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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 […]

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 […]

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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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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.

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.

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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 […]

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: […]

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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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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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 […]

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 […]

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.

Read Kingsblood Royal by Sinclair Lewis

Marsha Surkin, White Bear Lake, MN. I am a white woman, 72 yrs old. When I was 11 I disobeyed my mom and read Kingsblood Royal. This was the first time I was aware of racial diveristy. In the book a man finds out he has a black grandfather and is run out of town. […]

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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He brought something for his worker.

Erbayne W. Jarvis, Cottage Grove, MN. My six words came out of an experience I had when I went to a government agency deliver some document as part of my work on behalf of a client. I needed help in finding the person to whom I was to deliver the documents. One of the employees […]

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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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“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 […]

Not ‘Illegal’ – Human and Deserving Compassion

Tracy Loynachan, Minneapolis, MN. To me, the terms ‘illegal immigrant’ and ‘illegal alien’ are demeaning. These terms are used too frequently, especially when talking about Latinos. Immigration status is not part of the criminal justice system – it’s a separate legal system. While people may be undocumented, they are still people and deserving of compassion. […]

I’m sorry but it wasn’t me.

Margaret Hayes, Hopkins, MN. I went to a school that had a large minority student population. I always loved and was proud of my district because of it’s diversity, but for many years I was personally victimized and frequently bullied because of my “white-ness”. When many students saw my skin color they personally blamed me […]

You’re Indian? With Dot or Feather?

Sam, Morris, MN. I have a grandfather that is fully Native American, from the White Earth Tribe. So my mother is ¼ Native American, and I am less than ¼. My father is mostly German. So I have fairly light skin, and my hair is light brown. In most situations I consider myself Caucasian and […]

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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, […]

It’s been centuries; get over it.

Tiffany Barta, Bemidji, MN. I’m honestly tired of indigenous people always saying, “YOU took OUR land!” Oh, really? I took your land? I personally had nothing to do with that. You must be referring to my ancestors, who weren’t even in this country at the time. Who’s ignorant now?

White is not absent of colour

Elijah Chapple, Morris, MN. For the explanation of this I will use a poem written by a child from Africa: Colour When I was born, I black; When I grow up I black; When I go in sun I black; When I scared, I black; When I sick, I black; And when I die; I […]

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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 — […]

Why was I taught we’re superior?

Molly Kampa, Hastings, MN. I identify as a white individual. Throughout my schooling I feel that I was inherently taught that white is the superior race. We were taught that black people went through slavery and that they were, and still are, discriminated against but that is primarily where there story ends in the classroom. […]

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 […]

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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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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.

You don’t look Native you’re white

Kaylin Jorgensen, St.Paul, MN. I chose these words on more of a personal level but, a lot of people do not believe me when I tell them I am Native American. People assume that the color tone of your skin defines you. When in reality you are who you are no matter what your skin […]

I smile at young black men.

Nena Clark Rochester, MN I am an old, white woman. I work in the govt center and I see all kinds of folks there who probably aren’t having their best day. I try to be pleasant to everyone, but I make a point of being friendly toward young black men. I know that in my […]

Mugged by black teens, trust destroyed.

Alison Blomster Minneapolis, MN I think there are some healthy reasons why stereotypes of black male teens exist. After being mugged by 5 black teenage boys wearing hooded parkas, I can understand the fear that any other person, of any skin color could feel when confronted by a black male teen whose eyes cannot be […]

Why cant I enjoy my heritage?

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 […]

SPJ honors Norris for exceptional service to journalism

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 7/23/2014 Contacts: Chad Hosier, SPJ Awards Coordinator, (317) 920-4791, chosier@spj.org Taylor Carlier, SPJ Communications Coordinator, (317) 920-4785, tcarlier@spj.org INDIANAPOLIS – The Society of Professional Journalists is pleased to honor Michele Norris as a Fellow of the Society. It is the highest honor given by the Society and is awarded for extraordinary contribution […]

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No white dolls for my daughters!

Achilles C., Saint Paul, MN. I am a young African American single father, working hard to make sure my two daughters understand and value their own beauty, in the face of constant imagery and media messages that would suggest otherwise – my oldest was 3 the first time she wanted her hair straight like some […]

African-American, no. American whose’s black, yes!

Vanessa Minneapolis, MN I HATE the term African-American. I don’t hold citizenship to any country on the African continent so why do people feel the need to call me that. I’m the descendent of people who were forcible sold and brought to the country, raped, beaten, and denied personhood and their rights. They slaved and […]

“We don’t do ethnic hair here”

Sahra Hassan Minneapolis, MN This was said to me by a hair stylist the minute I walked into a salon. Ironically, my hair was cover so she couldn’t tell what my hair type was but she assumed this based on my skin color. Unconscious actions like these can lead to structural racism in our society.

You’ve got to be carefully taught

Kathleen Z. Minneapolis, MN I enjoyed your talk at the Guthrie so much. I listened to it again yesterday and was disappointed the man from Birmingham who was at the church explosion didn’t get on the edited broadcast! Here are my six words from SOUTH PACIFIC: You’ve got to be carefully taught. Here are the […]

A Superficial Presumed Judgment of Humans

Kimberly Harwood Lakeville, MN I say this because I’m a white girl whom was blessed to have a Sudanese step-dad for most of her childhood. People usually assume that I’ve had no diversity in my life because I’m white. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. I benefited tremendously as a person having his […]

Do not deny me my heritage.

Jennifer Kerkow Chaska, MN Im Scottish, German, and Indian. It was my Great grandfather who was indian and I love it and want to embrace it and claim it but im told my people I cant because it isn’t a large part of my DNA though you can see it in me.

Lunch? Shhh, wait till he’s gone.

Mark De Francis Sante Fe, MN Hearing the right wing comments on talk radio regarding the Trayvon Martin case I was startled to come to a couple of realizations; 1. The race thing is still live and kickin’ 2. my own deeply embedded sense of white privilege was finally being dragged out into the sun […]

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Race=Diversity, not a competition.

Meg Litts, Staples, MN. Maybe we should never have started using the word ‘race’. It prompts comparative thinking. Instead of viewing difference as something to celebrate, we have used it as a weapon for destruction, stepping on one another to rise to the top. The top is a pretty lonely place in that paradigm, whether […]

I’m Asian I can’t forget that

Matt McDonough Morris, MN I chose these six words because I find that I sometimes will forget that I’m Asian just because I’ve been raised in the United States my entire life and live in an Irish-American family where we don’t really practice any traditional Korean customs. Most of my friends are white and it’s […]

How could you date someone like him?

Rachel Kroontje Morris, MN In the past several months, I almost dated two very nice guys who happened to be African American. To my shock and disgust, I had a very close friend who I would have never thought in a million years to be even slightly racist tell me, “It’s disgusting that you are […]

Unlawliness: One of my White Luxuries.

Ben Joselyn Bemidji, MN As a tall white man, I am able to navigate this world in accordance with my conscious and whim without the slightest worry of transgressing rules or laws that are used to fill our prisons with people who don’t look like me…because our justice system treats my actions differently.

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 […]