Don’t make assumptions. Just ask questions.

Stephanie Woodworth, Piscataway, NJ. My six words are in reference to how hesitant (in some cases, even terrified) people are to talk to each other when differences are involved. It’s as if even the most well-meaning people become paralyzed at the thought of acknowledging not only our differences, but our collective level of ignorance about […]

“What are you? Where’re you from?”

Bettina Sferrino, Oakland, CA. As a mixed race person, I get these questions all the time. The persons asking have a strong desire to know and place the “other,” and a feeling that somehow the persons asking these questions can’t move forward interacting with me without knowing that information. I can’t help but think for […]

YOU know what I’m talking about?

King I Allah Lowell, MA This question is at work and on the streets (I’m a so-called Hispanic teacher in a predominantly white teaching force in a predominantly immigrant city). What they mean to say is, “You know what I’m talking about, right? You are like them. So, you must know. Right?” No, just because […]

From Jamaica but I am white

Craig Schoonmaker Leesburg, VA “You are from Jamaica. How come you are not black?” “Are your parents black?” I don’t mind the questions and curiosity but sometimes, it gets a bit old 🙂

Yes, they are my REAL kids

Paul David Binkley Delaware, OH My wife of twenty two years and I are interracially married, she black and myself white. Over our years together we have dealt with countless thoughtless comments and questions. Here is one such event recalled here to explain my six word story. A few years back, when our youngest still […]

Encouraging ignorant questions promotes understanding difference.

Zak Forde Morris, MN I do not mean to use “ignorant,” in the overused negatively-charged sense, but rather in the abstracted dictionary definition of the term, i.e. “lacking knowledge or information as to a particular subject or fact” ( Those who do not understand may want to, but may not know how to ask the […]

Yes, we are mixed…

Krystal Scott Bayoone, NJ This is the answer to the question I am asked weekly. I was asked this question as a child often. However now that I am a mother of two girls one who has lighter skin then I and one who is darker we are asked all the time. In the grocery […]