Overt racism is largely outlawed, but practically everything that determines how we live, from education, to housing, to financial access, to the legal and justice system, have built-in racial biases that have normalized social disparities with which too many are comfortable.
Simran Jeet Singh, New York, NY. Trinity University My visible Sikh and South Asian identity have shaped my experiences with racial and cultural identities. Upon seeing me, people mark me as different and make various assumptions about me. Associations assume (but are not limited to): foreign, violent, conservative, uneducated, terrorist, victim, uncivilized, and dogmatic.
Jackie Spencer, New York, NY. The generalization we attach to people based on race is appalling. As an example when you speak of “immigrants” you do not think of this white blond person! I hope that raising this point makes people think before they generalize. We are all individuals with different beliefs and personalities and […]
Danny McCabe, New York, NY.
Kurt Andersen Brooklyn, NY
Betty L. Wilson, New York, NY.
Marco Spisso, Rochester, New York. No matter who you are it is ok to be that person. Everyone is free to be themselves no matter what society has to say.
Edwin Amador De Trinidad, New York, NY. We are all professional, bachelor’s degree and have in common one thing: The academic progress of the students. By the way, part of is a mix of black, white, and Amerindian. I am a Nicaraguan who celebrate all race in one culture. Can you notice all my ethnic […]
David Chen, New York, NY. I grew up in China listening to artists like 50 cent, Tupac, Snoop dogg (lion), and Jay-Z. I have every one of Jay-Z’s songs memorized and for a Chinese kid, that wasn’t easy. For as long as I can remember, I was fascinated by African American (is this the politically […]
Kate Lee van Loveren, Ann Arbor, MI. I was born in New York, grew up in New York, and live in New York (when I’m not at school). I’m of half Chinese and half Dutch descent, but for some people that registers into me not being American for some reason. Just by looking at me, […]
Annie, Glen Burnie, MD. I keep seeing people saying fuck white people. I am anything but privileged. I had a black manager who hated me. She did everything she could to try to keep me from succeeding two years ago. She threatened me on my birthday. Then, next birthday, she had everybody get together and […]
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 […]
Amber, New York, NY. I had an interesting experience at a Family Health Center today. I was experiencing trouble at home with applying for health care online and sought help finishing the application with a woman named Carmen who specializes in enrolling people. She said my ethnicity was in question and that it was affecting […]
Josclynne Grier, New York, NY. Sadly, he meant it as a compliment. It wasn’t.
Jay Tee, New York, NY. Seeing as many careers have been derailed, some high profile other less so, because of a hypersensitivity around candidly discussing race, the nation is going to have tough road ahead. “Oppression olympics”, wherein arguments are weight in proportion to the professed suffering of the speaker, fueled by the mob power […]
Reginald Daniel New York, NY It’s amazing what one hears when the other presumes they are speaking with someone of the same race.
Anonymous, Sacramento, CA. I remember the time when we just moved here in the United States, we were called “beggars” by an old lady because of the way we dress. Coming from a country where lifestyle was just simple and plain affected our adjustment, and made it hard for us to adopt, especially the place […]
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 […]
Roland, New York, NY. Be who you are, not what someone else wants you to be.
Linda Kuriloff, New York, NY. I once had an interview for a job at a company where the owner was Orthodox. I realized when he shook my hand that he was battling with his conscience because he probably expected that I was Jewish.
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 […]
Andrew Yaspan New Orleans, LA I think that we could have so much more progress in this country if we were less afraid of being uncomfortable and discussing issues that are taboo. I honestly do think that Americans try to hold a mirror up to this country often, but it is still through the lens […]
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 […]
Louis E. Perego Moreno, New York, NY. All my life, I have been out of more than one box. However, after wrestling with the subject for over 20 years, I have arrived at a point in my journey where my identity is defined by belonging to three worlds: Latino, Gay and USA. Many Hispanics in […]
Gina Brown, New York, NY. THANK YOU for thinking …
Brian Washington, New York, NY. White guilt has not, will not, and is not useful in the mission to eliminate racial stratification. It’s a shame it took me so long to realize this. Everyone has the right to be proud of who they are. Being proud of being an in-power majority is not unfair. It […]
Barbara Fought, Jamesville, NY. Faculty The most impacting cultural experience for me related to race was when in the 20s I lived in Detroit, a majority-black city.
Sunil Yapa, New York, NY. I’m biracial and grew up in rural Pennsylvania. The question where are you from has always hounded and haunted me. I’m from the US. I’m from Sri Lanka. The only two places in the world where they are certain I don’t belong.
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 […]
Joel McCall, New York, NY.
Richard Roberts New York, NY
Jerrel A. Burgo, Syracuse, NY. The Race Card Project On Location: Syracuse University My race/ethnicity is not easily identifiable for many people. No one’s race/ethnicity should be deemed “easily identifiable”. Humans do not fit into boxes that were constructed for us. We choose, on our own, how we identify. Many times, people will ask me, […]
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 […]
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 […]
Michael Vines, New York, NY. Just want to make sure that you understand “the girl” was how many people in the 50-60’s referred to their maid.
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.
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 […]
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 […]
Gianna Donovan, New York, NY.
Carla Washington, New York, NY.
Austin Smith, Fayetteville, NY. Student ’15
Eoin Gallagher, Syracue, NY. Student ’16
Emmett Dunn, Syracuse, NY. Student ’15
Conor Gollegly, Syracuse, NY. Student ’15
Johnny V. Miller, Syracuse, NY.
Hunter Andersen, Cortland, NY. Student ’15
Monte Stroman, Syracuse, NY. Student ’15 I am black but if you look past my skin you would never know
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 […]
Nick Thurlow, Syracuse, NY. Student ’15
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.
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 […]
Stephanie Susens, New York, NY. We have made progress, but I am frustrated by the amount of racism that still exists in our country. Unarmed African American teenagers are still being shot all over the U.S.
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.
Diana Emiko Tsuchida, New York, NY.
Amara Ihionu, New York, NY.
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 […]
Sally Ann Siegel New York, NY I experience anti-white and anti-Semitism occasionally from black women.
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 […]
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” […]
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 […]
Lee Anne Bell New York , NY As a white person in this country I am disgusted by the lack of public will to challenge institutionalized racism. As a student of our ugly racial history, I know that we will never move forward as a country until we acknowledge and atone for our racial past. […]
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 […]
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 […]
Joe Sexton Brooklyn, NY No people own the market on hate or hurt; every people possess the solutions to both
Nikole Hannah-Jones Brooklyn, NY
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 […]
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 […]
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.
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 […]
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!
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 […]
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.
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
James William Gaynor New York, NY
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
Jasmine An New York, NY A third-generation, monolingual English speaking, Chinese-American’s adventures in Chinatown.
Obie L. McKenzie New York
Vanessa Valdes New York Racism is not *seeing* the person’s humanity, it’s sticking everyone in the pre-assigned box and results in shock when human complexity dares to defy the formula.