Ted Mittelstaedt, Portland, OR. I was born in 1966 and by age 13 I knew how to solder and by age 15 I was building electronic devices from schematics. By age 20 I had taken apart and put back together several different kinds of computers and written code in assembly language. I also have a […]
Meredith Taggart, Portland, OR. I’m Italian and Scottish and otherwise a European mutt. I’m generally considered “white,” and look ambiguously ethnic. For me, the idea of race is all about a longing for a greater connection to my heritage. I never feel more connected than when making pasta. Learning the language, visiting Italy, making/eating Italian […]
Kaller, Portland, OR. Native American grandfather, Quaker grandmother, their child was my mother. Black stepfather, biracial brother, adopted Latina child, all Chinese grade school, segregation, race riots, the battle for Civil Rights…who are “my people?”
Renu Gehring Portland, OR I am an ethnically Indian woman married to a white man. Our two kids are a happy blend of brown and white. We live in a community that has a large number of recent Indian immigrants. I am surprised by their reaction when they see me with my children. When they […]
Pamela Russell Bejerano, Portland, OR. As a white girl growing up, I always felt I had no culture. As an adult, I realized that what I was seeking was a racial identity. But I am discovering daily that this racial identity is not just Scottish and Norwegian, but part of a society that unfairly awards […]
Edward Hershey, Portland, OR. My mom, a Stevenson Democrat, and I were walking home from the subway in Brooklyn ca. 1955 when she spotted a man of color outside the apartment house adjacent to ours.
Chuck, Portland, OR. It’s that look. The look I’ve seen all my life. Like you just found a gross bug in your house that you don’t want to deal with. I don’t think that the look is intentional but it’s the first thing I see when you see me, and I immediately know that you’ve […]
Kehaulani H. Minzghor, Portland, OR.
Brian Chapman Portland, OR I discovered, in my 40s, that my ethnicity and my ancestry were not what I had been led to believe. For mysterious reasons (anti-Semitism) my father concocted a fictional back story that became how my brothers and I viewed ourselves. Now, with knowledge of a different cultural identity but absolutely no […]
Carly Mayer, Portland, OR. Often I hear white people say that they are not privileged because they aren’t wealthy, or because they aren’t straight, etc. But white people have a privilege that most of us are unaware of. We don’t get pulled aside at airports or pulled over by police officers or verbally assaulted solely […]
Isabella Garcia, Portland, OR.
Claire Olson, Portland, OR.
Stephanie McCleery, Portland, OR. Adopted at birth, assumed white, found out 1/4 Cherokee at age 40 when found by birth mother.
Tony Reyes, Portland, OR. I’m half Latino. My mother is a white, evangelical, conservative. I came home the night Obama was re-elected and asked if she had heard the results. The above statement was how she very bitterly responded. Apparently people of color aren’t intellectually capable of choosing a president on the basis of anything […]
Anthony Whittum, Portland, OR. As I get older (56) racism seems more prevalent or at least more “advertised” by those that hold racist beliefs. Or perhaps as my childhood, young man-hood and middle age fade into the rear view mirror my awareness of all things grows. It seems that racists are most often categorized as […]
Jim Solomita, Portland, OR. Enslavement is one of the most evil things a human can do to another. However, no one likes to think of themselves as evil. Therefore, the slave owners needed a way to justify what they were doing. Their solution was to consider Africans as less-than humans – tantamount to animals. Then […]
Michelle DePass, Portland, OR. I live in Portland, a City that is overwhelmingly white. Our State Constitution was a racist one. Slavery was not allowed, however Black people were discouraged by a clause in the Constitution that says that Black people who locate in Oregon are subject to public whippings every 6 months until they […]
Lucy Jones, Portland, OR. I am 32 years old and white. I have had social anxiety all of my life. As a child, I was around black people often and I was comfortable, but quiet because of my anxiety disorder. This changed in college. I grew up in Ohio and went to school in southern […]
Matt, Portland, OR. Lately I’ve seen people of all races attack and belittle white people. Everyone complains about how whites are so racist, but where I come from everyone except white people are treated equally. We constantly get ridiculed for something our generation has no part of. We get made out to be the bad […]
Kole Myrick, Portland, OR. As a trans man I often feel very marginalized, but when you look at it based solely on race, I have an incredible amount of privilege. Because of these intersections it is up to me, and other white trans folks, to help bring up trans people of color. We are all […]
Anonymous, Portland, OR. Honestly, the change had to come from within. I grew up in a very white area and my parents were raised in a way that was unacceptable and I had to change myself and their views. So I say, it comes from within because if you truly believe things should change, it’s […]
Penny Shaff Altman, Portland, ME. My father told me stories drawn from his childhood in the Ukraine. My mother told me stories about her life growing up as a Jewish immigrant. I told stories to my children. I tell them to my grandchildren. My youngest grandson’s great grandmother is famous for her stories of Gullah […]
Hyung Nam Portland, OR Melting pot was for the construction of whiteness
Susan, Portland, OR. DNA vs love. DNA wins.
Kim Hollins, Portland, OR. It’s all about who you are and not what you look like in my book. A person’s character can greatly affect one’s perception of an individual as well as racial groups they may be a part of. What you say and do contributes to racial stereotypes and adversity way beyond the […]
Doey Cushman, Portland, OR. So I am of mixed race Chinook Indian and northern European. Many times white people forget and will talk about natives catch themselves and then say they don’t mean me. This has happened many times over the years even coming from my own relatives. My own children and grandchildren are very […]
Ivy Portland, ME Yes I am a white female but I do not think I fit the stereotypes associated with the label “white girl”.
Ryan Barrows, Portland, ME. There is only one color and this “Love”
Winslow Parker Portland, OR Back story: She was from upstate New York, I from San Diego; both of us from snow-white neighborhoods. It was 1971. Grey-brown smoke on the the northern horizon still lingered in my mind; Watts burning. We moved into the thin white line on the eastern edge of the Grand Concourse young, […]
Jessica Keast, Portland, ME. I’ve noticed that many white people have a tendency to use the pronoun ‘them’ instead of ‘us’ in relation to other white people when talking about race. By failing to include ourselves the group we push the blame off ourselves, but also neglect to recognize the implicit biases present in everyone. […]
Lisa Gardner, Portland, OR.
Sue Ann Higgens, Portland, OR. For me, White Privilege operates as unearned advantage, kind of like in the Monopoly game, where you get paid simply for showing up. I was pulled over by a police officer for the first time ever for speeding (which I do daily) the day after I turned 50. And I […]
Elinor Hilton, Portland, ME. I’m white, and I was born with the privilege to not have to think about my race all the time. I live my life blissfully unafraid of how other people view my race.
Ellison Weist Portland, OR I grew up in the Deep South, the white child of parents who championed Civil Rights in the 1960s. Yet it’s this story from my elderly Portland, OR neighbor that speaks volumes to me about race and forgiveness.
Elysia, Portland, OR. We are expecting our first child in December 2015.
Annie Rosen Portland, OR Manager for Women’s Winter Shelter (Transition Project)
David Brady, Portland, OR. Travel to see new cultures and experiences? I do. But, we can experience the richness of culture here if we look past appearance. Listen, let others’ stories speak.
Mariel Joana Alvarado, Portland, OR.
Aaron Duran, Portland, OR. I’m of mixed heritage, being Mexican and Italian. However, I more closely identify with my Mexican heritage due to closeness of family and family history. Still, growing up in a small, farm and ranching based town, I found myself often downplaying my Mexican side. Even going so far, as a kid, […]
Valencia Banks, Portland, ME.
N. Blandis, Portland, OR. I am a second generation American born of Greek parents. My father’s birth certificate in Los Angeles California in 1921 listed his race as GREEK. His place of birth was listed as Stork NEST , meaning at home. I have never classified myself as WHITE. I have ethnic features and the […]
Pablo Chauvin, Portland, OR. My name is Pablo and I’M WHITE. I grew up in a small town in Southern Oregon on a 40 acre commune. My parents are college educated and my Dad was a philosophy major with a never ending thurst for knowledge. So why the name Pablo? Growing up in a small […]
Darilis, Portland, OR. I moved from Puerto Rico to Michigan and people never knew what I was. Some thought I was Black, many thought I was mixed Black/White, and others thought I was Samoan. I recall one day I was at a store and a gentleman asked me if I was from Iran. I smiled […]
Katherine McDowell Portland, OR
Tricia Tillman, Portland, OR. I have a funny story about how race and gentrification interact. My son walked out the front door of our house which is in a neighborhood that is gentrifying and yelled back in “Mom, I just saw 2 naked people riding down the street!” When I walked outside, we heard an […]
Sean Mailey, Portland, OR.
Haley Sprecher, Portland, OR. I have grown up in a diverse community and have been raised to respect everyone for who they are. Every single one of us has had different experiences which makes us individuals. Something has to change, the behavior of some people is unacceptable. A little bit of respect goes a long […]
Kelly Cutler, Portland, OR. Our beliefs play a powerful role in the discussion of race, especially in the world of education. In my view, the system of education suffers from a “believe gap” related to students of color, rather than students of coloring having an “achievement gap”. When are we going to unpack our believes […]
Anonymous, Portland, OR. I use the Race Card project framework to update my racial autobiography occasionally, so it changes over time. Right now, I am struck by the urgency to unpack my White privilege and not waste time or energy on guilt. I didn’t make systemic racism but I know it exists to engineer some […]
Ellery Sills Portland, OR
Connor York, Portland, OR. Experiencing life as a middle class white male in a largely white area can make it difficult to understand the complex issue of race and what it means in our society, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try.
Satoshi Kanazawa Portland, OR
Nate Handlin, Portland, OR. We need to end the labels, this only breeds division to us all. Instead of us vs. them, would it be nice to say this is our country, these are our issues we need to deal with, not theirs, not my people. but Americans. Was this not the reason we became […]
Rudy Owens, Portland, OR. So, you want six words? Here are six I heard so many times I can’t even count them. They came in various themes on being a “hunky” or “f*****” or “dumba**.” They weren’t intended to provoke, to share hatred, and to demonstrate power. They were repetitively used by many people, my […]
Paul Kuck, Portland, OR. I could talk about this all day. Race, ethnicity, and ancestry fascinate me. The question of who I am has been with me since I can remember. When I was little, we lived near the reservation in South Dakota, and everyone thought I was Native. My sister who is pale, blue […]
Laura Moog Portland, OR I witnessed two 11 or 12 year old boys, one white, one black, hurling racial epithets at each other in the park this week. Then their Moms got involved and things got physical. All of the police officers who responded to the scene were white and male. I have always held […]
Naghmeh Moshtael Portland, OR These are my daughter’s words. We live in a world of different race, culture and heritage. My husband in African American, born in Seattle and raised in Compton, CA. I am originally from Iran, raised in Cameroon (Central Africa) and now living in the US. My daughter is adopted from Ethiopia. […]
Shoshana Hoose Portland, OR I grew up in an all-white neighborhood in Newington, Ct. My mother’s best friend, a Quaker, and her husband sold their home to an African-American family in 1966 as part of an organized effort to integrate the Hartford suburbs. My Dad, a lawyer and state legislator, handled the legal work. When […]
Jessica Winfrey Portland, OR I am biracial and bicultural and was educated for the first 6 years in a very diverse school on an air force base in North Dakota. After my parents divorced, my mom and I moved into the neighboring town, which was predominately white. I recall being warned ahead of time that […]
Carol Silva Portland, OR My step-grandma danced, taught, and had her own hula group who performed during the week on Oahu. Once when she and my grandpa were visiting us on the Mainland, my grandpa suggested that when I got older I could come to Hawaii and dance in the show. This was unlikely to […]
Sonali Miller Portland, OR
Robert Hauss Portland, OR
John Johnson Portland, OR They will never let you forget you are black. I doesn’t matter where you go or what you do. First and foremost you will always be black. If you are at the beach you are a black man at the beach. If you are in an antique store you are a […]
Max Roberts Portland, OR Is this okay? Or does some rule exclude me from the Project?
Phuong Christian Portland, OR Just because someone is Asian does not mean they inherently have the “smart genes”. I’ve seen hopes and dreams shatter because people couldn’t live up to this expectation.
Francesca Magno Portland, ME I come from a very large Irish/Italian family. We have traditions and ideals representative of different cultures. Yet, when people identify me I am simply a white girl. People do not view me as a mix of races. I could be any other ugg wearing, latte in hand, textaholic, but I […]
Jane Portland, ME Oppression must stay in the past. I’m sorry.
Bridget Ruff Portland, ME Everytime I meet someone from another part of the country, they immediately label me as a white hick from a rural state. I live in Portland (yes it’s a city and it doesn’t rain) and go to a school where 26 different languages are spoken by a quarter of the students. […]
Amanda Simpson Portland, ME
Sarah Willis Portland, OR My dad is a half Mexican half German man who married a European mutt and had seven children. I am the only one of the seven that he marked the box on my birth certificate as Hispanic instead of white, making me the only mexican in my family.
Matthew Gies Portland, OR (I’m white)
Shaylee Reichardt Portland, OR Growing up in not the nicest of neighborhoods, I was always everybody’s one “white” friend. They didn’t see me for all of my ethnic background. I guess I’m just the white girl who is only a paper minority. They cant see my whole family.
Stacey Golden Portland, OR I am Euro-American and my husband is African American. When we decided to adopt children, we adopted children that had bio-parents that were the same race as us, thinking, at the time, that then our children would feel more comfortable in a family that would have been like their bio-family. That […]
Karen Davis Portland, OR First sorrow, family unable to love, second sorrow, learning of racism, still shocked 60 years later. How can this be? I don’t understand it any better today than I did then.
Marie-Elena Reyes Portland, OR I have been speechless when told this (often by white women). The first time, I was angry and hurt to hear my life and racialized experience in America wiped away by someone trying to make me feel accepted. The most recent time this happened I knew what I wanted to say […]
Elizabeth Simson Durant Portland, OR Facing race and racism is hard for white people like me because we feel guilty and ashamed. We wish we weren’t racist. We don’t mean to be. “We can’t help it.” It shook me up the day I realized that being “good” i.e. being “innocent” is part of my white […]
Cheyenne Aguilera Portland, OR In regards to my half and half Latino/Caucasian mix. Apparently I should just identify as white because I “act and look more white”.
Jane-Clair Landry-Kerin Portland, OR
Greg Cooper Portland, OR It’s odd to feel almost universally reviled for the past acts of others. Particularly so when I know so many of the historically oppressed who are so much better off than I, through no effort of their own.
Daniel Portland, OR I grew up in a working-class and ever-so-slightly diverse part of a very white city, but I the bus across town with two dozen others to school K-12. As I grow older I sometimes recall classroom memories that make my current self uncomfortable. In 7th grade social studies we discussed slavery, and […]
Gretchen Portland, OR Submitted via: NPR’s Talk of the Nation Example submitted: Kevin Garnett http://lastangryfan.com/2011/01/kevin-garnetts-bloodied-head-requires-a-freakishly-large-band-aid/
Sarylyn Butler Portland, OR
Elisha Alcantara Portland, OR
Sandra McDonaugh Portland, OR
Katherine McDowell Portland, OR
Whitney Baker Portland, OR
Norene Lealamanua Portland, OR My very white family was confused by my choices until they fell head over heels for my exceptionally smart, beautiful brown children!
Rebecca A Portland, OR But who am I to say he is wrong? My boyfriend is Filipino and I am white. He thinks people judge us for being in a biracial relationship, and I tell him he’s paranoid. When you’ve grown up in an environment where racist acts happen against you like he did, what […]
Maisha Foster-O’Neal Portland, OR
Steffen Estrada Portland, OR I was 13 years old when I heard Dr. King’s August 1963 speech and it hit me like a brick. From then on I saw the world (and the world of my black friends) through a different lens. Thank you so much Michele for your wonderful reporting and this opportunity for […]