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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 […]

Only Black in office. Very Isolating

Ursie Bankhead, Buffalo, NY. I have a PhD, have studied race issues. And still struggle in my workplace. Mostly within my own department. I have support from several friends of various races/ethnicities/backgrounds, etc. But, it is difficult at times being “the only” and to experience microinvalidations during staff meetings or to end up in a […]

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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 […]

White People, White Culture, Social construct

Barry Irving, Syracuse, NY. …History tells us that Whiteness has always been a social construct that is used to exclude certain groups… ( people of Color ) …The notion of White culture is a Myth… …White People are not a single ethnic Group or a distinct number of ethnicities. They are an amalgamation of everyone […]

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Scotch tape no longer clings here.

Malcolm Ian Mackenzie, Naples, NY. My mom and Dad immigrated from Canada in the early fifties with two children Canadian-born and eleven were born in the states. Growing we had a strong family identity as Canadians, but knew we also had Scottish roots through our dad’s family. My Mom’s family were Anglo-French Canadians, with an […]

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Eisenhower’s Negro caddy was too slow.

Karen Brinkman, New York City, NY. Cleaning out my mother’s attic, I came across a vase wrapped in a newspaper page from 1957. This sentence was in a short article about the firing of “Cemetery” Perteet, President Eisenhower’s long time golf caddy. Learn more about Karen’s 6 words: http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1499&dat=19570402&id=MexQAAAAIBAJ&sjid=fyUEAAAAIBAJ&pg=2822,503509  

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I’m black, not from the Carribean

Lemuel Reddikc, New York City, NY. People ask me “where are you from?” and I never know how to answer that. I just say “I’m black,” but then they ask me where my parents are from. My maternal grandmother is from the West Indies and my maternal grandfather was from the Carribean, but I can’t […]

Your German parents started the war

Janice Cooper, MN. My newly married parents immigrated to the U.S. from Germany via Ellis Island during the mid 50’s to follow the American Dream. Growing up in small town Michigan and attending Catholic school, my younger brother and I were constantly accused of being Nazis during our grade school years. Even though my parents […]

I don’t speak for my race!

Celesti Colds Fechter, Tarrytown, NY. I feel as though when I am the only African-American in a setting that I feel obligated to “speak” for other African-Americans. I will not do it and don’t ask me to do it. I had a job where I was the first African-American hired in a professional setting. I […]

“You’re Brazilian? You don’t look it!”

Daphne de Souza Lima Sorensen, Oneonta, NY. I’m a white woman with a perfect American accent. I have a university degree, a husband and a 3 year old daughter. By all accounts, I am a “typical” middle-class woman. Except that I am not American and even though I have lived in the USA on and […]

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Pale freckled redhead burned by words

Marie Farrell, Brooklyn, NY. I grew up in San Diego, California where the sun shines all the time. I was the kid that never tanned, just freckled and burned. I was also raised by an Irish mother so there was a lot less love than fights and tension. I recall a day when I bravely […]

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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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Never belonging. Puerto Rican or American?

Lorna Hagen, Brooklyn, NY. I am Puerto Rico born New Yorker that moved to the US when I was 12. Somewhere in the plane ride over I lost something – I have no shared childhood experiences with my North American friends (lullabies, games, etc.) and no shared adolescent experiences with my Puerto Rican friends. It […]

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Anymore, afraid of what we represent.

Michele Wiemer, Brooklyn, NY. We have been in our neighborhood for coming on ten years and in that time it has changed from ‘Bed-Stuy’ to ‘Clinton-Hill’ to ‘Fort Green East’ as the realtors slowly remade and gentrified neighborhoods. Each economic surge carved out new districts and displaced our neighbors. The most recent insurgence of peoples […]

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Black Fathers Love Black Children, #Shutup!

Nvizaboman, Syracuse, NY. Pointing a gun in the face of a Black boy or choking a Black man, is not a common cultural practice in the Black community. I just feel that needs to be said. Please stop killing us because our lives are an appointment we don’t want to miss. Thank you.

I look white; perception is reality.

Mary Halling, Milwaukee, WI. Moving from New York to Ohio to Milwaukee in my 25 years on this Earth, I’ve encountered race in so many different ways. From celebrating and learning about all the different ethnicities in my classroom in elementary school, being bullied for being white in my urban middle school, to being incorrectly […]

“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 […]

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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 […]

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 […]