She gave the eraser back.

Harry Ford, Minneapolis, MN. Race is a difficult subject given the large amount of pain many people of color have experienced related to race within this American landscape. We are people in pain hoping that our contributions will be seen by the others.

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I got all the white genes.

Cayla Olson, Duluth, MN. I have always felt that I had to qualify my racial identity with those six words. I am part native, my mother being Ojibwe and French, and my father being Oneida and Irish. We lived on my mom’s home reservation, and it was never any mystery to me as to what […]

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Who’s that person at your house?

Ismail A., Minneapolis, MN. My name is Ismail and I live in Minneapolis. I am Somali and I live with my family in an apartment building. A lot of different people live in my building, Latinos, Asians, Africans, African Americans and white people. The manager of the building is mean to the Somali people. She […]

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Hmong American muaj lub siab tawv

Janes Lee, Minneapolis, MN. I am a Hmong American male, residing in the most Hmong populated state though we are still very unseen. The service our people provided during the Vietnam War, known to the Hmong people as the Secret War, has been invisible to the public eye. How fitting of it for the invisible […]

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Well, why NOT talk about race?

Lucy Pipkin, Minneapolis, MN. My own white discomfort is much less painful than continuous microaggressions and real racism faced by my fellow undergrad students who are POC. Let’s talk, and not stop until they feel safe again. We’re all different but need to come together in our communities, as shown by my photo of this […]

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Be Humble, Give back, Don’t judge.

Mariah Frisk, Morris, MN. Being from a small town in northern Minnesota, I haven’t been exposed to much culture in my day. My sophomore year of high school, I took a trip to New Orleans with my church for the 2012 National Youth Gathering. We were there to help the community recover from Hurricane Katrina. […]

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Privilege means responsibility to be better.

Morgan Lavandowska Minneapolis, MN As a 21 year old white woman, I have the privilege of being white that gives me power to do what others can’t. Instead of abusing that power, I prefer to try to help bring positive change to the world and, hopefully, help bring equality for all.

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Can we talk about white culture?

Jennifer Campbell, Chaska, MN. Growing up in suburban Minneapolis I never had to talk about my skin color or rarely meet others of a different color. As an adult I am a special education teacher who works in a suburban school. I’ve been on a journey trying to be more aware of diversity. I joined […]

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Sorry, I Just Have to Ask

Dominic, Minneapolis, MN. As the saying goes, if I have a quarter for every time… In my case, if I had a quarter for every time an adult said to me, “I’m sorry, I just have to ask–your daughter–what is she?” I know what response each of these inquisitions intends. With quizzical eyes trained on […]

Discuss race fearlessly to unite people

Susana Gluck, Minneapolis, MN. There has to be open and sincere talk about race, our perceptions and preconceptions. Each group has to be able to hear the goods and bads we perceive about each other to find common and higher ground and an acceptance of our shared humanity. We can be critical but also loving.

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WHITE: Not Allowed 2 Be Proud

Jason McLevis, Duluth, MN. Growing up in a multi racial neighborhood I am well cultured. It was not until Junior High that I became aware I was supposed to be ashamed to be “White”. I am not allowed to be proud of any of my heritage. I must stand aside in shame while any other […]

Your German parents started the war

Janice Cooper, MN. My newly married parents immigrated to the U.S. from Germany via Ellis Island during the mid 50’s to follow the American Dream. Growing up in small town Michigan and attending Catholic school, my younger brother and I were constantly accused of being Nazis during our grade school years. Even though my parents […]

We never saw you as Asian.

Lor Lee Albertville, MN I grew up in Minneapolis, MN and when I moved out to a small rural school district many of my friends suggested that I was just one of the guys. By not seeing my “Asian-ness” were they not validating that part of who I am? I have now worked in the […]

Being white shouldn’t mean being clueless.

Andrew Butz Minneapolis, MN I am white, and grew up not thinking or having to think much about race at all. Made a lot of non-white friends at college and learned a lot about race and privilege, including the reality of thinking about race everyday because you have to. White people are the only group […]

THE COLOR OF MY SKIN ~PRICELESS~

Tricia Stewart, Minneapolis, MN. I am bi-racial and I’ve experienced racism from both sides(black and white). You don’t always realize in the moment whether something has an impact on you, whether it be negative or positive; eventually in some form you will feel it. Only you can determine if you’re going to allow it to […]

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Can we talk about white culture?

Jennifer Campbell, Chaska, MN. Growing up in the 70’s and 80’s in suburban Minneapolis I did not have many opportunities to meet people from another culture or race from my own. I continue to work in a suburban school district as a special education teacher. Again, the dominant race and culture is white. Students of […]

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I’m A Black Mother Not Monster

Anonymous, Eden Praire, MN. Prejudice robbed me of my child. 15 years ago my only living child was stolen from me by her white daddy and took overseas when she was 6 because I didn’t live up to his standards of what he thought was a good mother. To keep her away from me he […]

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White Male Teacher Looking to Help

Newo Zoils, Minneapolis, MN. I understand that as a white male in America I have in many unconscious ways perpetuated racism. I and my family have also benefited from over hundreds of years of white privilege. This is a systemic problem in America that continues to be unresolved. I am a teacher and one can […]

Awareness: ONLY the FIRST BIG step

Yzolde Chepokas, Eden Prairie, MN. Going through this process of learning about race, racism, culture, multiculturalism, diversity, and so on, I have come to the conclusion that being aware of the world outside of my own world is only the beginning of this journey of supporting social justice. As this change occurs within myself it […]

Son can’t speak. May be shot.

Lynnisha Grigsby, Minneapolis, MN. My son has a rare form of Down syndrome. Mosaic Translocation Down syndrome. He wasn’t diagnosed until he was 2 because his overall features are very ‘mild’. It was I, not a Dr., that proposed that he be tested. He’s 8 yrs old right now. He is in a mainstream classroom […]

My abuse was invisible because I’m white

Jack, Saint Paul, MN. My mom is an expert in manipulation and fake kindness, always sounding kind to hurt and control and shame. Because of rampant child discrimination across cultures, it was not hard for my mother to convince others that she was right, or to uphold the illusion of a happy “white suburban family”. […]

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So where do you come from?

Michael Chan, Maplewood, MN. I am half Chinese and half Caucasian, but my German and Hebrew language skills are much stronger than my Cantonese skills (my family’s language). So when I get the question, “Where do you come from?,” I laugh internally and typically spend a few seconds trying to figure out what exactly I’m […]

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Mexican Irish Girl: agnostic and dry

Joan Socorro Sullivan, Minneapolis, MN. I’m a quarter Mexican and over half Irish, I don’t attend church and I don’t drink. My hair is dark brown, my eyes are blue, I freckle like no one’s business; there’s the black Irish. My hips and bosom refuse to fit in anything smaller than a medium since I […]

Welfare: Black faces televised White missing

Mary Lou Henneman St. Paul, MN Black faces continue to be portrayed as the face of Welfare for televised commentaries and Black voices for radio broadcasts about the welfare system. Although, according to the KSTP.com website where I live, “Forty percent of MFIP-eligible caregivers are white, 37 percent are black, 9 percent are American Indian, […]

White Majority? Maybe Numbers, Not Favored

Kai Braun, Fridley, MN. White people may make up most of the population in america and other places but are not favored or even looked upon as something unique. If you are anything but white you can be considered special + Different in the sense of having flavor. A white person if its applying for […]

Missed the day racism was taught

Erin, MN. Racism isn’t in our curriculum, it’s not a lesson taught by chalkboards and worksheets. However it is learned. Yes, in school but also at home. It is taught through culture, through actions. This problem cannot be solved by a student’s eraser or a teacher’s pen.

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“I suppose they’ll all want dignity.”

Anonymous, St. Paul, MN. “O’Hare had a little notebook with him, and printed in the back of it were postal rates and airline distances and the altitudes of famous mountains and other key facts about the world. He was looking up the population of Dresden, which wasn’t in the notebook, when he came across this […]

Don’t let it get to you.

Brandon Yang, St.Paul, MN. I use to have friends that were nice to me for one reason. Homework. Even though I knew that they were still good friends to just talk with. But one day they copied off my test and the next day we got them back, we all had bad scores. And so […]

I’m mad that I’m reflexively racist.

Jordan Weil, Minneapolis, MN. I’m really angry that my first reaction to a young black man is to start checking my surroundings and wondering if I’m safe. I don’t do this with white guys, or Asians, or Latinos. I feel like I’ve been conditioned by the media that I consumed as a kid and a […]

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OSMONDS BETTER THAN JACKSON 5, WHY?

Juleah Richards, Chippewa Falls, WI. BORN IN 1960; ST.PAUL MINN. LIVED IN WONDERFULLY MIXED NEIGHBORHOODS IN SOUTH MINNEAPOLIS UNTIL I WAS 10YRS OLD. MY MOM MARRIED A FARMER FROM RED RIVER VALLEY. WE MOVED TO SPOT 10 MILES FROM NORTH DAKOTA AND 90MI FROM CANADA. THERE WERE ONLY SCANDINAVIANS AND FRENCH FOLKS. NONE OF MY […]

Spoke about King, classmates shunned me.

Kit Arnquist Longville, MN In 1968 I was a senior in high school. The day after Dr. King was assassinated, the principal asked if anyone would like to speak about him over the intercom. I did. My friends would not sit with me on the bus that afternoon.

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The young are not naturally prejudiced.

Adam Jones, Chaska, MN. I am a para in a special education class, and the high school in which I work is very diverse. The longer I work in this field, the more I have come to see that kids are kids. People are people. I am frustrated, elated, encouraged, concerned, and inspired by all […]

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I wish we were all creamy-brown.

Tony Cunningham, St. Cloud, MN. I was going to say “blue,” but that would be a big adjustment. If we were all one race, we’d divide ourselves in other ways, but still, I’d like to make it a little harder to do so.

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Thank You Seretse and Ruth Khama

Charles Jensvold, Detroit Lakes, MN. Thanks Seretse and Ruth; Thanks Richard and Mildred Loving and all who preceded us and did the heavy lifting. “When will that great day come, when everyone is one, and there will be no more misery and God tells man he’s really free, R E A L L Y F […]

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I flourish farming ancient tribal lands

Ed Kaufman, Morris, MN. Another Six words: My grandfather stood witness at Mankato. I enjoyed seeing you at UM Morris a while back (when this would have been timely given the 150th anniversary of the Mankato Debacle) Read More about this post: http://www.nickcolemanmn.com/?p=3124 http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2012/12/26/minnesota-works-forgiving-not-forgetting-its-native-history-146502 http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2012/12/22/watch-dakota-38-documentary-remember-those-lost-150-years-ago-146499 http://highwayhighlights.com/2013/04/reconciliation-park-mankato-mn/

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“Fair you entered before my son?”

Heidi Adelsman, Minneapolis, MN. Working for 12 years as a Pipefitter in Minneapolis and St. Paul Minnesota, I saw few to no people of color or women working in the construction trades unless a large contract required “minorities” to get the contract. One father of a Dunwoody trade school classmate asked if I thought it […]

Loving me = easier to love you

Makeda Zulu-Gillespie, Minnepolis, MN. “The balance in trying to give your children an open road to follow their dreams and making sure they recognize the dangers signs is HARD. It is a complex conversation already then add the dynamics of faith! I see progress and hope beyond my understanding AND I see the reinforcement institutionalized […]

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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’m his mother, not the nanny.

Toya Dragseth, Saint Paul, MN. My youngest son is biracial. Has his Fathers genes, very light skinned, brownish blonde hair and when he is with just me, people look as if he is not my child but a child I may be babysitting. When he’s with his dad they look very natural together.

Ex-military, don’t understand my country’s culture.

Alan Hill Minneapolis, MN Why don’t veterans speak of their experience? Because of the culture barriers to understanding. Military veterans don’t yet understand (as a population) that they have a different culture than their country, a separate, distinct, yet invisible, identity. The worst part is they are disconnected from it and therefore unable to express […]

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Family matters; race, not at all.

Phyllis Kedl, Little Canada, MN. Ours is a multi-ethnic family. We have fourteen grandkids, only five of whom are ethnically related to us. The rest? Two African American, three Hispanic and four Chinese. We are anything but vanilla, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Your project, Michele, may offer our country’s first — […]

I teach. I build relationships with students.

Sarah Brookner Minneapolis, MN I am a white female. I grew up in a wealthy suburb of Minneapolis. My students are mostly Somali, African American and Mexican American. They all have different needs. I care deeply about all of them. Some days are hard for me to connect and relate to their experiences, which are […]

Relax, we’re on same team now!

Michael Gauer, Egan, MN. I’m a white man who had a black roommate and believe the color of skin it totally irrelevant. White Americans have learned this, so we must all move forward with confidence that the bad racial past is behind us.

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Why is the pool filled up?

Alonzo Peeke, Morris, MN. When I was in 4th grade we moved from Overland Park, KS to Lynchburg, VA. My dad and I would shoot hoops and talk walks at Riverside Park, a beautiful forested park right off the James river. We were walking home and we came across a strange structure like ruined monument, […]

Actions speak louder than skin color.

Jack McNiff, Canyon Lake, CA. I was raised in rural Minnesota prior to sixth grade and by then had moved to Minneapolis. My first exposure to differences in “”Race”” was in High School and I never had any real understanding of why there were any significant tensions about who was what color. I felt very […]

Don’t speak Spanish to white relatives.

Max Lazzara, Minneapolis, MN. Bilingual when I learned to talk, raised among my father’s Floridian family of Spaniards, Italians, and Cubans, I was just as Hispanic as I was white; but moved by divorce, I joined my mother’s German-Polish Minnesotan family. The message quickly became clear: don’t speak Spanish to white relatives. In a fully […]

Not White! I will choose Purple!

Jeanne L, Little Falls, MN. I don’t care if you are white, black, brown, yellow, red, purple or green we all bleed the same color, we all breath the same air, we all look up at the same sky. So why must we focus so much on our differences instead of focusing on our similarities.

Be the change (and) ignite the possibilities!

Betruth, St.Paul, MN. We need to have so much hope for those who choose to see the love and peace in the world. While also seeing all the perspectives and opinions of others. Our cultural differences can lead us a stray from all the facts. I will not be burdened by the pigmentation of my […]

Dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb blonde.

Heather Saskia Nichols, Maple Grove, MN. I do not bleach my hair. I do not color my hair. I do not highlight my hair. I do not think about my hair. I do not think with my hair. Why am I called dumb because of my hair? In 7th grade, I stopped talking in class. […]

Little brown man in white class.

Student Century College, MN As an English language learner, sometimes I feel bad, shy, and ashamed.  I still struggle as everybody moves on.  Every day I am waiting to understand what everybody understands.  By that time I am going to feel I am a big man. See more from the Century Race Card Project conversation: […]

Too Easy Pretending Race Doesn’t Matter

M. M. S., Morris, MN. Growing up white means that you never have to notice that you are represented in the media more than any other race is, even in situations where that should not be the case (-Exodus: Gods and Kings- I’m looking at you). It means that it’s so easy to turn away […]

As Mutt as a Mutt Gets

Christi Perkinson, Red Wing, MN. My mom is full blooded German so I’ve always known that I was half German, but the other half was a mystery. My dad’s side is quite the mystery. His Father was born in the south while his Mother was born in Canada. Both sides came over to the U.S. […]

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Standing on border of Mexican and White.

Deborah Torres, Saint Paul, MN. This has two meanings for me. First, I honor both my paternal (Mexican) and maternal (English, French & more) heritage. Second, because race is a socially constructed concept, the idea of whether or not Mexican is White evolved throughout the 20th Century. For example, on my paternal Grandfather Bedardo Torres’ […]

You didn’t tell me he’s black

Katherine F., Minneapolis, MN. I met a woman through professional circles when I was recruiting for a volunteer project. As it happens, she lived near me. We formed committees for this initiative and began talking more socially on the phone. I went over to her house a few times for coffee. One weekend she invited […]