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I am more than African American

Lisa Latten, Richmond Heights, OH. I am more than African American. I am tired of being passed over for positions that I more than qualified to hold. I am tired of working twice as hard to prove my worth when my white counterparts who are less qualified laugh.

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I’m American, but where is home?

Abby Mercier, Canton, OH. Although I was born in America it can be very hard to feel like I belong here. Our views on race, Sexual orientation, laws that we’ve passed. Even what we have decided to conciser Social norms.

All I’ve got is the food.

Kelsey, Cleveland, OH. I’m Lebanese/Irish but grew up solely around my Lebanese family. However they rarely acknowledged where we came from. The closest I’ve gotten to my heritage is through food: being taught how to make baklava, seeing big bowls of hummus, baba ghanouj, and tabbouleh surrounded by stacks of fresh pita bread at parties, […]

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I’m tan, but I’m not Mexican

Gabriella, Delaware, OH. Just because my skin is naturally olive, everyone thinks im foreign, I have gotten many different ethnicity such as, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Moroccan, Brazilian, and Latino, and Hispanic. But I’m white.

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I pray for my son everyday

J Hill, Canton, OH. I am the proud mother of three children, two girls and a boy. They are all adults now. Every mother worries about her children. But I feel especially concerned for my son. He has done everything well so far in his life, entering his senior year in college, no kids, hardworking, […]

Act equal and you are equal.

Clay Terry, Cincinnati, OH. I just want to put it out there that I have a multitude of African American friends, not all black people are ignorant. However, most of them are. I did not grow up racist nor are my parents racist. I developed my way of thinking from observing the black community around […]

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Yeah, but you don’t look white.

Seth Skaggs, Marion, OH. Four months out of the year, I get to be white. Well, white-ish. My parents always told me that my tanned skin came from being part Native American on both sides, but beyond that I was raised white. I never thought about it growing up because “it was just a tan”, […]

Heritage not hate? Heritage of hate.

Ava Chamberlain, Dayton, OH. I don’t understand the phrase “heritage not hate.” It suggests the two are mutually exclusive categories. In reality, the heritage of the Confederate battle flag cannot be separated from a deeply entrenched hatred of people of color.

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Dwayne Fries; the other white Dwayne.

Dwayne Lee Fries, Columbus, OH. My name is Dwayne, and I’m white. Hi Dwayne! I was unwittingly named Dwayne. Two weeks before my taking over an inner city restaurant as a General Manager, my name was on a schedule. I heard all the stories of how everyone was like, “finally, we got a brother in […]

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Successful, Black, Gay, a family’s shame…

Karim Ali, Columbus, OH. I suppose I have been pondering my Race Card (TM) entry for a few months. When I read the comments of Michael Sam’s father (Michael Sam Sr.) about his disappointment in his son for being gay, I was nearly in tears, as it reminded me of my own coming out with […]

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Discovering others judgments after finding love.

Lauren Bing, North Canton, OH. A little over two years ago, my eyes were opened to the unspoken opinions of the people closest to me. I met a guy who had such a great personality, we got along so well and he treated me like I deserved nothing less than being treated right. I couldn’t […]

“No offense, but you’re so pretty!”

K.E. Broadnax, Cleveland, OH. This was said to me while attending college. I am black, and went to a predominantly white, upper-class university (as many are, to be fair). His statement was prefaced by the question, “What nationality are you?” If I was me now, back then, I would’ve replied “American.” But I knew what […]

Are there any other seats?

Samantha, Cincinnati, OH. I work in Planet Snoopy at Kings Island, and it horrifies me how many times parents will ask this or have their children wait, just so that they will not sit by someone of another race. I hate seeing how the children are being conditioned to hate others because of their skin.

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What race are you? JUST HUMAN!

Mika Derifield, Wadsworth, OH. It’s so sad that we live in a world that requires labels. Applying for a job, home, or even a social media account? In the first few questions you will be asked race, gender, age? WHY? I AM JUST A HUMAN.. aren’t we all?

No black kids in my school

Howard T. Uhal, Mentor, OH. I attended twelve years of public school in the town of Mentor, Ohio, birthplace of President James A. Garfield. To the best of my knowledge, there was not a single black kid in the school system, and perhaps none in the entire town. This was in the 1954-1966 time frame. […]

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It’s ok, you don’t act white.

Katy Carpenter, OH. I recognize that we don’t live in a color blind society, but race is never something I felt was central to my identity, and has no biological base. It never came up until I moved to the Bay Area and people started associating this idea of whiteness as a central component of […]

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Privilege cripples; step out, run naked.

Tannya Forcone, Akron, OH. My truck isn’t allowed to go faster on the freeway because it’s yellow. Why should my skin color allow me any other benefit? Privilege is embarrassing. Inequality causes our society to stagger in a circle, never moving forward toward justice.

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I’m surprised you speak so well.

E.C. Boyd, Canton, OH. I was not born, but I was raised in a predominantly white neighborhood because the school system was better in Perry Township than the low-income, mostly black Canton City Schools. As the only black person on my school’s debate team, I dealt with a lot of people surprised that I could […]

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Your soul is deeper than skin color

Melissa Pierce, Bowling Green, OH. As people, we need to start seeing each other for who they are rather than what they are. People have personalities, souls, and feelings that we are not taking account of when we only see skin color.

Disabled Combat veterans also face discrimination

Stan Lightner, Elyria, OH. As a disabled combat vet I have been a target of discrimination on numerous occasions by “Christian” conservatives. Imagine how it feels to be called lazy, welfare queen, worth less than an Iraq POW just for starters. BTW I have an earned doctorate in Occupational & Adult Education from Oklahoma State […]

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I don’t know what I am.

Jasmine Perry, Cleveland, OH. When it comes to race I honestly don’t know what I am. My families backdrop is kind of patchy, no one in my family knows, my grandma recently found out she was adopted she found out that she wasn’t related to anybody she grew up with. Which means the only clue […]

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MY GOLDEN BABIES ARE AMERICA’S FUTURE

Karen Dahn, Athens, OH. I went to Liberia as a Peace Corps Volunteer right out of college in the late 60’s, after having grown up in Montana and gone to school in Colorado with very little exposure to non white people. Being in Africa was a life changing experience. I did not intend to do […]

Joy is the armor of truth

Judith Angelo Cleveland Heights, OH I began with six words from Alice Walker’s novel about FGM, Possessing the Secret of Joy : “The secret of joy is resistance.” I’m a white radical lesbian feminist, and I associate them with my primary teachers about race in America: Audre Lorde (Sister Outsider) and Derrick Bell (Faces at […]

Racism definitely exists for a reason

Johnson, USA. I am sick to death of people trying to pretend like there aren’t legitimate reasons for racism. Not always, but they are there. I was raised not to be racist and people say racism is a learned behavior…yeah…I learned it myself from being around blacks. Black people can’t see it like everyone else […]

Please stop staring at us. Please.

Jacqueline Trudeau Brecksville, OH My boyfriend and I discuss our different backgrounds a lot. He’s Hindu, I’m Catholic. His parents came to America after he was born; you can trace part of my family back to the Mayflower. His parents still speak Tamil; mine occasionally break out their rusty college-level German.But despite all this discussion […]

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I am who I’ll always be

Cassandra, Cleveland, OH. The process I went through to identify those six words is by realizing the six words that mean the most to me. What I mean by this is that those words explain who I am in short for everyone. I thought about what I felt was most important to me and, what […]

Who turns knobs on closed doors?

Rachel P., Akron, OH. If you never open your mind, how will you change? As a white person growing up in the Bible Belt, I was taught that any color other than white was inferior. I moved to a school in Dallas, where there were only 10 white students in a school of 800. I […]

Is this all on one check?

Mary Henry Oxford, OH I am white, my husband is black, our daughter is biracial. If I’m out with just my husband or just my teenaged daughter, wait staff usually ask if our order is on one check, suggesting they don’t realize that we’re related (my daughter is not very dark-skinned, but looks more like […]

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With kids, people don’t separate us.

Steve Cox, Jackson, OH. Prior to having kids, people usually thought my wife (Chinese ethnic, Thai national) and I (white) were separate. If we went through a line at the store and we were both caring something, they would assume we were separate. Same thing would happen at airports and people would send us to […]

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I am more than skin color

Mitch Dobbs, Columbus, OH. There was a time in our society when individuals were treated differently based on the color of their skin. It was and is apalling and just plain wrong. Nothing will change that or make it right. “I am more than skin color” means that we must look past the burden of […]

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I’m black; I didn’t experience that.

Terri Davis, Cleveland, OH. I don’t discount the experiences of other black people, I just haven’t had the same encounters. Why do people think that I should have? I suppose I avoid confrontations by not doing things to draw attention to myself. I don’t pay attention to others who may be watching me and waiting […]

We don’t serve Your Kind Here!

Pilar Leano, San Francisco, CA. This was said to me in a small town of Fremont, Ohio. In fact, they got my nationality wrong also (they thought I was from Mexico). I still get comments like, you speak great English (even though I just told them I was born and raised in San Francisco). And […]

Who are you without racial identity

Greg Johnson, Maineville, OH. After all is said and done, we are each individuals who live and breathe. We happen to occupy this or that body, but that body is not us. It’s not who we are. It can have a tremendous effect on who we are, but it does not have to define us […]

Being gay has taught me compassion.

Thomas Swinscoe Akron, OH I grew up in a time when being gay was even more of a challenge than it is today. As a white, male of English/German descent who was raised Christian, I have come to see my sexual identity as a gift. I believe much the insight and empathy I enjoy is […]

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Was all the suffering worth it?

Tamara G. Cincinnati, OH When thinking of which six words I would use for The Race Card Project I had to ponder for a bit. I automatically thought of the fact that I am Jewish. Being so, I often get questioned about what holidays I celebrate or why we do certain things. Going to BGSU […]

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Red head mother angry unbroken strong

Erica Stone, Perrysburg, OH. The process I went through to get these words where things that I’m going through right now in my life or what people notice about me first. Some of the words I thought of came naturally while others I had to put more thought into them. The reason I decided to […]

Don’t paint blue eyes. It hurts.

Marcia Hartsock, Cincinnati, OH. I’m an illustrator, and Caucasian. In the 1980s, I was painting a wall mural in my integrated church that included a large eye that I had painted blue. A group of African American women friends from the church approached me and shared their thoughts and feelings about blue eyes. I have […]

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Race does not exist, racism does.

Sarah Brush, Delaware, OH. I have friends that are of other races and I don’t care about their skin tone or how they look. I look deeper than that. The term race is constantly brought up when talking about racism. I don’t think race truly exists. Yes people have different skin tones. But we are […]

When we run out of “firsts”

Greg Hudgison Columbus, GA I am hopeful that one day race will the last part of the conversation, and not the first. My six words refer to when another race is the first to accomplish something. I believe we will make progress when we are out of the first race to accomplish a task or […]

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What do you mean “White Latino?”

Andrea Fabiola Vazquez, Ridgefield, CT. I grew up in Ohio, but both of my parents are from Mexico. I speak Spanish, most of my extended family lives in Mexico, and I identify very much as a Mexican American. Still, when people ask me where my family is from—and people as me this a lot—they are […]

As you wish to be treated.

Patrick Kenyon, Hamilton, OH. There is a black family living next to me. They would play the stereo loud at night and wake my kids up. They would bang on the walls, leave knives in the front yard, trash etc. After a short while I knocked on their door and asked them to stop banging […]

Terrified to Discuss Race Because I’m White

Hanne, Columbus Grove, OH. I grew up in a primarily white upper class community. Anyone in my town that are of a different ethnicity or race were adopted and brought into the community. I grew up being told to stay away from the topic of race because it will offend others. When I started college […]

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 […]

White nurse. Inner city hospital. Disaster

Liz Kelly, Cleveland, OH. The big insight happened when I couldn’t understand the language no matter how hard I tried, although it was English. Knowing it was deliberate. Realizing “This is what marginalized people feel all the time– knowing they are hated without anyone knowing their thoughts or feelings or who they are.” Later I […]

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“White” papers over identity and background.

Catherine Kehl, Cleveland Heights, OH. When we divide ourselves into “us” and “other” we don’t only lose the other, we lose ourselves. I was twenty-seven before I realized that my mother sometimes spoke to me in Spanish not because she’d picked some up in college before travelling in South America in her twenties, but because […]

When good men do nothing…

Courtney Elizabeth Columbus, OH I get really bothered when white people say “but I didn’t own slaves!” or “my ancestors weren’t here during America’s beginnings.” Be that as it may, I like to remind them that they were there during Jim Crow segregation, the violence that raged then, when Emmitt Till was murdered, when four […]

Men I love aren’t safe here

Arlinda Vaughn, Dayton, OH. My partner is a tall, dark muscular black man (with a PHD). When he lived in Texas, the police arrived at a gas station that he was in and tased him 8 times without warning or discussion. My brother (with a degree) has been regularly pulled over. Once, a police officer […]

No One Is Better Than You…

Kim Skillern Samuels, Cleveland Heights, OH. I lived in a neighborhood of black people, and went to an inner city public school. When friends found that I’d be moving to the suburbs they teased me, and said “Those honkeys are gonna chase you home from school.” At the age of six I thought a “honkey” […]

Being white makes me feel guilty

Micaela Laurelville, OH My privilege is always at the forefront of my mind. I cry in history class and while reading certain historical books. How does one make up for the past crimes of people that I can’t help but perceive as my ancestors?

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Doctor asked, “What is your race?”

Leslie Lannan, Cincinnati, OH. It’s amazing how desperate we are in America to racially categorize our citizens based on how they look. My six words are a reference to a recent doctor’s visit. After discussing my ailments and general health, the doctor had one more question for me. “What is your race?” she asked. I […]

Get back with the other monkeys!

Randall E. Dalton, MD Somerset, KY Above is the comment of a white Cincinnati, Ohio police officer when I left the ranks of a “sit-in” in a public high school, in the aftermath ot the assasination of Dr. Martin Luther King, to go to the restroom — I was subsequently arrested.

I bet you don’t charge whites.

Steven Columbus, OH Working a parking booth. Black woman pulled up. Sign clearly posted with the rates for parking. Open the gate. That’s 2 bucks to park here. I bet you don’t charge white people. The sign is for everyone Mam. I’m interested in green not the color of your skin.