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’ […]
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 […]
Bill Young, Metro State, MN
Keith Davis, Minneapolis, MN.
Dave Wood, Minneapolis, MN.
Treana M., Minneapolis, MN.
Heather McMoore, Minneapolis, MN.
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. […]
T. Britton, Minneapolis, MN.
Brian N. St. Louis Park, MN.
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 […]
REPOST: http://www.mprnews.org/story/2015/02/07/books-black-lives-matter The Black Lives Matter reading list: Books to change the world Tracy Mumford · Feb 7, 2015 It was the middle of August in Ferguson, Mo. Protesters filled the street after the shooting death of Michael Brown. It had been a week of clashes, tear gas and calls for justice. The city seemed to […]
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. […]
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 […]
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 […]
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?
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 […]
Terrell Nyangai, Grand Rapids, MN.
La Shawn Hankton, St. Paul, MN. RACE HATE IS OBVIOUSLY WRONG, SO WHY DOES GOD ALLOW SUCH HATRED AND UNJUST TO BE?
Stacey Rosana, Lake Elmo, MN.
Anonymous, MN. Can’t draw to save my life. Picture up for interpretation.
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. […]
Pam Lindberg, Minneapolis, MN. I am embarrassed by the behavior of my race. We need to open our eyes accompanied by our hearts
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 […]
Je Jack Vang, St. Paul, MN. When people see Hmong people the only thing they think of us is either Chinese or Japanese. It’s like our race has been deleted out of the world.
Lizbeth Rosas Real, St. Paul, MN.
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 7/23/2014 Contacts: Chad Hosier, SPJ Awards Coordinator, (317) 920-4791, email@example.com Taylor Carlier, SPJ Communications Coordinator, (317) 920-4785, firstname.lastname@example.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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
Tony Andersen Eden Prairie, MN
Karen Bengtson St. Cloud, MN
Michelle Freeman Saint Paul, MN
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.
Mayra Gutierrez Northfield, MN Sometime my friends make Mexican jokes around me and I laugh with them, but sometimes those jokes are truly hurtful and diminishing, I am Mexican they are not
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 […]
Rayna Rochester, MN People of other skin colors can be from America too. Even though it’s probably not meant to be offensive, it is a little irritating when strangers repeatedly ask this question when I meet them, just because of my appearance.
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 […]
Pat Buzzell Coon Rapids, MN I am currently taking a class on Dismantling Racism and it is one of the best classes I have taken.
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.
Jess Minneapolis, MN As a white person justice is a clean word. As a woman I know that justice is a dirty dirty joke only pale men use to calm others down.
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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.
Elizabeth D. Minneapolis, MN Jewish and Christian?!?! Yep! Jewish by heritage, Christian by religion.
Sophie Gardien Minneapolis, MN
JESSE WASHINGTON— Dec. 1, 2012 She asked for just six words. Michele Norris, the National Public Radio host, was starting a book tour for her memoir, which explored racial secrets. Sensing a change in the atmosphere after the election of the first black president, and searching for a new way to engage and listen, Norris […]
Emily Wood Anchorage, AK Growing up in small town Minnesota where the local summer celebration was “Swedish Heritage Days” could be awkward for a girl with a white dad and a Native mom. My parents raised my brother and I to celebrate the fact that we had two sides to us, that we lived with […]
Diana Valentine Minneapolis, MN I am haunted to this day (and I am now 65) that I was so completely clueless about race, civil rights, and justice when I should have known better at age 15 when the March on Washington occurred. I moved from the North to a small town in the South when […]
Glossolalia Black Minneapolis, MN And you called me a racist.
Gordon McAlister Waconia, MN It’s the 60’s I’m white seventeen and a member of the NAACP It means I’m cool, enlightened, support the cause, and maybe most important not like them For Medger Evers it means you’re dead
Debra Harper Minneapolis, MN
Susan Roedl Minneapolis, MN Like much of the country I’m sad and confused at the Trayvon Martin verdict. How can George Zimmerman claim self defense when he got out of his car to pursue his victim? Why did the trial center on the end of Zimmerman and Martin’s encounter and not the beginning? So much […]
Pamela Renkel St. Paul, MN I was 19, in a small, local technical school, with two newly transplanted students from Detroit, who were African American. I was having a conversation and used the “N” word while describing a racially charged event, which my sister was involved in. As the word came out of my mouth, […]
Peter Svebakken, Minetonka, MN.
Nicole Minneapolis, MN As a descendant of Germans and Scandinavians, I am termed WHITE. My daughter is is a strawberry blonde with creamy white skin and blue eyes. Again and again I have been asked how it was possible when her father is an African American. I have heard, “he can’t actually be her father” […]
Josey Balenger Minneapolis, MN
Carstens Smith Minneapolis, MN I quickly learned in the 80s, when my employer mandated attendance on race and diversity, to stay very, very quiet. My comments, questions, and any opinions were met with “Well, you’re white so you don’t understand…” So despite the assumption by some that I am so privileged and racist that I […]
Greg Filice St. Paul, MN I work in a hospital teaching hospital. In my 40 years working in healthcare, I have watched as the population of US physicians has changed from mostly white males to a more multi-ethnic mixture with increasing percentages of women. Patients and families have had interesting, sometimes disturbing, and varied reactions […]
Claudia Noronha Madrigal Mankato, MN These words are one of my earliest memories of living in the U.S. I can’t remember for sure where I was, but I think I was submitting my driver’s license application at the DMV. I don’t remember the woman’s face or her voice. I do remember the tone, dripping with […]
Mercedes Morgan Minneapolis Community & Technical College, MN
Keegan Scouler Minnetonka, MN Making a big deal of it, positive or negative, is part of the problem.
Cecilia Crocker Minneapolis Community & Technical College, MN
Anonymous, Minneapolis Community & Technical College, MN
Dennis Mickelson Maple Grove, MN Time You should go home.
Truman Burbank Saint Paul, MN You can never understand. Unless you have lived it for yourself, and lived through the pain- you will never understand. Rage. Hopelessness. Despair. Determination. Marginalization. Retaliation.
KIRSTEN SCHOENLEBER SAINT PAUL, MN As a professional woman, I wonder about the differences between racism and misogyny. I have gone to meetings held at a country club. As I walked down a hall lined with pictures of past leaders, all white men, I wondered which would be more bothersome to them: me joining the […]
Anonymous Minneapolis, MN
Anonymous Minneapolis, MN Submitted at the Guthrie Event, Minneapolis One Read
Elise Baumann Minneapolis, MN
Deb K St. Paul, MN Submitted via NPR’S Talk of the Nation
Anonymous in Minnesota MN
Margie Nelson Morris, MN All beige future – please ponder that If livers differed, but not skin Race to the finish line?? Extra credit for more than one?
Stephanie Erickson Fridley, MN
Nancy Hassan Fridley, MN What you see isn’t always what you get according to stereotypes. Someone’s race, or ‘cover’ is just the outside, it doesn’t dictate how a person is or how they act. People are so much more than a cover, they’re a book. They have their own stories and they’re not always what […]
Audrey Friedman Minneapolis, MN Said to me many times during my life. I never knew how to reply to that statement.
Linda Skoglund, Minneapolis, MN The above quote has to do with a meeting my family had with Ed Solomon several years ago when my daughters were 5 and 3. Ed, as you may know was one of the nicest and gentlest human beings to grace this earth. Sadly, he left us too early but this […]