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You’re not like a real Mexican.

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, […]

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Your family isn’t your “real” family

Anonymous, Des Moiones, IA. Drake University This is what my mom was told in 1954 when social services came into her home and removed her and all of her siblings from her mom. At that time they were truly poor and were having a hard time finding enough food to eat. Her mother had a […]

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Kofi is a fake white man!

fakeKofi M. G. W. Opantiri, Los Angeles, CA. I am the eldest child of two boys and a girl born to an American-African father and a French-Canadian (white) mother. Born in New York City in 1949, the “one-drop” rule informed me early on that I was Negro and colored. Like millions of American-Africans, I became […]

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I didn’t think it was real!

Toya James, Albuquerque, NM. I am biracial (Black/White) and born in Cleveland in 1959. By “it” I mean race. I thought more people knew race is simply a social construct and that racism was something education erased. I have only recently realized how widespread the buy-in is in American society and that race was invented […]

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Privilege is real. I get it.

Eric Moore, Anchorage, AK. “I get it” cuts three ways. First, I understand this is true. Second, I am in most ways the example of a person who is privileged and this has brought me opportunities, second chances and more. But Third can be an exasperated “I get it” because no matter the advantages I’ve […]

I’m afraid of most black men.

Maureen C. Kenosha, WI I work in a library with a lot of African American patrons, and I tense up when black men come in, especially if there is a group of them together. I saw my father work harmoniously with his African American colleagues, have had many black friends, and still feel anxious when […]

“At least my mother is real.”

Shoshi Shaw Denver, CO In middle school I saw nothing wrong with being honest about my past so anyone who asked I would tell, I’m adopted. One day in math, I was correcting a classmates work on the whiteboard and on my way back to my seat, I heard the boy say under his breath […]

News Flash People, Race isn’t real

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 […]

Assimilation; there is no such thing.

Abel TX Speak English only they say. America is a melting pot; think American, be American. If you assimilate you will fit in and be treated equally! But when you assimilate, all that you gain is the loss of your cultural roots and your ethnic identity. Because, there is always someone around the corner to […]

I am a “real” Black person.

Maya Segirah Los Angeles, CA I have heard this all my life, exclusively from white people (ok, men) , who, for some arrogant reason, think they have the right to tell who I am or what I should be, to the exclusion of my own experience. When I question their assumptions in any way I […]

Finally learned: reverse racism isn’t real.

Sara Davis Philadelphia, PA I was one of a handful of white kids in a mostly black public school, where I felt different. When I went to a mostly white college, I still felt different. I also felt that I understood race and racism. I was wrong, because I didn’t know or think about white […]