Anonymous, Lansing, MI. Was this meant to be a compliment? …it didn’t feel like a compliment.
Anonymous, Lansing, MI. Was this meant to be a compliment? …it didn’t feel like a compliment.
Alex, East Lansing, MI. I didn’t know all the ways in which I was privileged – I really didn’t. Now that I do, I am trying to learn how to use that privilege to break down the wall for others.
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.
Anonymous, Lansing, MI.
Tim, Zeeland, MI. Some times i just think, “maybe if I smile they wont do any thing”, I feel so bad for even doing that. I should smile and be happy to smile, there people to so why don’t you smile at them like you do to your best friends. Think, what would you do [...]
Janice Mendoza, East Lansing, MI. I moved to Michigan from Southern California in middle school. I was very shocked to find out that there were not many Latinos in my new area. I felt very out of place. I am current student at Michigan State. I loved the idea of diversity when I got accepted [...]
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 [...]
Holly Richmond, East Lansing, MI. I uttered this statement of shame at 12. My Dad said “sorry,nothing you can do about it now so live with it”. My Mom said “behave so you give whitey a good name”. I’ve been trying ever since but I still don’t want to be white!!!!!!!
Melanie Smith, East Lansing, MI.
Sharon Ross, Lansing, MI.
Mark Rudd, Laingsburg, MI.
David Ringlein, Lansing, MI. It’s really not about race; it’s about any way we can separate.
Olivia Brenner, Haslett, MI.
Margaret Levasseur, Grosse Pointe Park, MI.
Nicole, East Lansing, MI. My grandfather was blind all my life. All I knew was that there was an accident. It wasn’t until he passed that I learned that the accident involved a white man. My grandfather was a doorman and was pushed into the glass door. My grandfather never spoke of the incident. I’m [...]
Nicole, Lansing, MI.
Brandi Schroeder, East Lansing, MI. I have a rather diverse group of friends, and the other day one made a comment about my origins. I grew up in a predominantly caucasian town where my high school held maybe 10 black students. My friend, who happens to be Somali, asked this question, and upon my answer [...]
Candace Ewing, Lansing, MI. As much as I would love to see race as a topic discussed sole to embrace differences (in a positive fashion) as opposed to still working on tearing them all apart (negatively,) I think the battle is one that will be fought for a very long time. We are moving closer [...]
Katherine, East Lansing, MI. My last name is very unique. It is a Croatian last name and my mother’s maiden name is Croatian as well. Whenever people ask me about it, it makes me happy because no matter how many times it is misspelled or mispronounced I realize that those aren’t things that matter. My [...]
Nicole Smeltekop, East Lansing, MI. At Michele Norris’s talk in East Lansing last night, a woman said this to me as Ms. Norris came on stage. The prevailing assumption that as a white person, white people can comfortably make racial comments they most likely wouldn’t say to anyone other than another “obviously” white person is [...]
Shannon Nobles, Lansing, MI.
Dan Brown, DeWitt, MI. Michele, you can’t have it both ways. If, as you said last night, you view Obama as black (you said “of color”) then you won’t reach a “post racial” status. To say that he’s black leads us back to the “single drop of black blood” interpretation of race. Consider: If Obama [...]
Ruth Volz, Mt. Pleasant, MI.
Fred Kester, East Lansing, MI. We may not be personally responsible for the injustices of the past, but we are still responsible for creating a society where there are opportunities for all and where justice prevails.
Zoë Johnson, East Lansing, MI.
Brian Batayeh East Lansing, MI
Tarah Zdunic, East Lansing, MI.
Sarah, East Lansing, MI.
Jesse Katch, MI
Hannah Warren, East Lansing, MI.
Adam, Grosse Ile, MI.
Debra Farmer, East Lansing, MI.
Marlee Sherrod, Canton, MI.
Les 6, East Lansing, MI.
David H Willis Jr., Lansing, MI. Culture is the collective shared belief system for a group of people. Different cultures can respect, value and grow by sharing. Racism occurs when this breaks down.
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 [...]
Dawn Fleming, Lansing, MI.
Dave R. Oakland County, MI Black America has proven me wrong. When I was young and dumb, I believed racism was the realm of idiots and red-necks. As I have grown older, I see the culture of Black America is little more than a drain on society. They and them are words I never thought [...]
Alizaye Manigo, Macomb, MI.
Leah Grand Rapids, MI
Norris Howard Detroit, MI Over 50 people in this bar and you approach the only group of black men and ask them a drug related question. You don’t even see your own ignorance.
Julian Henderson Holland, MI
Aidan O’Connor Grand Rapids, MI People can be raised up to be rasist but no one starts their life doing it. Rasism is not even a thing when you are born, you don’t even know what it is. Being racist is a choice you make. If you chose to be racist it is the wrong [...]
Haley B Grand Rapids, MI My parents are adopted. I am a mutt. Both of my parents are darker complected with strong features that I wish I would have inherited as I am pale, blonde and blue eyed; so I get labeled “white.” When I look at the world around me, I see the variety [...]
Angelo Saxon Grand Rapids, MI People often mistake me for white because of my light skin. I identify, however, as an Arab, due to my Lebanese ancestry, of which I hold near and dear to my heart. The reclassification of Arabs as “white” by the government in the early 1900’s means that I have to [...]
Kiwana Johnston Detroit, MI One of the things I’ve hated hearing the most is, “I didn’t know dark skinned people could be pretty until I met you”. It is a double sided insult that smells of self-hatred when expressed by other black people & cruel ignorance when expressed by other races. It’s as if people [...]
Patricia Osborn Grand Rapids, MI People are always surprised when they see me. My last name doesn’t. “match” how I look. Although my parents are awesome and didn’t think twice about any of their children’s spouses race , my aunts and uncles made so many comments ranging from me not wanting to be a true [...]
J. Torres Kansas City, MO My father is from Puerto Rico, born and raised. My mother is Colombian. However, raised in Panama. They met in the 1950’s while my dad was in the U.S. Army. Us kids always called ourselves PanaRicans. Until my mother gave us her true background. I attended college in Michigan in [...]
Adrian Ohmer Ann Arbor, MI University of Michigan Law
Maggie Kanakri Grosse Point Woods, MI
Sean Ji Ann Arbour, MI The reason I said these 6 words is because ever since I came to the U.S at the age of 2 years old, I never really grew up around other Asian people. My hometown is Ypsilanti, Mi, which is really close to Ann Arbor, but much derided by those in [...]
Marilou Ingles Romulus, MI I am American Indian, I grew up in poverty, and I am from the South. I often joke that I received a scholarship to U of M because of my heritage. I do not believe that I would have been admitted based on academia, talent, experience, or personality; I am here [...]
Danielle Hayden Detroit, MI My freshman year of college, a boy at orientation (with whom I had only recently become acquainted told me that the only reason I had gotten into the University of Michigan was because of Affirmative Action. This wounded me deeply, and I became obsessed with proving to everyone how intelligent I [...]
Martha S. Jones Ann Arbor, MI Submitted via Twitter: @marthasjonesUM
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.
Tiffany Kosakowski Grand Rapids, MI I feel like I am constantly walking on egg shells because I am white. I have to be careful how I joke, who I like or dislike, even places I go. It is getting a little tiresome to hear people accuse white people of being racist because they do not [...]
Melanie Lindgren Grand Rapids, MI I was living in Florida for about four years. Most of the girls I met down there were rich, spoiled, tan, beautiful girls. My grandparents came here from Latvia towards the end of World War 2 and as such, I have blonde hair and extremely pale skin. I would always [...]
Melissa Holland, MI I was adopted at three days old and know nothing of my biological heritage. I enjoy feeling as if I’m a mixture of many different ethnicities.
Walter Belbot Comstock Park, MI
Maria Grand Rapids, MI I am an American “mutt” with white skin and German/Irish descent. People all of the time assume that just because my skin is white, that I have a bias for white people and a negative stigma against people of other races. That could not be further from the truth.
Azalea Grand Rapids, MI I’ve made fun of my entire life for my pale skin and red hair. It’s honestly really annoying and once the whole “ginger” thing is brought up I no longer want to talk to that person anymore because it represents their ignorance and the fact that they can’t just accept that [...]
James Edward Mills Madison, MI At the young age of 14 Kai Lightner is doing amazing things in the world of sport climbing. In the spring 2013 he ascended exceedingly difficult routes that included Southern Smoke (5.14c) and Transworld Depravity (5.14a) in the Red River Gorge of Kentucky. On the same two-week road trip he [...]
Ellie Couch Kentwood, MI
James Henderson Houghton, MI I’m a black man. There is this stereotype, that all black people steal, so whenever we walk into a store we are followed around the store and or watched from a distance. I have money and don’t need to steal form anyone. Watch me pay for this.
Jenny Grant, MI Even though my exposure to the outside world is limited, I choose to see others the way I hope they see me: I think; I dream; I hope; I laugh; I love; I am human.
Michele Ypsilanti, MI My darling boys are Chinese and Black but look more racially non-specific; even while I lived in northern CA, what people think of as some sort of center of tolerance, people constantly assumed that since I was Black I was their nanny. Even though they are older now, I still get surprised [...]
Brandon Peplau Grand Rapids, MI I am not white; I am American! I have Chippewa, Syrian, German, and Austrian blood in my veins. The only members of my family living in America during slavery were natives here. If you have a problem with white people, leave me out of it.
Craig, Lansing, MI.
Brent Beard, Lansing, MI. For a broke college student, I’ve been lucky enough to see more of this world than many people ever will. I’ve discovered in my wanderings that you may meet a Thai bartender who you relate to more than your own relatives. You may have greater difficulties understanding the culture of a [...]
Hailey Dodge Grand Rapids, MI Everywhere I go I am always being called white-girl all the time. But the truth of it is that I am not white I don’t blend in with the snow, flour shows up on my skin, and I have blood running through my veins. And to be honest the color [...]
Brandi N. Scarlett Lansing, MI When people ask me what ethnicity I am, I get excited. I am so proud to be mixed race. My mother is white and First Nations, and my father is Jamaican. However, I always make sure to tell people no matter WHAT I am, I identify as being black. I [...]
Markeisha Miner Detroit, MI
Derrick Duemler Grand Rapids, MI I have had people tell me that I have it easy because I am white and even that I can land a job easier because so. What is not realized is that I struggle as much as the next person with balancing life. My color puts me nowhere ahead of [...]
Tien-Cheri Ellis Grand Rapids, MI
Skyler MI I come from a small town that is heavily populated by Mexicans so I was never really exposed to other races like Caucasians, Blacks, Asians, or any other race besides Mexican. It was very rare to see any other race and if I did see other races it was when I would go [...]
Eirann Betka Grand Rapids, MI I wish white wasn’t a race. Because where does that mean I come from? I am given five options of classifications to choose from. Five checkboxes. None of which correctly identify my origin, and of all of them, white seems vague and without a home. Where is white? How can [...]
Janet Anderson-Davis West Bloomfield, MI University of Michigan Law We need to place less emphasis on race and more on commonality: overcoming daily life challenges with grace.
Glenn Oliver Detroit, MI University of Michigan Law We have to figure out how to create a society where people are comfortable living and working around people of all races.
James N. Humphries Canton, MI University of Michigan Law NO.
Daniel Varner Detroit, MI The University of Michigan Law
Jerome R. Watson Detroit, MI University of Michigan Law
Lisa Martin Belleville, MI University Of Michigan Law
Zee Brennan Grand Rapids, MI Often times when I share with people that I am Irish, many people aren’t surprised and demand that I dance a jig for them. Although I am also an accomplished Irish dancer, it feels as though there is an assumption among many Americans that all Irish know how to dance [...]
Adam Vanden Berg Byron Center, MI Just because I white does not mean that I haven’t had hard times in life. In the media it is portrayed that all white people have nice houses and nice stuff, but we still have struggles in life.
Rah-Maat Ali Grand Rapids, MI Being that a large group of black people never unjustly attacked white people for being white, why are you so afraid of us? Is it a guilty conscious?
Bryce Leveille Grand Rapids, MI The genre of music you listen too does not or should not tell what race or ethnic background you have came from. All genres of music is for everybody, there’s no specific race it’s made for.
Derrick Busman Grand Rapids, MI Being an Asian, living amongst primarily white individuals, I tend to receive a lot of racism. One of the most common things, is the assumption that all Asians excel at math or scholastic studies in general.
Holly Thompson Grand Rapids, MI I am half Puerto-Rican and half Scottish, but definitely all people see is “white.” I am constantly struggling with pride of my Latina heritage, guilt of my inherent white privilege, and guilt of ignoring half of who I am. I hate documents that ask for your race. Do I put [...]
Kate K Grand Rapids, MI
Anonymous Saline, MI
Seydi Detroit, MI While growing up in Senegal some refer to me as dark as the buttocks of a cauldron, i was proud to be as dark as the stone of the Kaaba filled with love and light, often i dreamed to be blue-black as those vailant fishermen Lebou, Niominka or Guet-Ndar tauting the Sun [...]
Margaret Condon Taylor Ann Arbor, MI My mother and her sister visited me decades ago when they were researching their ancestry. My mother orally provided me with one sentence summaries of some of these ancestors. Sentences included this one scalped by Indians (in Herkimer County, NY), and this one — an epileptic– crushed to death [...]
Ruth Roseville, MI Why can’t I just be the woman who is next, or next please?
Jean Millard Milford, MI I wanted to be part of the black culture around me because I could see the tight family ties they had. I was bullied by the kids I wanted to connect with. I remember when the first black family moved into the neighborhood. I was shocked by the comments I heard [...]
David T. Hill Jr. Flint, MI Stuck in the middle.
Cynthia Detroit, MI Growing into my African heritage in America, I love to wear my hair how it naturally grows. I get the stares of disapproval but we all must remember i’m not here for your approval. Please, ask before you touch.
Anonymous Ann Arbor, MI
Nathan S Detroit, MI With all of the talk of racial tensions in the US today, it is important to remember that the only difference between the commonly accepted races is skin color and, sometimes, facial features. Beyond that, people are all largely the same. Studies have been made showing that the vast majority of [...]
Caitlin Grames Sterling Heights, MI Race, gender, heritage, and all other innate traits we are born with are only secondary to our life experiences. Our stories make us who we are as individuals. And you can’t capture a whole history with just “black”, or just “white”.
Valerie Sathe Brugeman MI