William Kincaid, St. Louis, MO. I use some literary license in choosing the word “daughter”. She is actually the great-great-granddaughter of one of my family’s former slaves, if you want to get technical about it. But a six word statement is no place to get technical. Regardless there are not enough words to express how [...]
Erin, St. Louis, MO. In my world today I associate power with people who are white. All my teachers and school leaders, white. My parents, white. The police in my area, white. All forms of power and authority in my life are white and this is how its been since I was little. Fear those [...]
Ryan Palmer St. Louis, MO Nope
Tim Lumpkins St. Louis, MO
Leah Thomas Florissant, MO I grew up in Saint Louis, MO and I moved to a mainly white private school in the 5th grade. I was a “gifted student” according to my public school district and my parents struggled to give me a better education. As I got older, of dating age, I started to [...]
Robin Greeley St. Louis, MO This is what my relatives said to me at a family reunion in the 1950s.They were afraid that if it was known that Grandma was Choctaw, she could be sent to a reservation – something that was done in those days. In Pueblo, Colorado, the hatred and direct discrimination of [...]
Suzanne Strathman Alma, MO How many times have I been asked if Marquita is my “real daughter”. My thought is “She looks pretty real to me.”. Marquita is African American and we are white. We adopted her when she was 4 years old.
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 [...]
Jackie Loya-Torres Kansas City, MO As a small child in the 1970s, I remember having to take some sort of standardized test in school. You know…the ones where you need a #2 pencil to fill in the ovals? On the cover page, in addition to listing my name, gender and age, I was asked to [...]
J St. Louis, MO I work at a country club’s kitchen, there we have a great many Mexican men. They always seem far too friendly. They are more touchy-feely than I am used to. Since then, I have been uncomfortable in the presence of any mexican males.
Kelsey Coleman St. Louis, MO I feel that I have worked incredibly hard to get where I am. I know that I have worked hard and have been dedicated to my own education. I know now, that I have had much easier access to this education and to the place where I am because of [...]
Mike Cattywampus St. Louis, MO
Kesild St. Louis, MO Only Albanian
Emily Zyk St. Louis, MO Believe it or not, I’ve seen many kinds of racial bias, including that directed towards white people. I’ve heard people tell me that I wouldn’t know of their struggles, so I wouldn’t be allowed to be any kind of a supporter. I’ve heard these same people tell me that there [...]
Sahin Dzananovic St. Louis, MO
Matt St. Louis, MO I take after my mother.
Tai Bui St. Louis, MO Don’t judge me by how I look, I might not look like you, but I am willing to do what you won’t.
Ashley Solomon St. Louis, MO
Jonas Dailide St. Louis, MO
Ginger Williams St. Louis, MO If it had not happened how could one in good conscience live in this country?
Lauren Anderson Kansas City, MO I’m not sure what I would consider myself. The only thing that I know is that I am brown-skinned, but light-skinned. Many believe I am mixed with another race or other race(s), but my parents are both Black. I’m not really sure what it means to be Black or where [...]
Jacquelyn D. Elliott St. Louis, MO
Casey St. Peters, MO Driving brings out the worst in all of us, no? I think I have done a good job in life of respecting people for who they are in spite of having been exposed to many stereotypes and prejudices, some involving race, in my short 30 years…but then I catch myself being [...]
Danielle Carr St Louis, MO University of Michigan Law
Ashley Kalamon Agency, MO
Eddie J. Kilgore Gower, MO
Natasha Sykes Saint Louis, MO Biracial. New Kid. Moving all the time. Never fitting in.
Thea Britton Kansas City, MO
Tracey Hughes Kansas City, MO Saline Davidson is my 6th great-grandmother, who made herself known to me in November 2013 as part of my family history research. The journey to discover her since November has been amazing and intense, as evidenced by this recap of my latest discovery. More info: http://traceystree.blogspot.com/2014/01/saline-davidson-you-have-released-her.html
Luke Brad Bobo Ballwin, MO We may be different hues, shapes, etc. on the outside but we share a common humanity – we have many of the same fears, same dreams, same wants, same concerns, etc.
Jeffery J Jaekley Bolivar, MO Race matters. It shapes our identity, yet it is not the whole of our identity. There are elements that are common to the experience of any racial group, yet these are not universal to all members of that group. I’m bi-racial–white and Native American. Among whites, I’m often the darkest [...]
Tom Harding Kansas City, MO
Alex Pozo St. Louis, MO Just because people are of Latino descent, does not mean that people can assume they are Mexican.
Jack Matthews St. Louis, MO
Bay Roehr Wentzville, MO In this day and age, I feel that many minorities tend to group up together. The whites that do try and reach out to other races, and minorities are often rejected for not having the same background/culture as them.
Alex Folk St. Louis, MO I am tired of being persecuted for being white. If I disagree with any ethnicity, I am accused of being racist and it disgusts me. It drives me insane and it makes them no better than a racist themselves.
Charles Beach St. Louis, MO
Jewel Nies St. Charles, MO I grew up in SE MO, the Bootheel. 20 miles from Arkansas border. Very southern town. My neighborhood bordered a black neighborhood. I had a black friend that I had played with for years. When I was around 9 or 10 my Mother came to me and said the neighborhoods [...]
Eric Carrera St. Louis, MO
John Meiners St. Louis, MO
Lisa Freund Taylor Laclede, MO In reality, she was our caregiver. Raising a white womans children in southeast Texas in the 60’s. Divorce broke up our family and she just disappeared.
Patricia Armstrong St. Louis, MO I was no more than 7 years old and made friends with a black girl in the neighborhood. We really had a lot of fun together and my family did not object. After a few weeks, I was invited to her house. After her father saw my white skin, he [...]
Debra Taylor Bolton, MO Fourteen years ago I married a black man. My father told me my child and grandchild did not exist because I was dead to him.
Lisa Johnson Holden, MO I am, unfortunately, from very rural America. There was a short period in my life (approximately 1/4 of it) that was lived in larger areas where I got to know various people. My most favorite experiences were the multicultural atmosphere of the Modern Languages and Literatures Department of a college I [...]
Dennis Jack Higgs Saint Peters, MO I was raised in West Texas in the 50’s and 60’s. Although racism was rampant around us, we were not raised to be racist. I am now in my mid sixties and still to this day, one incident, when I was about six or seven years old, that lasted [...]
Tom Capuano Kirksville, MO In the Midwest, in small and mid-sized towns at least, people who are strangers to each other sometimes acknowledge each other with a nod, at the very least, when passing by each other, at least during the day. Sometimes even a hello. Maybe not all the time, maybe not even most [...]
Robert L. Ricklefs Kansas City, MO This may be a surprise to some Americans of color!
Jessica Conley Poplar Bluff, MO
Ken Segehrs Wentzville, MO Some whites fought for equal rights, even in the face of a gun.
Chris Sherman St. Louis, MO I’m a Caucasian male, who was brought up in a fairly tolerant household, and learned to be accepting of diversity & difference, yet still have subtle race prejudices that are hard to shed. I know in my heart, it’s more a matter of pigment and culture, than anything, but still, [...]
Hilary Kansas City, MO I’m not a suitable match for their son since I’m not Indian. They barely spoke to me and have no interest in getting to know me.
James T. Barker Kansas City, MO I occasionally have racist thoughts (I would prefer to say prejudicial thoughts), especially when I get angry. Although I do not act on them, it bothers me greatly that I have these thoughts.
Auguste Budhram USA Anyone who has ever been in the minority remembers the first time a word knocked the wind out of them. As a child, my first time came packaged in a rhyme known by everyone– making the blow feel conspiratorial and that much worse. The rhyme is part of every 10 year- old’s [...]
Allan R. Shickman St. Louis, MO Racism can be a perverted form of social bonding.
Rick Pace Columbia, MO I hope there is hope.
Matthew Cline Saint Charles, MO
Michael Noble Saint Louis, MO Daily reminder from my mom on the way to school…
Eric Chaney Fort Leonardwood, MO Serving in the Army I was stationed in Washington DC. When I arrived I worked in an office of 7 African Americans one Hispanic and me the only white guy. The guys in the office where great we were like family but they briefed me that there are parts of [...]
Anonymous St. Louis, MO Materialism does not discriminate.
Jesse Duncan MO My name is Jesse; I am (mostly) caucasian, and I like jokes. Even racial ones. Let me start by saying that I have always thought that treating someone differently because of the color of their skin, or their accent, is stupid. Not ignorant, which can be fixed through education – stupid. I [...]
Becky Fulton Joplin, MO I’m was born in 1968 shortly after the death of MLK Jr. of mixed race and grew up raised by grandparents that were white. It was difficult during that time. I am glad that my closest of friends do not see the color of my skin that they can not answer [...]
KiKi Riddle Lee’s Summit, MO I’m black and have lived in the mid-west all of my life. My parents were college educated with my father having earned his degree with a 4.0 in math and science. That same passion for education, as well as the importance of proper enunciation of the English language, was instilled [...]
Hannah Herzog St. Louis, MO Guess what? It’s both (sort of). You may be of “Jewish” ethnicity without being of Jewish faith (non practicing), or you may be of Jewish faith, but may be from someplace other than Europe or Israel. Please remember that Jews come in all colors, and of all nationalities. Those descendants [...]
Joan Walsh Submitted via Twitter: @joanwalsh #racecardproject @Michele_Norris Read more about this 6-word Essay. http://www.salon.com/2013/01/21/%E2%80%9Cwe_are_made_for_this_moment%E2%80%9D/
Donna Wolfe Kansas City, MO She bolstered my self-love, self-esteem and confidence. I am eternally grateful. My self-image was that of beauty, grace and intelligence. My elders lived that way, daily. They made us feel loved and entitled to the best the world has to offer.
Deborrah Daher St. Louis, MO
Anonymous Kansas City, MO
Lorna Dianne Stookey Fredericktown, MO It cut deep, the aftermath of the 2008 election. I woke up to find racism splashed across the front page: “We finally got one of OURS in the White House.” Whose “ours” was he? He’s multicultural, multi-ethnic, and multiracial! He’s European American and African American. He’s “Everyman.” Could have been [...]
Anonymous St. Louis, MO Setting race relations back 25 years.
Robert Jones St Louis, MO
Deborah Daher St Louis, MO
J Wildman Saint Louis, MO I grew up in a household where we were basically allowed to develop our own opinions about prejudice. I’ve never been a racist. My prejudice of choice was against gay men. Something that I’m still ashamed of having felt, even though I’ve since let that go. When I became an [...]
Dre Kansas City, MO I am curious if you the responses your received while in PA and across the country differed at all by race, gender, or particularly age(generation).
Mardel Lott St. Louis, MO Submitted via, NPR’s Talk of the Nation
Rebecca Henson Fredericktown, MO Submitted via: NPR’s Talk of the Nation
Joann MO Submitted via NPR’s Talk of the Nation My six words are actually two, six word conversations between a black father and son about avoiding certain areas of town: Son, indignant: I have the right to be! Father: Yes, just not “be” over there. Naively thought we had settled this.
Lynn Hinkle Kansas City, MO Submitted via: NPR’s Talk of the Nation
Andrea Mills St. Louis, MO
Dana Reynolds Lees Summit, MO I think growing up white in mostly white towns and schools fosters misunderstanding and naïveté regarding what it’s like to walk around in darker skin.
Etefia Umana Saint Louis, MO We all come out of the womb a tabla rasa, hatred is learned. Unlearn.
Kathy Simmons St Louis, MO
Robert Franklin, St Louis , MO
Anonymous Kansas City, MO
African American professional Kansas City, MO
Stacey McMackin Richmond Heights, MO
Brad Aden St Louis, MO Those are my six words. I was in such hopes after the Presidential election that we were starting to run the corner and that we’d see some positive discussions surrounding race. During the campaign it was amazing to see such a diverse group of people all coming together in a [...]
Anonymous Kansas City, MO