John Locke New York, NY I know it may not seem like it from all the crazy racist rhetoric directed against us. It’s okay to be proud of being any other race, except white. Well, white people invented the light bulb. We invented air conditioning. I think being white is fine!
Linda Morris Shawnee, KS Growing up, I got teased a lot for being a fair-skinned black girl by kids who would assume and make sure I knew that one of my parents surely must be white or another nationality besides “black” (ah, kids). When I became a teen and young adult, I would get asked [...]
Nayeli G. Velez Los Angeles, CA I didn’t understand how to take this comment growing up. Now, I cringe when people say it. I see now it’s a comment on my race and culture. A racist comment disguised as a complement.
Fleetwood Wilson Seattle, WA
Jessica Ayers Nashville, TN
Anonymous Seattle, WA Diversity is a gift that has been manipulated to segregate people. Divide and concur is how the system of government controls so many people but to be able to overcome this one must first accept Everyone for what they stand for and not what they wear or there pigmentation.
Craig Woolmington-Smith Orinda, CA I was raised in a military family where discrimination was everywhere and a highly respected way of life, but the discrimination was based on one’s rank and nothing else. This was true up and down the ladder from Privates to Generals and was my first introduction to meritocracy, although we didn’t [...]
Diana Gonzalez Franklin Square, NY I am an adopted person. I’ve been searching for my past all my life. I’m 60 now. One of my adopted parents was Austrian and one was Italian. I was raised to think of myself as Italian. In the early 1970′s I searched and found out I was born in [...]
Emily Gadient Des Moines, IA Drake University
Sophie Gardien Minneapolis, MN
Judy Freudenthal Nashville, TN I derived my 6 words from a quote by Einstein: All religions, arts and sciences are branches of the same tree.
Hannah Wigley Boone, NC Is this a contest to see who finishes first? I’m pretty sure the term by itself can be considered ‘racist’ since it implies some sort of competition and differentially…
Anne Ward Masterson Anchorage, AK Growing up Black, White and Cherokee in NH in the 1960′s and 70′s made for some painful tensions. In Kindergarten other children would see my mother and tell me she couldn’t be my mother. People would ask me ( and really, still do…) What are you? On the days I [...]
JESSE WASHINGTON— Dec. 1, 2012 She asked for just six words. Michele Norris, the National Public Radio host, was starting a book tour for her memoir, which explored racial secrets. Sensing a change in the atmosphere after the election of the first black president, and searching for a new way to engage and listen, Norris [...]
Katherine L Rife Philadelphia, PA
Riley Willman Des Moines, IA Drake University
Debra Nelson-Gardell Tuscaloosa, AL
Donor Conceived USA My dad will always be my dad, but at the age of 30, my parents decided it was time to tell me that my dad was not my biological father. Everyone in my immediate and extended family already knew this except for me. They were afraid of how I would respond. All [...]
Charles McCoy Los Gatos, CA I grew up being steeped in the folklore of Irish and Italian cultural heritage, thinking I was “half Irish”and “half Italian” and listening to my grandmother crowing about only being Toscana and speaking Toscana ( the received Italian dialect). As I did my DNA testing, I discovered that I am [...]
Jimmy Naughton Colorado Springs, CO Why does any race deserve restitution for their hardships? Every race has been enslaved, yet today’s discussions only ever focus on the Atlantic Slave Trade, i.e., the black slave. Hell, the Irish slaves were more plentiful in the English Empire, they were cheaper and treated far worse since they were [...]
Harmony Mason Spokane Falls Community College Spokane, WA
Darshi Balasuriya Long Beach, CA I spend my days mostly in Orange County California. I live in this white world and often see myself in the reflection of those whom I love and enjoy the company of. I rarely think about color of skin or race. But occasionally I encounter treatment from others that doesn’t [...]
Tim Daugherty Mount Pleasant, MI I think it’s time to stop using the word race to describe ethnic heritage. NPR should spearhead this movement away from a word that (no longer) doesn’t have any real meaning. This is just one of hundreds of papers published since the human genome mapping was completed. We are truly [...]
Roberta Wyse Torres Houston, TX When I completed my childrens’ forms to enter kindergarten, I was confronted for the first time with that droplist, “Check race: select one only:” Really? It went on to explain that if you did not select, then the school would select for you based on the teacher’s best guess, because [...]
Anonymous Des Moines, IA Drake University Asians get offended when you cannot tell exactly which ethnicity they are, and yet it is fine/appropriate to call us “white”? “White” is not a definition, and it is definitely not a race. If I am racist for calling every Asian I see Chinese, then everyone else is racist [...]
Brian Taylor Carlson Johnston, IA Drake University
Meghan Berry Des Moines, IA
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 [...]
Will Carpenter Drake University Des Moines, IA
Kate Kimple Submitted via Twitter: @katekimple Drake University Des Moines, IA
Charlie Chapman Spokane, WA SFCC Student
Jennifer Chain Eugene, OR
Rita Radostitz Eugene, OR
Martha Lauren Younger-Holrogd Eugene, OR
Rita Radostitz Eugene, OR
Kyra O’Kelley Atlanta, GA
Keiko McCracken Anacortes, WA I am half white, half Japanese. I can’t count the times someone has asked about my race, commented on my looks or name, or altered their response to me based on how I appear. As a child, I was teased because of my background; as an adult, I’ve had someone run [...]
Hao Nguyen Durham, NC I wanted to say… Black Vietnamese. Speak english, spanish, vietnamese. Eat suong kho, pho, and corn dogs. Words that describe my mixed race/heritage children. Having to choose only 6 words, I had to put them in order of words that most describe them. Having to choose what comes first — black [...]
Coco Smith Salem, OR A phenotype is not a race. There is only one human race. What people are calling race, is actually ethnicity. That is a cultural binding construct. It is that diversity that makes the world an interesting place. Without it, none of us would be here.
Anonymous Atlanta, GA Sometimes when people write articles about race, they tend to take things out of context and just take a blurb to make people outraged, when really the person was lecturing about a topic or was explaining something.
John Swissler Jr. Madison, WI It is usually said that the two topics you never raise in polite conversation are religion and politics. But my experience is that most people can have a far more useful conversation about either of those than they can about issues surrounding race. Gunnar Myrdal is still right: it remains [...]
Anonymous Chadbourne Residential College
Rachel Crooks Tallahassee, FL As a woman with a Mexican mother (“Mexican” to signify “mixed race,” although my mother has been identified by some as being Native American or Filipino or ‘Asian’) and a Jamaican father (his ethnicity is never questioned, though his nationality is reduced to ‘African American’), I grew up in a strange [...]
John King Catonsville, MD A wall made of no real human substance but fear. A wall where differences find a comforting place to self-justify. A wall behind which no growth occurs. A wall for the sake of a wall only.
Joycelyn Cole Terrytown, LA As a high school sophomore in 1955, I attended our school system’s Oratorical Contest. The finalists were a white girl from my high school and a black boy from St.Augustine H.S. We attended the contest in a high school auditorium. The black boy won. He walked out with a huge trophy. [...]
Laura Ann Harrell St. Simons Island, GA
Barbara Kingsley Palo Alto, CA
Scott Pangrle Chimacum, WA A lot of us probably face prejudice on many levels.
David Parlier Atlanta, GA
Natalie Gardner San Jose, CA
Debra Harper Minneapolis, MN
Katherine Fogelberg Fort Worth, TX We talk about race as though it is only something on the outside – but I have fought my whole life to find my “place” in the world. I was born in South Korea – found behind a movie theater at about 6 months of age – and lived my [...]
SKA1 Curacao Netherlands Antilles It is worth reflecting for a moment on the term “race” as used in the United States and in “The Race Card Project”. This is especially important as the US uses “race” as a data-collection term on the US Census forms and both the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Department of [...]
Ann Sz Aurora, IL Check out the realities of race, in an article like http://www.nature.com/ng/journal/v36/n11s/full/ng1454.html – it describes race as a “weak surrogate” for a variety of genetic and non-genetic factors, from the perspective of medicine and genetics. Or this from distinguished anthropologist Alan R. Templeton: http://www.realfuture.org/GIST/Readings/Templeton(1998).pdf – who finds no defensible biological evidence for [...]
Kathryn Sacramento, CA Sad to say the issue of race still negatively challenges and polarizes people in so many parts of the world. This just means there is still opportunity to be empowered by what we can learn from each other if we can stop fearing people who are different.
Martin MacKenzie Clackamas, OR I think these discussions have become so politically charged that no on can escape danger to one’s job, civil liability, or even in some cases, criminal charges. We even have thought laws now, an issue which was brought up in the George Zimmerman – Trayvon Martin trial. For those who remain [...]
Rick Brown Santa Barbara, CA As a white man I feel that I will never be able to have a legitimate open conversation about race because I feel that being white automatically brands me a as a racist no matter what I say.
Shel Cantor Astoria, OR Describe someone. You probably included the color of her eyes. You didn’t ignore her eye color, yet you don’t prejudge her nor treat her differently based on the color of her eyes. Race must become like eye color.
Elizabeth M Shontz Parker, NM I was on a murder trial several years ago. This is serious business and if there is not enough evidence beyond a reasonable doubt, there will be no conviction. Zimmerman should never have been charged in the first place. He acted within the parameters of Florida law which a clueless [...]
Tina Crisman Charlotte, NC
Nancyann Irvin St. Helens, OR I would find it insulting if I were constantly told I was a helpless victim and could not do anything to improve my lot. As a woman I grew up in a time when women did not do certain things because they were incapable. I was not allowed to go [...]
Cindy McLendon Madison, TN I grow weary of hearing that it was “racial”.. no matter what “it” is. A couple hundred years has brought enligntenment and progress yet many races use that card for everything bad that happens to them. Personal responsibility is EVERYONE’S obligation. Remember that the color of one’s skin brings benefits also.
Lesley Thomas George Frisco, TX My perfect little world was broken up into different races post 9/11. As an Indian-American, I escaped much of the profiling that many African Americans face. After 9/11 much of that changed.
Cestau Clark Louisville, KY It was against the law for my parents to be married in 1966. I was born in 1967. Florida was unkind to us then. But somehow, I still believe people are generally good. Race was a card I had to deal with everyday. Everyone wanted to know what I was…Well, I’m [...]
Scott Auden Colchester, CT “Race” is an arbitrary collection of cosmetic features with no reality beyond the cultural.
David G Robertson United Kingdom
AH Simpler Birmingham, AL
Omari N.F. Santa Barbara, CA Race is something we made up and nothing good has come of it (valiant struggles to overcome its many ills notwithstanding). 20 years ago I’d have been called Negro, 40 years ago ‘Colored’ and today Black. Truth is I am none of the above. There’s only one race, human. My [...]
Molly Monsees Durham, NC Race is a real cultural, political, and economic concept in society, but it is not a biological concept. In a scientific sense, there is no such thing as race.
David T Roth Nashville, TN I was walking through Centennial Park in Nashville, TN. I looked up to see a young Father holding his daughter of 3 or 4 facing him. It was obvious that they were interacting in a way that only parent and child can. Where the world around them disappears and they [...]
Joe Armas Ft. Washington, PA
Ronica Johnston (Seon) Canada My Father’s family is Guyanese, they believe in the 1 drop rule, but for white, not black. So my very brown, fro haired grandmother says she’s white. My mother is German and English, but tans dark. She’s convinced she has brown ancestors (she doesn’t). Then there’s me, wavy dark brown hair, [...]
T. Brodnax Atlanta, GA Two words in my six could easily be changed: “I” to “we” and “avoid” to “fear”. The “I” is obviously more personal, the “we” more descriptive of the world in which I think we live.
Mary Oakland, CA Wherever I am living in this country also affects my racial/cultural identity
Lee Saipan, MP Oceania is the proper geographical name of a defined region, as are North America, Europe, Asia, etc. People are Native American, European, Asian… I am, among other things, Oceanic or Oceanian; a person descended from ancestors from Oceania. Specifically, Micronesia. The term “pacific islander” as a racial category is an oddity that [...]
Mintii Ann Arbor, MI You ask me my race just to comfort your mind because it’s hard for me to fit in a box. I can say anything to you and it would please your curiosity.
Stephen Lavoie Waterford, CA
Juan Lopez Madison, WI I really didn’t pay much attention to my race until I knew the importance of knowing your background and ethnicity and where you really come from.
Sarah Naomi Burnett Norristown, PA Being a ‘white’ girl raised on the border of Mexico the ‘race-card’ issue was raised daily. I always felt that if I was a color, and they were a nationality, those two identifiers didn’t quantify either of us equally. I had a culture at home that was Irish/Italian but where [...]
Henry Lonnemann San Mateo, CA When contacted by the census bureau I was thrilled. It was a pleasure to fulfill my civic duty, and exciting to document my son as my great-great-grandparents had documented theirs. However, when question six came up, What is the persons race?, the conversation turned. My response was that race is [...]
Jacob Addington Fort Collins, CO The race issue is kept alive by statistics and surveys which constantly tell us that we humans fall into different groups, and by our own willingness to accept race as part of our identity. Is having pride in one’s own race any better than hatred for someone else’s, or is [...]
Rocio Tapia Forest Park, GA Being from Mexico, I do not have any sense of race. I know what I am and do not identify with any of the categories listed when I am asked about my race or ethnicity, so I often leave it blank or choose “Other” if I am pressed to select [...]
Sile Grace Seattle, WA Said by my Appalachian granny every time I asked what race we were (everyone asked ‘what’ she was). I don’t know how to answer that question now when it’s posed to me.
Jacinta Lomba South Windsor, CT Thank you for organizing this campaign! I think it is fabulous.