“Where are you from?” – “Boston.” -” Liar!”

Lex, Syracuse, NY. I’m originated from Shanghai, China, currently doing a PhD at Syracuse University. Unavoidably, I have been welcomed with the question “where are you from” on a daily basis. It seems that not many people actually cares about the real answer: Shanghai — people generally don’t care about that corner of the globe […]

We have so far to go.

Bonnie Shoultz, Syracuse, NY. I was a young person during the 1960s, and dreamed that this country would overcome its terrible history of oppression and enslavement of whole groups of people based on their race, culture, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and class. We have made many changes, but oppression and murder of people who are […]

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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 […]

Impenetrable walls of misunderstanding and grief

The Rev. Kate LUfkin Day, Syracuse, NY. I am a white woman age 60. I chose the word “impenetrable” even though I sometimes experience moments of black-white mutual understanding, because I have found that the divide is so huge and daunting. It is better since my growing-up years in the sixties, but it is very […]

Appreciate difference or repeat the past.

Rose Collins, Syracuse, NY. Highschool Student ’16 I believe that if we don’t appreciate our differences or acknowledge the fact that we are all different, then we will repeat the prejudice and pain we’ve seen in our past. We all have different stories and cultures, and if we don’t acknowledge that then we will be […]

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 […]

I’m a POOR BLACK LATINA FEMALE.

Anavlis, Syracuse, NY. I am a brown woman from Latin-America, meaning I am a black Latina. I also live in the projects, meaning I am also about as a poor as they come (from a private univesity point of view). I was born with a surprising 4 strikes against me, a quadruple minority who is […]

“The majority won’t address Racism honestly”

Barry Irving, Syracuse, NY. …white people are bred from the notion color superiority and first privilege. They don’t see others as equal and that is a distortion that is age old. So when addressing race, the new descendants of old Racism think that they have no blame whatsoever. Even though Their social attitudes are in […]

White, Right, Proud, won’t be cowed

Franlkin Davis, Staten Island, NY. I’m tired of all the Liberal anti-White educators, media-types, race-baiting colored preachers of hate, and Democrat politicians telling me and members of my race we should be ashamed to be White. RESIST! Stand up! Speak out! Vilify the ideologically deficient Liberal propagandists telling us “we’re all the same”, we are […]

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Yes, you can touch my hair.

Jarae Farrell, Poughkeepsie, NY. My father is West Indian and my mother is black. I grew up in a very diverse town in the northeast, so when I was younger I knew there were people who looked different than me, but race wasn’t really a thing for me until I was in high school. Even […]

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My ancestors did not enslave yours.

Ardean Orr, Syracuse, NY. All four of my grandparents immigrated from Italy, so I’m pure Italian, but also white. My father was a jazz musician who often played with musicians who happened to be black, so I grew up in a tolerant home when it wasn’t popular. Growing up in America it seemed like blacks […]

“Cuban” is not a race! I’m WHITE.

Stevie Stan, Tarrytown, NY. Is “American” a race? No! Neither is “Cuban.” Born in the U.S. to Cuban parents who descend from white Spaniards, I’m white and blue-eyed. Most Americans are still behind with thinking anyone of Hispanic background is automatically “brown” or “Mexican.” It’s not as if Europeans ONLY migrated to what became the […]

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White folks get to be stupid.

Worokya Duncan, Ed.D., Saint Albans, NY. It grates on my nerves that white folks get to be stupid, and it turns into the fault of that one person or one family. One Black person’s idiocy turns into the fault/problem of all Blacks in America. How does the country STILL rationalize criminalizing people/bodies/colors that have been […]

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Father, Husband, Teacher, Pastor, Caucasian Racist?

Brad Crump, Floral Park, NY. As a Presbyterian Pastor I serve a diverse congregation (Guyanese, Jamaican, Black, White). As a teacher I work for a Middle School in Springfield Gardens (97% non white). While I spend every day serving the diverse cornucopia of NYC I am seen by many as the problem, the privilege, the […]

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In my subconscious, he is white

Katherine Hannan Wears, Ogdensburg, NY. When I was a practicing attorney, I scheduled an appointment with an attorney who was a specialist in the field of construction litigation. The contact was made through an attorney I knew well. As I waited at the appointment, I didn’t consciously think, “What will he look like?” When he […]

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Latin, Bald, Tattoos = Thug = Mistaken Identity

Eduardo Meza, Albany, NY. I get it! I look like the typical thug you will find in disadvantaged neighborhoods throughout most of California. I know I am immediately judged by my cover. People mistake my form of self-expression for some sort of territorial gang branding. I am gay, latino, well-educated (Master’s Degrees), family-oriented and a […]

Underpaid? Overworked? Frustrated? NOW imagine slavery.

John Leo, Sag Harbor, NY. This may be redundant since the release of and discussion about Twelve Years a Slave, but for many years I’ve seen and heard people complain about bosses and working conditions and I’ve empathized. But I’ve also reflected on how these modern days woes compare to SLAVERY. Being the property of […]

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You have a black girl’s hair

Lauren, Fairpoint, NY. I was required to do this for a MSW course on ethnic diversity. As a white, Italian-American woman, it was very difficult for me to think of an example of a racial micro-aggression that I have experienced. I have coarse, curly black hair. The statement was meant to be an insult.

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Racism is an ego-based human dysfuntion

James E Washington, Rochester, NY. The ego thrives on identification and separation. We seems to be a nation that thrives on dualism, having an “other” a “they or them” as a means to distinguish ourselves from. White, Black; Rich, Poor: Republican, Democrat; Christian, Jewish; Fat, Skinny; on and on. The problem appears to be “ego […]

Racists Are Not Always Bad People

Michael Havis, Brooklyn, NY. I think the word racism no longer defines the conversation we should be having. The image of racism in America is of the KKK or southern slave owners with whips. Being racist and being a good person are not mutually exclusive. Racism today isn’t being a part of lynch mobs or […]

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Only been victimized by other whites.

Michael Ponsler, Brooklyn, NY. I’ve enjoyed an extremely diverse social life, dated & married interracially and on countless occasions have been the only white person within a crowd, community or family gathering. I have never been harassed, harmed or threatened by a person of another race. However, I have been rejected, assaulted and/or threatened several […]

Three degrees, still remember stones thrown.

Akua Lezli Hope, Corning, NY. As a child in the great City, I was stoned and jeered as I made my way to Opportunity classes at PS 156, Laurelton Queens. The only black children were in these classes for intellectually gifted children — not among those whose parents demonstrated against our presence. I had seen […]

Identity is fluid; context is everything.

Zoë McLaughlin, USA. Waiting in line for the Chinatown bus in New York City, a man approached me and began speaking Spanish. I squinted at him and briefly pondered my response. This was not the first time someone has expected me to speak Spanish. As soon as I began making forays out of my predominantly […]

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Not THAT kind of Black Girl.

Lateefah Torrence, Brooklyn, NY. At the corner bodega, I’m one of those Black Girls who the Middle Eastern owner must watch from his elevated podium behind the bullet-proof glass. On the subway, I’m a Black Girl on WIC who can give Russian ladies directions to the welfare office. In the taxi, I’m the Black Girl […]

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 […]

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Surprised that dreadlocks are racially charged.

Terence P Ward New Paltz, NY I’m one year in to a five-year exploration of dreadlocks as a participant-observer, so I can learn about the experience and the perceptions; it’s called Dread Like Me and I maintain a blog about it at dreadlikeme.blogspot.com. I expected people to treat me differently because they would think I […]

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Russian? You’re improving the race Amiga!

Mayra Velez Buffalo, NY Picture of us, a Belarussian and Puerto Rican, soon-to-be-married, couple. When we started dating, every time I said he is belarussian to my friends and family, I heard the “oh improving the race amiga”. I think is our colonial mind, in which status in society was determined not by wealth but […]