimiga, Minneapolis, MN. I was born and raised on the Pine Ridge reservation my first 12 years. Upon moving from Batesland, SD to Castlewood, SD my caucasian grandmother was concerned that my brothers, sister, and I could face social problems being part Native American (iyeska: mixed blood/race) in an all white community. She told […]

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I (don’t) fit. Don’t look closely.

Emery Boyle-Scott, Milwaukee, WI. I want to belong in a group, and it’s nice to belong until someone looks closely. My whiteness is always sidelined when people learn about my lesbian moms. Don’t look closely and I have all the privilege. But, then it disappears and I’m not allowed, I’m questioned on everything. There’s no […]

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Why steal when you’re already looking.

Michael Swanegan, Chino Hilla, CA. Im a 22 year old African American male who lives in California. Whenever I enter a store, gas station, or even a movie theater. I feel an unwanted vibe as if I’m on the radar by all the managers and floor workers. A negative vibe as if I’m being looked […]

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Look at me in full color

Ty Martinez, Submitted via Twitter: @TyMartinez_tmb. I made a visual representation to accompany my #racecard#insixwords @michele_norris Sometimes. “I use pictures when words fail.”

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Mixed heritage. Feeling strange growing up

Katie Moore New Echota, GA I used to hate the way I looked growing up. My mom & brother had fair skin & freckles & I had darker skin & hair. I like the way I look now. I’m proud of my heritage. I am of cherokee, creek, German,& African decent. I stand taller than […]

I hope he’ll look “American” enough.

Katrina Nye San Jose, CA I am full Asian and my husband is a quarter Japanese. Once our son was born I asked my husband which one of us will have the responsibility to give him “the talk” about dealing with racism. My husband replied that it had to be me, because even though he […]

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 […]

Yes, I am her biological mother.

Mira Tanna Orlando, FL My father is from India, my mother from the Netherlands, and I am married to a man from Nigeria. I look white to most people, and my children look black to most people. When I pick my kids up from school or camp, I get curious stares and kids ask me […]

My asian kids aren’t like me.

Sheree King Johnson City, TN My kids, adopted from China, now ages 14 & 16 not only don’t look like me, but deal with issues I never had to deal with. Although they are very like me in religious beliefs, morals , and character, they look at the world through minority eyes, but have a […]

Never Accepted As American While Abroad

J Smith Kenya I’ve spent several years living outside the US (Europe, Asia, Africa) and being half Japanese, I am always mistaken for being from the continent of Asia. Even when I tell people repeatedly that I am also half white and that my Japanese side of the family has been in the US for […]

Really? Because you don’t look Cuban.

Carina Tillan Hallandale, FL My rebuttal to that is usually “Then what am I supposed to look like?” You’d be surprised how often people realize they don’t have (or don’t want to give) an answer to that. And heaven forbid they learn I speak Spanish, almost as if it’s a greater accomplishment for me because […]

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But you don’t look Puerto Rican

Natalia de Cuba Romero. Massapequa Park, NY. IN my heart and in my head I have always thought of myself as Puerto Rican, Born in Queens, NY to a Puerto Rican mom and a dad from Aruba and a bilingual home, lived in Puerto Rico for a number of years…but I’ve always looked like a […]

Looking white means I am safe.

Maite Knorr-Evans Outside USA Ethnically I am Hispanic racially I am White. When I am with my friends they walk faster around those with darker skin color and baggier cloths, forgetting that standing right next to them coated in pale white skin is the same thing but only on the inside.

I’m glad my children look white

Mark Mott Hillsboro, OR I am an Asian American who grew up in VA, I was called many things and many were not my name. I struggle to this day with my race, I am glad my children will not have to struggle with not being accepted because of skin color like I did.

But you don’t look Puerto Rican…

Paul David Mena Wayland, MA As if a Puerto Rican can’t be fair-skinned, middle-class and college-educated! Granted, I was raised by parents who looked for a life as far away from their Depression-era upbringing in Brooklyn as possible. They found it further east in suburban Long Island, where I grew up with zero consciousness of […]

Only one too look like Dad.

Felina M. Gentile Colorado Springs, CO Both my sisters look Hispanic, like our mom. But I’m the only one to look my dad, who’s German. Some people wouldn’t believe me that I was Hispanic till they saw the rest of my family. So yes, sometimes I get mad/upset when people say I’m just some white […]

You REALLY don’t look like her!

Thais Machado Teixeira Brazil My mom is black. My dad is white. I am not fair skinned enough to be white or dark enough to be black. Still, people believe that I’m my father’s daughter, but when I show them my mom I have to explain she married a white man so they can believe […]

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We are treated how we look.

Kimberly Dorsey, Detroit, MI. I am bi-racial and have been raised in a white family inside Detroit. I have suffered many racially motivated injustices in my travels and it makes me angry when people pretend race doesn’t matter. It matters when you are the one being discriminated against.

You’re Jewish? You don’t look Jewish.

Corey Schutzman Exeter, NH Here in southern New Hampshire I seem to be the anomaly as opposed to where I grew up in northern New Jersey. I am fine with people asking questions, but the problem with this statement is it seems as if people (and I do mean “people”, I have heard this on […]

Afraid children won’t look like me

Alexandria Jones Columbus, OH As a biracial woman (African American and Caucasian) who married a Caucasian man I’m afraid that our future children will not resemble me and I will have to constantly explain/prove to other people that my children are mine!!

Don’t look. I looked. And smiled.

Emily Puckett Rodgers Ann Arbor, MI Understanding Race Project- University of Michigan I was asked if there was a story behind this. Of course there is. I grew up in Northwest Arkansas and almost all of my family comes from the state, going back several generations. Most of my family is well educated (college or […]

You don’t look like you’re Chinese.

Jess Washington DC My mom is Chinese. My dad is white. I am half-Chinese, but my appearance is ambiguous. I feel like I have to “come out” as half-Chinese in certain contexts. For instance, being part of a group of people who acknowledge lack of diversity or a group of people SEEKING diversity. Race is […]

Really? But you don’t look Mexican…

Andrea Z Boston, MA We need to face what is uncomfortable and finally realize that we are all Human together. We cannot take the next step until we acknowledge “others” as “like us” and not like “them”. I consider myself an earthling, a citizen of the world, a mutt and I am proud of it. […]