Race isn’t more legitimate than sexuality.

David Chase, New York, NY. Apparently some people feel that “all oppression is not equal”. My experience as a gay white man unfortunately has not always been one of solidarity with non-gay non-white people. Growing up as a child in Woodstock, NY in the 60’s and 70’s I was brought up to be supportive of […]

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My White Half is Erasing My Iraqi Half.

Ollie, New York, NY. I’m mixed – white and Iraqi. It infuriates me that people, of all races, can’t see past my light skin. My Iraqi side is also Jewish and the racism within, and anti-semitism outside, has made claiming a poc identity an uphill battle. I feel like half of me is being systematically […]

On the subject of white guilt

Kevin, New York, NY. I don’t really understand this whole issue on white guilt, but I think it stems from privilaged elite “European Americans” who feel they have it all and need to clense their conscience somehow and feel guilty. Well I grew up “White” and poor in an all black neighboorhood, took racial abuse […]

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African American but not black

Rewan, New York, NY. I’m 15 years old, and I live in New York. My parents were both born and raised in Egypt and moved here in the ’80s. Let me cut to the chase- I’ve been called white, Hispanic, “light skin,” but I consider my self Arabic, because Egyptians speak Arabic and is located […]

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IT’S OKAY TO SEE MY COLOR

Yvonne Durant, New York, NY. I know that they are well meaning but when white people say, “I don’t see color,” it makes no sense. I think they mean they’re not prejudiced because color doesn’t count to them. It does to me.

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Hated wearing green on St.PatrickDay mom.

Daniel Luis Soto New York, NY I consider myself Puerto Rican. Grandparents from PR My great grandfather on moms side is from Ireland. Going further back on both sides my heritage spans the globe from Spain to England to various British occupied islands. Im proud of my diversity, but I look Puerto Rican speak spanish […]

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White Martial Artist, who’s not White.

Gerard Liston, New York, NY. The way I look confuses people. Most cant pin point my heritage. I am by birth Irish and Ecuadorian. Furthering my cultural heritage is my love of music. I love to play the drums and that love took me all the way to Africa. There I learned to play the […]

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Latina? Yes. Speaks Spanish? No. Gasp.

Delilah Mulgannon, New York, NY. All my life, I’ve been told that I’m not “really” Latina because I don’t speak Spanish fluently (which is ridiculous). Who are you to tell me who I am and who I’m not? I grew up in a mixed household (Ecuadorian mother and Polish father) where Spanish was not spoken […]

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East Europe substitutes Roma for Blacks

Harold Svignor, New York, NY. Humans inherently think in “Me up – You down” terms. We are innately tribal, and somewhat hostile to “the other”. That proclivity has created not only tribal strife, but war, sport, and many other human traits. It is universal and cannot be overcome….except by religious self denial. Non-caucasians have yet […]

Racism lives on, yet it’s hidden.

Dana Tuohey, Syracuse, NY. Community Member I believe that racism is more harmful now to society than ever. I believe this is so because we have convinced ourselves that slavery and the civil rights movements were “victories” for the minorities of our society and we no longer owe it to the other races to continue […]

My stepbrother threatened to hang him.

Teagan Peacock, Syracuse, NY. There is only one African-American family in my rural neighborhood. My stepbrother got into a fight with one of the boys in the family and threatened to hang him. I was never more embarrassed in my life.

Black but gay so it’s ok

Fred Wherry, New York, NY. An administrative assistant remarked to my (now ex) European partner: “When I first saw Fred I was a little scared of him. Then I found out he’s gay and your partner!” Somehow, if seen alone or if I appeared too “hard,” I was intimidating. By being “soft” I could disarm […]

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Looking at me you don’t see

Raquel Saunders, New York, NY. My dad is half black and my mom is white, when look at me you only really see the white. But I am a quarter black, and when I say that people look at me like I just gave them a lie. It pisses me off. Don’t judge me on […]

My privilege is choosing to engage.

Annie Greenberger, New York, NY. Georgetown Day School I realize that I have the choice whether to engage in this project, I have the choice not make a statement, I can decide if it is important to me and the is my white privilege.

I’ll Call Myself Whatever I Want

Samantha Lauren New York, NY Hate when people have the audacity to say to ANYONE that they ought to “just call themselves American” instead of Afro-American, Asian-American, Polish-American, or whatever. I am an American and as an American it’s my RIGHT to identify however I choose; I am an American of African descent, therefore I’m […]

Want my babies to be brown.

Jade Watson New York, NY I don’t have anything against interracial dating, but I choose to date and want to marry a black man, because I want my babies- my family to be black. I love being black. I love what being black has meant to my life. I love being a part of a […]

I’m Middle Eastern but I’m white?

Ilana New York, NY I grew up in Israel to a father born in Germany and a mother born in the United States. Yet every time I tick the “white” box I feel uncomfortable. The culture I grew up in was considered “white” but the Middle East is ethnically diverse. Everyone was a “mixed breed” […]

Light skin doesn’t make me privileged

Em New York, NY Born in Mexico, to mexican parents, crossed the border to find a better life, learning english on tv, grew up in Queens, the most ethnically diverse county in the US, with Colombians, Dominicans, Puerto Ricans, Mexicans, Ecuadorians, two brothers many shades darker than I, my mother “the help,” always having too […]

Black, Mixed, Metisse, Exotic, Afropino, Fulatto

Christina Lewis Halpern New York City, NY The strange thing about race in the western world is the strong need to put people’s identities into boxes. I have a complicated identity, which led to people helpfully telling me what category I fit in, including making up some words to describe me. I’ve chosen to describe […]

Colorblindness spreads, reinforces American racist history

Cynthia McCullough Port Orchard, WA Race studies student. Americans seem to think that being colorblind is a solution when in fact it is a tool to maintain White supremacy. The colorblind mentality is the denial of the history of people of color and supports the institutional racism deeply embedded in American culture as many can […]

News flash: you’re not really Mexican

Amanda Zamora Brooklyn, NY As the youngest in a large (seven children!) Mexican family, I was always jealous of my brothers and sisters for having strong Spanish first names. Mine was too easily anglicized: Amanda. So in the 6th grade, I took the opportunity to switch to Mercedes, my middle name, hoping to claim more […]

I’m White, so I’m obviously racist

Connor Eaton New York, NY In New York, people of all races live together. But people of all races all have their own thoughts on all the other races. This is nothing special. What is special is that it is culturally acceptable for any race to say whatever they want about any race, EXCEPT for […]

My name is being made fun of?

Bang Ang New York, NY People often make jokes about my name. They would ask “did your parents drop pots and pans or something?” or “Did your mom drop her spoon at the hospital to name you that way?” This made me very depressed and feel bad about being Chinese.

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A complex and ridiculous social construct

Dana Bryant, New York, NY. Case in Point: Walter White, Director of the NAACP from 1931-1955 . The man had about 1/27th percent black blood but was was forced to identify himself as a black man. When, later in life, he divorced his black wife and choose to marry the white woman he’d actually fallen […]

White people are human beings too

John Locke New York, NY I know it may not seem like it from all the crazy racist rhetoric directed against us. It’s okay to be proud of being any other race, except white. Well, white people invented the light bulb. We invented air conditioning. I think being white is fine!

Indigenous and religiously evangelical equal colonized?

Chantilly Mers New York, NY I am the daughter of parents who migrated from Palau, a small cluster of islands between Guam and the Philippines. Ethnically, I am Palauan and Chinese, and my siblings and I grew up in Hawaii. Pacific Islander/Native Hawaiian is usually the box I check. In addition to my inherent multi-cultural […]

But I don’t really see color.

Freddi Brown-Carter New York, NY I wonder what else you don’t see? Do you see my gender, do you notice the gray hair? I don’t believe you don’t see color. Sadly,I think you feel you are paying me a compliment by saying you don’t see my negritude.

But your kids won’t be white.

Elizabeth New York, NY This is what a family member said to me upon announcing my engagement to a black man. It was actually more ridiculous because it was framed as a question: “You know your kids won’t be white, right?” Wow, really? Doesn’t bother me but it clearly bothered her… My six words represent […]

You don’t have an accent.

Susan Lee New York, NY On the phone no one can tell I’m Asian-American, but in person I sometimes elicit this response. Because I am Asian, some people expect me to speak with an accent. Once a real estate agent, on the phone, described the neighborhoods she was going to show me. In person, she […]

Ivan Lutcher, my student – 19 – deceased.

Michael Kassin New York, NY Ivan was one young man among many that I taught at St. Anne H.S. in Illinois–40 years ago. But he left the biggest impression. He lived with his grandmother in a trailer. I don’t know where his parents were (I did meet his grandmother, sister and brother). He shuttled between […]

My name is Lily, I’m racist

Lily Cohen New York, NY I wasn’t born racist. My parents didn’t raise me to be racist. For the first twelve years of my life I was not racist. It all changed after my parents had to move to a Black area, and I had to attend a Black school. Needless to say, I didn’t […]

No racists here; we are gated.

Peter Goodwin New York, NY We have separated ourselves into separate communities, sometimes with physical gates, often with mental or emotional gates, and so have very little contact with the ‘other’. And we can pretend that that we have no residue of racism in our emotional make-up while never having any contact with people of […]

Cultural Gatekeepers Defile Black People’s Beauty

Deborah Sanders New York, NY Racism has become so deeply ingrained in our culture that we are often only able to recognize the most obvious aggressions. Even when we do recognize it, we often feel helpless to resist its powerful grip on our psyche. I think that much of the obstacles to achieving a post-racial […]

My Daughter, I’m not her nanny

C. Fleming New York, NY I am Jamaican-American (black) and my Fiance is white. Somehow even in a place as mixed as NY people generally assume that I am the nanny since my daughter turned out to be very fair-skinned. I think the thing that saddened me the most is seeing the way that many […]

“White Girl” was my name until college.

Samantha McFadden New York, NY I grew up outside of New York in a city that was definitely more urban than suburban. I spent the majority of my childhood being referred to as “that white girl” by my classmates. As one of a dozen Caucasian people in my graduating class in high school, you would […]

No, where are you REALLY from?

Mike Chen Chicago, IL My wife and I were both born and raised in New York. Our parents immigrated from Asia in the 70s, and are all naturalized citizens. We speak fluent English without an accent. We have always identified ourselves as Americans. This question comes up disappointingly often, typically asked in a few variations […]

I’m not here to educate you

Michael Lamont New York City, New York I am not here to be your person of color friend to make you feel better about your racist thoughts. Nor I am here to teach you everything that is wrong with what you say or do. Only you can change whether you want to stop thinking the […]

Gay, but at least I’m white.

David Trahan New York, NY Someone once told me in conversations that even thought I was gay, at least I’m white. As if I wasn’t allowed to feel oppression and struggle, because white trumped gay. There’s another side to it, I know. In some ways it can be harder to be gay and black, but […]